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How Do You Know If You're Good Enough?


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How do you know you're good enough to perform? Do you ever know?

 

Hmm. As for me, I'll never know. I shall forever make MP3s and cassettes. Not even CDs (they're just too modern...). :D

 

Solves the haircolor problem, too! No one has to look at me. Though, for the record, I dye my hair black, now. Originally a very-blond blonde, but the years, and lack of very good summertimes around here anymore, left me with sort of a khaki-green bunch of strings that would probably stay that way.

 

Anyway, good luck to both of you, Allison and to Rhomylly, with your performing!

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As for you, you'd do just fine!  I've heard your stuff in the tune-o-tron...

 

Gee, thanks! :) Though, my delivery of even my own stuff is...variable.

 

I guess what it comes down to is that I dont' want to be a performer, at least not a 'featured' one. I'm open to doing the one-or-two songs type of thing in a very relaxed setting (no stoic and stoney-faced audience staring at me).

 

This realization (that I don't wish to perform) was a bit of a surprising personal epiphany, in fact, after feeling for years like the only way to make music valuable in my life would be to 'perform.'

 

There's a tiny twinge of a feeling of loss, like it might be fun to be a regular, full-time performer (no point in doing things half-way), but, I have done some performing (not concertina, was guitar/singing) so I at least know what I'm missing.

 

Oh yeah, did some amateur acting, too (I'm terrible)....in fact, there was another performer in our traveling group, who sang one of the songs I wrote, and she was the niece of a very famous rock star/composer. (Oddly, I get confused over exactly which famous person it was, now!!!) The particular song of mine that the show used, kind of without my permission actually but that's okay...was well-liked by the crew, and in particular by this other girl who performed it. I really felt so pleased to hear the whole bunch of them say (sincerely) how much they really enjoyed the song, had it stuck in their head, couldn't help singing it...etc..

 

Soooo....the point of my long story here is that I really do like to compose and write songs, but not particularly to be in front of an audience (or to spend weekends taking long bus rides to perform somewhere).

 

I do have fun making recordings when I have the time, though, and hopefully I'll improve in that area as I go along.

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Lots of luck to you performing couragous people.

 

I've been off the internet since May 22. Computer explosion thingy.

 

Anyway, I'm back and this thread was the first one I wanted to read.

 

Can't wait to hear how your performance went.

 

Congrats and hip hip hooray for giving it a shot, Rhomylly.

 

Curious as to what Allison's duo will be named. After hearing some of the proffered names, I see why Rhomylly didn't let the crew name her baby.

 

Helen

 

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack.

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good point Helen. I hate to think what Jim L would have come up with...

 

Welcome back, we missed you!

 

Here's how the gig in question went:

 

Much better than I expected.

 

Even after listening to Niall Vallely on Prairie Home Companion right before I left for the bookstore.

 

No one told me to stop playing, and I came home with about $9 in tips. Not much, no, but it made me feel really, really good.

 

Must practice. Must learn more tunes. On the other hand, I only went through my entire repertoire two and a half times. And I didn't throw up from nerves (that was an option).

 

And someone asked me if my concertina was a harpsichord.

 

And the best part? I was only asked to play Danny Boy once.

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Curious as to what Allison's duo will be named. After hearing some of the proffered names, I see why Rhomylly didn't let the crew name her baby.

good point Helen. I hate to think what Jim L would have come up with...

Ah, c'mon. You know I can be serious... sometimes even sweet. :)

I would never have suggested that you name a girl Charles Jeffrie Louis. :P

 

...the best part? I was only asked to play Danny Boy once.

Now, now. Danny Boy can be a beautiful song, in spite of the many ways it's been murdered. Not long ago a woman asked me to sing it, and I countered that if she would sing it, I would sing harmony. We did, just two voices, and thought it sounded wonderful! Oh, and not on stage. Just ourselves and a couple of friends in the parking lot.

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Much better than I expected...

 

No one told me to stop playing, and I came home with about $9 in tips. Not much, no, but it made me feel really, really good....

 

Must practice. Must learn more tunes. ...

