What a Buzz

  • Thread starter mediocrefunkybeat
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
I just got back from a rather strange gig. I was playing with my Swing Band (which is, essentially a Big Band without the brass - all wind) at a 1940's themed dinner dance just South of the Lake District. We did two sets of forty minutes (a new one on me, I've never played two sets in a night) and by the third song of the night we had them all up dancing to some of the old swing hits.

Seeing that put the biggest smile on my face I've ever had playing the drums. I've been making some radical changes to my drumming the last few weeks - improving my technique, etc and that really affirmed to me that I'm making significant progress as a player. The band were great too and all twenty-odd of us left with grins on our faces; even though the hour was late.

It all made me yearn to do more nights like that and play more of that music. I was playing simply, but really trying to swing it as much as possible and it seemed to work! The second set we played some more modern material but we really got them going with our rendition of 'Tequila', which involves me standing up and shouting the eponymous line during the one beat rest that I have!

Great fun. Oh, and I have another gig tomorrow night with the band. We're unofficially competing with the full-size Big Band and if we play like that again, we will come away from it looking rather good.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
I just got back from a rather strange gig. I was playing with my Swing Band (which is, essentially a Big Band without the brass - all wind) at a 1940's themed dinner dance just South of the Lake District. We did two sets of forty minutes (a new one on me, I've never played two sets in a night) and by the third song of the night we had them all up dancing to some of the old swing hits.

Seeing that put the biggest smile on my face I've ever had playing the drums. I've been making some radical changes to my drumming the last few weeks - improving my technique, etc and that really affirmed to me that I'm making significant progress as a player. The band were great too and all twenty-odd of us left with grins on our faces; even though the hour was late.

It all made me yearn to do more nights like that and play more of that music. I was playing simply, but really trying to swing it as much as possible and it seemed to work! The second set we played some more modern material but we really got them going with our rendition of 'Tequila', which involves me standing up and shouting the eponymous line during the one beat rest that I have!

Great fun. Oh, and I have another gig tomorrow night with the band. We're unofficially competing with the full-size Big Band and if we play like that again, we will come away from it looking rather good.

Duncan that's awesome to hear!!!! It really is amazing how seeing the audience get into it can really boost your spirits!!! Good luck on the gig tomorrow I hope it goes just as well!
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
Wow, I can feel your excitement in your words man--thanks for sharing your wonderful experience! And it's great to hear that your efforts are taking you in a good direction.

Best,

Spleen
 

aydee

Platinum Member
...

Duncan, with all the imagery one conjures about anonymous online associations, I would never ever have imagined you doing 'Tequila'.

...
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
Congrats.

It feels really good, doesn't it, when it all goes well?

Don't over-think gig #2. Do the same thing you did, especially feel-wise, and you'll nail it again.

Thanks for sharing. I love stories like this.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Good one, Duncan! I don't know if you relate to this, but in my early 20s I spent a couple of years in an unconventional band. People tended to be interested - but also confused. Some songs would finish to silence from the audience and we'd think they hated us ... but then all these people would tell us afterwards how much they enjoyed it.

After a while we started craving more reaction - people on the floor, calling for more at the end etc and morphed into a rock band. The connection leads into that energy exchange that we look for at gigs.


...I would never ever have imagined you doing 'Tequila'.
On the surface, I agree. But I find there's a special pleasure in playing hoary old standards, especially if you're able to mess with them.

"... we had them all up dancing to some of the old swing hits. Seeing that put the biggest smile on my face I've ever had playing the drums" ... made me think of Larry, who loves getting people to dance (although I suspect that watching shapely derrieres in motion has something to do with his motivation :).
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I find there's a special pleasure in playing hoary old standards, especially if you're able to mess with them.
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Agreed, but for your own sanity, never post them on here, lol!

Seriously Duncan, great story, & absolutely the night vibe we all shoot for. Sometimes, we believe we water down our musical aspirations in favour of getting that performance hit, & that's absolutely the key to success. If we're getting it, the audience is getting it, & by return, that's confirmation that we're actually doing what we're meant to be doing, making music that moves people & putting on a show that facilitates that connection. I call it "umbillical drumming".

Would love to see a video clip if one comes your way.
 
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wy yung

Guest
I really enjoyed the opening post. It seems MFB did everything right; focused on swinging and making it feel good. Seeing as the punters were up and dancing, he did just that.

Well done!
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
Over the years your ongoing musical passions have seemingly steered towards that of the instrospecive producer/director...a person understanding of his craft while in possesion of an acute enough ear to provide necessary counsel and occasionally even pass down stern judgements, while all the while feeling it just enough to understand what drives the other guy along. Despite this already versatile skillset, your personal artistic creativity never waned, but mostly took root in the creation more than the perpetuation. Now lately you seem to have bitten the apple. You've been wanting to soak your feet and really feel it. Just be careful man. The whole thing is like a drug and will suck you up. Still there's nothing wrong with that...but it does alter the comapss a bit. With that said one can't help but feel that rounding out the whole package is going to make you a whole lot stronger.

So what's been bringing this on? Lessons with Brennan perhaps?
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Thanks guys, I'd like to hear some of your stories too!

No lessons with Brennan, which is unfortunate, but most of the time we're at opposite ends of the Country. I have been remembering a few choice Pearls of Wisdom he's imparted though.

I don't know what it is. It's probably something to do with my confidence as a player. I'm the first to admit that I have some real technical issues with my playing that are only ever going to get sorted out by practice and dedication and I've been starting to take it a bit more seriously. Fortunately I have solid foundations of knowledge and things like my grip are fine - it's just the buildings on top of those foundations are a little unfinished (to say the least) but since about a month ago when I started taking things more seriously, I've been starting to feel better about it all.

For the last few years, I haven't really played very much and I've been struggling to find a 'voice', - my playing has been pretty directionless. Now, playing in this band isn't my idea of musical Nirvana, but the people are a lot of fun (mostly a couple of years younger than me - students as well) and some of the pieces we play are a good laugh. I guess since I've been having this musical 'Nirvana' I've also been listening to a lot of jazz music (no idea why) but I've been steadily working my way through Coltrane, Davis, Jan Garbarek, Monk, Bud Powell, some Brian Blade, etc (all Brennan's doing, having that lot!) and it's just bitten me that that is what I want to play. That's where my voice is, somewhere.

Now I lack the technical ability to play like that, but it's aspirational and I'm going to damn well sort out the issues one by one - starting with my hands, co-ordination (always an issue with me) and my rudiments.
 
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wy yung

Guest
You don't know why you listen to jazz? What's wrong with jazz???

The drumset grew through jazz. What a legacy!

Jazz is awesome.

Anyway, it's good you are growing through this gig. I wish we could have some swing in this country. You play jazz here and people do get up on their feet, and leave.
 
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