Sunday, August 26, 2012

I'll be ready for you next time!

This one took me by surprise!

Last Saturday evening I was sitting in on keys with a newly formed 18 piece swing band. This band is priding itself on playing modern songs in the traditional 1940s swing era style. I must say that; despite the arrangement's being so technically difficult, they were simply fantastic!

We were playing for a very large festival venue, so the age of the crowd was as varied as you can get. I was familiar with some of the newer pop tunes from overhearing my daughters, KIDS BOP® CDs at her pool parties, I had to admit that these guys are really on to something!

My total surprise was just how much of the new stuff called for sight reading some really tough piano parts. Although the band thought I did a great job, I wasn't impressed with my sight reading abilities as I could have been.

The bright side of this situation is that I hand the answer right in the palm of my hand (no really, I'm meaning quite literally).

After any tume that I thought I could have played better, I whipped out my smart phone and took a picture of the tricky parts of the sheet music. I did this on stage while the other band members were getting out the new chart. I must have taken a few dozen photos!

Unfortunately, I can't go back in time and replay all the klinkers after a reasonable amount of rehearsal preparation. What I can do though, is to print out the pictures of the solos and make a book for me to run through just before I perform with them again.

I also decided to dust off my Back inventions, Chopin preludes, and Beethoven piano  sonatas to get my sight reading up and running again.

One last point........

Even when I was frantically struggling to keep up with those flurry of notes zooming by, I portrayed a pleasant disposition and acted like I nailed every passage. Never let them see you sweat!

The good news is that:

 I'll be ready for you next time!

good gigging,

Larry Marra

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