Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Music and Musicians on Monday: Stogie the Bass Player Strikes Again

I didn't blog yesterday because I was getting ready to practice with a band in San Jose.  They do a mixed bag of songs, including classic rock, pop and standards.  They have a guitar player, a drummer, a female singer who is quite good, and another musician who plays keyboard and also flute.  They are looking for a bass player and that was my role.  For this band I played my Fender bass guitar rather than my upright bass.

I didn't feel much like practicing but once the music got going, so did I.  The band seemed to like me and said so.  They wanted to play Peggy Lee's "Fever," and asked me to play the bass intro, which I know, so I started in and after the second run-through the band and singer seamlessly joined in.  It was quite cool. (See video of Peggy Lee embedded on the right - note the bass intro.)  We went on to practice for about five hours.

They gave me a handful of sheet music and a CD of their songs and told me to come back next Sunday, their regular practice day.  The guitar player told me about chordie.com, where you can print out lyrics and chords for all kinds of songs that musicians post there.   It's like an online fake book.  I depend a lot on my ear and my ear has become razor sharp at discerning keys and chords, but there is nothing like have the music right in front of you.  Duh!  So I will now begin collecting sheet music and fake books (musician books of many songs with lyrics and chords).  That is clearly the fastest way to get ready to play.

I learned something from this practice, and that was to gather sheet music or sheets with lyrics and chords, as it will quickly add more songs to my repertoire.  I have a lot of Jamey Aebersold books of song chords, but the music doesn't contain the lyrics, and that makes the chord changes difficult to follow.  Without the lyrics, it is easy to get lost.  Now I know why my progress has been slow following the sheet music chords.

Funny, when you push on doors they sometimes open to the answers you seek.

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