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Topic: Playing with other musicians. . .

  1. #1

    Playing with other musicians. . .

    My loving wife and I live in the country. Needless to say, there are not many musicians around where I live. It is a good 15 to 30 miles (depending on which direction one drives) to a city where one might find lots of musicians. So, distance and the fact that I work nights and every other weekend are significant obstacles in forming some kind of music ensemble. We have our TOO LIVE NURSE production company with the rare gig. Although the singing is LIVE, the accompaniment to the TOO LIVE NURSE shows is sequenced music that I created many years ago. (By the way, I don't sing, I just push the button to let the music play. It's a tough job!)

    When I have the time, I sequence music. But it's a lot of playing with myself (no pun intended!). I also play keyboard for church (and direct the choir). Even then, though, its just little 'ol me playing the hymns and anthems.

    I miss playing with other musicians. . . .

    How many other people, here, find themselves in similar circumstances?? There's work, family, distances from other musicians that all tend to get in the way of forming some kind of music ensemble. Anyone else here miss playing with other musicians??

    And to all of you people that DO play with other musicians. . . please tell your story! What's your instrument? What kind of music to you play? How often do you all get together? Do you make money playing with your group?

    Cheers. . . .

    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    California Redwoods

    Re: Playing with other musicians. . .

    Well, I no longer make money from music, but I always enjoyed accompanying singers. Playing for choirs was always enjoyable. Although I long ago resolved never to do anything resembling performance again, the urge has once again struck me, and just this afternoon I agreed to play the piano for scheduled sing-a-longs at the local senior center. Some kind of ensemble playing is not only fun, but also is very useful for improving your skills. Chopin is on record for stating that piano duets are the way to go if no other ensemble option is available.

    Other than that, my only other ensemble playing is now and then playing along with a cd or 33 1/3 recording. But some singers slide around so much they are really hard to follow.


  3. #3

    Re: Playing with other musicians. . .

    Well, Ted - It's a quite wonderful post you've put up. I imagine many people could empathize with what you've described.

    For me, I haven't played with other musicians in decades. I was part of an avant-garde group in the '70's, playing original material, and we were fortunate enough to have people who enjoyed hearing us play. MAny moons ago.

    But since that time, I've been occupied in many other ways, none of them including playing with other musicians.

    The internet - thanks to it, those guys I played with back in the '70's are people I've been in touch with for years now. And - we've collaborated on several things together through the miracle of the internet, even though one guy lives in England, one guy was living in Hawaii when we did some songs together, and I live in Oregon.

    And that's my segue to my question/statement - Why not have the next best thing to playing together in a room with other musicians, namely, to collaborate online? I've had several very satisfying experiences doing that, with people other than my old cronies. Like I contributed to songs started by members of the Sonar Forum. When the conditions are right, it can be great. It helps if everyone involved uses the same recording software, but .wav files are universal - so even if they can't import the same raw project file proprietary to a specific software, they can still import audio files and keep up with the collab that way.

    It's something to consider. Online collaboration is something I wish to do more of. Just picture it - a project put together among Garritan Forum members - that could really yield some worthwhile, exciting results.


  4. #4

    Re: Playing with other musicians. . .

    Richard -

    What a nice way to share your accompaniment skills, Richard. Also sounds like it would be fun. Will you get a chance to practice with the singers at the Senior Center or will you be accompanying them while sight-reading the music? Either way, enjoy.

    Randy -

    Now, that's a GREAT idea, Randy! I most certainly would be willing to be part of some kind of collaborative effort over the internet. Someone could come up with an original tune and share it, maybe, lead-sheet style. Others, then, could sequence different parts of a band and/or orchestra as part of the collaborative effort. When I know that I have a small number of days available I would be happy to start this project, here, if there's interest. For me, anyway, it would have to wait until January. There might be some logistical problems to overcome. But attempting to overcome them could be part of the challenge and fun with this collaborative effort.


    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  5. #5

    Re: Playing with other musicians. . .

    Ted - I understand that it is possible to work over Skype although I'm no entirely sure how its done. You can definitely have a multiway conversation and I remember a radio program where a singer was talking about making a recording from Australia with a band in the UK. If you can do this method, although not the same a being the room, its not that different. Might be worth a try.

    I have put a couple of guitar tracks on Hippie's music over the net, but its not live, but that sort of collaboration might be of interest to you as well.

    We're quite a long way from anywhere here, the nearest big city is Plymouth and thats 65 miles but I do play in a scratch band just for fun. Its making contact thats the problem I suppose.

    You're almost on European time anyway so give it a try
    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
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