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#443725 - 01/01/18 11:34 PM just some ramblings
Mark79100 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: USA
I forgot to eat before Saturdays gig and paid the price. My voice was “thin” and I couldn’t control my voice as well and my range actually changed. No one in the audience noticed, but it ticks me off that I have to molly-coddle my voice…that it’s not consistent.

Anyhow, I went from the ENT doctor to see a voice pathologist last week. And I’m still no smarter about how when and what I eat affects my voice. She gave me a lot of gobbly-gook about everything but THAT. I’m going to call her this week and ask her directly what goes on in my system that causes this.

This morning I got a late Xmas present. The place I’ve been playing for years has two different A.D’s in two different units. I usually play the piano in the morning in one unit, then have lunch, and play the accordion in the afternoon in the other unit. Today, New Years Day, AD #1 asked me to play the accordion in the afternoon like I usually do. AD #2 is out on maternity leave and while #1 advertised the morning booking for me to play the piano she forgot to tell me.

So the word was she said everybody was sitting there for an hour waiting for me to come and play the piano for them and they were terribly disappointed when I didn’t show. I feel bad about that but the AD said to make it up and come in next week.

The Xmas present to me? That was it. I was on a cloud all day from that, knowing that you’re bringing such pleasure into people’s lives. I’ve been playing there almost 20 years and always get a lot of compliments but I never thought they liked it so much they would wait an hour for me. I don’t care how many years you’ve been entertaining, you still need recognition to feel important and to ascertain you’re still “on course.”

One of the members asked what I do with the accordion. I play and sing. By coincidence, here’s a recent photo someone took of me playing and singing. The piano is right behind me. Sometimes I’ll just do 30 minutes on the piano and then pick up the accordion and finish with that. See attached photo.

Music trivia……..they love it. I read about songs almost every night now on the Net. How a lot of these songs came to be written is fascinating. And when I relay it to the audience, they find it fascinating too. and enjoy the performance so much more

Example:

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME

“The story they tell is about a female baseball fan who insists on having her boyfriend take to her a ball game on their weekend date. Jack Nor worth (an experienced lyricist), while riding a subway train, was inspired by a sign that said "Baseball Today – Polo Grounds". Norworth wrote the lyrics for the song while riding on a subway train in New York. Von Tilzer wrote the music. (Norworth took his lyrics to Tin Pan Alley music publisher and songwriter Albert Von Tilzer. Von Tilzer set the lyrics to a waltz tune he’d been writing and on May 2, 1908, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was copyrighted by Von Tilzer’s York Music Company. In the song, Katie's beau calls to ask her out to see a show. She accepts the date, but only if her date will take her out to the baseball game. The words were set to music by Albert Von Tilzer. (Norworth and Von Tilzer finally saw their first Major League Baseball games 32 and 20 years later, …..has been selected as one of the top songs of the century and is also part of the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.”


I already mentioned I transitioned subconsciously from a musician to an entertainer (big deal, I’m somewhat king of the nursing homes now). Someone said to me about a month ago that I have talents I didn’t know I had. I used that comment to step up to another level. I noticed that audiences seem to wake up when you move around on stage. So I practiced some dance snippets (remember I can’t dance). But anybody could do this: starting with doing the Charleston, I leaned how to do the various dances through the years, waltz, swing, the Stroll, the Alley Cat, the Macarena and Electric Slide, right up to the Disco years and Saturday Night Fever. I copied some of Travolta’s moves and I can do 3-4 seconds of each of them, just short enough so no one can notice I’m a poor imitation of him.

But, the overview is…….even though I’ve changed my whole routine and I’m enjoying it as much as the audience is, I’m still “burned out” of the hustle and bustle, and the red tape, and the immature and psychotic AD’s, and the incredible demands on musicians nowadays. I don’t see me getting “un-burned out” anywhere soon.

And finally I played this place that has the most magnificent Yamaha Grand piano in the auditorium. My fingers just glided over the keys. Didn’t make a single mistake for the whole 2 hours like I do at home. I was thinking while I was playing…..there’s the answer to which electronic keyboard is the best. The “best” is the one that YOU are comfortable on. That everything falls into place starting with the keys and keybed. followed by whatever else makes a keyboard easy to play for YOU. Playing that Yamaha was a perfect fit in my hands.....ease of use, keyboard feel, resonance, quality of sound, etc. Amazing how much better you play when you're on the keyboard that fits YOU, and not the one that fits everyone else.

And that ends my ramblings!


