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A Good Week

Overall, I think last week was a good week for me musically. I didn't get done nearly as much as I would have liked, but that list is so long I can't get too caught up in it.

I wanted to do some recording which is something I have not done in a while. Because I wanted to make sure it sounded good and my time didn't drift, I used the metronome. I quickly realized two things. First, my playing was sloppy and my articulation was a mess. Chords that should have sounded clean and tight weren't, and my playing of repeated parts was inconsistent. Second, I have the dreaded "red light syndrome." This is where you know the part you have to play, but when the red record light comes on, you mess it up because you're trying too hard.

Believe it or not, I am really happy this happened. Both of these problems are very curable. For the first, just knowing the problem exists helps a lot. I wouldn't have known had I not recorded myself and listened to the playback. This is something my piano teacher has suggested for a while, but I haven't tried until now. Also, counting while playing the part instead of winging it made the playing fall where it should have. Being conscious of the poorly articulated parts made me play them tighter. As far as red light syndrome, it's a matter of letting go when recording and not being too concerned about the outcome (this subject is something that I've been learning a lot about lately and its own blog post for another time).

Saturday I played a gig. We didn't have a bass player, and I needed to help prop up the bottom end with my left hand (playing, not literally). I was surprised to find I didn't do a terrible job of this, even though I hadn't done anything to prepare for it. In fact, there was a time or two during the set when I didn't play anything down low at first, and things in the band almost came apart. But once I played some bass stuff, it brought everything together. We don't need no stinkin' bassist.

On one tune, the bandleader decided at the last moment to play it on guitar instead of keys like he usually does. Normally, I play my part on organ, but with this arrangement I wasn't feeling it. So I said to myself, "F**k it" and played it on piano instead. I haven't listened to the recording, but I felt like I played a very cool part. It was fun.

Both those things made it a fun and rewarding gig for me.

Yeah, I had a good week.

Posted 2013 04 07 at 9:30 AM

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