Monday, August 17, 2009

Playing Out Sunday

I played on Sunday. Two services. There's two parts to the modern worship service: the fast songs to get you going at the begining, or the "praise" section, and then the slower songs that are meant to get you into a more contemplative and worshipful mood, or the "worship". Yeah, outside of this context, the terms nearly are synonyms, but there you go.

In the set list, the first song had an ugly, scratched together, illegible chord sheet, and that was the one I worked hardest on. Turns out, the second song was tough, too, and I did not spend nearly the time on that one. Ever heard Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone"? Al Kooper knew the producer and showed up hoping to play guitar on the track, but he saw Mike Bloomfield setting up, which, converting from 1965 to 2009, is a bit like seeing Joe Satriani set up his amp. So, Kooper moved to the organ, which he kinda knew. If you listen, the organ comes in half a beat late because he's learning the instrument at the same time he was learning the song, which was the same time they were recording it. He made it work. I have to say that I did not. In fact, I chuffed it. Both services.

And even when we're doing the slower, more contemplative stuff, we are the thundering herd, and while digging in on acoustic, I popped my D string. Generally, the band goes to second service, so we talk, judge our performance and cool down during first service. On Sunday, I changed my strings. While I was doing so, I was asked a good question: If only one string breaks, why change them all?

I have two reasons. First, if you replace one string, that string is going to sound different tan the others, brighter than the other ones. It'll sound wrong. Second, and this is more the case for me, if one string bit the dust, the others have a short life and will break soon enough. Normally, the wound G is the first to go, so when the D string goes first, the set is about dead.

I did not check tuning on the electric between services, and when I started, I found it was way off. I now realize I should've played what strings I had in tune, but I didn't think about that, and I tuned during the first song, which means I really blew two songs and not just the one.

In conclusion, I don't feel good about how I played this week. I guess I phoned it in, and it didn't feel good while I was playing. I will get that second song under my fingers this week.


Pribek said...

My couple of cents Dave...from what you said, I don't think you "phoned" it in.

I have a tough time right before gigs. Not so much stage fright, more fear of gear problems. If something happens, broken string etc. You got to fix on the fly and it always affects performance...even if it's fixed, there's still residual stuff.

Reading charts in that kind of deal is another one of those things that can be dicey. Especially if the other guys are tentative at all because there is so much more going on than just the chords.

Dave Jacoby said...

I'll say this: the drummer was solid, the bassist was there, and the pianist plays the song. If there was a point where I listened outside of my mix and the band wasn't there and there together, I'd feel a lot less like the weakest link.