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Stage Performance Guide For Your Bluegrass Band

By Mandolin Cafe
November 28, 2010 - 8:45 pm

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Stage Performance Guide For Your Bluegrass Band, by Mark Johnson

Stage Performance Guide For Your Bluegrass Band, by Mark Johnson

Stage Performance Guide For Your Bluegrass Band is a new publication designed to help bands connect with their audience and be more entertaining on stage. Too many bands know how to make good music but lack the skills needed to be truly entertaining.

The author, Mark Johnson, says, "For a band to be successful they need to realize that it's really not about the music, it's about the audience. It's about giving them what they want. They want to be entertained and make a special, emotional connection with the band, and that takes more than just music. At a live performance, what goes on in addition to the music is at least as important as the songs themselves."

A partial list of topics discussed in the book include:

The 60-page book is available in PDF format for $15.00 USD, or for the printed version add $2.00 for shipping & handling (US & Canada). Purchase with PayPal, check or money order.

Additional information:
Stage Performance Guide web site

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Reader Comments

desaljs
November 29, 2010 09:46 AM
We do a decent job with the music, but all the other stuff needs work! This sounds like a worthwhile read!
Skip Kelley
November 29, 2010 11:51 AM
I just finished this book and it is full of excellent advice. Utilizing these concepts in your performances should really take a group to the next level. Nice work, Mark!
mandocrucian
November 29, 2010 01:31 PM
[QUOTE]"For a band to be successful they need to realize that [COLOR="red"]it's really not about the music,[/COLOR] it's about the audience. It's about giving them what they want. End Quote

Just like any lying, pandering politico telling "the folks" exactly what they want to hear. Gotta, "play to the base".

Assume the role of Uriah Heep. (Dickens, not the UK band!)

From the economic side, it's realistic (but depressing) advice. So if you want success, you've got to buy in (or appear to buy in) to the biases, stereotypes, and worldview of your targeted audience. (Look what happened to poor Natalie.)
catmandu2
November 29, 2010 02:08 PM
Well, in order to be a successful entertainer, there's lots to pay attention to. But if a person is only interested in playing music--and letting the chips fall where they may, as it were, as far as who gets what from the music (which is fine, of course)--other details are not so important.

But I suppose the guidebook takes a more pragmatic approach...since few of us possess the talent, artistic integrity, and good luck to allow the music to speak uncompromisingly for itself and without some modicum of audience accomodation.

(If so, we'd all be playing avant garde jazz and art music.. ; )
Scott Tichenor
November 29, 2010 03:05 PM
Quote from mandocrucian: From the economic side, it's realistic (but depressing) advice. So if you want success, you've got to buy in (or appear to buy in) to the biases, stereotypes, and worldview of your targeted audience. (Look what happened to poor Natalie.) End Quote

I respect your opinion but can't agree with it. This would be true if the book was directing the readers to be a Branson-style family values band complete with sushi as bait jokes, bib overalls, corn cob pipes and blacked out teeth. The book--yes, I have read it--is a lot more subtle than that. There's nothing about selling out. And yes, I know, some people like that kind of entertainment.

Myself, I'm happy to play gigs where I know we're background music and don't have to do much more than sound good, but even that has its own set of rules. I like to work, so some simple and sound advice goes a long way. The truth is, this is more about evaluating and correcting a lot of fundamental mistakes many bands make. There's a check-list at the end and you can't go wrong evaluating yourself as a unit.

Just because a band plays exceptionally well does not automatically make them entertaining, and being entertaining does not necessarily mean you've sold out. It's a lot more complicated than that.
JeffD
November 29, 2010 03:11 PM
I don't think inauthenticity is a requirement. I find that I connect with an audience and they connect with me when I am more authentically me. I can't carry a "persona" even if it matches some of the music I like.

So the more I can just be myself the better.

