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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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I now play exclusively with a Jazz Quartet. Here's the sight if you're bored and want to check up out.

https://espjazz.wixsite.com/espjazz

We're all over 50 years old and more "Could have been's" then "Has Been's" if you know what I mean. If only we had time machines and could tell our 14 year old selves what to work on. So back to my point.

We played a local gig Thursday night and it was fabulous. Improv was flowing, crowd had a great vibe, and everyone left the gig on top of the world. Then comes Saturday (yesterday) we drive 2 hours to another gig. No crowd vibe, my hands felt like flippers, everything felt stiff & forced leaving the gig feeling run over. It's become a bit of a joke with the band. Every great gig means the next 2 or 3 are going to be terrible.

It's tough being consistent and rise above the room vibe. Of course, we powered through the show and we'll live to gig another day.
 

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I have taught myself over the years that the more we play, the more the need for developing professionalism. At first it's all very exciting! After a while the initial thrill wears thin. After a lot of miles, repeating the same songs, too many trips to the car dragging gear, we reach the point where our performance motivation comes from a deeper commitment to put on a good show for our audience despite our personal feelings at the moment.

Good for you for recognizing the moods.... you will grow in how you manage them!
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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Its live gigging, man, you're not going to have that feeling every time. 'Embrace the suck'! Revel in the mediocrity of it all and rise above it. Seriously, learn to appreciate those 'down' times and make something positive out of it. Like when you start a set and the reed suddenly is too hard where a few minutes ago it was 'it'. Don't fight it, back off, relax, and channel some Stan Getz. You might surprise yourself.
 

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Oh no ! You were here at Pausa Saturday. I had planed on going but just got too busy. I love the venue, sorry you had a bad experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh no ! You were here at Pausa Saturday. I had planed on going but just got too busy. I love the venue, sorry you had a bad experience

Pausa House is a wonderful venue. Just one of those nights.
 

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I now play exclusively with a Jazz Quartet. Here's the sight if you're bored and want to check up out.

https://espjazz.wixsite.com/espjazz

We're all over 50 years old and more "Could have been's" then "Has Been's" if you know what I mean. If only we had time machines and could tell our 14 year old selves what to work on. So back to my point.

We played a local gig Thursday night and it was fabulous. Improv was flowing, crowd had a great vibe, and everyone left the gig on top of the world. Then comes Saturday (yesterday) we drive 2 hours to another gig. No crowd vibe, my hands felt like flippers, everything felt stiff & forced leaving the gig feeling run over. It's become a bit of a joke with the band. Every great gig means the next 2 or 3 are going to be terrible.

It's tough being consistent and rise above the room vibe. Of course, we powered through the show and we'll live to gig another day.
Tony, a friend of mine who's been playing professionally for 50 years now just told me a story the other day where as a rookie, he played at a festival where one of the most famous guitar players at the time was the main act. Coincidentally he runs into him and the guy takes him aside and of course is totally freaking out with stage fright but the other guy tells him: you will play horribly, you'll make every single mistake you never thought you'd make and your sound is off and your fingers will feel like cheese sticks but remember, you came here to play for the crowd and you give them all your love and they will love you back for it.

I know it is hard to play against a stale crowd but just take one person who digs the music and play for him or her and things won't feel so bad anymore and you'll rise up.
 

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It happens to the some of the best of them. You set the bar high and even the worst can be ok.
One thing you learn as you get older is how unimportant what we do is in the major scheme of things. Thankfully we’re not having off days of performing brain surgery.
I try to always think of what a privilege it is to play music. Even gigs I’d really rather not do I try to enjoy playing.
I got to experience hearing a lot of great players when I lived in NYC perform numerous times. The level was so high that even nights they may have thought were off you’d never know. That’s the ideal. Even your worst is still good in comparison.
I saw an interesting story about treatment of addiction and depression with psilocybin on 60 minutes. I wondered how that may affect the ruts and routine we get in from playing a long time.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
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An appreciative audience creates a marvelous experience, for sure.

On those nights where that boost in confidence is absent, our band looked at it early as a paid practice and another opportunity to dig in for ourselves as one,
at times creating some special moments.

As a result, we had some of our best gigs in near empty rooms.


Micky Hart, Grateful Dead drummer, in his book, Drumming At The Edge Of Magic, said in his book, that the band would huddle in a circle before each gig, and in unison of thought be ready in their playing throughout the show, for moments of magic to arrive, to ride it, and be open to take it wherever it goes.

As an ideal, I am preaching to the choir here for sure, still, good to have in the front of one's mind as a tool to stave off distraction.
 

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A few thoughts--Sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves. Over the years I would sometimes come home from a gig, a little frustrated over how things went. My wife would sometimes ask, "was it anything that anyone else would notice?" Sometimes it helps to try to tweak one's perspective.

I try to remember the words that the great Daniel Bonade said to the legendary Robert Marcellus when he was hired as principal clarinet in the Cleveland Orchestra. "Just try to keep a good average".
 

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I find that we tend to be much more critical when evaluating our play than the audience. I am often amazed when after a gig that I thought really sucked or there was no audience vibe, someone will come up and compliment the band on how well we played. The other thing I try to do when it's just not happening is to simplify my playing and just try to keep it musical - and maybe throw in a few gimmicks (you know, the repetitive phrase or the long altissimo - but no walking the bar. A musician has to have some limits.). And when all else fails, play the blues.
 

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It happens to the some of the best of them. You set the bar high and even the worst can be ok.
One thing you learn as you get older is how unimportant what we do is in the major scheme of things. Thankfully we’re not having off days of performing brain surgery.
I try to always think of what a privilege it is to play music. Even gigs I’d really rather not do I try to enjoy playing.
I got to experience hearing a lot of great players when I lived in NYC perform numerous times. The level was so high that even nights they may have thought were off you’d never know. That’s the ideal. Even your worst is still good in comparison.
I saw an interesting story about treatment of addiction and depression with psilocybin on 60 minutes. I wondered how that may affect the ruts and routine we get in from playing a long time.

Having come of age in the late 60s I have to say I don’t think speed or hallucinogens drugs ever helped anyone.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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A gig is a gig. You are paid to do the best you can under whatever circumstances Ive done gigs drugged up for back pain, gigs where someone in the band kept running to the john with vomit. Gigs where the new bass player couldn't figure out a simple blues, you name it. As far as audience reaction, I play the same for 2 as 2000. I play for me and the band and if they dig it fine, if not fine. I have fun. There will be a day when its all couch and tv and no more gigs. So for now, these are the good old days. K
.
 

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Having come of age in the late 60s I have to say I don’t think speed or hallucinogens drugs ever helped anyone.
Just a brief comment on this, fwiw: Speed (meth) and hallucinogenics (psychedelic drugs) are not the same thing, AT ALL. Not even in the same universe. The 60 minutes story Whaler mentioned had nothing to do with speed. And it's certainly possible that, unlike speed, psychedelic drugs could prove very helpful or useful to some people, depending on how they are used.

Regarding playing for a small or unenthusiastic audience, it happens sometimes. It's always way more fun to play to a crowd that is into the music & up and dancing, etc. But on some gigs you may be more in the realm of background entertainment, with people talking and socializing. You're still getting paid, though. I've played some of these casual, 'country club' type gigs where no one seems to be paying much attention to the band, then been surprised afterwards when several people came up and said how much they enjoyed the music! So in these types of situations, keep in mind that someone out there certainly is listening and (hopefully) enjoying the music, so give it all you've got no matter what.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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