Friday, March 1, 2013

MeetUp in FL: Episode 4 - Jazz Jam

Earlier in 2013 I'd been practicing a lot on my guitar, trying to get better at sight reading. I'd been doing this so I might be able to spontaneously decide to grab my instrument and randomly start playing a gig somewhere like at a restaurant or something.

So, I asked my brother to come out and do another MeetUp with me. This time I found a Jazz group. We went to a restaurant. For an appetizer, we had some deep fried thing which was good. Then for the main dish, we had some really good pasta and garlic bread. Anyway, I didn't really intend to play music. I just wanted to eat some food and see what the band was like.

During intermission I walked up to the band leader and introduced myself. I told him I play guitar, bass, and drums. He invited me to sit in for a song. I said no at first but changed my mind. I asked if I could look over the music before I played with them. That way I might be able to have a small sense of preparation.

They said "We don't even know what we're gonna play until just before we play." Oh great. So, I told them to do something easy before I went back to sit with my brother to wait for them to call me up.

Later, they had me come up. I walked to the stage with my eye on the guitar. As I approached the guitarist with my hand extended, I noticed that he was looking the other direction. Off to the side I see a guy handing me a bass. "Oh shit, they want me to play bass?" I haven't touched a bass in over a year.

To summarize: I didn't expect to play in the first place, I didn't know which song they were going to play, and I didn't know what instrument they were going to put me on. But you know what? I pulled through. And even though I only played one song with them, it was extremely cool.

These guys probably do stuff like this with ease but it was a big deal for me because I'm not used to being so adventurous. The intense challenge of doing something completely unexpected and coming out successful is a spectacularly gradifying feeling.

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