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One band, in two different parts of the room.


bass_dinger

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21 hours ago, bass_dinger said:

a clueless attempt at doing things differently that is doomed to fail?

You know it to be true.

The person who has come up with this has no idea what they are talking about. The solution lies with each musician playing to the correct level, and knowing how to listen to an imperfect mix, because the majority of live mixes are exactly that. As hiram says, the issue is not with how to implement the idea, it's how to tell the person who came up with it just how bad an idea it is.

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Some of my least favourite gigs have been where the band members have been spread out in a long line, backs to the wall, so that we all felt separated from one another. The sense of playing together was lost.

 

This just takes it to another level.

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Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful advice, and wonderful fish puns!

 

It was helpful to know that I was right to be concerned about the set up and the resulting sound. 

 

So, when I arrived. they had already set up at one end of the room.  Nevertheless, I was next to the drummer, and the keyboard / vocal amplifier was opposite us.  So, we faced each other across the short axis of the room, rather than (as I had been told) the long axis. 

 

It was a struggle to hear the acoustic piano, but the electric piano was fine, as was the unamplified flute.  The ukulele-banjo was inaudible too. 

I could not hear the singers at all - and I don't think that they could hear themselves either, if their pitching was anything to go by.

 

It was a mixed evening - I was handed chord sheets about 15 seconds before a song was played, and they were not always accurate.  There was an odd mix of musicians - one of the two pianists was warming up by playing Widor's Toccata!  The drummer was competent.   The flautist could play by ear.  Later, a guitarist left half way through, and a second guitarist struggled to find a D chord. 

 

The whole group is due to perform a pantomime on 10th December.  We currently have no script, and have not decided on the songs yet.

 

I will treat Friday's session as an audition, for everyone (myself included), and give it another week.  That should be enough time for the leaders to sort out sound, singers, and chord sheets.  

 

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1 hour ago, bass_dinger said:

I will treat Friday's session as an audition, for everyone (myself included), and give it another week.  That should be enough time for the leaders to sort out sound, singers, and chord sheets.  

 

I can't help thinking that a week might not be long enough to sort out the issues you've mentioned, but I wish you good luck 👍

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10 hours ago, bass_dinger said:

Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful advice, and wonderful fish puns!

 

It was helpful to know that I was right to be concerned about the set up and the resulting sound. 

 

So, when I arrived. they had already set up at one end of the room.  Nevertheless, I was next to the drummer, and the keyboard / vocal amplifier was opposite us.  So, we faced each other across the short axis of the room, rather than (as I had been told) the long axis. 

 

It was a struggle to hear the acoustic piano, but the electric piano was fine, as was the unamplified flute.  The ukulele-banjo was inaudible too. 

I could not hear the singers at all - and I don't think that they could hear themselves either, if their pitching was anything to go by.

 

It was a mixed evening - I was handed chord sheets about 15 seconds before a song was played, and they were not always accurate.  There was an odd mix of musicians - one of the two pianists was warming up by playing Widor's Toccata!  The drummer was competent.   The flautist could play by ear.  Later, a guitarist left half way through, and a second guitarist struggled to find a D chord. 

 

The whole group is due to perform a pantomime on 10th December.  We currently have no script, and have not decided on the songs yet.

 

I will treat Friday's session as an audition, for everyone (myself included), and give it another week.  That should be enough time for the leaders to sort out sound, singers, and chord sheets.  

 

 

Reading this, the ensemble seemed even more nutso than reading the original post.  Flute, two different keyboards, a swap of guitarists and (this one made me laugh loudly), a ukulele-banjo.

 

This begs the question, but what material were you actually playing?

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31 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

 

Reading this, the ensemble seemed even more nutso than reading the original post.  Flute, two different keyboards, a swap of guitarists and (this one made me laugh loudly), a ukulele-banjo.

 

This begs the question, but what material were you actually playing?

 

A Hard Day's Night (in the wrong key, without the iconic opening chord);  YMCA (wrong key, without the horn riff at the start)l Waterloo by Abba (part of a medley with YMCA) . . .

All songs are started by the leader saying "and a one and a two and a three and a four" regardless of whether the song is a disco rhythm, or the Waterloo "bounce". 

It is, as others have said, British and bonkers.

