How has your view of performance changed over the years?

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Administrator Since: Apr 03, 2002

So, after a few year hiatus while my kids were younger, now that they are older, one in college, one in high school, I have gotten back into jamming, performing again for the last couple years.

I have to say, it's a whole different scene, and whole different thing, than it was in the past.

In the past it was about trying to be as good as possible on your instrument, and playing mostly for myself, songs I liked, or original material that we wrote...

Today, pushing 50 years old, myself and my bandmates (same general age bracket) I look at it all different...while of course as a musician you always strive to be the best you can be, the most important thing is the crowd having fun...the performance, getting people moving and having a good time...that is paramount...watching reactions to songs, keeping songs I may not like, but, the crowd does...

And oddly, the band I am in now is making a hell of a lot more money than any previous one was. LOL

Funny how that works.

With that said, who here has similar experiences regarding changing focus over the years?

I've found it to be an interesting journey the last couple years

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bace135 in the house tonight!
Since: Jan 28, 2003

Mar 19, 2017 12:06 am

I'm not sure if my view on performance has changed much, I've just gotten a lot better at it. And that just comes with practice and repetition. For me it's all about engaging the crowd, however I can. As an MC, I don't do covers very often, but I have a lot of ways I can get people into the performance even if they don't know the music. That being said, I don't really perform very often these days, and when I do it's for a smaller group in an intimate setting, so it's easier to draw people in.

Actually I was getting pretty stagnant musically (aka not writing, not doing anything really besides singing in the shower), but last November my buddy asked if I would do a short set before his band for a friends and family type show. It was so much fun, and it really inspired me to get back at it again.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Mar 19, 2017 03:50 pm

Ya, that is a great point, it's about learning to be better at it too...I have noticed that over the years I wasn't necessarily getting better at it, but, being better at my instrument, and therefore being mentally freed up a little bit so I can "think" about the performance, over thinking about the instrument playing...which also helps.

Years ago I was so much more worried about playing great, instead of performing great...I guess my mental state changed to concentrate more on the performance, more than the playing.

Since: Dec 04, 2007

Apr 14, 2017 05:04 am

So, here's my story as of recently. As you may remember, I was doing some live recording work with locals up in Iowa.

Having moved here to Philly's Main Line, I got my home studio set up and started trying to attract clients. I did record a prominent pop/R&B/hip-hop singer last November, but yeah, been kind of slow on the recording front.

So, meanwhile, I put out feelers and got in touch with other local musicians, and started doing some jamming. I'm doing older covers in a basement jam band on Sunday afternoons. Clark, a UPenn anthropology professor, is our guitarist. Once we're comfortable and either find a good bass player so Jamie can keep on drums, or a good drummer and move Jamie back to his bass (which is actually his primary instrument) we might start playing out on occasion. Probably the local music/art fests that happen seasonally. Jamie is involved with a few bands out of his workplace. He's also a software engineer who deals with visualization of financial data.

Meanwhile, on Saturdays, I'm rehearsing with a couple dudes, and we're doing original material. We recently started recording demos so we can put some material out there to attract a singer and a drummer. The material we do is not really tied to a specific genre. A bit of pop rock from Tom, our guitarist, and a bit of jazz/blues/funk/alt-rock/punk type of stuff from me. Andres is our bass player, and also a career musician and prominent audio engineer who has worked in some big productions back in the day. The material me and Tom are putting together gives him a bit of early Genesis and King Crimson vibes. Once we finish filling the two spots, we'll work towards polishing the set, and probably get started by opening for the main band they're in, Lonesome Crow. Probably ad the Grape in Manayunk since it's kind of their home turf.

We plan to play out once or twice a month.

Before I joined the bands, I never really thought about joining a band, much less playing out. I didn't really want to take too much focus away from recording and engineering. But after joining, I've loosened up my thoughts on that a bit. I feel like if I'm performing, it just means I'm going to meet other musicians in the scene, get my name around a bit, and possibly draw up some potential clients by being a little more integrated with "the scene." Plus, Andres knows quite a few people. So it's all good.

We won't be focusing on making money. I mean, we're going to have maybe about 5 people actually coming out to see us specifically. And some venues around here take a tally to see who's attending to see who. Some places don't even pay the band until they have at least 10 people there specifically to see them perform. So yeah, we're in it to have fun, and to get the audiences to have fun. Money's not really a goal. If it happens, great. Totally not expecting it though.

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