Hi Barbara, we worked on some sets for the gig saturday, you're welcome to come and play with us, Lisa might also.
I've performed in a tidy sum of concerts, theatre productions, jam sessions, workshops, open mikes. But never done a "gig". The Yes email zinged back in less time than it takes to do a tap on an Irish flute.
But the set list. The rub. I've only even heard of maybe a quarter of these tunes.
I've gotten that last minute call to play before, Auntie Mame for example. As a self-indugent exercise, I'm comparing and contrasting these two experiences, one in the past and the other - so far - only in my imagination.
|Auntie Mame||This Gig|
|Prep||They give me the score. What's the biggest bang for the buck? I locate the solos and work my butt off on them. Next, I identify and ignore what I can sight read. And catch as catch can on the rest.||I get a set list. Three fourths of the tunes I've never heard of. WOOF. Get onto thesession.org. If my luck holds, the tune in there by that name will at least vaguely resemble what these guys will be playing. What's the biggest bang for the buck? Ah, thank you Dave, for looking at the list and giving 0-3 stars for the most useful tunes to know. Working through by priority, I identify and ignore the tunes I think I can ear play (the off-the-page equivalent of sight reading). Ignore any I just don't get to. But, really, most of the tunes have stars.|
|Venue||A real theatre. Audience sitting in seats facing the stage, they've come there *just* to see the show, hushing on cue. They expect something.||A church basement. Folks are there to socialize, the music is a pleasant backgound, one notch up from a session.|
|Performance||Holy crap, in this production they sliced out this section and moved these others. Then that bassoon solo... Hey flute, we gave that to you, didn't you know? (This really happened!) Intense, with sweaty palms the whole way through. But what a high.||It must be pretty damn informal if I'm invited to casually sit in. My performance strategy is simple. When everyone starts playing, if I think I know the tune, Bob's your Uncle. If I don't, Fanny's your Aunt and I arrange my flute in a musical position on my lap. I wonder if they'll have beer?|
Back to reality...
Why are all the photos I took tonight so blurry?
It wasn't much of a notch up from a session, they were trying out new tunes. Yes, there was beer... but not enough. And I need a new strategy for learning tunes.
The "survey" approach I've been taking (get a long list and play through them each 3 times as a round robin) is not producing results. There is an essential difference between learning music so that I can read it off a page, and learning music so that I can play it by ear. Back at home after Le Gigue... another approach... so here I am staring at the sheet music for Tear the Calico. This other approach is to play and play and play and play a single tune until I have it under my belt. But as I'm trying it with this tune, it is eluding me. I have nothing to hang this tune on in my head. Aaaarrrrghhh.....
The answer... might be... to find those tunes that tickle, that get under my skin, and learn them, and ignore the others. Until they get under my skin, or until I have a *very* strong session or gig reason to learn them.