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 small milestone 
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Post small milestone
Hey all,

I am a drummer, and attempting to be a Stickiest as well! I've been playing drums with my current band for about 1 1/2 years now. They know I play the Chapman Stick, but I never did it with them.

We did a private outdoor small party this past Saturday, and we played 'The Weight'. Well, the bass player doesn't like the song, I do. Knowing that he likes to play drums, I threw down the gauntlet and challenged him to play drums, and i would do the bass on my Stick. He accepted, we practiced a few times and we did it ...gasp!... in front of people!

It went really well! That was the first time I have played anything on the Chapman Stick in public. Only the bass side (I felt like Tony Levin!) but I have never played for anyone other than a few close family members.

This Saturday we are doing another private party for about 150 people and we are doing 'The Weight' again. I also volunteered to do a few songs when the band takes a break.... if I can get by the willies lol!

I am actually looking forward to trying out 3-4 songs and see if I can get through them without large clams! I figure this is like my first open mic, and I have to try it. I've been drumming for 50 years (I am 66), only started the stick in Feb 2015, so a real noob. I don't get nervous at all on the drums. I'm hoping I can transition from drums, to "The Weight", to playing solo, without passing out lol!

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:45 am
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Post Re: small milestone
Hey that's a great milestone :D

(wonder how Mr. Levin is on drums...)

I hope you knock em dead on Saturday! Post the outcome 8-) and best of luck with the gig.

:) Cheers :)
Harry

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:30 am
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Post Re: small milestone
I can relate to the nerves. Most important is you are getting out and going for it. I've been booked for an outside venue during a jazz festival. I have to do an hour and I'm nervous as hell about playing stick live. I've done a solo a few times but not an hour long set. But I'm going for it. Life's about taking chances and making mistakes so that's what we are doing. Let us know how it goes

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:34 am
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Post Re: small milestone
Rand, this is so great to hear. I think that having a few songs you can play on your own is great as well. Is there anyone that can sing on songs that you are performing? That can alleviate some of the pressure.

Don't try to do too much on your first outing. Have a friend announce that you'll be playing 2 songs, and then ask if people want to hear a third. That response should be enough of a signal on how well you're doing. I'm certain it will be a resounding yes!

The idea here is not to linger. Play your 2 best tunes and be ready for a third. This is just the beginning brougham, you don't have to be nervous - enjoy sharing your music, you're going to crush it.

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:45 am
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Post Re: small milestone
Yep, you're prepared; you are going to rock the joint! Awesome, man!

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:00 pm
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Post Re: small milestone
Why so much fear of public performance? I hear it again and again. Roosevelt said, "There's nothing to fear but fear itself." I like to do a little twist on that, "Nothing to fear but the fear of fear itself." Afraid to be afraid? To look over your shoulder on a dark city street?

Don't be afraid of the dog. He'll only bite you if he smells fear. (Caught in the double bind.) Don't worry about the bee or he really will sting.

On stage, you're at the mercy of those little digits with the fine, small muscles, half mental half physical. How to control them with some verve, cold in that first moment of song? (First impressions do count!)

You need an extra mental/physical mode, a forgiving technique to get started, to warm up. It's in the larger muscles, the broader gestures, like a drummer (no problem) or like Greg's physical teachings of arm and hand movement.

Air Stick experiment: Pretend your fingers are so cold they can barely move, or else so nervous you don't dare move them. Then play your lines and scales anyway by sheer force of arm, wrist and hand movement. "Up-hand / down-hand" rhythms come into play, as on keys, and confidence grows. You can do it anyway.

Then again you might say, "Don't I have enough to worry about?

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:05 pm
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Post Re: small milestone
Wise words Mr. Chapman.
Rand. I know you will be fine. Just remember the fun part of our lessons and enjoy the performance with that same enjoy the moment attitude
All good
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Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:39 pm
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Post Re: small milestone
BSharp wrote:
Why so much fear of public performance? I hear it again and again. Roosevelt said, "There's nothing to fear but fear itself." I like to do a little twist on that, "Nothing to fear but the fear of fear itself." Afraid to be afraid? To look over your shoulder on a dark city street?

Don't be afraid of the dog. He'll only bite you if he smells fear. (Caught in the double bind.) Don't worry about the bee or he really will sting.

On stage, you're at the mercy of those little digits with the fine, small muscles, half mental half physical. How to control them with some verve, cold in that first moment of song? (First impressions do count!)

You need an extra mental/physical mode, a forgiving technique to get started, to warm up. It's in the larger muscles, the broader gestures, like a drummer (no problem) or like Greg's physical teachings of arm and hand movement.

Air Stick experiment: Pretend your fingers are so cold they can barely move, or else so nervous you don't dare move them. Then play your lines and scales anyway by sheer force of arm, wrist and hand movement. "Up-hand / down-hand" rhythms come into play, as on keys, and confidence grows. You can do it anyway.

Then again you might say, "Don't I have enough to worry about?

Invaluable advise right there, from the man himself!
Sometimes when, for some reason, the stress goes up I just start with some noodling... something that doesn't imply hitting the wrong note or making a mistake on a previous arranged song.
But it takes courage to expose yourself to something that might not go right. I salute you on that.
Funny story: I met a musician a few days ago, good musician, doing a terrible job on a gig. By the end of it the other band members were really pissed and asked him: "How could you do that? Play without working on the tunes at home?" He just replied: "I started but then I realized I prefered to embarace myself for an hour instead of loosing days of my life learning to play those songs!" Of course it's not your case but the point is: nothing's really that serious, whatever happens, life goes on after it. On the words of Charles Mingus: "It's Just music." Not a matter of life and death. Just remember to remember to remember to have some fun while you're at it ;) Cheers, you can definitely do this!


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Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:47 pm
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Post Re: small milestone
Nice! Keep up the good work!

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:53 pm
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Post Re: small milestone
Just went thru a "what could go wrong will go wrong", but the thing is, I was nervous to go in the studio ON STICK, and ten minutes in my string farts out and I can't play the Stick AT ALL, and then rework the parts for bass...pressure is amazing, I went totally into survival mode, balls to the wall, not thinking, get the job done...and nailed it. (the guitarist still wants me coming back to record Stick) Break a Leg! Oh, and I'm 59 and never giving up playing music for myself, for others, with others, in the studio, out of studio, live, until dead.

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"The present day composer refuses to die" -Edgard Varese


Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:58 pm
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