Question for pros

gusty

Platinum Member
Just out of curiosity...is the material you play difficult for you when you perform? Or are you able to get enough rehearsal in before a gig to play fairly effortlessly on stage (or in the studio or pit)?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Just out of curiosity...is the material you play difficult for you when you perform? Or are you able to get enough rehearsal in before a gig to play fairly effortlessly on stage (or in the studio or pit)?
I'll give an answer although I don't consider myself a pro full time....

No, the material is not difficult to play when I perform. And most times there is no rehearsal. When there's an actual rehearsal schedule, then it's usually more important to someone because that means they're paying for that too.

I am by no means a "first call" studio musician here in the Los Angeles area, but from what I've learned by being around them is that "time does equal money". If you hire a 30-piece orchestra to record music cues for a 10-minute cartoon, and you're paying each player $300 (an example) for the 3-hour session, that's $9,000. I've heard the term "music by the pound" when they roll in a cart loaded with music cues, and they hand them out and when the red light goes on, you play! You might havea few seconds to look at the piece and make some notes the conductor might point out, but that's it. You're not getting paid to rehearse, you're being paid to produce.

In my younger years I subbed alot in musical theater shows and alot of that was "just show up and the book will be there with my notes in it, the piano player is so-and-so, good luck and have fun!". I'd show up, play the show, and 2 hours later I get a check and thank you from the conductor. If I do that good, I might get another call. I also subbed in the L.A. Lakers basketball band, and it was the same thing: they hand you a book, and none of the charts are titled, it's all numbered. The conductor calls a number and counts it in. I like that kind of stuff - it's fun. Although, when you're in the band, you absolutely do not get to watch the game. You're too busy watching the conductor because he's being told when the band can play something, so you're on from the moment the game starts, and lots of times you won't get to finish a tune because the game'll start again!

So those are some of my pro experiences. I'm sure there's lots of other guys who do it better than me. If I was that good, I wouldn't have a main career as an audio engineer!
 

gusty

Platinum Member
Yeah, subbing in sounds like fun. Cool stories! I didn't know basketball teams had their own bands haha. Have you ever had a really awkward/bad moment where you were handing something you couldn't play or just couldn't get together?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The level of difficulty depends on the gig at hand, and the song at hand. Obviously, rehearsal or at least some personal time with the material is ideal. But every situation is different.

I can sit in with a band of players I don't know, without a setlist or any advance warning of what songs we're playing, they call a song, we play, and it's perfect.

I may get called for a demo or session without any advance material, we discuss the song or I get a simple chart, play through it once or twice, and then we're ready to roll.

And there are other situations where maybe I've played a song frequently for 20 or 30 years, but am nvere quite sure if I really know it, and am constantly checking myself, which I imagine makes for a tentative performance on my part.

Every situation is different.

Bermuda
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yeah, subbing in sounds like fun. Cool stories! I didn't know basketball teams had their own bands haha. Have you ever had a really awkward/bad moment where you were handing something you couldn't play or just couldn't get together?
As Bermuda says, every situation is different, but most of the situations I find myself in, the drummer isn't there to make things more complicated, I'm there to sorta' lay it down for everybody else. When something comes up really complicated for the band, that means I lay back and play time for them so they can get through it. I've probably been saved more by my big ears listening than by anything else!

Yeah, I wasn't aware the pro basketball teams had bands either. It was just like playing at a high school basketball game, just more pressure. Unfortunately, the band is only featured when the game goes to commercial - and the band is way up top in the arena! Dammit.
 
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