But I have mostly done small gigs, more intimate venues, and I am not sure how well that would work on a larger stage. I can easily imagine an audience where being me would not be the best idea, at which venue I should not probably be playing.
mandocrucian
November 29, 2010 03:49 PM
[QUOTE]I respect your opinion but can't agree with it. This would be true if the book was directing the readers to be a Branson-style family values band complete with sushi as bait jokes, bib overalls, corn cob pipes and blacked out teeth. The book--yes, I have read it--is a lot more subtle than that. There's nothing about selling out. End Quote

I wasn't even thinking of the bibs, haybales and all that. The stereotypes and such I was thinking of were those that would be directed towards the various folks on the other side of the "culture war", in addition to reaffirmations of the ole time religion, apple pie and Uncle Sam. Maybe not the latter these days. The band must be 'perceived' as having the same "views" as their audience, which ranges from pure pandering (in the case of performers who have a different worldview in private life) to just avoid anything remotely controversial.

Haven't read the book and it isn't something I'd order myself as I have no aspirations to play the BG circuit. I thought the author's quote was revealing in terms of how one looked at and dealt with music/performing in relation to it being a "business" or as an "artform". (or whatever degree of blending of the two).

For a good book on the "business of music", there's the out-of print Making It With Music: Kenny Rogers' Guide To The Music Business, which you can find used for a buck or two.

NH
catmandu2
November 29, 2010 04:04 PM
I read the promo on the "News" page: I didn't see where the author or whomever wrote the info discusses the "business" of BG performance. Where are you finding this Niles?

FWIW, it appears to me (from what I read on the page) to comprise the basic tenets of music performance advice, presumably from a BG perspective. i would expect that it contained at least some bits of useful information (always bring back-up batteries, extra cords, etc.). The description seems to suggest that the book discusses psycho-socio phenomena of performer and audience, and what to do with that.

But to equate it out of hand with overt shams? Perhaps Niles is reacting more to the somewhat hyperbolic style that the premise is presented ("it's not about the music; it's about the audience," etc.).
Stephen Cagle
November 29, 2010 04:25 PM
Scott you hit the nail so "dead on" it's not even funny. I toured in 08 for a full festival season with a player that got his start with DLQ and another person here recently that toured w/ DLQ about as long as anyone (no need for name dropping, I'm not in it for that-never have/never will!) I have played with some of the best of the best. Some of these entertainers couldn't entertain a wet paper sack. I see this quite a bit. Great players and singers are really nice to have but when you add in entertaining you at that point really have something. There is so much more than just standing on stage and tearing off a G-run or for that matter a guitar, mandolin or banjo break. Now for just the opposite. I've seen groups that couldn't pick or sing themselves out of a wet paper sack BUT could entertain better than some of the pro bands. Weather you can pick the mandolin like Adam, Alan or Doyle or maybe you can't even pick much at all, I'm sure this book will help accelerate any band to the next level and there is nothing wrong with that. Letting the "chips fall where they may" and a show turning out however it turns out is fine to a certain extent but how many times has someone got up and walked away from an act that is very entertaining. Not me. I like being entertained. smile
lmartnla
November 29, 2010 04:52 PM
post removed by author
Charlieshafer
November 29, 2010 06:19 PM
Entertainment isn't necessarily pandering to the audience. The ability to play with a certain level of virtuosity is really only "Performance 101." It's the stage presence, having all band members make eye contact with the audience, appear like you're really enjoying performing for the audience that gets it rolling. Then, there's the between song patter, which can be either funny or educational. I'll use some examples here not to impress anyone, but for illustrative purposes. Our audiences respond equally well to Frank Vignola or an Alasdair Fraser, even though their styles are totally different. Frank is flat-out funny, Alasdair a bit dryer, but very educational regarding the pieces he's playing. Claire Lynch, superb, and her bassist, Mark Schatz, one of the all-time best at engaging people. Marley's Ghost makes fun of people in the audience, connecting that way, John Jorgenson will tell stories about his past, Crooked Still is just warm and friendly, and so on. There's no formula, they all do what works for them. But every single one goes out of their way to connect with the audience, even striking up a conversation with one member if the time is right. Conversely, we've had a few virtuoso musicians who played unbelievably well, but really didn't communicate, and the after-show emails I got were very blah. Those folks have pretty much abandoned their leader-careers, and have gone back to bigger bands. It's not pandering, it's communication.

