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Performing Question #2561209
08/05/16 11:15 AM
08/05/16 11:15 AM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 4
M
Mandy G Offline OP
Junior Member
Mandy G  Offline OP
Junior Member
M

Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 4
Hello! I'm new to this forum, but have a few performing questions and don't know who to ask. I do my own arrangements of rock, folk, and some pop songs, and I'm looking to branch out and perform when I can. I have a part-time job playing piano for a church, but this has been my only performing experience. Currently, I have about a 30-45 minute repertoire of my arrangements that I think would work for a performance (my more advanced arrangements that people will recognize and I hope enjoy) that I can play through well, but still need the sheets (on my tablet)....I want to go out and play at open mics, but is memorization an indication that a pianist is ready? I have a tough time with memorization. I feel like a very non-traditional pianist that doesn't "fit in" with other players. I mark courtesy accidentals, I don't know any classical songs other than Fur Elise, and I can't memorize to save my life! But, when I play my cover songs for postludes at the church, I've had many compliments, and I enjoy to arrange and play. But I am my own worst critic. I'm always trying to better myself, and I am always trying to improve and learn. A few months ago, after much debate (with myself haha), I decided to put in a request to play my covers at a small fair by my home, as a fundraiser for research for a lung disease my 3 yr. old son has (raising some money with tips, and gaining experience), and last week I received an email that they want me to play in 3 weeks for the fair. Now, I'm second-guessing myself, and I'm not sure if I can get through the nerves. Is there also any tips you have for nerves...Sorry this is so long, but I appreciate any help anyone can give. Thank you.

Last edited by Mandy G; 08/05/16 12:22 PM.
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Re: Performing Question [Re: Mandy G] #2561227
08/05/16 12:30 PM
08/05/16 12:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 36
The Land of Enchantment
Jack Elliott Offline
Full Member
Jack Elliott  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 36
The Land of Enchantment
Dont look anyone in the eye..If you want to look at the crowd,pick a spot just above them all. Smile, don't rush, and have a great time! Are you singing too? Maybe get a looper to record, get immediate feedback, and improve.

I'm not so good at memorization, but the songs I love to play do come that way and they sound better for it. Just keep playing and they will sink in. Remember to have fun!

Oh, and welcome to the forum!

Last edited by Jack Elliott; 08/05/16 12:31 PM.

"Without music, life would be a mistake".
Friedrich Nietzsche



Re: Performing Question [Re: Mandy G] #2561236
08/05/16 01:10 PM
08/05/16 01:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 4
M
Mandy G Offline OP
Junior Member
Mandy G  Offline OP
Junior Member
M

Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 4
Thank you so much for your tips and warm welcome smile

Re: Performing Question [Re: Mandy G] #2561237
08/05/16 01:16 PM
08/05/16 01:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,044
not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline
4000 Post Club Member
ShiroKuro  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,044
not in Japan anymore
Welcome to PW! smile

So you want to perform while using the score? Then do just that! No problem whatsoever!! Unless you're playing classical music and trying to fit into some "concert pianist" (imaginary) ideal, it doesn't matter whether you memorize or not. Definitely don't let that stop you from pursuing opportunities to play and perform in public.

Did you say you'll use a tablet rather than actual paper scores? If so, people will probably hardly notice. Do you use a foot pedal for page turns?

Don't second guess yourself, just get out there and do it. If you're enjoying the music you make, that will be communicated to the listeners, sheet music or not.

Good luck!!


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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[Linked Image]
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Re: Performing Question [Re: Mandy G] #2561240
08/05/16 01:22 PM
08/05/16 01:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 3,085
uk south
D
dire tonic Offline
3000 Post Club Member
dire tonic  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 3,085
uk south
Don't worry, your own self-critical level will be hundreds of times greater than that of your audience. Most won't even spot mistakes or performance shortcomings that might seem glaring to you. I remember a restaurant band with an accordionist who was having such difficulty playing a particular section he made several failed attempts totally tripping up the rest of the band in the process. The room applauded enthusiastically at the end of the song.
Good luck, you'll be fine!

