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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Definition of Musicianship and Performer: Back to Basics

One of the great joys of being a student of music is listening to music from all over the world and making connections. There is an unbelievable wealth of talent out there of ALL kinds! I love watching and listening to other musicians and performers. I feel I'm in a lecture hall and the artist is allowing me to tap into their realm and acquire some new knowledge about my craft.

Though i am grateful for these opportunities to expand myself and learn, lately I have been noticing a trend, especially in younger musicians/vocalists. There you are listening to a performance and there so much styling from the performer that you can't recognize and appreciate the song sometimes.

Music is not all about funny sounding chord progressions, flashy rhythms, vocal runs and melismas, and crazy lines.

IN FACT, I have found that these things go over the heads of most your audiences. I have seen it over and over. A band adds some crazy line randomly in a singer is singing and five musicians in the crowd lose their mind while everyone else stares confused.

OVERALL,  I have come to find that 90% of your audience prefers a nice clean performance and for you to simply play or sing the DOG-ON song! This is a lesson I learned as a young musician and vocalist.

REMEMBER. As it concerns music and performance: less is more, play straight until you are given a solo, heaven is in the pocket, choose a line and stay with it, do not attempt something on stage that you haven't mastered in practice, and most of all.... A nice and clean straight performance will beat a messy fancy one ANYDAY



P.S. I do love the fancy stuff... but I find that these things are much more effective when used meaningfully and thoughtfully