Music

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" #2985115
04/14/19 09:51 PM
04/14/19 09:51 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 3,946
California
MathOfInsects Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
MathOfInsects  Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 3,946
California
This makes me crazy. Music has to be one of the few professions where people think that just because they like what you do, you owe it to them to do it for them on command.

"Hey, you're an accountant, right? Go do that guy's taxes!"
"Hey, you're a painter, right? There's a wall. Paint it!"
"You're a dentist, right? There's a mouth. Go work on it!"

And then if and when you say you'd rather just enjoy the time off, they go farther and make it personal. "Oh, too good for us, huh?" "Don't be a party pooper!" "Don't you want the kids to get to see some music?"

"Oh, you only work on paying customers' books, huh?" "Don't fail to contribute to the interior refurbishment of this house!" "Don't you want kids to enjoy good dental hygiene?"

This makes me crazy. It's one of the many ways people devalue what we do as some kind of lark. And yet, people don't seem to understand that us declining to play, is us asking for a night off, not taking something away that was somehow theirs already, even though we never offered.

Just me? You too?


"
KC Island
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: MathOfInsects] #2985116
04/14/19 09:54 PM
04/14/19 09:54 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,948
Victoria, BC
drawback Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
drawback  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,948
Victoria, BC
Story of my life from when I was a little kid.


Rod
1977 Kawai KG-2C | Mojo61 A/B | iOS ~ AUM | MacOS ~ MainStage | iConnectAudio4+ | Korg PlugKey |
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: drawback] #2985117
04/14/19 10:00 PM
04/14/19 10:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 10,750
Australia
nursers Offline
10k Club
nursers  Offline
10k Club

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 10,750
Australia
I wish I played well enough that people asked me in the first place grin

Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: MathOfInsects] #2985122
04/14/19 10:15 PM
04/14/19 10:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 331
P
Paughrock Offline
Senior Member
Paughrock  Offline
Senior Member
P

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 331
If Keith Jarrett, or Herbie Hancock, or Lang Lang or Marta Argerich, etc., were asked by someone they knew who was close to them, in a private setting, ‘play us something’, I doubt they would dole out a lecture comparing themselves to a house painter, or a dentist.

Those players are confident enough in who they are as professionals to separate that role from their identity as good human beings endowed with a special talent that should be shared for the greater good, if only for a couple of minutes...

If someone asks you to play, just play man. A 2 3m improv is not going to undermine your professional credibility, nor is it going to take away a gig from anyone. It’s not the same thing as a root canal, or painting a garage. Consider it a blessing that someone wants to hear real music being played on a real instrument.

And, if you really feel that strongly about it, pound out some atonal clusters and give them the Cecil Taylor treatment...or better yet, play John Cage’s 4’33.

Last edited by doughnuts; 04/14/19 10:29 PM.
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: drawback] #2985125
04/14/19 10:21 PM
04/14/19 10:21 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 7,159
USA, greater NY area
ElmerJFudd Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
ElmerJFudd  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 7,159
USA, greater NY area
Originally Posted By: drawback
Story of my life from when I was a little kid.


Hey, you know how it goes, Mika and dad want to see a return on their investment!


Live: Casio PX-560, Roland VR-700
Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Yamaha S90ES
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: MathOfInsects] #2985126
04/14/19 10:37 PM
04/14/19 10:37 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 6,569
Discovery Bay, California
G
GregC Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
GregC  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
G

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 6,569
Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
This makes me crazy. Music has to be one of the few professions where people think that just because they like what you do, you owe it to them to do it for them on command.

"

Just me? You too?


not sure because context is important.
Lets paint the picture some more.

If you are in some bar or venue, where folks have paid some money, I think a musician might be a target for a variety of requests. Fair or not.

This is what I call the ' captive audience ' problem. The musician [s] is there, the audience is there- and they expect you or some one to entertain them.

Now if the audience is casual, they can come and go as they please- this makes a difference. If they like what they hear, you get their ears. They are open to the experience. If folks are not interested, they can keep on walking.

I am not of the mindset where " I have to try to please everyone ". Here's an example,,, " hey dude, play and sing like Billy Joel . " Me: ' no sir, there is only 1 Billy Joel ".

Not saying you or anyone should adopt this mindset, especially if the context is you are getting paid and there is an expectation you are required to bang out cover songs on the fly.

Last edited by GregC; 04/14/19 10:38 PM.
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: GregC] #2985128
04/14/19 10:58 PM
04/14/19 10:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,653
Rochester, NY
Outkaster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Outkaster  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,653
Rochester, NY
I have the people in the department not ask me to play all the time at the holiday parties.


