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Bits and Bytes

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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.: ...

Do the Math

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Dear Mr. P.C.: Here's what I don't get. Say you're the leader on a $400 quartet gig, and the club owner offers you a 50% raise, but “changes his mind" a week later and cuts your pay by 50%. You wind up with less than you started with--$300! ($600 -$300) But then look at ...

Count-Off, Off of My Cloud, Going Off

Read "Count-Off, Off of My Cloud, Going Off" reviewed by Mr. P.C.

Count-offDear Mr. P.C.: I have a question. What's the difference between “counting it off" and “counting it IN" ??? I know it's “counting off the beat" and “counting IN the band," but it's still weird to me. —K.M., Seattle   Dear K.M.: Actually, the opposite of counting a ...

Sneezing, Spouses and Singers

Read "Sneezing, Spouses and Singers" reviewed by Mr. P.C.

Dear Mr. P.C.: I'm playing solo piano at an old folks home. Suddenly I feel an explosive sneeze coming on, and I can tell it's going to be “productive." I don't want to be responsible for infecting the vulnerable elderly. Where am I supposed to point my problematic proboscis? Do my hands get involved? ...

De Bass

Read "De Bass" reviewed by Mr. P.C.

Dear Mr. P.C.: When a pianist and bassist argue over chord changes, who's usually right? --Believing Either Bass Or Piano Dear BEBOP: Does it matter? It's purely ritualistic behavior, as inborn and inescapable as bucks tangling antlers in the spring. But the feuding still establishes dominance, ...

Disgruntled Masters

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Dear Mr. P.C.: Is it okay to grunt or hum while playing the piano? I'm looking for a career in jazz but don't have any musical talent, but I'm pretty sure I could figure out a way to remaster the great tunes from the likes of Oscar and Erroll to exclude the annoying 'hum' ...

Bits and Bytes

Read "Bits and Bytes" reviewed by Mr. P.C.

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 ...

Faking Bad

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Dear Mr. P.C.: I'm in a band with a bassist who wants to rehearse every week. Considering that all we do when we have a gig is fake standards, isn't he being a little OCD? —Kevin A., Raleigh Dear Kevin: The hardest thing about faking standards is that ...

Ouch!

Read "Ouch!" reviewed by Mr. P.C.

Dear Mr. P.C.: Should jazz musicians marry one another? --J.S. Dear JS: Here's something that may surprise you: Tone deafness is a dominant gene, which means the ability to carry a tune is recessive. Since most jazz artists—when forced to—can carry a tune, the ability to play jazz ...

Ba-dum-tss!

Read "Ba-dum-tss!" reviewed by Mr. P.C.

Dear Mr. P.C.: What is it with young horn players at jam sessions who take their solo on a song and don't even hang around to play the head out? --C.S. Dear C.S.: The youngsters are looking to you for guidance. If you yell “head out," what do ...


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