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Discussion Starter #1
Here's the deal: a friend of mine who is a singer, asked me along with another friend (a pianist) to play at her friend's wedding.

This is exciting, however, I have never played in front of a large crowd before. I don't know what to expect, I'm scared of being too nervous because sometimes I seem to fold under pressure. The wedding isin't until next month but I need to make a decision.

Have you guys ever played in weddings? I know most of you do gigs, do you think about it or not?
 

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Just remember - you play your first wedding only once!

How cool! Relax, have fun, soak it all in. Bask in the fact that you were asked to play! Keep you embouchure relaxed and go with the flow. A month is a long time to prepare. You'll be ready.

Just don't blow all that cake down your axe! Wash it down first!:D
 

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Yeah, go out and sit in as many local jams as you can before now and then. Have a set list prepared or at least know what tunes they want to play. Nothing cures nervousness better than preparedness.
 

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JIU, are you talking about playing for the ceremony, or for the reception/party after?

Playing for the cermony can be a little nerve wracking, because everyone is quiet and focusing on the musicians. Make sure you all are really comfortable with how to start and stop the tunes. Getting started on the right foot will make the whole piece more comfortable, and finishing strong can make up for any bumps along the way.

If you're playing for the reception, obviously you still want to sound good and organized, but it's usually a lot more relaxed and less pressure. People will be eating, visiting and partying, and you're just there to contribute to the fun.
 

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Like people have said, experience cures stage fright. The more you do it, the less of a factor stage fright is. A wedding becomes just like any other gig, no reason to get more nervous than you normally do.

To tack on to DukeCity's comment, the reception is way laid back and the alcohol is flowin'. Soon, people are too drunk to tell whether the band is good or not so there's no need to worry about it. :D
 

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If you know your material well, you have nothing to worry about. Don't put off practicing your music. Then, when you play at the wedding you will rock the hosue.
 

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JazzItUp said:
Here's the deal: a friend of mine who is a singer, asked me along with another friend (a pianist) to play at her friend's wedding.

This is exciting, however, I have never played in front of a large crowd before. I don't know what to expect, I'm scared of being too nervous because sometimes I seem to fold under pressure. The wedding isin't until next month but I need to make a decision.

Have you guys ever played in weddings? I know most of you do gigs, do you think about it or not?
Did something like this last summer but not a wedding. We were part of the front act for a fund raising event by a star commedian before a crowd of 300 people. Both the pianist and singer (friends) were more experienced and talented than I but we were able to practice together only once just a few hours before the show.
I was able to overcome my nerves by taking four glasses of wine in the course the three hours we waited before we had to play. (But I don't recommend you do this since you're not drinking age yet and it's not a good habit :oops: ).
During our number it helped that I had to face away from the audience because otherwise the spotlight was in my eyes and I couldn't see the song sheet. I played my part perfectly (If I had to face the audience and can see everyone looking at me things may have been different)
The pianist (he was facing the crowd) flubbed a bit but recovered quickly (probably not noticed by many) and the singer (she was also facing the crowd) flubbed following the pianist but also recovered quickly. (Their nerves got to them).
When you practice together (and during the performance) try to focus completely on the pianist, the singer, and where you come in. Usually the attention of the crowd will be on the singer rather than on the instrumentalists. If you keep this in mind it may help you overcome your nerves.:thumbrig:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Saxmusiclover said:
Did something like this last summer but not a wedding. We were part of the front act for a fund raising event by a star commedian before a crowd of 300 people. Both the pianist and singer (friends) were more experienced and talented than I but we were able to practice together only once just a few hours before the show.
I was able to overcome my nerves by taking four glasses of wine in the course the three hours we waited before we had to play. (But I don't recommend you do this since you're not drinking age yet and it's not a good habit :oops: ).
During our number it helped that I had to face away from the audience because otherwise the spotlight was in my eyes and I couldn't see the song sheet. I played my part perfectly (If I had to face the audience and can see everyone looking at me things may have been different)
The pianist (he was facing the crowd) flubbed a bit but recovered quickly (probably not noticed by many) and the singer (she was also facing the crowd) flubbed following the pianist but also recovered quickly. (Their nerves got to them).
When you practice together (and during the performance) try to focus completely on the pianist, the singer, and where you come in. Usually the attention of the crowd will be on the singer rather than on the instrumentalists. If you keep this in mind it may help you overcome your nerves.:thumbrig:
Thanks alot for the advice! I don't think the wine thing would go to well :D but I guess I'll put my focus on the singer and pianist. I'll also try to close my eyes and imagine im at my own little place.
 

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Honker said:
Rehearse together?
Yes. Try to rehearse together as many times as you can before the event. Good luck!
 