I am not enjoying it much.  I had hoped that the band would give me the opportunity to play new material with good musicians.  This is not the case - I was told that I was one of the main musicians, and some of the others are treating it as a strum-along session.  

I think that I need to get out before my sanity suffers! 

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38 minutes ago, bass_dinger said:

I think that I need to get out before my sanity suffers! 

 

Well, credit to you for pitching in and soldiering through it.

 

When you've been in this game for as long as I have, you're going to amass stories that start, 'There was one time when I...'. 

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26 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

Your sanity, your credibility and your reputation.

 

The pantomime looks likely to be a fraud perpetrated on (presumably) paying punters.

 

We have all been instructed to sell 5 tickets.  At this level, it's more about inviting your friends and family along, so that they can see Uncle Bob up on stage.  Think "School Assembly" rather than "Music Society Recital" 

 

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12 hours ago, bass_dinger said:

 

The whole group is due to perform a pantomime on 10th December.  We currently have no script, and have not decided on the songs yet.

 

 

 

Now that really is beyond parody ...

 

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1 hour ago, bass_dinger said:

I think that I need to get out before my sanity suffers! 

 

No !!  You can't do that - we're all waiting with bated breath for the next instalment.........

 

(Cue Archers music - rumpy pumpy diddly doo, rumpy pumpy doo dah.............etc)

 

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37 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

 

Well, credit to you for pitching in and soldiering through it.

 

When you've been in this game for as long as I have, you're going to amass stories that start, 'There was one time when I...'. 

 

I think that I want to help them - to support the project.  They are clearly enjoying themselves, and I feel that I want to give something back to the community.  

 

However, I am not convinced that this is the right group to do that with - I am a bassist, not an arranger or organiser.    

 

 

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That all sounds frustrating and silly, although perhaps endearingly so.

Incidentally, I have a gig with a band on the 10th Dec who, while they are saved by a really good front man, are probably best described as ramshakle. I've a real soft spot for them though, and there's a certain pleasure in riding the demolition derby with them once or twice a year. The gigs are good payers too, by some miracle! I used to really enjoy playing for the local scouts Gang Show as well. It was always a jumble of amateurs and pros in the pit, the whole week payed as much as a single gig, and onstage ranged from decent enough am-dram to kids who clearly had no hope, but were having a stab at it nevertheless.

In both cases, if it were purely about the performances it would be embarrassing, but both have a certain richness of experience for performers and audience which redress the balance somewhat.

If the experience overall is enjoyable, sometimes that is the best measure of its value, and I say that as a jobbing player. However, if you do enjoy it enough to stick with it, any reasonable advice you can proffer regarding layout and monitoring would be well worth it, if they're willing to listen.

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28 minutes ago, bass_dinger said:

 

They are clearly enjoying themselves, and I feel that I want to give something back to the community.  

 

 

Bin there, dun that, got chilli oil stains all over the t-shirt.

 

The whole music-in-the-community thang can be a lorra lorra laffs and very satisfying UNTIL you find yourselves dumbing down the song structure to suit the ukelele player who could never be bothered to learn the rest of the chords.

 

Not that ... ahem ahem ... I speak from personal experience, you understand. 🤨

 

Ahem.

 

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58 minutes ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

 

I think you're misunderstand the job title.

 

Don't forget to add roadie and sound engineer. 😆

 

I am in a second, also new, group, in which I am doing more of the admin work.  That's fine, because the new group is very capable, and made up of better musicians from my town.  And me . . .    

The Panto group, however, has dumbed-down chords - although I am told that the chords will be corrected later.  So, we practice the wrong chords, then move across to the correct version. 

Currently, the dance moves consist of people walking around in a circle, and getting used to moving while singing.   I suspect that the script, and the dance moves, will be tailored to what the musicians can play, and the singers can sing. 

 

" . . . . oooh.  Snow White is lost and in the woods.  Where can she stay tonight...? "

 

"Why not take a train to Waterloo, and stay at the YMCA . . .?"  

 


 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Jus Lukin said:

However, if you do enjoy it enough to stick with it, any reasonable advice you can proffer regarding layout and monitoring would be well worth it, if they're willing to listen.

 

I am told that the leader does have more PA, but won't bring it along yet, as it is too much kit to move around.  

 

 

 

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