For enthusiasts of early banjo
Well, here goes... my first attempt playing in a public setting... at the Dunker Church at AEBG .. the audience was very kind! ;o}
Thanks to Jared Denhard for getting me up there...
thanks.. You're very kind... ! Not only was the banjo feeling like a limp noodle, so were my fingers ..;o}
But glad I got that 'first time' over with! Thanks, Vida ! ( Paul Drapers wife ) for shooting that momentous occasion. lol
The banjo malfunction almost seemed like a test but you didn't flinch and passed with flying colors.
Maybe a future presentation could address stage fright. Quite a few of us (definitely me, included) would be interested. BTW, how's your dog?
Thanks, Al. Overcoming stage fright would be a good discussion. Maybe we could start that here.
I think Greg may have some pointers, for one.
And thanks, Nicky seems to have settled into the new Rx regimen. He's sleeping through the night, well, mostly, but that's what doggie doors are for. It's just a waiting game, no telling how long he may go... or not. Looking forward to browsing through your book over the next couple of rainy days! thanks again..
Al, I've had the same thought RE: a presentation about "stage craft" in general; I'm comfortable enough playing in front of people and due to the historical nature of this music I've had a couple of gigs fall into my lap just because there aren't many people playing it, and I think that with a little bit of gumption there are lots of potential historical society type gigs out there for the taking. But, I haven't done enough public performing to feel really at ease in the spotlight or develop any kind of audience rapport, so it's a bit of a vicious cycle; I don't perform because I feel like I haven't performed enough.I've been meaning to crash some local open mics for this exact reason; put together a 15 minute set and get used to addressing an audience, but I never seem to get around to that either. I have no idea what kind of reception early banjo might get, but it's probably novel enough that a person could get away with it!
Great topic for discussion. I've been playing in front of people for over 30 years. There are a number of other people on the site like Greg and Tim that have a world of performance experience. There are a couple of things that you have to accept if you are going to play in front of people.
1. You are going to make mistakes.
2. You will play to your level of competence. This means practice! If you don't practice you can't expect to play well. If you can't nail it in practice you likely won't nail it on the stage.
3. Listen to recordings of yourself. Nobody else has to hear them. But recording yourself and listening is one of the great modern tools to improving your performing. If you can't perform for yourself, how will you perform for others?
4. With banjo, one thing that I have really learned from Greg is to focus on the beat of the music. Use a metronome. Find the pocket for a song and sit inside that pocket. Pay attention to maintaining a steady tempo. One thing I have noticed about playing at the gatherings is that we as banjoists like to play faster than we should, and tend to speed up.
5. Generally, the audience is on your side. They want you to play well.
6. Don't get distracted. I've train wrecked because I was focusing on things other than what I am playing. Stay focused on where you are in the music.
By the way, I really admired the way you kept going when the other banjo malfunction occurred. That is great focus!
I was honored to be part of it , malfunction and all!
What a great weekend and thoughtful, talented, sincere and interesting people!
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