Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Before one of my big bands were getting ready to perform onstage at our local county fair, I was playing a Bb on my keyboard for all the horn players to tune. After they had the pitch securely in their ear, I then attempted to play a G so that the bass player could tune the highest open bass string. Most bass players want a G to tune so that they can tune the lower strings from this.

Well, the horn players then started to loudly play all kinds of runs, scales and arpeggios to warm up their embouchure. The problem increased exponentially as they just wouldn't stop. With less than a minute before the downbeat, the bass player glared at me with such a desperate look of frustration.
It was a very hot day and his bass was way out of tune due to the expansion of the strings from the hot temperature.

I stood up, waved my arms at the horns and and shouted.....


They shot me such astounded looks as I sat back down and calmly played the bass tuning note. The bassist was a real pro, so it only took a few seconds to get the other strings tuned up.


Just because you are tuned up and ready to go, doesn't mean that the other musicians are. Remember that you are part of a team. Team players help and respect each other.

The horns were all seasoned players, butt the size of the crowd and desire to perform well clouded their focus.

I guess ti just goes to show that we are all never too old to learn.

Good Gigging,

Larry Marra

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