So, I agree, it's not how well you play, it's how well you perform. Gotta play well, but not perfectly. A few agent-friends won't even listen to a demo cd any more, they want live performance recordings, and hopefully, a full-length DVD from a show. Doesn't have to be great quality, but no you-tube stuff. They really like it if an artist started out by busking. There's no better way for an artists to tell what works and what doesn't than the daily take in the instrument case.
re simmers
November 29, 2010 06:54 PM
[QUOTE]Just because a band plays exceptionally well does not automatically make them entertaining, and being entertaining does not necessarily mean you've sold out. It's a lot more complicated than that. End Quote

I agree, Scott. It is much more complicated than that! It IS about the audience. There is a real art to just "knowing the audience." Sometimes you can win the audience with your skills, but sometimes not. When AKUS was touring with ADAM, Dan, Ron, Barry & Alison the first time......I guess in the early-mid 90's, they mainly just sang & played. There wasn't much entertainment value beyond their incredible skill. But the skill was spectacular. I saw them about 8 times, and that's just my opinion. As the years went by, they became much better at connecting with the audience.

Musicians/performers each have their own niche. Some are able to connect with any audience any time.....some struggle. For me, I have seen some entertainers who could wow the crowd with humor (John Duffey), some with stories (Ron Thomasson), some with amazing talent (Tony Rice), and some with an innate ability to just "connect" and pull at your heart (Larry Sparks).......and some have it ALL.

But you certainly don't want to bother telling a long story if you're playing a church supper and your band is basically background music.

It's complicated. That's why I'll get the book.

Bob
catmandu2
November 29, 2010 07:24 PM
Quote from Charlieshafer: It's not pandering, it's communication.
End Quote

Considering that the medium is a two-way interaction, it's hard to remove or minimnize any of the elements--in this perspective, its difficult to separate performer, music, or audience as they are all equally important. I can understand the efficacy of overemphasizing the element of the audience (as the book does in its promo) since many newbie performers will be focused more on themselves and the music--so conveying the importance of the audience's experience is fine. But I can see where this perspective may seem overly compromising--overly focused on catering to an audience. There is certainly something to be said for the uncompromising musician who plays what he feels. Such an artist will likely feel undervalued and unappreciated, but hopefully will also understand the milieu in which he dwells and accept the circumstances of the choices made. This, too, could be seen as "success": the performer performing what is important to him or her--engaging the audience on his/her own terms, and challenging the audience to expand their frame of reference.

But I imagine that the author of the book offers an operational defintion of "success"--which I presume is more along the lines of "popularity" and being booked for lots of jobs, rather than scuffling for gigs. And I realize that we're talking about BG, and not jazz or other "art" music--where the music is the important element: at some of the best shows that I ever attended--everyone on stage was pretty much just standing around tapping their foot, or sitting in chairs...and without much verbal interlude, etc. Obviously, different genres propogate different audience expectations, and success isn't always overt. It seems that the book's perspective is akin to parenting--where everything is done for the child's benefit.
Charlieshafer
November 29, 2010 07:56 PM
I think you can still play what you feel without having to compromise or feel like you're pandering. I don't think many of the mandolin virtuosos of today compromise in any way. They all play exactly what they want. But, if you want to make a living at it, you have to acknowledge the audience exists, or you won't sell many tickets. That may sound like capitalism, but if you want your uncompromising music to be heard, you'd better sell tickets!!
catmandu2
November 29, 2010 08:02 PM
Well, I think I'm getting too far afield--but I do think it's interesting. I'm speaking of the "art music" genre which is largely improvised, and has a small audience. Good grief--even the best jazz musicians had to go to Europe to make a living.

