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Drum and Drummer 2

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Dear Mr. P.C.:

If I can tell where a drummer is during his whole solo, does that mean he's good or bad?

--Confused Bassist  

Dear Confused:

Neither: it just means you're listening too closely. There's nothing inherently “wrong" with paying attention to the musicians around you, but ...

Old Folks, Countdown

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Old Folks Dear Mr. P.C.:

When people in the audience are talking, it goes without saying they're not listening to the band. But for the rest of the audience, how do you know when they're actually listening as opposed to just thinking about something else altogether?

--Unheard in Utah

Dear ...

Provocalists

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Dear Mr. P.C.:

I just played a gig with a vocalist who chose to open the set with “Misty." He announced it to the audience by saying “Here's a song that needs no introduction." My question is, how were we supposed to start it?

--I Can't Get Started

Dear ICGS: ...

Going Solo

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Dear Mr. P.C.:

I'm a saxophonist, and someone just came up from the audience tonight and started talking to me while I was in the middle of soloing on a hard tune. I was having enough trouble just making the changes--what was I supposed to do?

--Blown Blowing  

Dear ...

Sitting In It, Low Blow, Always a Bridesmaid

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Sitting In It Dear Mr. P.C.:

Is there an “etiquette" as when to accept and when to decline joining a band on stage when invited?

--Getting Uneasy Each Sit-in Time

Dear GUEST:

First, the obvious: If you're better than the band, sitting in makes them look bad but ...

On the Download; Presto, the Audience Disappears!; Showboaters Get the Clap

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On the DownloadDear Mr. P.C.:

Now that everybody just downloads or streams music and you can't sell many CDs anymore, a lot of my fellow musicians are just giving them away. It's gotten to the point where I'm hesitant to ask if someone wants my disc even for free, because they'd probably rather listen ...

Rushing Collusion, Bits and P.C.s, Ave Maracas

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Dear Mr. P.C.:

We all know that as people get older, they slow down. That make me wonder: Do musicians who rush eventually settle into good time?

--Good Time Charlie

Dear Charlie:

Only briefly. A better question is: Exactly when, in their downward spiral, will their time be ...

Best of Mr. P.C. 2017

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Dear Mr. P.C.:

This whole “jazz musicians play thousands of chords to three people" vs. “rock musicians play three chords for thousands" thing: What is the correct chord/audience ratio?

Perhaps zero chords for an infinite audience is the ideal; or all chords for no audience. I certainly have landed closer to the ...

Practice Makes Imperfect, The Pursuit of Nothingness, Challenging the Originalists

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Dear Mr. P.C.:

What I don't get is rehearsals. When you rehearse before a gig, you have no idea what will actually go wrong. If people were to rehearse after their gigs, they'd know exactly what to work on. What am I missing?

--Practice Isn't Making Perfect

Dear PIMP: ...

Bits and PCs, The Cosmic Loop, Fake Gigs

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Dear Mr. P.C.:

Is it ever ok for a horn player to scat? If so, what are the proper syllables for upbeats?

--Zee-bop

Dear Zee-bop:

The correct syllable for an upbeat is “and." Besides alerting the band to where you might be rhythmically, it lets the listeners know ...