When you don’t know where or how to begin, you simply begin at the beginning. That’s the way I approach every solo, and it usually works.
I am currently in two local Detroit area bands in addition to my daytime work. We all have daytime “non-band”work.
Most of the people involved I’ve known for several years. Sometimes it takes a while to find enough of the right type of people for a correct “fit.” That can probably be said for any line of work, any organization or any “organized” activity.
“Back to back gigs” occurred during the second weekend of September 2011.
The media was all ablaze with the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. All I knew was I had to play two gigs back to back, including an extended outdoor block party.
I went into both not quite knowing what to expect. One group had recently lost some key members, and the “replacement” hadn’t quite settled in. The other group had not rehearsed for a couple months, and our lead guitar player was a no-show.
On the plus side, I had been doing the “band thing” quite a long time, and felt my contributions were fairly well covered. The fact I would be covering lead, rhythm AND bass for at least 3 hours didn’t really bother me either, except for the fact I knew I would be pretty well “spent” by the end of the festivities.
I was correct: It didn’t bother me, but I was pretty well whipped by the end.
The “other” group was different on the night before.
I explained to our newest band member that my function in bands had always been to support and make everyone else look better than perhaps they really were, or FELT like they were. I always play bass with that gang and as far as playing, pretty easy for me.
I am actually a little uncomfortable playing lead guitar, but due to the fabulous support of others surrounding me in the "other" band, proved I could actually do a passable job.
So our regular lead guitarist is a no-show at the block party; no big deal! The show must go on and if I know the parts reasonably OK, I will make it happen.
There’s a small part of us that sits in our experiences and people of the past. If I am half-way “decent” in providing that support, I credit a tiny bit of that “decentness” to those I’ve been associated with before. That is true of my daytime work as well.
Anybody who says music all comes from within, practicing solo with CDs, or sight reading music all day is mistaken. Perhaps that is a PART of the experience, but perhaps not the most important part. I have had intellectual discussions like this with other very talented people. I know what works for me when I have to “dig deep” and it’s not the same for everyone.
In short, it was a busy, somewhat exhausting but good weekend.
I am sure there will be more like it.
To my knowledge, there were no recordings or photos taken of any of it. You’ll just have to trust my descriptions!