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technique2012





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No. 1 Posted on Oct 18, 2012 2:41 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Okay, so my first Jazz Ensemble concert is coming up on the 25th. I know my parts but there's a couple things I want to prepare for in the event of worst-case-scenario. I lose my spot completely, I don't know how to fill at the end when the drummer goes crazy, and my most important one, what if I drop a stick? Call me Butterfingers; I drop a stick in rehearsal usually once a week but manage to recover it before it completely falls to the ground. Last advice? Should I just keep my stick bag super close to me while I perform?


"Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple."
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Singlestroker





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No. 2 Posted on Oct 18, 2012 3:56 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Stillkicken likes to quote the phrase “keep it simple stupid”, and there’s a lot in that, I believe. There’s nothing to be gained by having it go wrong on you, and it’s silly to saddle yourself with something that, at any stage in your development, you can’t yet handle. Do I sound like someone who has made that mistake and has learned from it? I’ll let you guess!

If you know your existing abilities and play within them, then you WILL sound good. You know what works best from your current “palette”. Put something quite short together from that palette and practise it. On the night, keep to it and they’ll love it. You can vary it between gigs, and after it becomes a bit easier, you can bring in some more moves. Eventually, the spontaneity you're looking for may well come.

Steady as she goes!



pwc





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No. 3 Posted on Oct 18, 2012 6:51 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Dropping sticks is usually because your hands are tensed up and not as might be supposed because you are overly relaxed. So relax is my advice. Concentrate on where the beat is and stick to that ( literally ! ). Make the band sound good. Have fun.


Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
HuskerFan

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No. 4 Posted on Oct 18, 2012 8:09 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
My advice is:

Lose your spot - Keep internally focused on the beat of the song and be aware of where the "1" is. If you get lost, it's okay to take a moment and come back in cleanly on the one, resuming the ride rhythm.

Ending - don't try to "go crazy." A clean flourishing roll into a crash, played with exciting and appropriate dynamics could very well be all that you need. If you're worried about what to do there, definitely don't try to do a lot lest you overthink it.

Stick drop - keep your stickbag in a comfortable position, such as tied against the floor tom. Make sure the sticks easiest to grab from there are the same size as the ones you're using.

Break a leg!



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OldFart

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No. 5 Posted on Oct 18, 2012 9:31 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Ditto : Stick Bag close by, easy to access by reach and feel alone. Having to turn your eyes to it is counter-productive.

Also, in the Stick Bag, keep only the sticks in the size you like ( and possibly just the one brand that plays best for you ) . You would thereby minimize failure.

If you need to reach for Mallets or Brushes put those in an easy to access place, too, but not where your most used sticks are. You could think you're grabbing sticks when, in fact, you're getting Brushes ... know what I mean? If you're not playing any music requiring Brushes or Mallets, put those aside such that all you have at your disposal would be only what's needed to succeed for that one event.

Lastly, loosen-up and move with the groove ( in a manner of speaking ). Chances are the ensemble will relax enough to put out their best in sync with the drums - as it ought to be. If you can move fluidly, but with self-control, I doubt you'll drop a stick. And don't forget to breathe ...


OldFart edited on Oct 18, 2012 9:34 PM

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technique2012





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No. 6 Posted on Oct 19, 2012 12:45 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
HuskerFan wrote:
My advice is:

Lose your spot - Keep internally focused on the beat of the song and be aware of where the "1" is. If you get lost, it's okay to take a moment and come back in cleanly on the one, resuming the ride rhythm.

Ending - don't try to "go crazy." A clean flourishing roll into a crash, played with exciting and appropriate dynamics could very well be all that you need. If you're worried about what to do there, definitely don't try to do a lot lest you overthink it.

Stick drop - keep your stickbag in a comfortable position, such as tied against the floor tom. Make sure the sticks easiest to grab from there are the same size as the ones you're using.

Break a leg!

But my band director always says my ending is "too short", "lacking in energy, "to go crazy", and "suspending the cymbals isn't enough." What should I do from there?



"Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple."
-Charles Mingus
RvJim

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No. 7 Posted on Oct 20, 2012 2:03 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
technique2012 wrote:
But my band director always says my ending is "too short", "lacking in energy, "to go crazy", and "suspending the cymbals isn't enough." What should I do from there?


Just don't do anything that you don't feel comfortable with.



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Singlestroker





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No. 8 Posted on Oct 20, 2012 2:46 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
RvJim wrote:
Just don't do anything that you don't feel comfortable with.


