Listening To The Band

Victoria and I listened to some CDs of the band last night. I was glad that Billy gave me some copies of our last two practices. It’s always better to listen to performances after the fact. Sometimes what seemed so horrible at the time isn’t as bad as you thought it was.
Basically, that’s the case with the band. Our first practice was kind of terrible. I had a bad cold and was mostly just hanging on. Everyone else was pretty loose, too. It was the first time we’d ever played together; mostly a feeling-out session. I got a few laughs out of that first practice CD (mostly at my own expense). But I had to admit that I didn’t suck as bad as I thought I did. Although what I was trying to do fell far from the mark, a lot of it didn’t sound any worse than the lead guitar plays in some of the successful jam bands that I’ve heard.
The second practice (on the second CD) went much, much better. We were already tighter. My guitar playing had improved a bit. As I told Jeff (the other guitar player) yesterday after practice, when we click it sounds really good. We just have to get to where that’s the norm instead of the exception. Personally, I have no doubt. It probably says a lot that we sounded so much better by the second practice. And while I haven’t heard last night’s practice, I think it was an improvement over the second one.
Among the things I like about playing with these guys is that everyone is so realistic about it. I don’t think any of us expect that we’ll change to face or Rock & Roll or anything. That’s not what we’re in it for. I really like that this is about enjoying ourselves and maybe making a little money on the side in the process. It’s not about anyone’s inflated ego. There are no words to describe how sick I was of playing with people who approached the whole thing like they were preparing for a world tour and millions of dollars were at stake.
I’m not saying that we’re not taking it seriously. I’m just saying that we’re all older, and we’re all realistic about what it is that we’re doing. We’re not going to be playing a showcase gig for Sony Music any time soon. Our immediate goal is to get the songs together well enough that we can go out and do some shake-down gigs where we can embarrass ourselves with impunity if it all falls apart, but hopefully work out the rough edges before moving on to gigs that are a little more serious. Well, relatively speaking.
It’s nice to be having fun again. And it’s especially nice to listen to those CDs and realize that I haven’t sucked nearly as much as I thought I did. I think I needed to hear those CDs. Even when I got lost and was flailing around like the proverbial fish on dry land, it sounded remarkably musical. Sure, I might have just stopped in places and threw up my hands, but I stopped in the right places, dammit. That’s not to say that it sounded great or anything, but the songs we sounded good on show a lot of promise. I think in the coming weeks we’ll clean up nicely.

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