JOIN THE BAND ANNUAL “GREAT PUMPKIN JAM” 2010

Hello Everyone

Great shows over the weekend! Overall Harper’s and The Mint worked out very well for our bands and we look forward to returning.

Adult Concert – Harper’s – Friday, October 15th.

Our first Friday evening gig was a lot of fun. We may look into continuing the time slot.  As usual Trent, Scott and myself showed up early (4pm) to set up. First thing we noticed was a much improved sound system with an engineer that really takes pride in his work. When he (Rob) tested the monitors while we were setting up we knew we had the right guy.

From the blues bands to rock bands everyone did a great job. The most important part of any gig is just showing up (besides being prepared) and this was our best show with our adult jammers. We actually ran early for the first time. (-:

Last time we played at Harper’s the amps were not miked up. This time everything was miked and you all adjusted very well to lower stage volume. Harper’s is very typical of the type of gigs most bands play. If you can make it sound good there you doing your part.

Kids and Teens – The Mint – Sunday, October 17th.

Big thanks to the JTB Crew. Ryan, Rosh, Gene, Tom, Perk, and Scott. The 8am call time in The Mint parking lot was an early wake up for all us, but the show ran very well. Another thanks to Scott for helping with 3 shows over the weekend!

Great show!

We had a few bumps in the beginning and the AIDS Walk was a minor issue regarding traffic and getting to the club, but everyone made it on time. Our apologies for the late door time. There was mix up with the club regarding our start time and door time but we managed to get it going by 10am.

The kids did great. Playing an intimate room like The Mint is very exciting. Everyone is close to the stage and you can easily see everyone. We noticed some of our Band Members were a bit nervous with the audience so close. In that environment it’s easy to lose focus, but overall we had a lot of great performances throughout the day in all age groups.

Our major sound challenge was vocalists not singing directly into the microphones. We do coach them all the time on this… We like to tell them to sing into the mic so if someone is standing right in from of them they (the audience) would not be able to see their teeth. (-:

Singers need to sing very close to microphones in clubs. Almost to the point of touching the mic with their lips. Even and inch away will dramatically change the volume level. This is especially apparent with very young singers that don’t have the lung power to fully project their voice. Singing guitarists and keyboardists very often look at their hands when singing and move their mouth away from the mic resulting in poor volume levels for their voice in the house mix.

SHOWS:

This was our 74th concert weekend over the last 12 years and it was a blast to see and hear everyone perform. There were quite a few break out performances as we continue to see our Band Members raise the bar. There were also a few mistakes during the shows but that’s what playing live is all about.

Many of you have heard me comment on this before so please bare with me… (-: Playing live is the hardest thing to do as a musician. There are no 2nd takes or do overs. You get one shot. So preparation and experience is the key to having a successful show. I wasn’t playing clubs until my late teens but in JTB we have many Band Members getting stage experience at a very young age. Many of them have had great gigs and some that were not so great. But the not so great shows is were they are learning how to do better next time. If every gig was “perfect” they wouldn’t be learning anything. We all had to fall on our butts many times before we could walk. Nothing teaches you how to do something like learning from mistakes. You learn what doesn’t work and move on.

JTB Stage comfort and Inside Out : Being on stage can really get into a performers head. That’s why we don’t try to fill our Band Members up with nonsensical poses and posturing. That comes naturally with confidence and more stage time. We believe that working on the inside first will make a musician stronger in the long term. Knowing the music to the best of their ability is the best way to build confidence. Filling their head up with stage posturing before they understand the music can be “cute” and fun to watch but it can also be very distracting to the what they are trying to play and result in a poor overall performance. We prefer to hear music with our ears not our eyes.

Having said all that…Once the music skills are solid, performance (the outside) comes much more naturally to all students. I’ve been teaching guitar and coaching bands for over 30 years and can say that great performances are the product of solid music skills. I’ve seen students/pros stalk the stage that have minimal skills receive varied levels of response. But I’ve also seen/heard  brilliant performances from students/pros where the music pours out of their bodies while hardly moving a muscle and bring the house to their feet. Music will also reach the heart if it’s heart felt.

Look forward to seeing you all next time!

Call now to get in for our Holiday Concert weekend. 818-345-8950

Keep on jammin’

John Mizenko

Join the Band – Program Director