“Funny thing about being unemployed; the weekends don’t mean quite so much. They just mean you can hang out with your working friends.” – Les Claypool, Bassist/Lyricist for Primus
Not to make light of others being unemployed, but I remembered this lyric recently while reflecting on the fact that without a gig, there is little motivation to practice. Early in a student’s ‘career’, there is a great need for an abundance of practice; mostly in an effort to develop general ability to play music. Later, similar to where I am as a player, most practice time is used on repertoire or specific instrument techniques that are unfamiliar.
From the musician’s point of view, this is one of the issues I want to resolve with our concerts. Being able to select the group’s best tunes for a gig and arrange the setlist for maximum momentum requires a gig length of 90 minutes or less.
Most professional musicians have played enough gigs requiring three hours of music that any group of us could build a setlist of 40 songs and only need to learn maybe five songs that we had never played. Which group of musicians can be really, really interesting over the course of three hours?
The Rolling Stones, or Eagles maybe, but not me. Unless we formed a tribute band.