Re: Performing Question [Re: ShiroKuro] #2561346
08/05/16 09:51 PM
08/05/16 09:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 4
M
Mandy G Offline OP
Junior Member
Mandy G  Offline OP
Junior Member
M

Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 4
Thank you! You are all a big help to me! I'm now not dreading the performance, and am looking forward to it smile. I appreciate your help very much. I also had no idea about turning pages on a tablet with a foot pedal, and I will definitely be looking into that! Thanks again, Mandy

Re: Performing Question [Re: Mandy G] #2561643
08/07/16 03:55 PM
08/07/16 03:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,044
not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline
4000 Post Club Member
ShiroKuro  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,044
not in Japan anymore
Mandy, there are a couple different kinds of foot pedals, the one I'm considering is called Air-Turn, it's a little bit expensive (I think the cheapest one is $60, which is why I haven't purchased one yet). But there are other brands as well, so worth comparing around.

I use the forScore app to display my sheet music on my iPad, and then the Air-Turn works with forScore, using the iPad's bluetooth to turn the pages.

Also, be sure to give us an update after you play and let us know how it goes! smile


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Performing Question [Re: ShiroKuro] #2561790
08/08/16 10:56 AM
08/08/16 10:56 AM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 4
M
Mandy G Offline OP
Junior Member
Mandy G  Offline OP
Junior Member
M

Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 4
Hello! Thank you for the foot pedal information, I will definitely look into getting one smile. Thanks for your help, and I will let you know how it goes!

Re: Performing Question [Re: Mandy G] #2561854
08/08/16 02:28 PM
08/08/16 02:28 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 508
Midwest USA
F
Farmerjones Offline
500 Post Club Member
Farmerjones  Offline
500 Post Club Member
F

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 508
Midwest USA
If you have to supply anything. A mike & stand. Your own stage piano. Your own amp or PA. Practice setting these up too. Work out where you like a mike. What side, etc. Figure out how to pack it up with the least amount of trips. Figure out what to take for backup, like cables, or an extra mike. You may even time how long it takes to set stuff up, so you know how early to get to the venue. What about water? What about a fan if it's hot? What about an awning or canopy if it's outdoors? What about power? That's a big deal. I have extension cords and power splitters dedicated just for gigs. The more one considers ahead of time, gives you more time to tackle those little problems that pop up. Obviously, it's best to keep things as simple as one can.

Just like the music. Simple stuff you'll know solid. There's nothing wrong with packing around cheat sheets. The more gigs you do, the more solid you'll become. Know your stuff solid enough to be able to look up and not loose your place. Rehearse. Meaning, solidifying and perfect. Not taking on new things. Draw the line at the 50 minute set and polish it. Only work on a second set if you have the first set disgustingly solid. Workout what order you may play your tunes. You may not stay with the order. Be able to (rehearse) changing your order around, depending upon the audiences mood.

Lastly, everybody is pulling for you. Nobody is so crazy they come to watch wrecks. Everybody wants to enjoy themselves. You are probably the only one in the room that plays. You're the only one that can hear your clams. Relax and don't take yourself too seriously, and clams seems to disappear. Very Best of Luck


Rhythm & Chords, it's what I do.
Re: Performing Question [Re: Mandy G] #2567044
08/29/16 11:07 AM
08/29/16 11:07 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 287
Kent, UK
Simon_b Offline
Full Member
Simon_b  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 287
Kent, UK
Hi Mandy

Good advice from everybody here.
It's natural to be nervous, and horrible as well! But you'll be fine. Use whatever you need for the gig. If you're confident everything is memorised and won't get forgotten under pressure then playing from memory is great. If not take music, fake books, chord charts, keys etc as required.

I used to play in a blues band, and would have a crib sheet for every tune we played. In some cases it was just the key it was in, in other cases a chord chart, or for more complicated arrangements; even some actual written out music notation.

At one gig I did I played solo Piano on my own for the first half of the gig and then for the second half played with a bass player and a Vibes player as a Jazz trio. At one point during the trio set, a guy came up and asked if we could play something, and whilst doing so looked at my lead sheet and chords, that I was playing from and said "oh I thought you were reading the solos off the page". Then he told me that half the room were University music graduates. Well if I had known that before I started I doubt I would have even gone in the room. As a) I'm not a proper Jazz pianist, and b) am no better as a solo player...

But nobody said anything nasty at all. And they won't for you either.

Be nervous, but enjoy yourself!

Cheers


Simon
Yamaha CLP535
Casio CTK-7200
Hammond XB1

Play what you enjoy listening to, listen to what you enjoy playing!





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