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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Sean Belt Performing -- The secret handshake (21) RE: Performing -- The secret handshake 06 Apr 01

De-lurking briefly...

I think the key is to include the audience in the good time that the performers are having.

Here's the reason: Way back when Hector was a pup, I played in a band that consisted of myself on guitar, a fellow alternating violin and oboe, and another playing saxophone. The music we played was completely improvised. We'd start out by stating the key we were to play in and play until an alarm clock went off signaling the end of the piece. Sound awful? Well, in retrospect, yeah it mostly was. Sometimes the music was beautiful. Sometimes it was dense and hard to listen to. And probably most of the time it just sucked. But this was the 'sixties and that sort of self-indulgence was common, if not accepted.

Now, we were having a blast, mind you. We really loved playing togehter and stretching musical muscles that we didn't usually get to use. But the audiences hated us and we were seldom asked back to any of the venues we played.

Flash forward to now. I play with a group of people who do small gigs together playing mostly old-time fiddle tunes. We have a terrific time, but we also make sure we project that good time to the audience and are as inclusive as possible. We play music that our audiences can connect with, we take requests when we can, and encourage people to dance if they want to. And people love it! I guess it all comes down to communicating musically with and audience instead of performing at them.

- Sean

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