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I see your main axe is an Alto. I used to get the squeaks when I first started playing but only in front of people. I corrected this by practicing with the band. Do you get the squeaks? If you do I would play on either a 1/2 softer reed or even a whole size smaller is another quick fix. For example if you play a 3 play a 2 1/2 or a 2. Do not play songs that you haven't practiced with the band unless you really know the song well. If I had it all to do over I would just play 2-5 well-rehearsed songs. Good luck Jazzitup
 

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Pure Magic said:
Do not play songs that you haven't practiced with the band unless you really know the song well. If I had it all to do over I would just play 2-5 well-rehearsed songs. Good luck Jazzitup
I'm doing a 50th wedding anniversary party at the end of the month. 40-60 songs with a band I've never played or rehearsed with. HA! There's a wedding band I sub in with but they have a book and I rehearsed with them once before I played with them the first time. This time, no book and no rehearsal and I'm the only horn. Pays well though. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Pure Magic said:
I see your main axe is an Alto. I used to get the squeaks when I first started playing but only in front of people. I corrected this by practicing with the band. Do you get the squeaks? If you do I would play on either a 1/2 softer reed or even a whole size smaller is another quick fix. For example if you play a 3 play a 2 1/2 or a 2. Do not play songs that you haven't practiced with the band unless you really know the song well. If I had it all to do over I would just play 2-5 well-rehearsed songs. Good luck Jazzitup
Hey Pure Magic, yes I love the Alto Saxophone. It's mainly because I am finally developing the smooth sound I want and I worked my butt off to get that sound. My neighbors hated me so much for playing because it was out of tune and honky and loud. But after about 8 months, I was implored by the neighbor to play whenever I want. He said I was finally in tune, and it sounded good. Now I need to work on Tenor and Soprano, both seem out of tune but it's a diffrent story for a diffrent time.

I don't get as much squeaks but some notes lately have been that way, but it was mainly because I didn't pick up the sax in 2 weeks :| so it felt weird when I got back at the instrument.

So now I'll practice with the band and thank you I will tell you all how it went. The wedding is November 11th.
 

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JazzItUp said:
Here's the deal: a friend of mine who is a singer, asked me along with another friend (a pianist) to play at her friend's wedding.

This is exciting, however, I have never played in front of a large crowd before. I don't know what to expect, I'm scared of being too nervous because sometimes I seem to fold under pressure. The wedding isin't until next month but I need to make a decision.

Have you guys ever played in weddings? I know most of you do gigs, do you think about it or not?
I've performed for a few weddings, not too many, and even more recently, for funerals (no fun playing in front of a corpse, I tell you). I must say that playing for a wedding has been more nerve-wracking for me than playing iin most other settings, because everyone seems more tense. I guess it also depends on what part of the wedding you're playing in. If it's anywhere during the ceremonies then you have your work cut out for you. All eyes are glued on you and the bride will be fighting you for everyone's attention. You'll find out that when all is said and done, the 3 things people will talk about are:
1) the bride's dress 2) the food 3) the sax player. Every great sax player messes up every once in a while, but the last place you'd want to hit a wrong note is at a wedding. Also, I'd stay away from a clip on mic. If you get real nervous in the middle of your solo and forget what note to play next, you won't be able to pull your sax away from the mic to sorta "practice" the note you're about to play before making a fool of yourself. I hope this helps.
 

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FighterForJC said:
If you get real nervous in the middle of your solo and forget what note to play next, you won't be able to pull your sax away from the mic to sorta "practice" the note you're about to play before making a fool of yourself. I hope this helps.
LOL, hey Fighter, I don't think that will be very helpful....but thanks for the humor!

Jazzitup, my experiences with playing weddings (not many, I mostly play in clubs) were always very positive and fun. Plus they paid far more than I usually make on a club date. Everyone is out there drinking, dancing, & having a good time. No one is that concerned with the sax player, believe me. Unless you're the right age for the young ladies in the crowd who are all jealous of the bride!

Of course I'm talking about the reception, not the service (if I walked into the church, the roof would probably collapse, lol). You may find the first set is played during dinner (called the "dinner set," of course) and for that one you'll play very softly; maybe some mellow jazz tunes. Most of the crowd will be intent on their own discussions over the roast beef or whatever they're eating. Then the next set will be for dancing and you can crank it up. Have FUN! It's contagious.
 

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Hi Jazzitup.

I remember hearing one of your clips a while back here and i think you can definitely do this. It sounds like the other musicians are friends of yours so get some rehearsal in so you really feel happy with the material. Make sure you're nicely in tune and enjoy, i think! Nervousness does get easier to deal with with experience of performing in public. I honestly think you should go for it or you'll probably kick yourself afterwards.
 

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Yeah, find out exactly if you're playing during the ceremony or the reception, or both. If it's during the reception only, it'll be a piece of cake. But like I said, if you're playing during the ceremonies, that's a whole different story. And while you're at it, you better prepare some Kenny G tunes.
 
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