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Re: moving around, stage presence and rock and roll

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Posted by Zach on May 24, 2001 at 17:56:54:

In Reply to: moving around, stage presence and rock and roll posted by greg on May 24, 2001 at 06:55:29:

It's been a while since I've posted here, but this particular post caught my attention. It's not everyday I see a post about stage presence.

I'm in sorta the same situation. I'm in two different bands....a variety band, and a contemporary jazz/jam band. I can honestly say that I have a better time in the jazz band than the variety band. Here are a couple of reasons:

1. The jazz band doesn't dress up for the occassion. They don't wear uniforms, sunglasses, and try to look cool for a wedding, etc. In the variety band, which is noted around Albuquerque for being a "show band", we have to dress up and even act for the occassion, which doesn't sit well with me because I'm not an actor, I'm very shy, and all I want to do is play music. Besides that, I'm only the bass player. It's not like I'm gonna bust out a kick ass solo while playing "Earth Angel".

2. In the variety band, I have a chance to shine as a person, but in the jazz band, I have a chance to shine as a musician. The groove, the fun, and the all-around musicianship involved with the jazz/jam band is a difference of night and day from the variety band. Hell, the drummer in the variety band sometimes forgets how to start the song. There is a severe lack of talent, but for $225 a gig, I'll put up with it, even though I'd throw that away for $75 with a GOOD band.

3. We play SOME cool stuff in the variety band, but as a "show band", we are hired to play particular styles of music popular to New Mexico. Bad news there: they like Rancheras, Cumbias, Tejano, and other bullshit music that I wouldn't be playing if I weren't getting paid for it. In the jazz band, all the songs we do are fun, challenging, groovy, and tight, and it's music that we love as a group. A lot of it is original music that we have put our hearts and souls into.

4. Did I mention the members of the jazz band are MUSICIANS???? Yes...committed musicians. Not just a bunch of 20 year olds trying to make some extra cash to go out and buy more cymbals for their drums, even though they've already got a wall of them. I have a lot more fun jamming with guys that know what they're doing, rather than with people who pretend they do.

All the dancing around, all the needless yelling and screaming, all the "show" crap...that stuff will ALWAYS take a back seat to GROOVE. Groove first, show later. That's my motto. I've played rock & roll, and I can understand why it would be important to them to have you move around, but if it's distracting, don't do it. Focus on the music....if you feel the groove, then you might feel like dancing around a bit.

"You can't do the move if you ain't got the groove."


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