Mea Culpa: I work in some bands that bore the patoot out of me...but it pays the bills...
mandolirius
November 29, 2010 09:04 PM
I got the book today and read it twice. It doesn't take long. This is not really a "book" as such, it's more of a guide. It reminds me of those chord books that are designed to fit into a case. They have different names, usually "Alfred's Hand Guide" or "Morton's Handy Guide. They aren't meant to be a complete tretise on chords but rather a useful tool.

This book doesn't offer a lot by way of new information or specifics. What it does do is focus on the fact that you're on a stage, with all that that implies. It covers the basics, such as keeping a constant connection with your audience (i.e. never forgetting, or appearing to forget, they are there), smiling and looking like you're enjoying yourself, projecting confidence without appearing arrogant.

The book isn't about "selling out" or anything like that. In fact, it says almost nothing about the actual material you perform. It assumes you and your band can play and have worked out your songs from a musical perspective. If not, it advises you to do that first and worry about what the book covers later. It also seems to be written from a bluegrass perspective but it certainly general enough to apply to almost any performer, even solo acts.

If you've been a performer for any length of time, chances are you've already thought about most of what's in this book. There is nothing in it that's particularly new or earth-shattering. Regardless, while reading it I was easily able to think of a number of bands (some of which I've been a member of) that do not pay very much attention to the points that are covered. We all could, I'm certain.

Does the book advise you to become a musical prostitute, willing to do anything to please an audience? No, not at all. In fact, Charlie's comments about various performers having different ways of relating to an audience are some of the most pertinent. The book recognizes that not everyone who steps on a stage are going to have all the gifts that would allow them to become a complete entertainer. It is written with an understanding that most folks will have to work within the limitations of their personalities and talents as entertainers. It's main point is that you have to do what you can. It reminds the reader that the show starts the moment you're introduced and doesn't end until you're off the stage.

That said, Niles' post resonated with me. I appreciate the author's point that the entertainment business is a business and you have to treat it as such. But there is also something to said for not being completely consumed by the goal of pandering to your audience to the point where you become a cardboard cutout, willing to be painted with whatever brush you think will help you fatten your bank account. The author appreciates that too. He says if that's the main thing that's motivating you, perhaps it's worth considering why you even want to be a performer in the first place.

Personally, I'm a counter-culture kind of guy. Jazz is my main thing. One of the things I like about it is that there is very little asked of the musician other than to simply play to the best of their abilities. You can go to a jazz show and run very little risk of being pandered to. But I'm not a mainstream person. I don't own a TV, go to very few movies and, in general, don't have a big need to be "entertained". But I also know that this is rare. I play bluegrass and, in that realm, the material covered in this book could be very helpful. But it's unlikely you'll read anything in it that will make you say "wow, I never thought of that".

And that brings me to the final thought about this publication which is that it's a bit thin. I felt the author could have gone into greater detail, included specific examples (without naming names) of perfomance dos and don'ts and maybe done a sort of play-by-play in real time, showing how a band can be entertaining for every second they are on stage. Still, I bought the book mainly as a conversation-starter. I'll pass it around to my bandmates and some other musical friends and, if nothing else, it will get us having a converstion we need to have if we expect to get hired.
mandolirius
November 29, 2010 09:09 PM
duplicate post, for some reason
Jim Ferguson
November 29, 2010 09:18 PM
Here's one of my favourite tunes by the great Canadian folk singer Valdy re: giving the audience what they want (or in this case don't want...:-) Enjoy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtNSljYgDe8
Peace,
Jim
catmandu2
November 30, 2010 10:50 AM
Quote from mandolirius: ...the basics, such as keeping a constant connection with your audience (i.e. never forgetting, or appearing to forget, they are there), smiling and looking like you're enjoying yourself, projecting confidence without appearing arrogant.
End Quote

I don't suppose that Miles used this guidebook.. ; )
re simmers
November 30, 2010 02:14 PM
I'm in the category of "part-time" musician, hoping to make enough money to cover gas, strings and maybe stop for a sandwich. While I try to "connect" with the audience, that is a far cry from "selling out." It's not going to allow me to quit my day job either way.

