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So another year goes by...I'm now playing more and teaching less. I think I'm happiest when I have this balance....although, sometimes I'd like to go back to playing full-time...not sure that's an option at this stage of the game...
I've been fortunate to be offered a variety of types of gigs - mostly pop and jazz, although I'm earning considerably less gold than I did back in the day, but to be honest, I don't really care....perhaps that's why? :)
I still hack through Bach, Chopin, etc for my own enjoyment, with the idea of perhaps doing a "recital" somewhere down the road.
I have started writing quite a few tunes and songs that I'd like to finish, and even record. The ones with the funny titles are my favorites...I've never been a lyricist, but I'd like to give it a try. Like anything else though, unless I make the appointment they aint gonna git writ...
I wonder what I'll say here next, September? (if I'm still on the planet, of course)
hmmm...I haven't blogged in a few years.
For what it's worth I'm playing gigs again. I think I was inspired by my my father's declining health and his love for playing. Knowing that he wanted to play but could not, caused me to stop taking for granted that I still had my health and was able to play. I began by subbing for the keyboard player in my wife's variety dance band. I realized how much I do enjoy playing. I had allowed the business and head crap to ruin it for me.
Shortly after my dad passed away, the keyboard player resigned and I was offered the gig, so I took it! I don't even care if I get paid (although I do accept the money they give me - I'm not stupid:) I'm just taking life and gigs one day at a time.
I've also stumbled into my friend's classic rock band. I'm now in two bands. Growing up mainly interested in jazz, I missed a lot of the classic rock tunes, so it's all kinda new to me, and I'm digging it - playing piano, rhodes, wurly, hammond and anolog synth stuff - very cool!
I've been talking with a bass player about doing some jazz trio stuff too. I'm having a blast, living the life of a musician - teaching and playing gigs. I guess maybe that's just who I am
I haven't blogged in a while...It hasn't seemed right since I gave notice to the forum that I would no longer be posting. I have been lurking though. I always enjoy seeing what others are doing and I usually pick up a tip or two.
Sadly a dear friend of mine (keyboardist, composer. arranger, producer, etc...) passed away suddenly a few days ago. This kind of thing always seems to smack me upside the head and fill me with mixed emotions; a strange mix of sadness, loss and inspiration. Each day is a gift and we can never be sure we will get another one.
While learning to play the piano is a life long journey, it's important to practice, play, spend time with friends and family, shake off the negative irritants we encounter from time to time and live as if it's our last day.
I hope and pray this dose if inspration stays with me longer than the last few I've received. I can never be sure I'll get another.
Last night I played my last gig with the band I was with for 23 years...it was weird...uneventful, non-emotional - other than the usual "I wish I wasn't here right now" - it was all the reasons I needed to quit.
So now I have to de-tox a bit...I played for a while this morning, got a dose of inspiration from somewhere, got kind of emotional and very thankful - like I'm finally home again:) Maybe I can get back to the business of learning how to play the piano
I read through Ravel's "Pavane pour une infante défunte" the other nightfor the first time in about 20 years. What a beatiful piece of music!
I just finished an 8 week session teaching my first grad student. He is working on a Masters in Jazz Ed. He's currently working as a music teacher in a local school district.
I was a bit uncomfortable taking him on since I never finished my degree. I told him I try hard not to think while I play so I'm not sure how much I can help him. I also told him that I would likely learn as much, if not more from him, but he felt confident that this was what he wanted.
We were both right! What a great experience! He saw and heard things in my playing that really helped him; things I never really think about. As a result I think I appreciate my playing more and will probably be a better teacher too...life is good!
Well, it's working. I've been really getting into practicing more and more. I still have two more gigs (next two Saturdays)with that band I quit, and I'm really getting excited! I kinda feel like I'm starting over with a clean slate!
I picked up Quincy Jones' autobiography "Q" and the "Oscar Peterson Trio '77 - Jazz In Montreux" dvd. A double dose of inspiration for sure. I've been playing tunes from the dvd at various tempos and keys and having a blast - old tunes like "Indiana", "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "There Is No Greater Love"
I've also been reading through some Chopin Etudes, Brahms and Debussy stuff - very cool. I'm having a blast!
Well, back to Quincy:)
Moving on, 02/23/2005, 19:45:22
Well, I gave notice of retirement to a band I've played with for 23 years. I've been in the process of playing less and less, getting pickier about jobs I do, and trying to figure out why I'm a musician. I realize that nearly all of the gigs I've played, I took because they were easy money. I actually avoided gigs that could challenge me to a higher level, musically.
Now, I'm teaching 45-50 students a week and earning an adequate income. This has enabled me to shed myself of all gigness in hopes of "finding myself". Who knows? I may change careers completely - or miss playing and try to get some gigs back. (Hopefully I haven't burned any bridges - the risk I had to take)
bolg??, 02/16/2005, 16:51:37
So....what's a blog? Is that short for web log? a sort of rant?
In the upper left hand corner of the screen I saw under my name, Help * my blog * logout Out of curiosity I clicked on "my blog" to see what my blog was. I guess since I had not yet created a blog, I got the following error message:
Runtime error in lib/userlog.mvc @ [0000002f:00000094]: Line 1356: MvIMPORT: Error opening 'scotcit/weblog/14': No such file or directory
So now, I've created a blog. It's kind of fun. I think I'll add more later:)