Monday, May 25, 2009

It's the little things that count.

It's the little things that count.

Last night, I was the pianist with the Hauer 18 piece big band for the Miamisburg, Ohio Veteran's Memorial Day Dance. 
The band featured music from the 1940 WWII years and also included many of the Armed Forces Songs. 
Since I wasn't the Band Leader, my thoughts were concerned with being a good sideman. 

Thoughtful sideman will be offered work more then poor ones.

Here are some of my ideas ideas.

1. I always arrive at least 30 minutes before the downbeat to insure that my equipment is fully functional 
and i am not forgetting anything. This will allow me to scramble and get anything I need and still not be late.

2. I always help the band leader with additional equipment set up. 
The band leader not only has to set up and wire his own equipment, but also the band PA, 
18 music racks, 18 stand lights and pass out 18 band music books. Last nights band book had over 1200 charts.
One thing I noticed was how many other sidemen would show up to the performance at the last minute
with only their instrument and nothing else. Many didn't lift a finger to assist the leader with the set up duties.

3. I always volunteer my dolly and extension cords to anyone else who might need them.
I also have my name and cell number clearly marked to make sure I get them back.

4. I am never the last one to return to the stage after a break.

5. I make sure that any charts that I pull out of the book for that last set are filed in order after that set.

5. I make myself available after the performance to assist the leader with tear-down.

6. I search the stage after every else is gone to insure that nothing is left behind. 
I currently have the bass players guitar stand and will contact him so he doesn't worry about it.

7. In these troubled time, the more paying performances the better.

These tips will help to insure that you are always on the band leaders "call back" list.

Good Gigging,

Larry Marra

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These ideas are indeed great. Hope you continue writing more of your experiences and insights so others may learn.

Thanks for sharing!

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