This chart might be applicable to EVERY song on your setlist. I know it is applicable to mine. There’s a delicate balance. And of course, a lot of “musicians” complain that songs like Mustang Sally are old and tired. But it’s not the song that’s at fault. It’s the half-assed, uninspired and merely workmanlike interpretation of these songs that is to blame. Most of these are GREAT songs, their original (or most famous) interpretations amazing examples of when the magic of writing and performance actually came together. The fact that YOUR version of Mustang Sally sucks is YOUR fault. If you can’t connect to the original version, or the song itself and the specific parts the instruments play that you feel overqualified to render or give a fresh take, then maybe, just maybe, you’re in the wrong business. You don’t want to play music that people are enthusiastic about hearing? How Emo of you. If you could play anything else as inspirational, or that communicated or energized half as well, your audience would be happy to hear anything you came up with. That being said, there’s no point in playing songs just to play them, nor any justifiable reason to play a request if you can’t give it something of yourself. But saying you won’t (or can’t or shouldn’t)? That’s not just underestimating your audience. That’s severely limiting yourself.
- Between the LinesIf you listen carefully, books are full of music. Sometimes the connection is obvious: a method book, the history of the bass guitar, a rock star’s autobiography. Other times, the tunefulness of a thing is a little more tenuous, and … Continue reading →More
- Maynard in 1979In 1979 I was in junior high, but thanks to band director Dennis Mack I was playing electric bass in my high school jazz ensemble the Kenton Corporation. I was also taking private clarinet lessons from Mike Biddinger, who was … Continue reading →More
- Between the Lines
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