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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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Discussion Starter #1
The story goes something like this - It's long. Sorry.

1) Nov. 12 - A musician friends (Real Music Director) asked me to play four shows Dec 6,7 and two on Dec 8. The regular player cancelled and he needed someone fast. I asked him for the charts - He sends them immediately.

2) Nov. 18 - We rehearsed All was well - Ready to go.

3) Dec 1 - Another person (OFFICIAL music director) but not really contacts me asking me to learn a solo from a YouTube Link. There is no music and I'd need it ready for a Dec 4th Rehearsal.

4) Dec. 4 - I transcribe the solo on paper performing it flawlessly with the organ player at rehearsal.

6) Dec 4 - After rehearsal, Then "Official Music Director" says I need to play it memorized while walking from through audience. WHAT?

7) Dec 5 - Played solo over and over but it's very slow and not something tuneful so I just couldn't cram it in my brain in a day - plus I have a day job. It just isn't going be ready for Dec. 6 - TODAY.

The Official music director kept saying he knew I was a 'pro' so this wouldn't be a problem. But it is a problem - my musician friend who contracted me for the job completely understands and would never have made such a request.

QUESTION:

To all you pros - Does being asked to memorizing a solo from a recording in one day seem like a reasonable request? Even if you are a "Pro"

Honestly I'm a little disappointed in myself. I though I could memorize this silly solo. I absolutely would have nailed the solo memorized if it was request on Nov. 12th. I put the music on my Ipad and will suggest I play it stationary in the crowd at TONIGHT'S gig.
 

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Forum Contributor 2015-2017
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Tough call. How long is the thing?
Agree that you should read it if you don't have it down cold.
 

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Sing it, along with the YouTube video, that's the fastest way to memorize it, especially since you already transcribed it. But yes, if it is really long, it'll be a challenge.

On the bright side of things, the "official music director" doesn't appear to be a real expert so any deviation from the "original" can be excused as "man, you know, I really improved on what the other guy was doing. I mean, he did a great job but it was obviously improvised and had a few raw edges and I put in a lot of effort to polish it a bit and make it sound even better!"
 

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QUESTION:

To all you pros - Does being asked to memorizing a solo from a recording in one day seem like a reasonable request? Even if you are a "Pro"
Honestly - yes.

Doesn't mean it's easy though! Get it in your head as much as possible- put it on loop while driving, in the bathroom, on break at work, eating, etc. NON-STOP!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How long is this solo we're talking about?
Not long just weird and slow. It also has to line up perfectly with the church organ part so not really improvisation. Listen - I tried. The show is tonight and it's just not there - I'm also not really a "PRO" just the guy who said yes. It's a shame because even a couple more days and I'd have it.
 

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Not long just weird and slow. It also has to line up perfectly with the church organ part so not really improvisation. Listen - I tried. The show is tonight and it's just not there - I'm also not really a "PRO" just the guy who said yes. It's a shame because even a couple more days and I'd have it.
Just read it then, screw it. If I were the MD I'd prefer it was played correctly while read rather than messed up playing from memory.
 

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Tony, I'd get the "general shape" of the song/solo down as good as you can and call it a day. If this "official" musical director calls you on it, simply tell him that you already went above and beyond (transcribing, etc) and embellished things a bit. ;-)

I'm sure you'll do fine!

John
 

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Honestly - yes.

Doesn't mean it's easy though! Get it in your head as much as possible- put it on loop while driving, in the bathroom, on break at work, eating, etc. NON-STOP!
I’d say “maybe” at best... there’s some things that just won’t come together that quickly and it’s not always the difficulty level...

And don’t confuse being a professional with being a quick study - or even a great player. If you’re getting paid to do it, you’ve gone pro. Now you just have to please the client. (Or hope he’s taking a bathroom break during your bit). I have found that if you just don’t play bad notes and smile a lot, you’re golden....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So I put the part on my IPad mini and had it low and off to the right. I was near the front of the stage and from the audience perspective it looked memorized. That’s how the gig is going to go. 3 more shows. Next time I’ll ask more questions about memorizing expectations. Live and learn.
 

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Different people have different memorizing skills. It has nothing to do with pro or not pro.

I find for me it depends on the song. Some things that seem like they should be difficult, I get in a hurry, others that seem easy are a real bear for me. I haven't figured out why. Perhaps it's familiar fingerings in familiar keys. I never stopped to analyze, just work my way through it.

I find intervals of playing and getting my mind completely off the music (repeat as necessary) gives the 'brain' time to sink the lesson in. In the long run that's faster for me. Also, get rid of the music ASAP while practicing, and when you forget a note, try to find it then play the passage again.

Remember though, what works for one, doen't work for another.

I'm in a duo now with about 600 songs in our 'book'. And no, they aren't all memorized, the computer screen is my cheat sheet.

Insights and incites by Notes
 

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I see a prime application for those old Google glasses? Anyone remember those? :twisted::mrgreen:

Much better than wearing around a VR headset!
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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The Official music director kept saying he knew I was a 'pro' so this wouldn't be a problem. But it is a problem - my musician friend who contracted me for the job completely understands and would never have made such a request.

QUESTION:

To all you pros - Does being asked to memorizing a solo from a recording in one day seem like a reasonable request? Even if you are a "Pro"
Yes, it is reasonable if you are a pro and paid appropriately as a pro for your time transcribing and learning. Whenever I've had to learn something it would be counted as rehearsal, and nobody expects a pro to rehearse without pay. Well maybe some do, but they shouldn't!
 

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I rehearse without pay, because I'm self-employed ;)

So does the partner in my duo.

But when we gig, we split all the money, and since we are married, it all goes to one household.

Insights and incites by Notes
 

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I know a well known professional player, Dave Liebman, who told me he only knows a handful of tunes. That kind of surprised me since I know hundreds of standards and jazz tunes, but then I do those kind of gigs.
I wish you’d put a link to the recording you have to play so we’d know how much, or little, we could bust your balls over not being able to learn it.
 
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