[Dixielandjazz] The day I wish I had an amp

Howard Wiseman h.wiseman at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 6 14:34:21 PST 2009

I seldom use an amp.  As a banjoist, I don't have to.  Sine I had a couple Selmer guitars, they are also able to to accoustic - in most cases.
I was playing one evening with a quartete of piano, sax, flute, and guitar.  Only the  piano was amped.  We werre a hit, but then the  piano player decied to take over.  He played louder and louder until the flute dropped out.  I have an internal pick-up and began to wish I had brought an amp.  With about 3 or f4 numbers to go I quit, but our sax guy plugged in and then the piano got really ticked.  He finished the set a nearly full volume,  He picked up his stuff and got out in a hurry never speaking to anyone.  
I had a number of audience requests to build a small band with the guitar.  One of these days I'll get around to it.  No one spoke the pianist, who was actually pretty good,  before he left.  

--- On Fri, 11/6/09, Jim Kashishian <jim at kashprod.com> wrote:

From: Jim Kashishian <jim at kashprod.com>
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Amplification
To: "Meatball" <h.wiseman at yahoo.com>
Cc: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Date: Friday, November 6, 2009, 3:17 PM

I've been reading all the comments against amplification.  I finally must
put in the one & only "pro-amplification" email so far.

Amplification just does not have to be a naughty word.  It does have to be
well done, well understood, and well used by the musicians.  "Well done" can
be difficult due to finances.
"Well understood" can be difficult as not everyone is trained or has taken
the time to learn.  "Well used" is difficult as many musicians do not (or
don't want) to know anything about it.

For club work, I used a small monitor system tied up with a Lexicon reverb
which acts as a preamp to my Shure mike.  The trumpet & I use this mike for
our horns, standing in a triangle between ourselves & the mike (equal
distance between us, and equal distance to the mike...coming in at an
angle).  We keep our distance as the mike is hot for vocals...and, just the
right volume then for the more distant horns.

The reverb is handy as I can control the volume of the mike (rather than
running across the room to the sound booth), and I can also change the type
& length of the reverb at the push of a button.....using gobs on something
like Caravan, for example. And, the fact that the mike is fairly high, it is
good for close mute work, etc. 

Clubs here rarely have an in-house piano, so our guy has to take in a
keyboard, and that has to have a monitor for him to hear himself.  Same goes
for the bass, who plays a stick type contrabass (no body)which needs an amp
to hear.  Generally, we are just not a "quiet band".  Both of us on brass
enjoy hard playing, although we do respect (as the whole band does) the
nuances of dynamics during a song.  And, the clubs here are full of happy,
young people, who are not always 100% (church-like) attentive!   :>  So,
yeah, we're loud. But, I prefer the word "powerful"!  :>

P.s.  It is also hot, sweaty, & smokey where we play! No cover charge, "so
come on in"!


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