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Don Andersen (Hill City SD)

Solo performers Interview
Artist Name Don Andersen
Age 61 years old
Date 5/6/13
Are you an instrumentalist only?
I play and sing
What instrument do you play?
Where do you reside?
Hill City S.D.
What inspired you to start singing and
In High School it was a good way to
meet the fairer sex.
How long did you play before you stated gigging?
Played maybe 1 year before first gig
How long have you been playing guitar?
I’ve been playing guitar for 45 years
How did you learn to play guitar?
I taught myself to play ( Thank you Beatles and that music book)!!
Have you taken lessons if so do you take lessons now?
I’ve never taken lessons but watched others real good
Where was your first gig?
First gig was a high school dance
How did you get it?
It was in Chicago growing up . We knew a guy who knew a guy.
How scared were you?
I found it to be just like practicing in the basement for friends
How do you get gigs?
I get all my gigs applying on my own. Got one steady gig out here
because I “looked like I knew what I was doing” I have since made
demo C.D.’s
Do you use an agent, if so how did you get that rolling?
I have never used an agent or gone through a venues agent.
What do you use for equipment?
Most gigs I use a Roland AC60 acoustic amp. If I’m traveling on my
Harley I use a Roland AC33 acoustic amp( runs on AA batteries , play anywhere)
My guitar of choice is an Escape MKII by Traveler Guitar for road and everyday
use. (Great sound , NO feedback) and I use a Boss Loop Station.I have a
Behringer powered speaker and a monitor if I need them
Do you use a monitor?
I have a Mackie SRM150 monitor that also doubles as a mini P.A. if needed.
Do you have any tips you can share as far as setting up your equipment for a gig?
Set up tips? Put the amp on a speaker stand , plug in a mic and guitar , play. Doesn’t get any easier than that
How long was your longest gig?
My longest gig was over 12 hours at a bar during the Sturgis Bike Rally
How long was your shortest gig?
Shortest gig? A venue double booked and the other act was already set up when I got there
How do you choose what songs to learn?
All the songs I play I like, I choose songs that mean something to me.
How do you learn new songs, by ear, YouTube, books?
I learn by ear, You Tube and on line sources (wish I had that back in the day)
When you practice do you go through a P. A. or just you and your guitar?
I practice with an amp on looped songs I’m messing with, acoustic
guitar while walking through the forest, or just practice in my head while
riding a horse or Harley.
Who are a few of your favorite artist?
Favorite artists is tough. I like them all.
How often do you play out?
In the Spring through Fall I play up to seven days a week,
sometimes two venues a day. In the Winter I play less guitar but I play every
Do you have any CD’s out?
I burn C.D.s on my computer but generally give them away for a ten
dollar tip , or a smile
Do you have any aspirations to take you
music further than your current success?
I’m going to head to New Mexico to play for a few weeks this fall
and may just hit the road for the winter. I’m confident I can drum up business
on the road .Life is a highway.
How far have you traveled to do a gig?
I’ve gone back to Chicago for gigs and to the Florida Keys
Can you recall you best show?
I consider every show as a best , cause that’s what I give

How about your worst show

There are gigs where you wonder “Is this thing on?” Are
those the worst? No , it makes you work harder and that makes you better.

Do you have any advice for a person just getting in to gigging that you would
like to share?

To anyone starting out I’d say be
true to yourself, you’ll never get bored. If all you touch is one person then
it was worth it.Play all you can but also listen to others , you’ll learn a
lot. I often play two hour sets cause I love what I do. Get to where you don’t
need a “set list”. Mess with people. Nobody likes to be invisible, let
‘em know you SEE them.