New playing experience

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by FutureProf88, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. FutureProf88

    FutureProf88 Well-Known Member

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    I've got an interesting gig coming up, that is very different for me. I'm playing in the pit band for a musical. My old high school is doing a rock opera and my former choir director (yes I was literally a choir boy in high school, among other things) emailed me and asked me if I'd play guitar for it. I said sure and she sent me the score and some rehearsal tracks. I've been learning the songs and there's a little bit of everything, ranging from folk type stuff to ragtime to straight up rock. We have our first group rehearsal next week and while I've had a lot of fun learning the songs I'm admittedly a little nervous. I've never played in anything that might be referred to as an "orchestra," in the sense that we will have a conductor, etc. All of my guitar experience has been in rock bands in some way or another, or playing solo. I want to do a good job, not only for myself but also for the kids that are performing in the musical. Any advice?
     
  2. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    learn your lane...

    do note, that, unlike playing in a 3-4-5 piece rock band, you are not required to always be playing. Depending on how big of an "orchestra", generally, the bigger, the less your part will be.

    Think of the violin, flute, or other horn. Many of them will be playing single notes. If you are playing chords, maybe play muted arpeggios of a triad, rather than strumming, or even trying to play out whole chords sustaining all the time.

    Think of dynamics. When the song comes down to a whisper, maybe you can let the soft sounds of strings &/or wind bring it down. If something abruptly comes in, strong, think of it like rock, that way you are helping bring it from that whisper, that you backed off to now full throttle.

    If any of that makes sense...
     
  3. Nik Henville

    Nik Henville Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    :cool:
    They
    call it
    the pits
    for a reason

    :hippie::pirate::uk:
     
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  4. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    you will need to be aware of your volume and when to feather it up and back
     
  5. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Crank it way up and blast the crap out of it.
     
  6. EndGame00

    EndGame00 Well-Known Member

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    I sat in for someone who played with a big band... It was the most challenging gig I have ever done... For a rock guy, it was huge adjustment.
     
  7. Im247frogs

    Im247frogs Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely, 100%, bring your Superlead.
     
  8. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    It will be fun. It will be very organized and structured and you will have a Conductor!!
     
  9. FutureProf88

    FutureProf88 Well-Known Member

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    It does! There are a few songs where I am not playing at all and I figure that would be my chance to tune, etc. There is one song where I am playing under a flute solo, and another where the score says that one of the actors on stage is playing a ukelele.

    I don't think that this is THAT intense, but it's been interesting because of all of the different styles involved. I've had to learn to approach playing from different ways.

    Soooooo funny story that's the amp I was thinking of using. Most of my tone is set up around a SL, and other than that I have a Fender Blues Jr, a DSL1, my MG100 that I use for recording thanks to its nice sounding direct out, and my MG10. Most of those amps I got for either recording or practice, so I was planning on trying to use the SL with my Hotplate. The auditorium is kind of an airplane-hangar building with a ton of natural reverb, though they have hung acoustic tile since I was a student there. My band's bassist has a Jet City 20 and I've toyed with asking him if I could rent or borrow it from him for this show in case I need a more manageable volume level.

    I'm looking forward to it! When I sang it was with a choir director, and I think she is the director for the pit orchestra. I think I'll be a much better musician for this experience!
     
  10. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    on the uke song, can you capo up an octave? or play in a higher capo, so you get different timbre?
     
  11. FutureProf88

    FutureProf88 Well-Known Member

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    That's a good idea. I'll have to try that next time I rehearse!
     
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  12. LPMarshall hack

    LPMarshall hack Well-Known Member

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    Prepare to be pelted with soaked panties!
     
  13. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    even if not going up an octave, sometimes, depending on the progression, capo'ing up a few frets will do the trick.

    For instance, there's a song that is played w/: E-B-A progression.

    You can capo up 2 frets & play it like: D-A-G

    & the timber is a little higher.

    Capo 7 frets & play it: A-E-D

    etc...
     
  14. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    Don't look at the fret board.
    BP
     
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  15. FutureProf88

    FutureProf88 Well-Known Member

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    ??

    I look at my fretboard out of respect for the luthier and/or CNC machine that cut out slots for my inlays!
     
  16. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure the conductor will understand.
    BP
     
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  17. FutureProf88

    FutureProf88 Well-Known Member

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    :applause:
     
  18. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    being in an orchestra, you have to pretend to be reading fluently (while you play)...
     
  19. EndGame00

    EndGame00 Well-Known Member

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    I dabbled with a rockabilly band before... Man, that was a whole another level, I was like a lost pup...
     
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  20. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    If you can't sight read, ask the trumpet dudes to play it for you so you can learn it by ear.
    This is an old trick used by guitar players in orchestras...
     

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