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Much to my surprise..

AlanT

Senior Member
Messages
237
Locality
Mechanic Falls, Maine
..although I have not played out anywhere for a year and a half I received a call monday night inviting me to join a band about 25 miles away from here. A lady that had played alto sax in the community concert band I was in for eight years had given my name and number to her teacher that was in need of a lead tenor in his swing band. The call was quite unexpected and I was taken aback and didn't quite know what to say but I managed a couple questions and said I would have to think about it and get back to him. I was able to view a few videos of the band and they are quite good and was told they have some professional players mixed in with amateurs like myself. I suspect that the pros are the guys that stand up and bang-out the impressive solos I witnessed in the videos. Well my dilemma is this, because I would be first tenor I would be required to do that as well.(I am thinking none of the seconds wanted the gig) Well the simple improv/solos I do now I in the comfort of my own home studio and post are usually 'best of' several not so good takes so although this would be a great opportunity I am not so sure I could do it or at least do it well. What do you folks think? What would you do?
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
27,133
Locality
Cheshire UK
Give it a go:)

Playing a first part can be easier than second or third.


Good luck and keep us updated

Jx
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,669
Locality
Rugby UK
Stop sitting on the fence, the first and second takes would be the rehearsals, the improvised solos would not be so much "off the cuff" more rehearsed improvisation. I've heard that tone of yours and it's begging to be unleashed on the great unwashed! Do it. What have you got to lose?
 

Sue

One prosecco, two prosecco, three prosecco - floor
Café Supporter
Messages
2,550
Locality
The Millenium Falcon
Definitely do it. After you've turned out with them a few times, you'll be so pleased you did. :cheers:
 

AlanT

Senior Member
Messages
237
Locality
Mechanic Falls, Maine
Stop sitting on the fence, the first and second takes would be the rehearsals, the improvised solos would not be so much "off the cuff" more rehearsed improvisation. I've heard that tone of yours and it's begging to be unleashed on the great unwashed! Do it. What have you got to lose?

I am thinking you are right here that it would be a more 'rehearsed improvisation' at least that is what I would hope for at first. I am pretty much self taught (aside from the things I have learned out of books) and when I hear folks improvise that went to school for it and really know what they are doing it makes me realize how bad my own is, thus the fear: "Where'd they dig up this hack??" You all are very supportive and if it turns out I can indeed give this a try, I will.
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,917
Why shouldnt you do it? i share the solos with our trumpet player who's a propper muso, ok i cant get close to what he does but so what, i do my best and so does he, we get along great and i'm learning a lot from him, just do it you wont regret it!
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,777
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Feeling inadequate is what drives your improvement but don't let it hold you back. Playing with musicians you regard as better players than you, is how you get to be a better player. The respect can bind a band together musically and personally.

Improv isn't necessarily created spontaneously,. The pick up can be interesting if you drop it. I find my Improv gets better the more I play a piece.

I have two versions of the same song recorded by Artie Shaw some 20 odd years apart and the solo is the same. I guess he got it how he liked it and it was a done deal.

Get yourself to band practice/rehearsal. If you enjoy it, continue, if they still want you lol
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
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6,415
Locality
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
Definitely go for it. You should always take opportunities like this - you never know where they will lead and you've no idea where the next one might come from.

I had an opportunity 15 or so years ago to sing as an amateur in the professional chorus of a small opera company for a one-off, which I bottled... wish I hadn't... and so will you! ;)
 

zelda

On the border
Messages
547
Locality
British Columbia interior, Canada
Go for it. I've played in bands as a bass player so I know the feeling. You will never regret it!
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
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5,540
Locality
The Palm Tree strewn Wandle Surf Beach under the o
Go for it. First seat is so they can save the solos for the augmenting pros.

Audience applause is magic and addictive.
 

AlanT

Senior Member
Messages
237
Locality
Mechanic Falls, Maine
Go for it. I've played in bands as a bass player so I know the feeling. You will never regret it!

I also played bass in a r&r cover band for a couple years in the 90's and your comment reminded me that I had a somewhat similar situation to the one I am facing now back then. I had not been playing bass very long, only knew a few tunes and was recruited to play in a band that was losing it's bass player. They had a bunch of gigs lined up so they gave me a list of about 60 songs to learn ASAP. Well for awhile on my amp I had a pad with notes pertaining to most of the songs and even chord changes for some of them taped to my mic stand. (Had to sing back-up also) I didn't end up needing those notes for very long and eventually I improvised some on the bass and even sang lead on a couple of songs.The hardest thing for me to learn was singing the melody while playing the rhythm, I had to memorize those lines until they practically played themselves so I could focus on the singing. Those gigs certainly were a blast.
 
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zelda

On the border
Messages
547
Locality
British Columbia interior, Canada
I also played bass in a r&r cover band for a couple years in the 90's and your comment reminded me that I had a somewhat similar situation to the one I am facing now back then. I had not been playing bass very long, only knew a few tunes and was recruited to play in a band that was losing it's bass player. They had a bunch of gigs lined up so they gave me a list of about 60 songs to learn ASAP. Well for awhile on my amp I had a pad with notes pertaining to most of the songs and even chord changes for some of them taped to my mic stand. (Had to sing back-up also) I didn't end up needing those notes for very long and eventually I improvised some on the bass and even sang lead on a couple of songs.The hardest thing for me to learn was singing the melody while playing the rhythm, I had to memorize those lines until they practically played themselves so I could focus on the singing. Those gigs certainly were a blast.[/quote)

Being able to learn 60 tunes ASAP and to sing while playing bass says it all. With that kind of self-discipline and drive I'd say you're up to the sax gig! Other than singing and playing bass on tunes such as Kansas City and Move It On Over, straight-up 12 bar stuff, I avoid singing and playing bass. I describe it as having to "separate my brain"!
 

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