Tuesday, October 18, 2011

reflections on an off night

Attention - this is a post about Music. Big surprise huh? :-)

I want to record some feelings I've been having when reflecting on this past Friday night...

First, most of the people there that night probably didn't notice (even a couple of the musicians didn't seem to notice I was struggling, which is a good sign I guess) but I was really struggling. My timing felt off, I was having a little issue with some vocals, I was not "hearing" it while playing some songs that Jimmy Skiles was singing... It was really an off night.

At first I attributed it to being tired as well as being out of my normal groove. I even wondered if it was because my uncle was there, but that wasn't it. I don't get nervous any more and it was a JOY to see Uncle Ronald, so if anything I feel like that would have made it better.

But - having said all that - I've come to the conclusion that the reason I was "off" is because I wasn't feeling it... We usually start with Jimmy Skiles singing a two-step number, then I'll follow with Swingin' Doors. Since I want to continue to expand, I had chosen a new song to do for "number 2" - Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound. It was the first time I'd performed it with the band and it just didn't feel right... So, since I wasn't "feeling it" it didn't come out good enough (to me, it didn't - no one else seemed to notice).

I tried a couple of other songs during the night that I'd been wanting to try and they also didn't sound good to me. I could blame it on the fact that the band hasn't been able to "practice" so if a key is wrong or a beat is wrong you're just kinda stuck with it for that time, then it's a full week before you try it again. I don't work that way - I like to hone my craft. :-)

Anyway, to finish this thought, there were two songs that I felt like pulled me back on track - Bartenders Blues was NOT the best I've ever done it, but it flowed. The one that I feel like I could really look back on and feel good about was The Grand Tour. And the reason? I FELT it... As I've said before, I pour everything into my performances, but I felt like I wasn't able to connect with the songs or the music until that song.

Whew - okay - got that out of my system. :-)

While I have your attention, a quick note (for my own records) that this past week was a time I noticed I've started expanding my guitar picking in a particular way... A few weeks ago on Dueling Banjos I added a couple of notes (16th notes?) to a particular lick in the song. Well I started playing around with Down Yonder and Red Wing and adding some extra 8th & 16th notes to them.

Not a big deal to someone that picks guitar for a living, but I felt like it was a big step for me and helped to reinforce with myself that though I consider myself an "accomplished" player that I still have the ability to learn and raise that ceiling. It also helps to think back on that fact and know that Friday night was a fluke... :-)

Have a great day everyone!

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