I have found that it’s important, especially while developing as a player, to go out a catch other live music as much as you can. I have always been a restless sort at these kinds of events, as I’m always a bit frustrated that it’s not ME up there on the stage, and I’m always “chomping at the bit” to get up there!
That being said, it’s all actually a healthy part of what will eventually make you a better performer, as you start to hone your skills by watching as well as listening to others, and how they handle these situations. I would really recommend going out and seeing artists you truly admire, and these days, it’s getting increasingly easy to see some of these greats in very up-close and intimate settings.
Sometimes, it can be a major let-down, going to these live gigs, but going is the only way you’ll ever find out whether or not you like the music in the first place. For example, a couple of months ago, I went to see a bunch of semi-friends who are all-time studio greats playing together in NYC as a live band. Well, I had a feeling it was going to be like this, but what a boring show! These guys were up there, spending their whole time reading charts, and has so totally taken the “soul” out of the music that you’d be hard pressed to even enjoy a recording of this stuff!
One of the players really knew how to solo, and he was wailing, without ever leaning on the crutch of the music he would normally be reading, and I actually gained a greater respect for him than ever before. But, let’s keep in mind, that may only have been because I found the other players so “flat” and dull.
Another problem on top of this was that these guys really were so in love with themselves and their show, that you could tell they were supremely satisfied with it, even though the audience reaction was really quite cold…even from a group of people who really DID want to see and hear these guys!
Yes, but I recall those days of going to Chuck Berry concerts, and to the Fillmore East to see bands such as Procol Haram, who I held in such high regard, that I couldn’t help but have my mind blown by these great artists! Just like seeing a grat film, I’d always walk out of the place feeling refreshed, and I couldn’t wait to get home and get my hands back on my guitar again! This is how you should feel after seeing a good show…simply INSPIRED! More next time!