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  1. #1

    Is this a real gig

    Ok I have not gigged in a number of years, far easier and more profitable to repair guitars and just play when I want. But today I did kind of a gig I think it worked. I do some substitute teaching for the local school district and they need a music teacher all day for grades K thru 5. Not a lot of guidance on what to do and a sub is really just a professional babysitter.

    So I brought my guitar the Hollenbeck a jazz archtop and thought if I got stuck it would help. So I start in and the kids were taken when I discussed music as rhythm, melody and harmony. I had them tap in time like 4 4 and 3/4 while I play the guitar in typical swing fashion. Then we did some Bossa Nova and I had them keep the time and I started playing the melodies. Each class was only 25 minutes and it seem like they like the change from routine.

    So all day I got to play my jazz guitar and even play tunes they as ask me to play some songs. I did Wave and Sweet Georgia Brown, and used Twinkle Twinkle Little Start as a chord melody. They did know that tune. All in all I am going to count this as a gig. I got paid and played tunes I like and nobody was drunk and out of line. The music room was large and in the end...………..I might do more of it...…...so was this really a playing gig?
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    North Coast Pennsylvania
    Absolutely! And getting to play for (and in this case with) a sober audience is a treat. Two of the best gigs I ever played were two successive New Year's eve jobs for the local AA group. Of course the rest of the band spent all breaks outside in the freezing cold, making up for lost time, while I got to stay in the warm indoors and enjoy a fine cigar and converse with an appreciative audience.
    Best regards, k

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Shelbyville, Kentucky
    Any time you play out of the house for more than yourself, you got a gig. It really sounds like a great gig too.

  4. #4
    A teaching gig. A rewarding one. Nice going.

  5. #5
    Sounds like a very important gig - you might inspire one or two future jazz fans!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Long Island, New York
    It was more than a gig. I'm sure it was the first time that any of these children saw and heard the guitar played the way you do. Even if you didn't get paid, it was a "win win" situation. Both you and the kids had a memorable experience.


    Tony D.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

  8. #8
    good for you, Mark. getting kids to appreciate live music seems awesome.

    I've played thousands of gigs and I can easily name the two most rewarding:
    1) playing for a home for recovering addicts. one of the most appreciative, enthusiastic audiences I've ever experienced.

    2) playing at a home for the elderly in NYC.

    neither of these paid any money, yet, they were two of the most rewarding experiences of my career.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Portland, Maine US
    My little girl is almost 20. When she was in third grade I went in with my friend, the saxophonist Frank Mauceri, for a demonstration of free improvisation.

    'What were you studying in your last session? Egypt? OK, we will play some 'Egypt' now.'

    'OK, draw four slips of paper. Each has a letter. Great, what are the letters? Great, we will play over those chords now.'


    Kids were wide-open to the notion that music can be created totally from scratch, in the moment, right in front of them. It does not need to come from a phone!
    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis

  10. #10
    Another gig today subbing as the High School Symphony and Band teacher. Brought the guitar just in to practice during lunch and prep time. Help them find tempos to start the music but after looking at the sight reading it keep me busy. They jump time signatures all time going for 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 like it was nothing. Good for my reading chops. One kid also played guitar. I had him play The Hollenbeck and he came back during lunch hour asking all the questions. He wanted to know how long i had been playing.

    Good gig good students and good practice.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Mystic CT
    I just put together a "history of the guitar" program for schools, and got the union to fund the pilot program: 4 50-minute concerts in an Arts & Humanities magnet school. I started in the Renaissance after explaining the African origins of plucked string instruments, moved through Baroque and Classical periods with short, punchy pieces and good stories of the development of the guitar through history, played some flamenco, then started on the pop music section: Feliciano's Feliz Navidad (connecting with flamenco style), a calypso tune with a singalong section, an Everly Brothers country tune, then Nat Cole's Rte. 66 for the blues/jazz influence, a little Santana, and finished off with a tune that middle school kids all know by Bruno Mars (which was literally the only one they knew!). Anyway, it was well-received and I will be marketing it to schools in my general area, to go along with the senior gigs I enjoy; this becomes my day gig, and allows me to avoid terrible nightclub gigs where 6 televisions are going. It's also a way of building an audience for the future of live music, and the school is asking me about guitar workshops, so it looks good.

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