1. #1

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    Nowadays most of the pit orch directors/conductors are the 1st or 2nd keyboardists. Anyone know of a show where the guitarist is the director?

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  3. #2

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    I was music director for a theater company for several years, writing arrangements and conducting the show. Superstar, Phantom, La Mancha, Into the Woods, and lots of selections from various classic shows. Occasionally a pianist/MD would be guesting, and I was happy to play the parts and follow him or her. I now MD for singers, similar function: write, conduct, hire side people, rehearse the band, etc. The only real requirement besides wanting to do it is that one really must stand to do the job; unlike pianists, we can't take one hand off the instrument to wave it about, much of the cuing comes from moving the guitar or your head, and looking at different players or sections, all much easier standing.

    I am always surprised that guitarists don't do more of this. Even conducting a small orchestra isn't that difficult, especially in the pop theater world. I find the guitar to be an excellent "driver" of the time and rhythms, and a bit easier to hear than the piano in that function. Same in big bands: much prefer to take the piano book; guitar tends to leave more harmonic and sonic space than piano in that setting. I was fortunate to spend a couple of years playing in an excellent big band sans piano, that was a lot more fun than fighting for sonic space with that 7-octave monster!

  4. #3
    I think part of the problem is that a show director on keyboard can sometimes get by playing one handed and conduct with the other. Not so easy on guitar.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    I think part of the problem is that a show director on keyboard can sometimes get by playing one handed and conduct with the other. Not so easy on guitar.
    ps - But I have waved the guitar neck up and down while still playing to keep everyone together.