Time nor interest allows us to learn every request that is hollered from the peanut gallery...........we respect the gallery, but we have limits.

The best of the best have the ability to keep the audience in the palm of their hand in any environment.

I saw Riders in the Sky perform to a packed audience at Gettysburg about 14 years ago on a Saturday afternoon. You could have heard a pin drop as we listened intently to the perfect harmony, yodels, stories and continuous one-liners. There wasn't 2 seconds of wasted time with their performance.

I saw Glen Campbell in Hagerstown about 7 years ago. Only about 300 of the 1100 seats were filled. Glen played all of his hits, plus the hits of numerous country and pop stars of the past 50 years. He played every instrument to absolute perfection. He walked to the end of the stage and spoke with the audience and included his band in his stories and jokes.

Johnny Cash was in Hagerstown about 25 years ago and played to a packed house and us in the palm of his hand; what a sincere, sentimental and gifted performer. He engaged the audience and was spectacular.

Mac Magaha performed at Opryland about 30 years ago and no one wanted to miss anything he played or said. What a performer.

Skaggs came to a packed house in Hagerstown in 1984. He noticed a lot of kids in the audience and asked them all to come on stage and sing along with "Honey Don't You Open That Door." He played everything. His band took a break while he sang 2 acappella numbers and then wowed us with his fiddle. (he talked less in those days)

Ronnie Robbins (Marty's son) had us laughing, singing along and sometimes crying at his show about 25 years ago. One of the best shows I've ever seen. What a talent!

Of course, these guys don't need the book. However, showing a passion for what your playing and inviting your audience into your show is more than a jam session in the corner of a ruritan building. You need a passion for what you're doing and you need to convey that to your audience and include them. If you want to play Cabin in Caoline instead of Free Bird that's fine. Just play it with passion! Skaggs & Jim Mills played it with passion, but so did John Hartford, and they are 2 incredibly different versions of the same song.

Break a leg!

Bob
DoubleG
December 01, 2010 02:05 AM
Why do you spend so much time learning an instrument and perfecting your singing or playing abilities? If the only reason is to please yourself and inflate your ego then you should just sit in your bedroom making YouTube videos and stop wasting everyones time. But no, you do it because you want to share it with others -- the audience. They make an effort to show up, maybe put up some cash, or support the establishment spending money on food and drink and maybe even listen to find something about what you are doing to take away with them. So you need to show up with more than a state-of-the-art PA system, a shiny instrument and perform with your eyes closed. If you don't care about them they will not care about you no matter how good you are. In which case you have failed them, the person who hired you, and the music. No matter what the gig, someone is listening -- play for them!
farmerjones
December 03, 2010 08:25 AM
i think this is a very interesting and extremely worthy discussion.
Once upon a time i read Pete Wernick's (Hot Rize) book How to Work a Band. It was wrote back before the computer craze, so check lists were done on legal pads. Blank contracts forms were placed on copymachine platens, etc. At any rate, the interesting part was all the "stuff" that was considered by these gents. Professionalism. Punctuality. Dependability. Lots of thing musicians let slide.

Another big thing i brought away from the Tim O. & Sam Bush Fretboard Journal interview,
was the care for that "connection." A given human, can play a given
instrument, at a given ability, but the magic is to get past the
fascination with the tools and actually put them to use.

i wish we could have more of this type of thread somewhere that wasn't deminishing the primary purpose of this section.
catmandu2
December 03, 2010 08:59 AM
Quote from farmerjones: A given human, can play a given
instrument, at a given ability, but the magic is to get past the
fascination with the tools and actually put them to use.

i wish we could have more of this type of thread somewhere that wasn't deminishing the primary purpose of this section. End Quote

I concur. Larger aspects creep into many threads--and I'm perhaps guilty of steering many of these threads "off-topic"--but there's so much water in the well that runs together..

