To this point, the journey has been one of relatively private exploration. I can take as long as I want, apply all manner of studio trickery, layer infinitely to build something that I feel is halfway presentable.
This past Sunday, I took a detour. The T-Rox Music Academy (where I started taking guitar lessons a little over 6 months ago) hosts a monthly jam / open-mic for its students. Something came over me and I decided that the time was now to pop my solo performance cherry.
Now I've played bass before publically but that's always with a bunch of other people and invariably somebody else is the centre of attention. This was very very different.
What to play? For that I decided that I could possibly pull off the main picked melody of my track D Is For... I arrived very nervous with gig bag over shoulder. The instructors are playing Bille Jean and generally kicking ass. Oh this is a mistake. But Nick's seen me. He comes over with the clipboard and asks what I'm playing and if I'm ready to go on... Yikes! No I'm not ready. I haven't even decided fully to play! Quick give me a beer. Pretty soon, I'm almost tuned and ready to go. Stall some more. Let somebody else play. They were young but very awesome. Ugh. I'm totally in the wrong place. I'm gonna kill the vibe with my ballad-y crap. Dude, you're up!
Applause, plug in. Awkwardly acknowledge the audience and start. Of course, I had cut the fingernails on my right hand to play a bass part on another track I was working on... my hands are clammy. Finger picking with no finger nails and clammy hands is not good. Focus, keep playing. My left hand is shaking. Breath. The tune is in the form A B A B A C and each section can repeat pretty much indefinitely. This is good because my brain can't count right now. Ok should I start the ending? Yeah, now. Ouch, wrong first note. Rush through the rest; miss the opportunity to save it by playing it right on the repeat, hit the final note too hard and stop. Fuck. Applause. And I'm done. I have another beer and magically my hands are dry and everything is normal again. WTF just happened?
As I'm sitting there, Nick, perhaps seeing my post-coital grin, asks me if I want to go again. Boy do I. But I have nothing ready... and now I wait until next month.
Music for Merce: A Two-Night Celebration
5 days ago