Well done Rhomylly!! I recognize the positive feelings and the extra motivation to learn.. This will lift you up to a higher playing level!

Up to the next gig :) :)

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No one told me to stop playing, and I came home with about $9 in tips. Not much, no, but it made me feel really, really good.

 

Must practice. Must learn more tunes. On the other hand, I only went through my entire repertoire two and a half times. And I didn't throw up from nerves (that was an option).

 

And the best part? I was only asked to play Danny Boy once.

 

Great stuff - and I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Don't worry about getting nervous, most people do, to a greater or lesser extent, even hardened professionals. But if you can find a way to play out reasonably regularly you'll probably find that you get less nervous each time you do it (it doesn't always follow though - one story goes that Benjamin Britten used to drink half a bottle of brandy before going on stage to accompany Peter Pears just to cope with his stage fright).

 

And to echo Jim's comments on Danny Boy, I once sang it - pretty much on a whim - really quietly at a St. Patrick's Day party, rather than as a bombastic sing-along. As a result, from choice, I'd never do it as a sing-along again - the quieter approach really disarmed me, and changed my opinion of it utterly. I no longer hold it in the contempt I used to :)

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Danny Boy Thread Drift...goodie!

 

I'm afraid singing Danny Boy became complicated many years ago. The tune was used as a hymn in my mother's church and as a wee boy I would sing it with her...beautiful font of life stuff (mothers, the keepers of the light on this earth).

 

Later the "traditional" version was learned but the battle within, troubling. Most Irish gigs I did were in the South (USA) around St. Paddy's Day and the crowds were drunk on their hind-ends from green colored beer. They weren't in the mood for sweet and gentle and I could still hear my mothers soft contralto voice in my head saying "not here son".

 

I now on occation pull out the low D whistle and just let it flow. The words are my own privately to know and the emotion is communicated to the listeners is their own to accept or reject. Still damned choosey where I share it however.

Edited by Mark Evans
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HOORAY FOR RHOMYLLY!!

 

Good for you! That took courage, and an ablility to look at yourself dispassionately and with humor. You'll do fine!

 

Curious as to what Allison's duo will be named.

 

Helen, I refer you to my last post:

 

For now, at least, we're Seanma, a word that Bunting said meant musician or player of music.

 

(No one reads my posts- boo hoo! :( )

 

As for Danny Boy, it was the last performance I ever did with my late beloved Byron. We sang at a funeral, ironically enough, and after practicing it on a beautiful September afternoon on the deck overlooking the NH hills, we decided we really loved the song after all. After a painful year and a half, I find I can sing it once more, and love it.

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I'd probably do better singing Danny Boy, but the range is...really really big.

 

Now if I can talk Frank Edgley into making me a 24-button baritone...hmmm...

 

In the meantime, off to gig part deux tonight! They actually wanted me back!

 

It's quite odd. My "day" job is delivering food (and washing dishes) for the closest thing to a trendy bistro this town has. Crappy job, but it lets me work when hubby isn't teaching so one of us is always home to watch the kid. And I get privately annoyed when people I deliver food to don't tip.

 

But last week, the tips were nice, but I got a really huge kick out of giving people a "civilized" Saturday night out -- a trip to the bookstore with gourmet coffee and some quiet music on the side. I used to love to do stuff like that before I had a baby...

 

Maybe the tips were a surprise.

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And I get privately annoyed when people I deliver food to don't tip.

So how does the whole tipping thing work? Here is Oz tipping is not common, and usually only happens when the service is exceptionally good.

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So the local chain bookstore is advertising for accoustic musicians to play in its coffee shop. Audition and interview.

 

How do you know you're good enough to perform? Do you ever know?

 

 

 

 

Rhomylly, auditions are a lottery. You can play the best set you've ever played in your life and still not score the gig 'cos they were really looking for a juggler!!

The auditioners often don't really know what they want until they hear it.

 

"Good enough to perform" isn't a thing you can measure out of context.

Good enough to perform at your local pub or good enough to perform with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra?

 

If playing makes you happy and 1 other person enjoys your playing you're "good enough to perform" and the more you play in public the easier it becomes and the more your playing improves.

 

Go for it !!!!!

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