Haven't read the interview you cite, fj, but it seems they were discussing the larger aspects of the art--the water in the well--which is something that interests me as much as the particular forms of the music, instruments, amd playing. I suppose that we can conduct ongoing discussions on aesthetics, philosophy, pedagogy, etc., with dedicated threads in the "General.." forum, but the larger topic--the Art of Music--is like a fire that is poked in all of these threads--which revives the fire.

Regarding the first part, it's instructive to consider the "primitive" or "naive" musican or artist who may not possess or render advanced technique, but is able to execute convincing work nonetheless. I think of the difference between the master jazz musician and the rural fiddler, for example. But what's really interesting to consider are the similarities among them: naturally, the forms of expression are disparate, but they can be equally evocative and entertaining depending upon many factors: general musicianship, audience expectation, etc.

And this is often where we go wrong in our experience and regard of the arts. Often, adults "appreciate" the nascent efforts of the child's crude drawing or coloring--we display them on the fridge or in our offices. But we often do not celebrate and encourage an equivalent effort in music. Perhaps visual art is sufficiently benign that it does not impinge upon our senses in a pernicious manner in the way that poorly played musical instruments enter our ears. Too often, I find myself encouraging an adult who was given too much negative feedback in their nascent efforts at music, and consequently abandoned their aspirations and efforts to participate musically throughout life, no matter how meager. This is sad. My daughter's high school choir teacher is an example: she seems overly concerned for the musically aesthetic outcome of the performances--which are of course amateur, at best--at the expense of encouraging and including more of the youths in the performance, which is what the audience of parents are really interested in--not an "art" experience. I remember that my own high school choir teacher was very intense--scary even--and was known more for her temper and impatience among the teaching faculty.

I think we're a little crazy with this music stuff. The classical rigid pedagogical approach has discouraged as many people as it has enabled. There should be much more of an emphasis in folk music--and its general relaxed view of orthodoxy--in the schools. We would have so many more folks in our society enjoying and participating in music, instead of standing in the shadows listening while their high school instruments, and singing voices, lie dormant in the closet.
Andy Alexander
December 05, 2010 09:20 AM
Catmandu 2,

You have hit upon an important point to consider. I think school music programs should provide instruction on learning forms of music that can be participated in for life. Folk, bluegrass, and oldtime music have active scenes in most parts of the country. You don't need to be a virtuoso to be involved. What percentage of students in the high school marching band, orchestra, or choir will continue on after school?
catmandu2
December 06, 2010 11:41 AM
I was fortunate in that I had a wonderful mentor at my 7th grade middle school. My school had hired a part-time teacher to assist the choir teacher. This man encouraged us to form a rock band--in which I was the singer and guitarist--and facilitated our practices. We sucked, but we played Let it Rain, Let Me Roll It, and Stairway to Heaven at the "big" end of year assembly. I thought it was great that this man sprung me from class to play electric guitar. He also let me play his '58 Les Paul custom the following year at an all-school music performance. That's a heavy guitar for a 14 year old.

Conversely, I had a couple of memorably discouraging experiences--I'm sure there were others, but these stand out:

In High School music appreciation class, the teacher of course taught the standard Western Classics curriculum. One day, he solicited the class to bring in music which we liked, for deconstruction and critique. Sensing the set-up, the class passed on this opportunity --except for one especially confident kid who had the courage to bring in Led Zep IV, which the class supported with approving nods of agreement. Still wary of the set-up, when the teacher asked, "which song?"--no one volunteered a song. The teacher queued-up track one, and started in with a quick and haughtily dismissive critique of "Black Dog" with a condescending sneer intended, presumably, to demonstrate the clear superiority of the classical ouvre over this trite pop music.

The other: one day I proudly played, for my classical guitar teacher, an arrangement of a Greg Lake nylon-string guitar solo on one of those early ELP records that I'd worked out that week. With condescending disapproval, my teacher quickly conveyed that this was trite and hardly worth spending time with.

