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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / 1st time playing in a pit band for a musical

Previous 20 Messages  
themaestro
Contributing Member
**********
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Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Apr 11th, 2016 09:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Fun! Yay! That's what we do is all about.

LadyJazzer

Colorado, USA

"You play pretty good--for a girl"
Apr 15th, 2016 02:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yep... Doing "Les Miserables" for 5 weeks...(2 more weeks to go.) I have never seen such a complicated guitar part. It's a 2-1/2 hour show, and there's maybe 4-5 page's worth of chord symbols... The rest of score is all written-16th note arpeggios, (with NO chords indicated...) I had to spend about two weeks reading through it, and making notations on my copy to be able to read it. (Not to mention a never-ending string of time changes within a given music cue: 12/8, 9/8, 15/8, 5/4, 2/2, 2/4, 3/4, etc... And that can all be in ONE cue!!

Good practice...But jeez, haven't seen stuff like that since my days in the "jingle" biz....

Sample chart (4 pages)

(This message was last edited by LadyJazzer at 05:06 PM, Apr 15th, 2016)

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
******

Panama City, FL

Same ol **** but my hair's longer
Apr 18th, 2016 02:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That looks a lot like the score I had for Rent Lady jazzer. A lot of the music had lead sheet symbols but a lot was arpeggios with my hand written notations. I think it took me a half an hour to erase all my pencil notes in the score.

It was a great experience though. I can't wait to do it again.

LadyJazzer

Colorado, USA

"You play pretty good--for a girl"
Apr 19th, 2016 09:16 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Same here... I think they might be doing "Grease" later in the year, and I played all of that music with the Houston Pops years ago. So, I still remember most of it. I hope they call me for that, and any others! (A lot of their shows are music-free, but I think I'll get callbacks for anything that does have music.) I hope so, because it keeps my reading chops up...

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
******

Panama City, FL

Same ol **** but my hair's longer
Apr 19th, 2016 03:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah my sight reading is tip top right now. Use it or lose it though. I'm going to start using sheet music more just to keep my reading chops up.

I'm trying to talk them into doing "Hair" next. :)

HenryJ

Bogue Falaya River

is STILL dark and cold.
Apr 30th, 2016 05:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

This thread brings me back to 1970, or was it 1969, when I played tuba in the pit orchestra for My Fair Lady. I was in college, and the music department put it on. The pit in the auditorium was open, in a sunken area in front of the stage, and had a small fence or whatever you want to call it in front of the pit.

The score was rented. We had to erase our pencil marks before sending back the parts.

337LEE
Contributing Member
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If u want me to stay

I'll be around today
Jun 2nd, 2016 01:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've posted this before and it's relevant here. I'm a better than decent reader, but come on! Either the composer or the copyist is a sadist.

What? G-flat? E-flat minor? The singers couldn't manage a half step lower?

(This message was last edited by 337LEE at 04:01 PM, Jun 2nd, 2016)

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jun 2nd, 2016 02:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Songwriters of the Tin Pan Alley/Broadway/Hollywood variety tend to compose at the piano, which is why you see a lot of those piano-friendly flat keys.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
*******

Panama City, FL

Same ol **** but my hair's longer
Jun 5th, 2016 06:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

What Tele said. You can always tell when a piano player did the composing. Lol

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member
*********

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Jun 7th, 2016 07:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

When I played for Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the cast and "band" had been rehearsing separately for 8 weeks. The show was to start on Wed. Friday before, the director met with the musical director, who said he had put together a band, and had been rehearsing.

He told the director, he had not found a band yet. This was on Friday, two days before the first rehearsal with band and cast.

He was fired and the director turned to a piano player she knew...

...who I had played with in a band for 4 years previously. I got the call late Fri, and said yes.

We showed up Sunday night, and the cast did a walkthrough with Carey Beth playing piano off the music, and me getting a bead on things.

Monday night, we ran through the whole show. I had practiced all day but was a bit rusty.

Tuesday was dress rehearsal, with a guitar player and drummer joining us. (I played bass). I had the music pretty well after practicing all day again. the drummer knew the show and was an old hand, so he fit right in, and the guitar player played mostly fiddle, and some guitar intros. He was good.

Wed was a full dress rehearsal for a pretty full house. It went well. Any problems were not musical. The shows on Thurs-Sat evenings went fantastic, and we finished with two shows Sunday.

Normally we would have had weeks to practice. We had a couple days. It's far different from my regular bar gigs.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
*******

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Jan 27th, 2017 07:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I got another gig for a musical. I'm playing guitar in Cabaret for this one. Not really a pit band this time, as the band will be onstage as part of the set. Should be fun.

acplayer

MA

Earn while you learn
Feb 13th, 2017 09:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Juice Nichols:
Cabaret is one of best "pit" gigs; swing, straight 8th's, etc....many classic songs.

The last production of Cab I "pit band'ed" in was for a local college.

The director wanted us, the pit band (ME) to dress in drag for the second act.......which I did not do...

Come to think of it....the pit/orchestra conductor seemed to like his boa........
hey; a gig is a gig

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
*******

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Feb 14th, 2017 06:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm looking forward to it. This is at the local college as well. They do some fine productions.

mojodelic

I love guitars

and things that fly
Feb 22nd, 2017 05:35 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I LOVE playing in the pit. Just turned down a pit "gig" (quotes because it's for a church benefit to feed homeless people) to play in two cover bands with steady gigs.

I really had to think about it, both have good & not-so-good traits.

My reading ability is not good so I have to memorize at least the changes then use the charts for high points. I agree with the above that it'll hone those skills for sure.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / 1st time playing in a pit band for a musical




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