"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


noblevibes.com

Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: Outkaster] #2985133
04/14/19 11:44 PM
04/14/19 11:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,793
Northwest Indiana
Moonglow Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Moonglow  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,793
Northwest Indiana
One evening last week I was at a recption for our new Department Chair. It was held at a rather upscale 1920’s gangster/speakeasy-themed establishment that had a well-kept Yamaha Grand over in the corner, and of course, a couple of our secretaries asked for me to play. Tensions have been running high in our department, so I started with some light semi-classical/new age improv, and after a few songs, one of my colleagues came up to me and said, “this is great, you are changing the entire mood here.” I eventually broke into some more uptempo selections, and folks started to gather around the piano, eating, drinking, laughing, etc. Probably felt better about that easy 30-minute set than many recent paid gigs. We have all been blessed with a gift, and what we do with it is our gift back to the world.


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."
- George Bernard Shaw
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: Moonglow] #2985138
04/15/19 12:11 AM
04/15/19 12:11 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,721
Scottsdale, AZ
Marzzz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Marzzz  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,721
Scottsdale, AZ
I am a physician...enough said. When people ask me what I do, I usually say "bicycle messenger," or if they really probe, I "manage medical properties."

Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: Marzzz] #2985140
04/15/19 12:20 AM
04/15/19 12:20 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 3,613
Inverary, ON, Canada
WesG Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
WesG  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 3,613
Inverary, ON, Canada
I figured out how handle this. When folks ask me to play something, I play Something. By George Harrison.


Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3
Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H
Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85
Roland: VR-09
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: WesG] #2985143
04/15/19 12:35 AM
04/15/19 12:35 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,003
San Francisco, CA
waygetter Offline
Platinum Member
waygetter  Offline
Platinum Member

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,003
San Francisco, CA
Takes all kinds. Some folks I know will jam anywhere anytime at the drop of a feather. Others when they put it down, they put it completely out of sight and want nothing to do with it. Lots of shades in between, depends on the moment, who's asking, where they are, what time of day or night it is.


soundcloud.com/stream
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: waygetter] #2985146
04/15/19 12:52 AM
04/15/19 12:52 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 6,451
Jazz+ Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Jazz+  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 6,451
A pro will sit down and tear up the piano, dazzle them for one song.


Casio PX-S3000 | Mojo 61 | Fender Rhodes | 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: WesG] #2985148
04/15/19 01:01 AM
04/15/19 01:01 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,362
Montreal, Canada
Dr88s Offline
Platinum Member
Dr88s  Offline
Platinum Member

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,362
Montreal, Canada
I think there are multiple facets to this issue:

1. People enjoy the result of your occupation. No one enjoys the accountant's, painter's or doctor's output in any comparable visceral way as they enjoy your music. You are seeing it as them asking you to work when you're not in the mood, they just love music.

2. People generally don't do accounting or practice medicine as a hobby, and those practices are considered somewhat esoteric. On the other hand most people know a handful of people who are amateur musicians; asking you to play is probably not from the mindset that you are a professional being asked to perform gratis on demand, but merely because music is accessible to and from those who don't do it for a living and they don't see it as work.


NS2EX Compact, Kronos2LS, MX88
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: drawback] #2985154
04/15/19 02:38 AM
04/15/19 02:38 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,515
Edmonton, Alberta
MAJUSCULE Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
MAJUSCULE  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,515
Edmonton, Alberta
Originally Posted By: drawback
Story of my life from when I was a little kid.


Mhm. Anyone who disagrees is getting the staredown.


Eric
Website
Rhodes Mk 1 Stage 73; Hammond M3; Kurzweil SP-6; Roland FP-4, Juno-106; Nord E3-73; Studiologic Sledge; DSI Mopho KB; Moog Minitaur; Stuff
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: MAJUSCULE] #2985158
04/15/19 06:47 AM
04/15/19 06:47 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 498
S
Spider76 Offline
Senior Member
Spider76  Offline
Senior Member
S

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 498
Well, usually I AM the one who sees a piano in the room and starts annoying everybody with clueless improvisations (because for the life of me I can't remember a song note-for-note)...until people are like "Ehm, wow, great, ok, so... will you stop now so we can get back talking/eating/drinking?"

Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: Spider76] #2985172
04/15/19 09:31 AM
04/15/19 09:31 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 16
S
Sun&Rain Offline
Member
Sun&Rain  Offline
Member
S

Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 16
On those occasions, I feel like I'm obliged to just do it - it's not that many occasions where there's a piano anyway.

But I must admit that sometimes I really don't feel like it, but I manage to get the energy from the audience...


