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Praise where praise is due

Nick Wyver

noisy
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Last night.

You've just finished the first set and three blokes (why is it always blokes? a few ladies would be nice) come up to you in quick succession and say something along the lines of, "Awesome playing, dude". Well, yes, it's nice - sort of. But from your point of view the first first set was lacklustre and dragged on too long. Your own playing lacked any sort of originality and you trotted out the same old tired licks. In this particular case I kept thinking that's a really awful sax sound coming out of the monitor and, "am I actually out of tune?" (it's noisy, I stand in front of the guitarist - it can be difficult to tell, honest).

But:

On the rare occasion that you come out with something so unbelievably good that you even impress yourself and think, "well perhaps I won't give it up just yet", you look around at all the punters and see a sea of blank faces. You look at the rest of the band - all absorbed in their own little worlds. NOBODY NOTICED. It makes you want to weep. You know you'll never be able to play exactly like that again and the whole thing is lost to the ether. It would be really great to be able to respond to the "awesome playing, dude" with, "Well, yes it was rather good" instead of, "Did you forget your hearing aid?" or, "Which gig were you at then?".

Footnote:

The rare occasion didn't happen last night. I don't think I'd had enough to drink.
 
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BigMartin

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3,904
It's taken me a lifetime to learn to accept praise graciously and enjoy it like I should, and I'm still working on it. I think you need to remind yourslf that you play those "old tired licks" because you liked them the first time you heard them. It may be the first time for your audience now, so they're just saying you had good taste back then.

On the other hand, their ears may not be ready for the new stuff. I'll make a confession here: most of Charlie Parker's playing leaves me stone cold. (There. I said it. I'm feeling better already). But I'm a newbie to the world of jazz, and everyone "in the know" seems to worship him. I'm clearly missing something, so I'll keep going back to him from time to time. If I was at one of his gigs, I'd have been one of the blank faces.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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You're not alone. I'm with you about Charlie Parker. I went to a Gilad Atzmon gig a couple of years ago. I've got one of his Orient House albums and think it's great. But all he played was fast bebop. I was bored stiff and left well before the end. All very clever, but it always seems to me to be clever for the sake of being clever, rather than being musical.
 

dooce

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1,418
The only praise I ever take any notice of is from the rest of the band. After all if it's good enough to impress that bunch of cynics and curmudgeons, you might actually have done something half-decent. Audiences - what do they know? I've had disastrous gigs when the sound system has gone into melt-down, or no-one has a setlist and there are 5-minute gaps between numbers as we argue about what to do next, and still they come up and slur "bloody great, mate" - usually as they try unsuccessfully to avoid toppling over......

Agree with you about Gilad Atzmon - brilliant in The Blockheads, but the rest of his stuff - straight over my head.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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You have it wrong. You're there primarily to entertain. The audience isn't there to judge your playing as if you're in a musical competition. They're there to be entertained. And when people come up and praise you, you've done the job. :mrcool :welldone

Even if you & the band think you were c..p. And there were probably a few others in the audience who thought the same, but were too polite to say so. >:)

It's why people ask for the old standards. They just want to hear the tunes they grew up on... (And if I hear 'Stairway to Heaven' massacred again as badly as it was the last time I heard it, I'm going to walk out - NOISILY):w00t:

And as for whether booze booze improves your playing or not, I think it's more that it improves your perception of how well you played. Just like driving a car. >:) I once saw Ronnie Scott in Manchester. He was slammed. And c..p.
 

Justin Chune

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Booze can help a lot. We tell the customers that the more they drink, the better we sound. I must have heard dozens of those old musical gags, and that is the only one I can remember, right now.

Jim
 
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Having seen and heard you play, I can only say that you bring a hell of a lot to the table.
but please try not to be so tall, i was eye to eye with your knee caps when we met.
i do know what you mean about playing licks and solos which surprise even you and are lost on everyone else but then most of what sax players do is lost on the rest of the world especially drummers
 

saxnik

Member
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381
I agree with all of this I think - playing the same gig over and over is difficult, especially if you think you're not getting appreciated. As I'm sure you appreciate though, you are there as an entertainer, and as such have to grin and bear it even if it is the same old rubbish. If the punters see you 'enjoying' it, they will too.

As for playing in front of the guitarist (as I've said elsewhere on here) - get some decent earplugs! You can then turn yourself down in the monitor, since you'll hear your sax playing resonating inside your head, and be certain of being in tune. Plus, you don't leave the gig with ringing ears.

In the meantime, 'you sound great!' :w00t:
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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As for playing in front of the guitarist (as I've said elsewhere on here) - get some decent earplugs! You can then turn yourself down in the monitor, since you'll hear your sax playing resonating inside your head, and be certain of being in tune. Plus, you don't leave the gig with ringing ears.
I've got some. Can't bear to play in them. I've tried loads of times. I can't get on with the disconnected from everything feeling I get when I use them.
 

saxnik

Member
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381
I've got some. Can't bear to play in them. I've tried loads of times. I can't get on with the disconnected from everything feeling I get when I use them.
I don't get that - I shelled out near on £180 on a professional set, moulded to the shape of my ear from silicon, with interchangeable filters. They're fantastic since I can still hear everything with perfect clarity, just quieter, minus 15dB all across the acoustic spectrum! I guess it's like everything else, it's a matter of getting used to it.
I've got some -25dB filters too, but haven't really had to use them, thankfully.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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Yup. Mine cost about that too, and they're great if I'm not playing at a gig. But I can't play with them in. The sound in my head is just too weird - I can't judge my volume at all. They're -25dB filters so perhaps I should try -15dB.
 

saxnik

Member
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381
You can get -9dB too, at least for my brand, but that still makes the difference between ringing ears and a good night's sleep!
 

Sue

If at first you don't succeed try try try a Gin
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I have a weird sound inside my head most of the time without ear plugs ;}
 

Rogerb

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I used to run a highly successful management training course, which, over the course of many years, I had 'finely-tuned' and felt I knew pretty well when it had gone well.
I once made the mistake, after a week when the punters had given us a 'less than brilliant' rating, of say iyn that WE knew better than they when it had been a good week.
A very perceptive colleague remarked:
"Isn't it rather arrogant to think that we know better than the people who are on the receiving end, AND paying for it?"
One of those moments I shall never...I hope...forget!!
 

johnboy

Senior Member
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1,179
At my last gig, I had a sweaty Spaniard throw his shirt at me!
Does anyone have any ideas about the significance of this?

jonboy.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
Must be a football fan, and he wanted yours as a souvenir

Or maybe it's like the girls who used to throw bra's and panties at the Stones... >:)

Either way, take it as a complement - and be careful ;}
 
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Sunray

Well-Known Member
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1,708
Hooked ....

At my last gig, I had a sweaty Spaniard throw his shirt at me!
Does anyone have any ideas about the significance of this?

jonboy.
Yep ...

Johnboy ... It's an action that asks for your hand in marriage .... :w00t:

If you don't chuck your strides back immediately - it means you accepted ... :)))

When's the honeymoon ;}

Note for clarity: Strides = Trousers .... :)))
 

johnboy

Senior Member
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1,179
The bassplayer in one of the bands I play with is like that. You've got me worried now, I wonder if they are in collusion?

HELP!!!!!
 
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