[Dixielandjazz] Resting Chops
Tue, 24 Sep 2002 09:34:18 -0500
>>>The only guy we are sure to rest is the bass player, who at 72, with an
older, high bridge, double bass (strings require more effort to pull
then the newer low bridge basses) sometimes loses a little arm strength<<<
I assume your bass man plays without an amp, for this would be the
only reason anyone plays with high strings anymore. What's even tougher are
the steel strings most everyone uses now. Gut strings are easier on the
fingers than steels, but are twice as expensive and don't last nearly as
long, and need constant tuning. I tend to use minimum amplification and
pick hard, which leaves my fingers hurting down to the bone after a gig.
The bass has a better sound than picking easy and letting the amp do all the
work. No blisters, but it hurts to try to play after a long gig.
One thing I have to mention is the order of solos. After each horn
player, the piano, then the guitar/banjo each play one or more choruses,
someone says "bass solo". By this time my fingers are going limp,
especially on a fast romp. I'm confined to playing a lesser solo than if I
could have had the first solo. Other than "that's the way it's always
been", is there any reason why the bass solo couldn't be moved up? I could
play much more dazzling solos (does anyone care?) earlier in the order of
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Barbone" <email@example.com>
To: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2002 7:56 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Resting Chops
> Dan Augustine asked about resting brass players etc., between numbers
> and others chimed in that the rhythm section is always playing, at least
> front line players get a break etc.
> One way Barbone Street players rest, besides the talk between numbers,
> is to play as sub units within the songs.
> For example, Bass & Clarinet take a chorus, everyone else lays out. Or
> Trombone, Guitar takes a chorus while the rest lay out etc. Or horns
> trade fours with the drums. Or front line ensemble only, no rhythm.
> We've even done low register clarinet and trombone, everyone else out,
> or trumpet and trombone, no one else. Thewse sub units always get a hand
> from the audience which makes it even better
> Or you can have the clarinet play the In chorus with the rhythm section,
> and then after solos, again play the Out chorus with the rhythm section
> only. There are lots of ways to rest tired chops.
> However, the best thing to do is to build up your chops by playing a lot
> of gigs. At this point in our development, the front line horns never
> get tired. We occasionally do 8 hours in a day, with double or triple
> gigs. Our two day record this year is 12 hours out of 30 hours. (1 & 1/4
> days actually) First gig at noon on a Saturday and last gig ending at 6
> PM on Sunday.
> The only guy we are sure to rest is the bass player, who at 72, with an
> older, high bridge, double bass (strings require more effort to pull
> then the newer low bridge basses) sometimes loses a little arm strength.
> Even then, he does 7 hours, no problem. That 12 hour marathon above gave
> him just a slight problem towards the end of the gig on Sunday.
> Not in his playing but in his mind as he asked me to talk a little more
> between numbers and usually he thinks I talk too much. ;-)
> Steve Barbone
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