Friday, June 12, 2009

My Little Notebook

I went to band practice last night with a little notebook of lyrics. Sang most of the songs without looking, but it made me feel better having it open in front of me on a music stand. We perform in under two months. Will I be ready?

Yes, yes! (Gotta think positive)

I can't wait to play for a live audience. I feel a little hemmed in by all the cords and mike stands and walls. I want to look people in the eyes and give them my musical message.

D asked if he could recruit this organist to play in our band, and the consensus was 1) I am going to learn some keyboards on some songs and 2) let's not add one more band member right now because there will some learning curve again.

Which means I have to learn the keyboards on some songs. A challenge I feel both excited and scared about! I will focus on the vocals right now but plan to ease into it soon.

Other highlights:

-Tried Should I Stay or Should I Go. Mmm. Needs a lot of work on lyrics. I will probably suggest to wait on this after our August first performance.

-I screamed at my son's soccer game prior to band practice, and I think it added a certain "bite" to my voice which seemed to please the others.

-I have a cheat sheet on It Makes No Difference lyrics, just some key phrases, and my brain kicked in to supply the rest. I am so relieved! R says he thinks that's the best I've performed the song.

-We kicked around some band names. We came up with one that a Maine band already has. So I have asked for more suggestions today by email.

-I love All Your Love (I Miss Loving). Cool, cool exotic opening.

-Nailed I love rock n roll; my owws sounded rock-ish and I did them at the right time!

Friday, June 5, 2009

On Being a Rebel and Thief

Last night at band practice, I moved the keyboard out of the way and that made a load of difference. I had been playing the keyboard for Lean on Me, but now that we are doing it in a cool rock-beat, I don't need it. For now anyway, even though R is saying that it would be fun if I could improvise chords when L is doing his solos. (I would love to do this, but I will have to learn how to do chords, etc. or maybe even just find some music sheets for our songs. I am not like L who can transpose chords in 60 seconds.)

(I love our rock version of Lean on Me. It is...well, rebellious and fun!)

So I had more leg room to perform, and that was fun. It was like playing a live audience except I was not as interactive and well, the audience was a wall. :-)

Anyway, a great evening. Collapsed in laughter a few times, like when we played Runaway more like Walkaway and really dragged the song. Or when L began waving his arms like a conductor when I did my acapella part of Lean on Me.

Tried All My Loving Eric Clapton-style and it turned out cool. I like Eric Clapton songs. They are well-suited for my voice.

L mentioned a phrase, and I said, "Hey, that would make a good band name." And three of the four actually said, "I actually do, too." B said it was probably taken already. And he's right. By a defunct band group who posted last on their Myspace in 2007. So as much as the name appeals, maybe it is not available...wouldn't want to steal the idea. Which is too bad, because 3 of 4 agreeing on a band name seems next to impossible with this group. I didn't push discussion of the band name, though, since it is not life or death right now. But I know sometime we have to resolve this.

Especially by August first, which is good to go as our first band performance in public (not theirs, but the band with me as singer). R is finally convinced that we are ready to perform for a small group.

I told him I needed to know the playlist because I have a hard time remembering 20 songs. And he said, eventually I will have to learn that many for a 2-hour performance.

How do singers do this? Remember all these songs and perform them live, that is. I will have to do a google-search of techniques.

Other highlights:

Played Sunshine of Your Love faster. Much easier to phrase in this faster tempo.

Sang I Can't Tell You Why slower. Nearly fell asleep some parts, but definitely nicer tempo to sing this love song to.

We talked a lot about songs, and kind of did a creative give and take. I love being able to take part in this creative process, of my idea turning to the reality of a song. I am learning how to be a team player, and they give my ideas a chance.

PS When my oldest recently had Author's Day at her school, a famous Utah author said she would be a singer on a rock band if she weren't an author. Okay, so I am not published yet, but I am an author and I am living my (belatedly-discovered) dream of being a singer on a rock band.

Sometimes when I am singing a song and it is going well, I think, I can't believe I have this privilege.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Need a New Name

Arrived at practice Thursday to the band singing Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix. Made me second-guess why they have me do their other lead songs, when L can sing pretty well. And man-songs at that.

Sigh. Is there no end to my insecurities?

Got over this soon after we started singing. Some highlights:

-Rearranged Lean on Me. What a riot that was. Started out acapella for first verse, then did the rest in a rock beat. Much better than our previous ballad attempts. I love being able to experiment.

L is the most open to experimenting. D is always open to anything I suggest. R is usually skeptical. B is supportive so long as he likes the song.

-We keep pushing our practice time to an hour past scheduled. Last week, we went through 18 songs. It is hard to stick to two hours when we are doing well.

-Sang Should I Stay or Should I Go. Surprise pick by L. Decided we need to practice outside of band practice time. I am excited to try this next time.

-I love rock n roll is hard to maintain at slower pace. I like this song a lot, but it is WORK.

We need a new band name. A chance for me to leave an imprint on our band. I love thinking up clever names, though nothing has come to me yet. I have been thinking of names that don't necessarily reflect that we have a female singer.

Our band plays classic rock. Any suggestions?