SYOS

Made it

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
Well the long dreaded Vorspiel finally came and went last night. A Vorspiel is a long established torture ritual that's part of music school life in Germany. The music school teachers stand their pupils up on by one in front of the public (usually parents, grand parents and captive siblings) and make them play a selected piece, sometimes solo, sometimes in pairs or with support/accomaniment from the teacher.

The more humane music teachers put the beginners on first (helps with nerves) and it also means that you don't have to follow a performance that was way above your level....

Last night there were four family victims being tortured. Onlt my wife escaped. My youngest was scheduled to open with his snare drum, my daughter was mid way through with her cello and my oldest quite near the end with his clarinet. Then I realised that I was second last, after all the kids, some of whom were darned good..... To make matters worse, there was a sax scheduled immediately before me. :w00t: The only person after me was a teenager playing the Steirische Harmonika, who promised to be excellent. An attempt to get the batting order changed failed as the programme was printed. And the biggest were playing last...

Well my kids acquitted themselves well, my oldest really doing an excellent job of a clarinet duet of the Vogelfanger (bird catcher) from Mozart's magic flute. And I was feeling really pleased for them. Some of the other kids did well, and others succumbed to nerves, stammering and stuttering through pieces,losing their places and so on.

So the pressure was on. I sneaked out to warm up while the Hackbrett was murdered. And came back in to find that the other sax hadn't pitched, so some pressure off.

The music teacher is a lovely guy, a great raconteur and brilliant musician. So he called me up, and I stood there, trying to control my nerves as he gave yet another long narrative about saxes,their history, and the history of the piece I was about to play. (Summertime). This included a diversion into an analysis of Gershwin's style, by which time I was getting quite tense, despite a lot of public speaking experience.

Eventually I was given the nod, and started, only to realise that I could barely read the music as the stand was set too low and meant I was reading it through the bottom part of my varifocals, which are set up for close reading. I decided not to try and bend over and read it properly (didn't think a hunchback impression would go down too well), trying to rely on memory and what I could see. Had to try and camouflage some bum notes as ornaments, but they knew...... But was pleased with it afterwards. Was great to play in a bigger room and hear the sound reflecting back. Reminded me of why I chose the sax - the sound....

Long way to go yet, but it's a start. And there's a band at work, plays mostly blues and they want a sax for a gig in July...... :w00t:

And the Harmonica player was excellent. And then he and the two music teachers there played a couple of local folk tunes on guitar, accordian and the Steirische Harmonika. Great night.
 
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kevgermany

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Messages
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Just north of Munich
Thanks, no no audition - looks as if they're desparate. So I'll get the notes, pracitce and go along to their practises. If i'm no good, I'll drop out. (If they don't do it fo me)
 

Nick Cook

Member
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862
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Wokingham, Berks, UK
Well done Kev, I've got my first public solo in a couple of weeks. At the moment I'm looking forward to it, but I'll probably be bricking it on the day.

I also had the problem with the low stand in amy recent exam when playing after a child. But I managed if I stepped back a bit!
 

thehunt

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797
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Studham Bedfordshire
Well done Kev, i asked a friend the other day who is a professional musician how he copes with nerves. He said quoting " Nerves are simply vanity " "Once you stop caring what people think about you, you cease to be nervous". Sounds good advice to me, i've got my gig in two weeks so needed that advice although i have soloed before in public. Didn't know a human could pee so much ( nerves ) Know what you mean about getting the bloody stand at the right height. We play sitting down but stand up for our solos, which then makes it too low for me to see properly as i'm looking down almost under my glasses. Also my neck is constricted so my airflow goes to pot.
WELL DONE. Phil
 
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kevgermany

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
Good luck Nick! Public's OK, it's when they all know you (we live in a little village) that it gets worse.

Dunno about vanity Phil. If you don't care, my impression is that you'll do a bad job. My wife made an interesting comment about last night concerning my daughter - She played the cello better than I've seen before. Apparantly in the audience were two girls she knows and a boy she fancies ( :w00t: ) and these two factors made her care a lot and try REALLY hard.... No way was she going to play badly in front of those girls, and give them ammunition for the bitchy side of female.... And she wanted to impress the guy. She's only 11....

From my speaking/training days the cure was proper preparation and knowing you were well enough prepared to do a good job. Didn't stop the flutters as I stood up, but it made it much easier to overcome them. Problem with the sax, of course, is that nerves mess up your playing as your mouth/belly get tense.... Glad I don't have your toilet habits:)))

I think I'm going to get a cheap pair of glasses, simple lenses, just for sax playing - or I could use my singlasses, but that would really not have worked last night...
 
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thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
You're talking to mr OCD preparation here. I do care, but if you care too much it can tighten you up. I know for example that i cannot play my solos any better than i can at the moment so if i worry too much i will most probably mess them up. I don't think i can improve much more in the coming week.

I'm looking for a pair of shades so i can look cool, trouble is i can't see out of them to read the music!!
Good luck Nick! Public's OK, it's when they all know you (we live in a little village) that it gets worse.

Dunno about vanity Phil. If you don't care, my impression is that you'll do a bad job. My wife made an interesting comment about last night concerning my daughter - She played the cello better than I've seen before. Apparantly in the audience were two girls she knows and a boy she fancies ( :w00t: ) and these two factors made her care a lot and try REALLY hard.... No way was she going to play badly in front of those girls, and give them ammunition for the bitchy side of female.... And she wanted to impress the guy. She's only 11....

From my speaking/training days the cure was proper preparation and knowing you were well enough prepared to do a good job. Didn't stop the flutters as I stood up, but it made it much easier to overcome them. Problem with the sax, of course, is that nerves mess up your playing as your mouth/belly get tense.... Glad I don't have your toilet habits:)))

I think I'm going to get a cheap pair of glasses, simple lenses, just for sax playing - or I could use my singlasses, but that would really not have worked last night...
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,606
Location
Out in the Countryside of Nelson NZ
Yeah nerves are killers....once you realize the nerves are holding you back from enjoyment, feel the fear and do it anyway.....your comment about the sound and why you play the sax is the key. To hell with the nerves, yes hey are neccessary, they give you focus, & eventually (not that I've cracked it) you go through into total freedom, We all know how well we can play in the practise room.

Your on your way Kev........we will have you busking next......the door is opening little by little.

Well done! and good luck with the band.

Ciao
Jimu
 
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