Bits and Bytes

Bits and Bytes
Mr. P.C. By

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Dear Mr. P.C.:

On the bandstand, in the middle of a tune, is it okay to move your lips while you're counting?

—Patient Percussionist

Dear PP:

Of course—if you don't, you'll sound really strange.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

I saw someone post on Facebook, just before a gig: "Hurry down—we're selling out!"

My question is, are they selling out of seats, or selling out musically?


Dear Donnie:

There's no difference. Think about it: How do you sell out a room? By selling out musically! This isn't news to purist jazz musicians, who secretly envy the sellouts' sellouts.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

So with the ever-present question of "selling out," my question for you is this:

Is it better to alienate your audience by playing complicated original music, or to lift their spirits playing standards you can't stand?

—Dave the Dichotomist

Dear Dave:

If the only thing that lifts their spirits is seeing you miserable, what kind of people are they? Go ahead and play your original music—they deserve it.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

What's the best way to go about firing someone, a long-time band mate who just isn't playing that well anymore?

—Mercy Killer

Dear MK:

Can he hear? Can he see? Does he have full bowel and bladder function? Without this information I can't answer your question, but I do know that if the answer to all three is "yes," there's really no reason to fire him.

Have a question for Mr. P.C.? Ask him.


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