In this blog i am going to review the good and bad points of this years show. The show was a mixture of original songs from the first years class and jazz standards played by the second years class. The gig was played 3 times, twice in the theatre in college and once at the Swan in Stourport. Overall i thought the gig in the theatre on the night was the best gig and i thought the worse one was the gig at the Swan.
I think one problem for the gig was some other the songs weren’t as rehearsed as much as other songs. This made some of the songs sound not as tight as the other songs. But another problem during soundcheck for our gig was one bass player didn’t turn up for the sound check. This meant that all the first year songs that he was on wouldn’t be able to be soundchecked. The problem was we had no information on where he was or if he would actually turn up. So The whole class had to sort it out and get me and harry playing bass for all the songs he was supposed to be on. I found this difficult because my only rehearsal for the 4 extra songs i had to play, was the soundcheck. The matinée gig was the second time i played through the songs. But i found that because i didn’t know the songs well and i needed to play them for both gigs that day, that i listened to the songs more carefully to try and remember my bass parts. This is because i was put under pressure to fill in for these songs. Overall i thought i played the songs well for only one rehearsal. But we managed to play the whole gig well both times that day. Other than the songs me and Harry had to learn on the day, the songs i rehearsed up were played well on the gigs too! We all got positive feedback on the gigs from the audience and our lecturers.
Another good point about the gigs that day was we solved the problems quickly and sorted out a line up and amp placement too. This was sorted quite early into the day. Most people arrived on time and we got through the soundchecks without any hassle. I think the only problems was trying to sort out the keyboards and the ipad set up into the monitors. But on the gig we had problems with the sound from the ipad. Luckily this problem was fixed for the gig on the night.
One thing i thought need to be improved was the last song which was entirely improvised. This is because non of the band were that confident making up music that sounds good on the spot. This is something we all need to improve on if we want to make an entirely improvised set. But we tried to create structure and signals during rehearsals but we never knew how to end that song. On the gig at the swan i thought the improvisation song at the end went on for too long.
I thought the Swan gig didn’t go as well. I think this because the audience weren’t paying attention because we didn’t draw them in enough. The songs i played were more sloppy due to not rehearsing them since the gig the week before plus nerves of playing in front of random people. This created mistakes and sloppiness during the songs. To improve on this i think we should have rehearsed up the songs during the week.
The group opinion of the show was we all felt that each eat track was tight and well rehearsed. The whole show didn’t have any major mistakes that were noticeable. This was because the second years felt that we rehearsed our songs enough to be show ready. The group also felt that the changeovers were a lot better than previous shows that have been done. This is because people got off and on stage quickly and there was no problem playing the next song straight after. Another good point was the actual sound for the whole show. Everyone was happy with the sound because the sound team did a great job. There was no problem with not being able to be heard or any problem with the monitors. Its important to hear yourself and the rest of the band through the monitors because sometimes you cant, and its a lot harder to play.
Communication skills on stage could have been a lot better in most peoples view in the group. Although it was average we didn’t seem to communicate much during the show. This effects stage presence and could have made the show seem motionless. Another bad point mentioned was individual instruments sound not always great. Some instruments sounded weak or the tone wasn’t right for the show. To improve on this we as a group could work on the instruments tones and sounds which we would use for the show. The group also felt that although we made the songs tight and well rehearsed. We thought that the rehearsal process was rushed and crammed into about 2 weeks. It would have taken a lot of pressure off everyone if we had more rehearsals or preparation for the show. But we did the best with what time we had.
The lecturers opinion was that the whole show was ‘played to a very high standard and played to a better standard than A HND level of playing’ (Andy Edwards and Steve Lawson). The lecturers have also felt that musicians had developed both in their sound and stylistically. But also felt that there was still a lack of performance which the group all agreed with. Another good point they mentioned was how good the sound was for the show and the sound techs did a great job on this show.
The audiences opinion was they thought it was really good! Certain members stood out this may be because of the number of songs they were on or the way they performed and displays of virtuosity. They liked the technicality of the players especially some of the guitars and song writing. But some of the audience didn’t like the improvisation song because it was completely unstructured and could sound very messy to an audiences perspective.
Individual instrumental sound for my bass
The bass was only Di’ed but would have benefitted in sound if it was mic’ed up as well. Plus the bass amp is not great and the sound would have benefitted more with a better amp. It would have been better if everyone used their own amps instead of the colleges because we have better sounding amps. Another problem was that there was a mixture of passive and active basses playing on the show on the same amp. So the sound coming out the amp with be different with different types of bass. For example active basses tend to be louder than passive so, on the show when a passive bass was used the volume on the desk might have had to be raised. For the show my bass had relatively new string, which gives off a brighter and better sound. If my strings were old then my bass sound would have sounded more dull which is what you don’t want for a show. For the show i used two different basses and i worked on my sound for each song. For example for Josh’s song which was one of the more heavier songs, i used my five string. But i worked on getting a bassier more muffled tone compared to other tones i used for the other songs in the show. On the gig i think my bass sound was good and because i worked on my own sounds for each song it sounded a lot better than just using one bass and not change the tone throughout the show.
Groove and feel for the tracks
nerves makes you feel that your groove is worse than when your relaxed. it comes from your hyperawareness for trying to play the right things while the audience are watching. On the show i didn’t feel totally relaxed and i was quite nervous about messing up and everything. I think one of the only ways of improving on this would be to play more live performances. By doing this i would get used to playing in front of an audience more and it’ll make me more relaxed and less nervous. Not being relaxed effects your feel and sound. But if you have good feel and sound, the audience are going to like you and your playing. This is a really important thing to have as a musician.