Attachments
10-19-17 performance.jpg



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#443759 - 01/02/18 07:24 AM Re: just some ramblings [Re: Mark79100]
Bill Lewis Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 1586
Loc: Bluffton/Hilton Head SC USA
Mark. Good thoughts. I can never eat a lot before I play. It does effect your breathing and voice. You just have to find out what works for you. Eating light will give you energy and let you sing properly.

Glad the gig is going well, nice to be appreciated. I did a fill in again at Sea Pines CC on their Yamaha Baby Grand. It needs a voicing as the hammers are rock hard and it so loud you can't put the lid up. It's also in a dolly so I have to sit on my briefcase to get high enough and it's,on a hard floor so it moves as you play. I'm really not complaining as it's so nice to just walk in play a,decent piano and get lots,of compliments. Wish I could break into the rotation there and do more,of it. I'd love to set up my Roland FP90 and add some vocals. I know the members would love it. So glad to hear you've made a positive connection to the residents there, Thats very rewarding.



I'm also the same as putting up with the business nonsense but it's always been that way and isn't going to change. Bands and Solos are still getting paid the same as 20 years ago and the competition is worse. Enjoy what you can and don't let the rest bother you.

Happy NY


Edited by Bill Lewis (01/02/18 08:06 AM)
_________________________
Bill in SC --- Roland BK9 (2) Roland PK5 Pedals, Roland FP90, Roland CM30s, JBL Eon Ones (2) , EV mics, Apple iPad (2) Behringer DJ mixer

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#443765 - 01/02/18 07:52 AM Re: just some ramblings [Re: Bill Lewis]
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 12099
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Bill ... No locks on the wheels?
_________________________
t. cool

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#443766 - 01/02/18 08:11 AM Re: just some ramblings [Re: Mark79100]
Bill Lewis Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 1586
Loc: Bluffton/Hilton Head SC USA
Tony

I don't think so but I really didn't think about that. Hopefully I'll get another job there and will look. I have to laugh as every 20 minutes,or so I have to realign the piano to me. I can tell when it's moved too much as I start missing bass,notes I reach for without looking.
One time I played they had the piano across the room on a,rug. Big difference in sound and it didn't move. I have so much fun doing those gigs I go 2.5 hours without taking a break.
_________________________
Bill in SC --- Roland BK9 (2) Roland PK5 Pedals, Roland FP90, Roland CM30s, JBL Eon Ones (2) , EV mics, Apple iPad (2) Behringer DJ mixer

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#443769 - 01/02/18 08:24 AM Re: just some ramblings [Re: Bill Lewis]
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 12099
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Originally Posted By Bill
I have so much fun doing those gigs I go 2.5 hours without taking a break.


I often wonder if we all fully appreciate the gift we have been given as musicians ... How many 'jobs' are there where one can entertain others and him/herself at the same time? ... There are not many things in life I enjoy more than performing ...
_________________________
t. cool

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#443770 - 01/02/18 08:59 AM Re: just some ramblings [Re: Mark79100]
hammer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2143
Loc: Texas
Just have to tell this story. New Years Eve I played a daytime gig for 2 hours at a very upscale Independent living place. A lady sitting about 6 feet from me was noticeably really enjoying the music. She got up and stood behind me to watch me play. I began to notice here softly singing the songs as I played. Every so often she would place a hand on my shoulder and ask if she was bothering me. I told her no and went on. She stayed there for about 40 minutes - softly singing and humming as I played. Twice other residents came up and asked her to join them at their table because she was alone at her table - but she refused. I noticed once she seemed to be crying but kept on playing. After I stopped playing she again placed her hand on my shoulder and thanked me for the music and memories. As I was leaving a man stopped me and told me her husband of over 50 years passed away just 5 days ago! Wow! We never will totally understand what we bring to these people besides the music.

Deane

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#443773 - 01/02/18 09:21 AM Re: just some ramblings [Re: hammer]
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 14797
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
Originally Posted By hammer
Just have to tell this story. New Years Eve I played a daytime gig for 2 hours at a very upscale Independent living place. A lady sitting about 6 feet from me was noticeably really enjoying the music. She got up and stood behind me to watch me play. I began to notice here softly singing the songs as I played. Every so often she would place a hand on my shoulder and ask if she was bothering me. I told her no and went on. She stayed there for about 40 minutes - softly singing and humming as I played. Twice other residents came up and asked her to join them at their table because she was alone at her table - but she refused. I noticed once she seemed to be crying but kept on playing. After I stopped playing she again placed her hand on my shoulder and thanked me for the music and memories. As I was leaving a man stopped me and told me her husband of over 50 years passed away just 5 days ago! Wow! We never will totally understand what we bring to these people besides the music.

Deane


That's what I miss about playing nursing homes. I wish the market were different here. Keep up the good work Deane!
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DonM

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