Gear: Nord Electro 4 73SW, Kawai CA67, Yamaha DXR10.
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: Spider76] #2985176
04/15/19 09:44 AM
04/15/19 09:44 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 420
EricBarker Offline
Senior Member
EricBarker  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 420
Originally Posted By: Spider76
Well, usually I AM the one who sees a piano in the room and starts annoying everybody with clueless improvisations (because for the life of me I can't remember a song note-for-note).


Yup, that's me. When I'm not practicing on something, I'm working on originals/improvising. And I don't really know a lot of solo piano stuff these days. I'm not really into pop, so I don't spend time learning hits unless it's for a gig. My biggest fear is that the audience will make a request... and there's a good chance I won't even know what it is, let alone be able to play it!

confession: I don't know a single Billy Joel song!


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

MacBook Pro running MainStage and various plugins (NI and other)
Arturia Keylab88, Mojo61, Seaboard Rise49, Vortex Keytar (RIP), Trumpet
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: Sun&Rain] #2985177
04/15/19 09:48 AM
04/15/19 09:48 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,653
Rochester, NY
Outkaster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Outkaster  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,653
Rochester, NY
I don't like to do it for management or primary investigators on our grant because it sets a precedent that people can tell you what to do anytime and your supposed to respond....F--- that. A lot of musicians don't like their day jobs, I know tons of them so music is one thing they have control of. My boss plays trumpet and piano really badly and likes to bring it up to other clients at our health care sites. Sometimes we're doing a presentation and he trows it in there. He puts me on the spot and I prefer to keep my music to myself. I think it's a boundary issue also in some cases.

On the other hand on Weds I go to my moms independent living facility and play for her. They have an old Chickering grand piano there. It's not great but it's playable. Some residents stop by and listen. It is good for me because I can practice these standards I am struggling with and the residents like it. There is no pressure in that situation, that's the big difference.


"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


noblevibes.com

Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: Outkaster] #2985183
04/15/19 09:55 AM
04/15/19 09:55 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,773
Massachussets, Florida
cphollis Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
cphollis  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,773
Massachussets, Florida
I ended up embracing it. Why not?

It got to a point that I always kept 6-8 songs worked up so that I could play them on any (lame) piano that might be around, in tune or not. A few of them flashy, a few of them sing-along.

Sample tunes might include:
- Piano Man
- Lady Madonna
- Feelin Alright
- Morning Has Broken
- Hallelujah
- Great Balls Of Fire
- Iko Iko


Life is too short to be playing bad music.

Keys: NP2, NS3C
Home: Bosie 200, Yam AG N3
Amps: FA 12acs, RCF TT08as, QSC K.2s, EVOX J8, SSv3
Stuff: Stay stands, Key Largo, Vent II, X-Air 18
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: cphollis] #2985186
04/15/19 10:15 AM
04/15/19 10:15 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,653
Rochester, NY
Outkaster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Outkaster  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,653
Rochester, NY
Why not? I just explained it above.


"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


noblevibes.com

Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: cphollis] #2985187
04/15/19 10:20 AM
04/15/19 10:20 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,194
Cabin In The Woods
PianoMan51 Online content
Platinum Member
PianoMan51  Online Content
Platinum Member

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,194
Cabin In The Woods
The sample tunes are great. I have made the mistake of thinking that because I have been asked to play that this means they actually want to hear my best work. Often they’re asking just to be social. That’s to be expected. This situation is an extreme example of needing to read the room. Do it right and you can earn your drinks!

Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: PianoMan51] #2985188
04/15/19 10:25 AM
04/15/19 10:25 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,653
Rochester, NY
Outkaster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Outkaster  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,653
Rochester, NY
Were not talking about earning drinks. The OP is talking about being put on the spot to play when you don't want to.


"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


noblevibes.com

Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: MathOfInsects] #2985190
04/15/19 10:44 AM
04/15/19 10:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,862
San Francisco
Adan Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Adan  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,862
San Francisco
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Music has to be one of the few professions where people think that just because they like what you do, you owe it to them to do it for them on command.


Context matters. How do these people know what you do? Are they fans -- total strangers who have seen you perform? OK, then, that might be annoying. But if they're your friends, then of course you should play for them. That's what friends do.

Your analogies are weak. No one has ever said "can we watch you do someone's taxes." The day people stop asking you to play is the day you should worry.


Last edited by Adan; 04/15/19 10:47 AM.

Crumar Seven, Crumar Mojo 61, Korg Vox Continental, Yamaha CP73.

roccoromanucci.com
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: Marzzz] #2985191
04/15/19 10:48 AM
04/15/19 10:48 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 515
SF Bay
F
FJR Offline
Gold Member
FJR  Offline
Gold Member
F

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 515
SF Bay
Originally Posted By: Marzzz
I am a physician...enough said. When people ask me what I do, I usually say "bicycle messenger," or if they really probe, I "manage medical properties."


