Playing For An Audience

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Playing For An Audience

Postby bosco » Mon Aug 04, 2003 12:18 pm

I considered posting this in the "Gigs" forum but I think the target reader for this wisdom would more likely be found here. This superb analogy comes from my friend Al Bell, a fellow harp player better known as "Freereading" over on the Temple of Blues site...

"Keep the faith, good brother and keep playing out with your band. One thing I've found, is that you can play by yourself all the time and never get much better. It's when you play with other musicians that you begin to grow and especially when you are in front of a crowd. I used to tell supervisors that worked for me when they were having trouble with a young fuzzy cheeked rookie cop, "You know how you bend metal don't you? Heat and pressure. That's the only thing that bends people". Well, when we play in front of people we bring the heat and the pressure on ourselves and we are bent or we break."

I have often reflected on this theory and it closely parallels my own advice for beginners to play with other musicians every chance they get- jam sessions, open mics or sitting in with a band. This will improve their musicianship of course, but the audience aspect will forge skills to deal with the many intangables that are rarely discussed...stagefright, taking cues, developing a stage presence, gauging the attitude of the crowd and just being able to relax and be professional in general.

Bosco

"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it."
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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby allanlummox » Mon Aug 04, 2003 1:12 pm

Yea!

A show is worth a dozen rehearsals.

But then, you don't become a great lover sitting in your room alone with a magazine, either...you gotta get out there and work on those intangibles...
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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby bluesmcgoo » Mon Aug 04, 2003 3:01 pm

I once knew a woman with really nice intangibles. Whew!

Bosco, that's really good advice. I can attest to the fact that being involved with playing with other musicians, and playing in front of a crowd will improve your playing exponentially.

The only thing I'd add to that is, I've noticed that if I play with more advanced musicians than I am, the improvement is even more pronounced.
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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby purplehaze » Sun Aug 10, 2003 7:43 am

>The only thing I'd add to that is, I've noticed that if I
>play with more advanced musicians than I am, the improvement
>is even more pronounced.

Although you can always learn from everyone, obviously you'll learn much more from those who have wider experience. (Chinese proverb)




--> It's not a proverb, but sounds like one, uh? :P
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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby tarvus » Wed Aug 13, 2003 2:44 am

Bosco, your friend, Al Bell, has hit the nail on the head with his remarks! Ain't nothin' like doing it live to get your mojo working! That energy coming back at you from the audience can inspire you to stretch your abilities too and though that may sometimes result in a flub, more often it results in new licks with which you surprise yourself. Life is too short to lay back all the time and play it conservatively!

regards,
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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby 601blues » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:11 am

>I once knew a woman with really nice intangibles. Whew!



I met this young Lady in George Town Grand Cayman Last year,After my Gig she showed me around!! [img]
http://photobucket.com/albums/c204/601b ... 53-160.jpg
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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby lightninboy » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:01 am

Yep, good point Bosco.

I worked out once that playing live is 8 times more productive than rehearsing. (I forget how I worked it out).

I ran a jam night for 3 years, and I had my band mates come along to rehearse.
It worked well. Didn't need to pay for a rehearsal studio, had free drinks and I slipped them both a fifty each as well. Paid rehearsals!


Hey,,,that girl looks familiar,,,,
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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby jeffl » Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:39 am

Well written,Bosco me bucko! One thing I've learned from sittin' in, and occasionally gigging, with such a diverse bunch of outfits the last few months is to listen,keep my eyes open(since I'm always scrambling to learn different tunes),focus,put out mental and physical effort,and have fun with the new opportunities. I think there's a fine line involved in taking yourself too seriously at times vs. continuing to strive.
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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby jaybee » Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:15 am

>>I once knew a woman with really nice intangibles. Whew!
>
>
>
>I met this young Lady in George Town Grand Cayman Last
>year,After my Gig she showed me around!! [img]
>http://photobucket.com/albums/c204/601blues/th_19307931105057953-160.jpg

she showed you a round what?!? come on, confess!!! ;) :D
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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby maxx england » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:11 am

Can't remember the last time I touched an intangible.
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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby allanlummox » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:16 am

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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby 601blues » Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:52 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Feb-22-06 AT 08:04 AM (EST)][img]http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c204/601blues/19307931105057953-160.jpg While in I was in George Town I was Able to write 2 songs, Which I recorded there at Barefoot Studios, 1. Not your Super Hero. this was purchased by Lion Tropic films for a movie sound track. 2. Is This Paradise. i call it my salt water blues, one line of the tune sez, Sittin on warm sands at westbay about midnight,Steffnie comes in the soft moon light, Now I know this is paradise!! The tune has a conga beat real Salty!! But with a real Delta lead for contrast,They love it in the Caymens I hear they play it on the radio several times a day! SOOOO to ansewer your ?? I wrote a song about this lady,!!
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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby bosco » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:59 pm

I was going to commend 601 on reading the archives and bumping a 2 1/2 year old thread for discussion until I saw the intangible reason why he did it.

Thanks just the same for the pic, Ronnie, she's a lovely lass! :D

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RE: Playing For An Audience

Postby ricochet » Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:15 am

I haven't touched any intangibles lately, either.

When I was last on Grand Cayman, in 1985, "The Barefoot Man" was the big attraction by the pool at the Holiday Inn every night. (Right below our second floor window.) Bet he's associated with Barefoot Studios.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
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