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March 16, 2008

Big Day... Yesterday!

Well, I did it. I did my recital of "Taylor". Nobody died. No tears were shed. I made it through alive!

Frank of supplied some top tips (see comments from previous posts)... I really wish I'd seen them before performing. In hindsight, they were good ones.

My preview performance for Tim on Friday night didn't even get through the intro. I couldn't hit a note! Incredibly frustrating considering how much practice time I put in this week.

On Saturday morning there were three of us in class: me, G and E. Names commuted to protect the innocent! G jumped in first (smart guy) and did a version of "Before You Accuse Me", taken from Clapton's "Unplugged" DVD. He made it count. Sounded good.

E stepped up to the plate second and put in a rendition of "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen. After a couple of false starts she picked out the intro then strummed whilst singing. Again, surprisingly good! The girl can sing!

By this time, my hands were shaking and my palm sweaty. My fingers didn't feel like they would do as instructed. Brief pause. 3 -2 - 1... GO!

Once the ball was rolling I gained some confidence... and speed! Too much speed! Slow down! The performance wasn't stellar, but there were no major screw ups. I fluffed one of the chord changes, going to a G instead of a C, but managed to front my way through it. Like I said, my timing was all over the place, but hey, gimme a break.

Afterwards, Teach said I did okay. He felt the groove in the intro, which was good, as I don't think he actually knew the song. Deconstructed my technique a bit, focussing on how I was strumming whilst anchoring my index finger through the changes. With the pressure off I played parts from the song again, getting it out much better than before. Typical, eh?

So that was that, the recital and the end of the WAES course. Teach suggested that the best way for me to continue improving (other than just putting a band together) would be to take private lessons... an hour once or twice a month. He said he'd be willing to take me on as a pupil. I'm actually going to consider it as a) it'll keep me close to 'the music industry', b) He may have other pupils who want to jam and c) it'll keep me focussed and moving forwards. Oh, and d) he's actually a good teacher who can 'do' as well as 'teach'. Finding a good teacher is not easy!

Apart from that, what next? I guess I'll check my action plan and update it this week. One thing I know is that Red can come out of his case. Neighbours, expect some noise!

I also spoke briefly with G after class, who said he might be interested in collaboration, jamming etc. I said I'd email him about it. We'll see how that goes, I guess. He's on another WAES course right now: songwriting. Maybe I'll be able to pump him for top tips.

Anyway, I'm done for now. I never have to play "Taylor" again if I don't want to... though something tells me I will.

Finally, on the what-seems-to-be-weekly celeb-spotting front, we nearly bumped into London mayoral candidate Boris Johnson outside Waterloo station on Saturday! Not exactly rock 'n' roll, but hey... Much shorter than I expected him to be...


Pribek said...

Glad you made it through alright, Kenski. Sounds like "teach" is giving the right advice.

Frank said...

Hey there Kenski,

Any chance you are going to record and post that version of Taylor?

Also, Congratulations on completing the course!


Kenski said...

Thanks Pribek & Frank. Don't know why performing in front of class is so nervewracking. Maybe the weight of expectation? Definitely considering taking Teach up on his offer of tuition.

I may do an instrumental version of "Taylor". Won't be for a while, though. No time this week, then on vacation after that. No guitar... definitely nothing to record on. I'll take one of my trusty harmonicas along for the ride, though :-)