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Bits and Bytes

Bits and Bytes
Mr. P.C. By

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Dear Mr. P.C.:

Do you really have to suffer to be a great artist, or is that just Hollywood BS?

—Pete L., Chicago


Dear Pete:

It's absolutely true, and that's why you should always seek out and play with the worst musicians possible.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

Some jazz players record all their gigs and listen studiously to the playbacks. Others can't stand to hear themselves and don't even listen to their own CDs. Who's right?

—Record-A-Me


Dear RAM:

It's not a matter of who's right; they're just in different stages of their artistic growth. Once the players who record all their gigs have heard enough, they'll mature into players who can't stand to hear themselves.

Eventually they'll evolve beyond recordings altogether and learn to despise their playing where the music really happens—on the bandstand, in the moment.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

Are small drums better for jazz than large drums? Does size really matter? Thanks.

—Jack


Dear Jack:

Size of drums is not nearly as much of an issue as their placement and set-up. Regardless of size, drums should be placed in a far corner of the stage, preferably still in their cases.

Dear Mr. P.C.:

We've all had people in the audience request a song that was already played, even in the same set. But last night someone asked if we knew a song while we were playing it! What were we supposed to say?

—Cover Band Dissed


Dear CBD:

If they questioned whether you knew the song, you should have promised to do better next time.

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

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