Sunday, April 20, 2008

Street Fightin' Man


Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! My voice is kinda recovered. Whew. Friday night was the first busking gig of the season for me. Alexandria, VA provides an ideal location for street performance. Host of a wide variety of musicians, jugglers, magicians, and sometimes random preachers and bagpipers, it's a very cool gig. 2008 is my second season in old town.

It's also very taxing! I've learned so much, and most of that is seeing how far I have to go in order to become a successful busker. Curtis Blues is my mentor. Check him out at Curtis told me you've gotta be loud. He's right. Ya gotta play loud. Ya gotta sing loud.

And that is taxing.

Sure, I'll use 12's on my strat, but I've got an amp helping me out at gigs! And a mic! Playing for a few hours straight on an acoustic, and trying to draw folks in by singing at a high volume really can take a bite out of you.

The street taught me an important lesson that I'd like to share with you. Form is everything!

To play fast, you've gotta be efficient. No excess movement. To play for an extended period of time, you've gotta be efficient - with your hand strength. Al Petteway showed a room full of people recently how we all fretted notes with too much force, resulting in unneeded strain.

The street taught me the same lesson, literally busting my chops when I had bad form.

And that's just the guitar playing! Man, I need to ask my vocal teacher a few questions, or maybe just apply what she's been telling me. I was sore the next day! Spring is a froggy season, and my throat was no exception. I'm going to be paying a lot more attention to my vocal form from now on!

Moreover, bad form can literally ruin music. I don't want to blow my voice out, or get carpal tunnel syndrome. I'd best shape up!

Check out your form, and see if you've got it right. Could you play and sing for a few hours straight? Don't get your chops busted - it hurts!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Josh!

I've been devouring your columns over at UG (The Crusade) and the bottom of em lead me here to your blog!

Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write those out articles) and the ones on here, very edutaining!).

Plus some of these blogs are a bit lacking in the comments department. ;)