Confessions of a Weekend Warrior

The Do's and Don't's of Commercial Playing


Last night's gig was just terrible. Well, not the entire gig, but at least the first set. Things just weren't clicking. Although there was no written music (charts), the songs and chord changes were of the familiar type-the same stuff many gigging sax players have played for years and years-including myself

Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about myself, last night's gig and why you might give a listen to my advice in this column.

I've played saxophone professionally for over 20 years. (Yes, I get paid even when I don't play my best.) Although the first 10 years were spent touring, gigging and performing, the last 10 years have been been a mixed bag of musical tricks! Most of my time is spent teaching private students or kids in my public school band program. Although teaching occupies much of my time, performing is something I MUST do. A lot of importance is placed on these gigs in the sense that the quality of my playing directly effects my self-worth. When I play great, I'm on top of the world. When it's a less than stellar performance, ranting and raving in an online column seems rather therapeutic!

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