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How Do You Know If You're Good Enough?


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If you are doing a paid gig, you have to make sure that the clients expectations are in line with what you do. If they want "folk", are they expecting Irish, Nautical tunes, Country? Their idea of folk might not be yours.

Jim is quite right regarding quantity of repertoire, if you are doing a half-hour spot, you really do need to be able to play for at least double that or you may run dry.

You may be better playing without dots as part of the fun is watching the punters reaction, which you need to be able to gauge so you can "milk" the situation at every opportunity.

As far as judging whether you are good enough, you will soon find out playing in public. You just have to believe in yourself and be as brazen as possible.

Edited by geoffwright
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You may be better playing without dots as part of the fun is watching the punters reaction, which you need to be able to gauge so you can "milk" the situation at every opportunity.

 

And also, if you are playing without dots, it's worth knocking together a notional set-list of what you intend to play. It doesn't matter how much you deviate from it, but one thing I often find if playing "cold" is that I'll forget that I know about half of my repertoire. It's all in there (points at head) but takes a little bit of coaxing out, and a list of song titles can come in very handy :)

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Wear something on the nicer end of what you would feel comfortable in as a customer there

 

I can't speak to performing, but as a frequent bookstore-concert goer, I don't really care what the performer wears as long as if suits the act. Doublet and hose are great for Shakespeare, but don't go all "costumey"for a folk show. I also am either amused or upset (depending on how I react to the message) when a performer playing folk music wears a shirt with a plitically conservitive message, or similar situations. Just my 2 cents....

 

 

Break a finger! (Leg doesn't seem appropriate to concertina)

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Rhomylly, I'm in about the same boat as you in terms of just starting to venture out in public. In my other performing life as a director, I almost always wear all-black, so as not to distract from the singers in my chorus who are wearing many colors. But in my duo, my long black dresses seem a bit too fancy and become distracting- to me, at least!

 

I've come up with a collection of plain shirts (I think they're called "ballet shirts") that I wear with black pants, and they seem to work- they're comfortable, attractive, but not likely to distract the audience. The real trick is to not clash with my partner- already a challenge, since her hair is prematurely white and mine has yet to go grey, so we're completely yin and yang as far as color go!

 

Thread creep- yesterday we were both with some of my students who tried to come up with a new name for our duo, based on our hair color. They had lots of ideas that could imply another type of duo- Ebony and Ivory, for instance.

One suggested "Oreo". Another thought of the color of holsteins and wanted to name us "Cows" (wouldn't we just love that one??). We finally came up with our "joke name" - Moo Two!

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Thread creep- yesterday we were both with some of my students who tried to come up with a new name for our duo, based on our hair color. They had lots of ideas that could imply another type of duo- Ebony and Ivory, for instance.

One suggested "Oreo". Another thought of the color of holsteins and wanted to name us "Cows" (wouldn't we just love that one??). We finally came up with our "joke name" - Moo Two!

MooSick! ;)

 

Let's see, now...

... "No Longer Danish"? Utterly obscure. Who would make the connection through the cows to the province of Holstein? :P

... There's always "Salt and Pepper". Which immediately suggests "Spice Girls"... but I guess that's taken. :(

... "Diamonds & Coal"

... "Not in Technicolor" Or "Shades of Grey". The second, at least, has already been used, but probably several times, so why not one more? :unsure:

... There are black and white pearls, and black and white corals, but again, I don't think many would spontaneously connect "Pearls" or "Coral" to black and white. On the other hand, they're nice names.

... "Integration" would have other connotations, but could be twisted into another concept, as "Integral"

 

In fact, I would suggest that the contrast in hair color, aside from being potentially evanescent, is something that would be overlooked by many audients, and that you should pick a name more suggestive of your personalities or your music, or even a name without any attempt at suggestion, but simply because you like it. (E.g., once when I wrote a tune for a friend, I asked her to name one of her favorite things, without telling her why. Thus, I have a jig named "Ripe Brie". :))

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Oh, a thread drift...goody!

 

Now I've seen Allison and her collaborator and heard them sing with Animaterra and I mean S-I-N-G! Unfortunately, I was late for their NEFFA appearance and arrived as folks were thanking them for what I understand was a wonderful set.

 

These ladies are tall and very elegant. The contrast between the raven and white hair is strikingly beautiful. Anything to do with Moo-cows or salt n' peppa' does not come to mind. ;)

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These ladies are tall and very elegant. The contrast between the raven and white hair is strikingly beautiful.

 

Why not play off that idea? How about something like "Raven and Snow"? Classier version of the same idea, and suits your description of them better.

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"Raven & Swan"?

 

I love it!

 

 

But if you do a European tour, avoid Flanders

 

I don't get it....

 

Jim may well confirm this for himself, but I would assume that is a reference to the (very English) duo of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann. they were well known for their comic songs, such as:

Mud, Mud, glorious mud (the hippopotamus song)

I'm a gnu

the omnibus song

 

Michael Flanders died some years ago and Donald Swann continued solo and with other performers.

 

 

- John Wild

edited to correct typing error

Edited by John Wild
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"Raven & Swan"?
I love it!
But if you do a European tour, avoid Flanders
I don't get it....

...I would assume that is a reference to the (very English) duo of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann.

Flanders & Swann. Definitely!

Thanks, John. I was waiting for somebody else to take note. :)

 

Have some Madeira. ;)

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Jim may well confirm this for himself, but I would assume that is a reference to the (very English) duo of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann. they were well known for their comic songs, such as:

 

Mud, Mud, glorious mud (the hippopotamus song)

I'm a gnu

 

 

I know those songs! They were on Sesame Street when I was a kid! Bo, that's a blast from the past! (Goes off whistleing..."G-no, G-no, G-no, I'm a Gnu")

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