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Weekend warrior program - a tale

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(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 849
 

WOW sounds like a BLAST!!!!!!!!!!

Wish I could find something like that myself. Seems like Im at about the same level as you... I can sing a little... but not great... I can strum a little.... but not geat.. I can sing a LITTLE when im playing, as long as the song is simple... so thats a start...

Keep us posted. I realy what to know how this turns out!!!

Paul B


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

Nice to hear you're doing some of both (guitar and singing). Keep the reports coming! :D :D

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@hobson)
Prominent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 794
 

That sounds like a fabulous program. I'm with all of those who wish they could find something like that.

From another person who has a tough time singing or playing in front of a crowd, my congratulations on giving it a try!

Renee


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(@bkangel)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 118
Topic starter  

Rehearsal #2 was a much better day.

I spent a fair bit of time during the week getting familiar with the songs we had covered, and trying to work out basic harmonies for the Sheryl Crow song that I am backing on, so I felt a lot better prepared. As well, my mic was turned up a LOT more today, so I could hear myself sing. Makes a big difference.

We rang through "Take it easy", which I sing (it's better, but still struggling to keep the right notes on the low C and G harmonies). Most of the harmonies are much better, though, so a little more practice on those and I think we'll have it sounding ok.

Then we did "If it makes you happy". I pullded out the Strat for this (but had it turned way down ). The singer/guitarist has done this song before on a previous WW program, so she's comfortable with it. I've worked out some very basic harmonies, so just a case of hitting the note square, and figuring how much I need to pull off the mic.

Next was "Like Wow, Wipeout". I had actually said that I didn't mind if we dropped this one, as everyone was saying they were having problems with aspects of it, but all the guys were keen. The drummer today is a woman who is filling for us until we can see if we get a permanent replacement, otherwise she'll drum for us on the night. She wasn't familiar with the song, and the drums are pretty key to this song, so we took some time to get familiar (which helped me get to practice that pesky timing on the first line of vocals). By the end, it was sound much better as well!

By this time we really only had enough time to go through one new song. We did "Force of Nature" by Oasis. During the week, I'd done a fair bit of work on it, because it sits really nicely in my vocal range, and I enjoy singing it very much. Other than the bassist, the others didn't know the song, but we worked through it with our coach, and by the end, it sounded hot! I'm really looking forward to playing this song on the night.

So, homework for next week is working on another three songs (Use Somebody -- Kings of Leon; Eye of the Tiger -- Survivor; and I suggested that C, the singer/guitarist, sing another song, so she's going to do Early Warning -- Baby Animals, which she has also done in a previous WW program, so hopefully we can pull it together on the day (I wanted to get to play rythm guitar on another song, as well).

So, assuming these all work out, that looks like we have our seven for the night, and we can use the fourth (and final ) rehearsal solidifying those songs!

Hooley dooley, talk about a "fly by the seat of your pants" experience!

Next challenge for me: learning the lyrics. I have an AWFUL memory for lyrics. (I will take cheat sheets on the night, I think.)

What I lack in talent and natural ability, I will have to make up with stubborness.


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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

Flying by the seat of your pants is the only way! Me and my son do it all the time of course we aren't playing to an audience. Unless you count you guys watching on Hear Here. We will pick a song, play through it a couple of times and say .... "Lets turn on the camera!" I'd love to hear you guys play but unfortunately I'm on the other side of the earth. :?

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@bkangel)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 118
Topic starter  

8) Sshhh. Don't tell anyone, but there might be a video at the end of this process.

What I lack in talent and natural ability, I will have to make up with stubborness.


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(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 849
 

8) Sshhh. Don't tell anyone, but there might be a video at the end of this process.
Great.. would love to see it!!

Quite a program... seems pretty fast.... you get one week to work on all those songs???? MAN I would be stressing. :D :D

Paul B


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(@bkangel)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 118
Topic starter  

Week 3, and another rehearsal.

I felt really flat this morning. I had done some work on the songs last night, but not much during the week. And as I drove to the rehearsal place, doing my warm ups in the car (vocal, of course!), I realised I had a knot of nervousness in my stomach.

We set up and decided to run through Take it Easy. It's an Eagles song. It should be easy, shouldn't it? Well, the first time around, I couldn't hear myself again, just the harmonies, so I kept on going but I think I was missing as many notes as I was hitting I know that I should be able to keep pitch without being able to hear myself, but it is HARD!

The mix was adjusted and the next run through was better. We also got the drummer to pitch in on the harmonies (I can't believe she can drum and sing harmonies!).

We worked through a couple of others and then moved on to the two new ones for the day: Eye of the Tiger and Use Somebody.

Eye of the Tiger seems to be a deceptive song. It seems very simple, but everyone had spots that they needed to go over several times to iron out. And the vocals? Well, we've dropped the key down from the original, but that top note is sure interesting still

Last song we ran through was Use Somebody (Kings of Leon), and that was like Force of Nature last week. It seems to just slot in. The guitars and bass took some time to get their bits happening, but the vocals on this are really comfortable for me (thank goodness... it's nice to have one or two songs that feel like "me").

