I spent a great deal of time making my store more user friendly. Please give it a look and let me know what you think. Suggestions would be welcomed. Still more work ahead, but I think the changes are an improvement. Click here to take a look.
After Hours Big Band performing this Sunday @GreyGoatPub @TownofNewmarket 12:30-2:30 PM Check out the set-list! #bigband
While I can not lead the band because of my daughter's baptism, the group is in the capable hands of Don Finlay. I look forward to a full report when I get back. I am sure the patio will be packed and the reception will be warm. Check out the set-list here.
I think this mock-up is a better representation of the chart, although it is far from capturing what a real band would sound like. I miss Mario and hope to play this chart again with the After Hours Big Band soon. Click here to hear the recording.
Whether you are practicing at home or rehearsing with your band, be sure to have the mind-set that you are preparing for the performance. This means that you do everything you can to recreate the upcoming performance environment. If you will be standing up for your solos or walking to the front of the band to play them, do it in rehearsal. If the only time you do it is when you are performing, it will most certainly distract you unless you have practiced it like you have the music. Similarly, are you playing your pieces all the way through regardless of whether the "train has left the tracks"? You need to practice playing through mistakes and recovering from grievous errors. If you stop every time something is just not right, you will be unprepared when mistakes happen and they always do. Nobody and no ensemble is perfect, nor should they be. That is the beauty and the excitement of live performance. So, yes, be picky and work on the music bit by bit. Polish it and work on those tricky sections, but also think of the final goal and what ultimately needs to happen: you need to perform your pieces, top to bottom, well and without interruption. A crowd will be quite forgiving if the band is enjoying themselves and there is energy in the music. Keep the end performance in mind and do the little things that will help you to feel comfortable during that performance.
Of sure, you need to have killer chops, know the standards, be on time and wear black socks with black shoes, but did you take the time to thank the band leader for hiring you in the first place. I just did a gig where one musician was not only a good player but a hell of nice guy and it reminded me that, yeah, nice guys can come first. I would want to work with this man again and I am sure, so would the band. Not only that, but he sent an email afterwards thanking everyone. Just smart . . . well, smart and polite. I hope to work with him again soon and I will likely be the guy giving him the work.
Whenever you make a change, you need to give yourself time to see it through. As everyone says, change does not happen overnight. So in music, if you are trying a new technique or some new equipment, in an attempt to improve your playing, give it some time - some real time. I am trying a new mouthpiece right now and was tempted to go back to what I knew. I could see some improvements in my range but was missing the flexibility and ease of tonguing that I had in the other mouthpiece. Because of this, I started switching mouthpieces faster than a Toronto commuter in rush hour and second guessing each choice. I finally went back to the one I had intended to give a try (the Al Kay Yamaha mouthpiece) and stuck with it for a while. Sure enough, my weaknesses on this mouthpiece started to improve and I am enjoying the benefits that I initially observed. So, change is never easy. Take that leap and give yourself some time to adjust when you land.
What if U combined #CARSON show with blues of Lead Belly? Carson Meets Lead Belly heard @ www.drkmusic.com #bigband
I have posted one of my recent big band compositions/arrangements with the NotePerformer/Sibelius sounds. Give it a listen and see if you can hear both the "show" and the "blues" influences. Click here to hear it.
You may be really pumped about a project and then when it comes to realizing the work, those involved in the project might be less jacked that you are. Do not let them bring you down. You investing great time and energy into it and in your heart, you know you have created something special, so ignore them. This happens in music sometimes. As a composer/arranger, especially one that tries to different, you will write some interesting and unique sounds and they will not be to everyone's taste. That is OK. Keep to your vision, revise what doesn't work, listen to informed criticism, but stay on track. You have something to offer the world, or at least your little corner of it.
One time a really good trombonist told me that if you work for free you will, of course, be a busy trombonist. We laughed and for a time, I really took that to heart. I was not going to be that lackey and never did a gig that did not pay decently. Unfortunately, I lost some friends (lets call them acquaintances) along the way. If the first question you ask when someone says they have a gig for you is "How much does it pay?" you start to get a reputation as a hard-ass, miser. The truth of the matter is that music often does not pay well and sometimes does not pay. Oh, there are exceptions and you can work hard to be one of the fortunate ones that gets paid well each time you leave the house, but you are part of a small and dwindling group. If on the other hand, you want to enjoy yourself, play interesting gigs and be well thought of in the musical community, you take as many gigs as you can handle. If you are good, paying gigs come your way. If you are average, you get the gigs that match your skill level or you need to hustle your own. I have observed that less-skilled players can get choice (paying) gigs just because they are nice people that others want to work with. So, it is a combination of things. But the bottom line is do not put money first or it will have the opposite result...people will stop calling. Take every gig, hustle your own, be the nicest guy or girl out there, and keep working on your skills. That is the way to do it.
Dr. Michael Kearns
Musician, educator, husband, father, web designer ... my life is like a mosaic with each piece vying for my attention.