Haha! I briefly played in a band where the guitarist was a Dr. The singer used to constantly harass him with questions about her kids and herself! smile

Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: MathOfInsects] #2985192
04/15/19 11:07 AM
04/15/19 11:07 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 2,867
Los Angeles
Wastrel Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Wastrel  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 2,867
Los Angeles
I usually demur with something like "maybe in a little bit, after I grab something to eat." That usually deflects the issue long enough for them to find a new shiny object to focus on. If they get all whiny and insist, I'll sit down and whip out something that I like to play - typically totally unfamiliar to the requester. As soon as I see her eyes start to glaze over, I'll finish with a flourish and exit to polite applause. Covers the base without a whole lot of blood sweat and tears.


Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
-Mark Twain
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: Wastrel] #2985196
04/15/19 11:25 AM
04/15/19 11:25 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 334
CO
H
hatricklov Offline
Senior Member
hatricklov  Offline
Senior Member
H

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 334
CO
Originally Posted By: drawback
Story of my life from when I was a little kid.

This.


MainStage; Hammond SK1-73; Roland XP-80, JV-90, JV-1080, JV-1010, AX-1; Korg microSAMPLER;
Boss DR-880; Beat Buddy; Neo Instruments Ventilator; TC Electronic ND-1 Nova Delay
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: Marzzz] #2985197
04/15/19 11:35 AM
04/15/19 11:35 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 5,663
Secluded Tranquil NY Wine Coun...
T
The Real MC Offline
MPN Advisory Board
The Real MC  Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
T

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 5,663
Secluded Tranquil NY Wine Coun...
Originally Posted By: Marzzz
When people ask me what I do, I usually say "bicycle messenger," or if they really probe, I "manage medical properties."


When I'm not at work, my usual response is "expert crash test dummy".

Few people at work know that I play the piano. Years ago I showed early for a group lunch. There was a piano in the lobby and I started playing it. One by one the rest of the group showed up and congregated near the piano. The boss was leaning right against the piano and said "anybody seen Mike?" Someone pointed at the piano player and the boss was taken aback.

As I am playing more often with the new band, I am running into people at work who are surprised to see me jamming'. I always bust 'em "I bet you never guessed I am an engineer by day and rock-n-roll rebel by night, did ya?" Not that I was hiding it, it's just that there are very few musicians at work.

Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: hatricklov] #2985198
04/15/19 11:35 AM
04/15/19 11:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 475
B
Bob L Offline
Senior Member
Bob L  Offline
Senior Member
B

Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 475
I attended a friend's birthday party a few years ago and she asked me to play "Piano Man" at her party. I didn't know the tune but I was happy to invest some time. When I played it at the party to my shock everyone knew the words and sang along. It was a really fun moment for the party. I now have a duet act that includes some solo stuff, so I am better prepared for next time. I don't mind playing some music at a party if asked. Happy to do it and it always seems appreciated. I don't know that comparing it to an accountant doing someone's taxes at a party is the best comparison. Few people enjoy watching someone do taxes.


Korg CX-3 (vintage), Casio Privia PX-5S, Lester K, Behringer Powerplay P2, Shure 215s
http://www.hackjammers.com
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: hatricklov] #2985201
04/15/19 11:51 AM
04/15/19 11:51 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,505
Cincy, OH, USA
D
DaveMcM Offline
Platinum Member
DaveMcM  Offline
Platinum Member
D

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,505
Cincy, OH, USA
Well you could always give them the ‘John and Darlene Edwards’ (Paul Weston, pianist, arranger, conductor and Jo Stafford, singer) treatment. So the story goes, Paul Weston decided to purposely screw up songs after continually being asked to play at Hollywood parties he attended in the 1950’s. He asked his wife Jo to join in on vocals and the rest is history. They recorded 5 albums as the duo. Here is a favorite spot example-
I Love Paris


Wm. David McMahan
I Play, Therefore I Am
Re: OT Gripe: "There's a piano. Play us something!" [Re: DaveMcM] #2985202
04/15/19 12:10 PM
04/15/19 12:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,651
Toano, Virginia, USA
Toano88 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Toano88  Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,651
Toano, Virginia, USA
When the band is having 'technical difficulties' ie broken string or bad cable. I always pullout Piano Man and by the end of the song the whole place is singing along. It is one of the songs that everyone knows. If my voice is up for it, Desperado is another one that goes over well. I have about a dozen or so piano and voice songs that I can play if asked. It never bothers me, I usually end up doing a few along with Christmas songs for friends at Christmas parties.


Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12
Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Dave Bryce, Stephen Fortner 

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1