Session Play For Musical Theatre

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Well in late November 2014, me and a few fellow students were asked to play the score for the college musical, this would test our sight reading skills/ communication skills and also giving me a chance to play out of my comfort zone. The piece “Footloose,” is a lively musical comprised of very rockabilly “Poppish,” songs and the chance for me to solo in minor pentatonic till my hearts content. 

My role was Guitar 2, we were given guidance by a tutor but the main content we had to learn ourselves, the deadline was just a tad more than 3 weeks so I had to get to work straight away. My practice consisted of me learning by ear the tracks and getting the lead guitar extra riffs by using listening skills, mainly in key and minor pentantonics were used for lead. In treble clef I can identify the lower parts easily as long as it doesn’t change key too much, the sharps on flats put me off at the time before my practice come to fruition. “Let’s Hear It For The Boy,” where 1:34+ has the ingredients for the house band to show off their skills, this took the most time for us to get tight as a band but managed it once I had learned the major licks then key change into dominant pentatonic riffs, I charged into rehearsal and helped the other guitarist then the band sorted just slotted in and we got tighter through practice.

During performance I got to use my Boss distortion pedal and also delay, the delay was used for one of the tracks that resembled “The Police,” in many ways, I used a Jaxville stratocaster, which in my opinion is very versatile and combined with the pedal made an impressive set up due to the fact we were ran through the P.A system. We played 4 shows and got great feedback from lecturers and students alike.

The main accolade I can take from this experience is that practicing improvised solo’s over a key drone/ metronome really is rewarding when you perform live as the neck of the guitar just opens up to you as a guitarist. Getting compliments from other musicians is also a bonus 🙂 

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