We're going to try to work on two more songs next week and then cull what doesn't work. And then that's it! A soundcheck if we're lucky on the afternoon of the gig, and then into it.

Regardless of how the night itself goes (and I hope it goes really well), I am so happy with how much this process is dragging me out of my shell, and getting me singing and playing, without freaking out about the standard (not being "good enough").

What I lack in talent and natural ability, I will have to make up with stubborness.


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(@bkangel)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 118
Topic starter  

Rehearsal 4.

...

...

...

Does anyone need to know what the definition of train wreck is? Because I think we defined the term today

This was our last "formal" rehearsal, and it was very not good. I had told myself to expect it to go badly, as it's the last practice, and better that everything that can go wrong, goes wrong then and not on the night. That's how everyone will be, right?

Unfortunately, I stayed back to chat to one of the blokes in the shop about what a possible "next step" amp might be, as I only have a cheap practice amp at home. And so I got to hear the next band begin their rehearsal. And they were tight. So, there's my theory out the window...

I'd had a big week at work, so not as much practice as I had hoped, and then I had to work on Saturday at the last moment, so my practice time then was shot to pieces. So, today I didn't expect to be at my best. But still, I think I'm getting much better at just "going with the flow" and being reactive so if someone comes back into the verse too early, I was able to adapt (kinda). So, it was bad, but it was good, if that makes sense. For me to learn to just chill and keep on going with whatever's happening around me is a great lesson. :D

Not surprisingly, we have scheduled a couple more practices. We are going to have a rehearsal on Wednesday night (acoustic, at someone's house, not decided), and a practice on Sunday morning (amp'd, in the bassist's back yard... hello neighbours!). And then the sound check on at 4pm. (First band is the only one to get the sound check. We don't know what the running order is yet.) And then away it all goes at 5pm.

Am I nervous yet? :?

What I lack in talent and natural ability, I will have to make up with stubborness.


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(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 849
 

I think that says alot that you guys had a bad session, but are still lookingon the bright side, and going for it!!!! You know.... becouse things do go wrong all the time... the key is how you deal with it.

Paul B


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(@bkangel)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 118
Topic starter  

Four more evenings to practice. And practicing on your own can only do so much!

Now is when the hu-mun-gous-ness of what I've bitten off is really starting to kick in :?

What I lack in talent and natural ability, I will have to make up with stubborness.


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(@hobson)
Prominent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 794
 

Obviously, things didn't go perfectly. But look how much you're getting out of this experience. What a great opportunity! Plus you've made some contacts that may lead to more opportunities to play and sing with other musicians.

Renee


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(@titus)
Active Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 16
 

It is a confronting process. There are many reasons why it has taken me over 40 years to even dare to do this (and that includes a decade where I was married to a guitarist and really could have sung any time I wanted, if I hadn't been so shy, so self-conscious, so "down" on myself, and able to just have fun and do it.)

So every time I make rehearsal, pick up a guitar, and pick up a mic, it's a good day, even if it isn't to the standard others might hope for

This is so true :) Kudos to you for getting out there and doing it. I was so nervous the first time I played with other musicians. I have always felt that any other musician I could possibly jam with MUST be a million times better than me, I must bust my butt just to fit in! :) My first couple gigs were nerve wracking to the point of possibly not wanting to do it anymore... however a few years later I'm trying so hard to get back into it ;) lol


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(@bkangel)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 118
Topic starter  

Another rehearsal over. I'm going with the flow now: what will be will be.

We have one more rehearsal on Sunday morning, and then it's last call, gentlemen.

I'm wondering if I should buy a small effect pedal (or multi effect) that I can carry with me, just to improve the sound a bit instead of running the Strat straight into the amp. I'm only playing on two songs... one is a bit country (Sheryl Crowe) and the other is kinda English post punk (Martha and the Muffins). I'm just doing a bit of quiet rhythm guitar in the background to "fill" the sound a bit. Is it necessary? Any recommendations?

What I lack in talent and natural ability, I will have to make up with stubborness.


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 Ande
(@ande)
Honorable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 659
 

Bout three months ago, I was the one having first gig jitters- folks here were really supportive and insightful.

Nice forum, isn't it?

Here's the thing- the nerves are part of it. That feeling in the pit of your stomach that says "here we go, ready or not!" IS music.

It's the feeling of your adrenaline glands, your hormones, your heart and your soul all working together to sharpen you up for what you really WANT to do.

And you will.

Don't try to make the nerves go away. Just focus on your playing and singing.

It'll come. It will be better than you fear even the first time. And you'll be twice as ready after.

BEst,
Ande

PS- just saw your last post. Others may have other ideas. PErsonally, I wouldn't add anything new at this point. Just do what you've been doing- if, after the gig, you feel like your sound needs something more, then take the time to shop around. But nothing worse than having a new effect, not really having time to tweak it, and not sure where to set it...you can mess with your head as much as your sound.


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