From these experiences, and others, I learned to encourage the musical efforts of others, no matter how nascent or amateur. Of course, we need to learn the materials (techniques) of music before we can render its elements. But, nothing discourages persons in their early musical development and subsequent enjoyment more than the expectation of a fully developed musical rendering. We should be able to accomodate experimentation with music as permissively as we do with the child and a box of crayons. Personally, my kids have keyboards, ukuleles, recorders, concertinas and scads of percussion instruments at their regular disposal--just as they have easy access to crayons, pencils, and pens--and they know that I like to hear them playing with musical instruments as much as other activities. It's noisey in our home, but I think the environment that easily encourages kids to experiment is valuable.
Charlieshafer
December 06, 2010 05:48 PM
Quote from Andy Alexander: Catmandu 2,

You have hit upon an important point to consider. I think school music programs should provide instruction on learning forms of music that can be participated in for life. Folk, bluegrass, and oldtime music have active scenes in most parts of the country. You don't need to be a virtuoso to be involved. What percentage of students in the high school marching band, orchestra, or choir will continue on after school? End Quote

Which is precisely we've tied in our fiddle club with our concert series. Regular attendees (of any age or talent) get free workshops from the visiting musicians, like Claire Lynch's whole band, or Bearfoot, or Alasdair Fraser, or Hanneke Cassel, Jeffrey Broussard, etc. We're not trying to supplant the classical music of the high schoolers and younger, just trying to give them an "out" for when they just want to rock n' roll. An additional benefit is in ear training. The local independent violin and music teachers in the area, who are all trying to get kids into highly-placed positions in competitive regional orchestras, ALL say that the kids who regularly attend our workshops and sessions pick up stuff quicker, and can change on the fly much more easily than those with only sight-reading oriented classical training. Make no mistake, there's no substitute for the technique you develop with classical training, but adding in various "folk" styles adds another dimension.

I have to admit I love hearing the kids use humorous put-downs of one of their friends playing saying things like "Oh, that's soooo Sligo" or "hmph, well, if you want to go all West Mabou with it, I guess it's fine."
catmandu2
December 07, 2010 11:01 AM
That's great, Charlie. It seems that one of the main culprits in the dichotmous view of music and pedagogy is the heterogeneous, compartmentalization of attitudes systemic in our institutions and often prevailing among devotees of one or the other order of music. I suppose this is to be expected, given our general segregational predispositions. Many teacher's themselves lack the wherewithal to see phenomena from a metaperspective--and are perhaps incapable of instilling a more holistic view of art and society. What we need to overcome this--through efforts such as what Charlie is involved with--is to promote the interrelatability of orders (indeed, all of the arts), encourage kids to engage in as many styles that interest them, and view a diversity of approaches as synergistic rather than corrupting. Too often, we see the opposite effect--the perpetuation of stereotypes and negative messages--which have no place in creative expression. This is a real disservice to our kids.
jesserules
July 20, 2012 09:28 AM
well I was hoping this would be a guide to stage performance for a bluegrass (or other acoustic) band. Covering lighting, sound, how to use a single microphone, working with the sound guy, working with or without an MC, dealing with different types of venues - BG festival, small club, private party - what to do if you're the opening act, all that kind of stuff.

Going by the comments above, this book doesn't cover that at all.

So - will somebody please write a book that does???
almeriastrings
July 21, 2012 02:14 AM
Quote from mandolirius: smiling and looking like you're enjoying yourself, projecting confidence without appearing arrogant.
End Quote

I guess Kenny Baker never read this book, then?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2-QUCfjTLE

Don't think he lacked too many "gifts", either....
Kentucky MandolinsMorgan MusicThe Mandolin StoreMandolin World HeadquatersFolkMusician.com - Acoustic Instrument OutfittersEastman MandolinsWeber MandolinsThe Music EmporiumAcoustic Music CompanyEllis MandolinsElderly InstrumentsJustStrings.comD'Addario Strings