I was about to say the very same.

As I said in my original reply, if you haven't yet got to the stage where you feel you can do a solo off the top of your head, then practise a piece. In any case, no one really "goes wild" - not if they hope to do a good job, that is. They know exactly what they are doing. They play what they know they can do well, albeit that the order of the components of what they play might well vary. They just appear to "go wild".



OldFart

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No. 9 Posted on Oct 20, 2012 9:02 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
The other thing, too, is that some people equate volume with performance Energy.

It might be that what you've played before simply lacks perceived intensity; so likely you could put more Ooomph behind it and it could well pass muster that way.

But I don't want to give the impression that playing the same thing loudly is the sole "corrective" to the situation just described.

Try to put more volume behind what you play at that time in conjunction with what's been offered by Singlestroker and RvJim. But I'd underscore working out a pre-arranged ending - or a short series of things you could play confidently and comfortably With the Energy just described and switch-up the order of play for each different attempt.



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StillKickinIt

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No. 10 Posted on Oct 23, 2012 2:34 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
You're nervous. That alone will be hard to get over....but you gotta have fun with it.

As said, stick with what you are comfortable with and don't let other people's expectations take you somewhere else.

So what is your favorite and most confident part?

Do you prefer lots of snare work or some jungley, funky tom tom stuff?? cymbals?

Maybe do all three but not at once. Start with some quick and little bit of cymbal/hat work moving to the snare...fade that out and start a low volume rhythm on the toms building to a sudden end. This way you can concentrate on bits rather than just going apeshirt on the whole kit and getting lost and you'll sound more "dynamic".

Just some thoughts....don't let "go crazy" push you into something that will end up poorly.

Good luck and let us know how it went.



Kick me...beat me....hit me with sticks....
technique2012





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No. 11 Posted on Oct 23, 2012 5:23 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I prefer cymbal work, but yet again, apparently, it's still not enough. And indeed, I will post what happens after the concert. Including what happened in Concert Band too (First I perform in my Jazz Ensemble, then Concert Band).


"Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple."
-Charles Mingus
technique2012





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No. 12 Posted on Oct 26, 2012 2:38 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
So, instead of dropping a stick, ruining everything, and failing at the end, I apparently impressed just about everyone when my solo section came around. When I filled, I was very tasteful with clean rolls and better ideas than had previously occured to me before the concert. However, I WAS pouring sweat by the end (seriously, it was getting on my glasses). My friend said I looked like I was high when I walked back to my concert band section (Keith Moon anyone?). I hit the rim once, and came in late for a measure (not that anyone noticed too much), and missed a couple crashes, but I had quite a good first performance on the drum set. Of course, the highlight of the night was in the concert band section when my same friend tossed a stick in the air and didn't catch it (so much for practicing it). I just might enjoy performing this year. It seems under huge pressure, I get some fairly good fill ideas because I'm nervous about being to flashy. The eighth grader actually sped up and made more noticable errors than me. But, I still kept my stick bag half a foot away from me with a couple Pro-Marks sticking out. My hands were drenched before the actual performance, so you can't be too safeSmile Thanks for the advice (especially the "keep it simple")!


"Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple."
-Charles Mingus
StillKickinIt

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No. 13 Posted on Oct 26, 2012 3:37 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
So....bottom line....Was it fun? Big Smile

Sounds like you were overall pleased and that feels good doesn't it?!!

Thanks for getting back to us. You can tell us more as you wish.

Greg



Kick me...beat me....hit me with sticks....
technique2012





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No. 15 Posted on Oct 26, 2012 4:23 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
My favorite concert ever. The jazz ensemble got the biggest applause of the night, thanks to some boss brass and saxophone players too.


"Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple."
-Charles Mingus
pwc





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No. 15 Posted on Oct 26, 2012 11:44 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
There ya go ... !!

Everything normally turns out well on the day if you have done some work beforehand.



Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
Singlestroker





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No. 16 Posted on Oct 27, 2012 2:07 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
technique2012 wrote:
So, instead of dropping a stick, ruining everything, and failing at the end, I apparently impressed just about everyone...


Great result Ethan. I'm pleased for you.

What did you do to turn it around? Did you prepare a piece in advance as mentioned above, did you make it up as you went along, etc.?



technique2012





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No. 17 Posted on Oct 27, 2012 12:24 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I really just practiced a lot. Nothing fancy to it.


"Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple."
-Charles Mingus

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