Reading Gigs


Evidently, the Reading Guitarist Universe has heard my arrogance. I have three current projects requiring me to sight-play. One is a production of Footloose at my daughter’s high school. What is really neat to me, is that my daughter is in this production as an actress. This is the second production that has us working together in our respective arts.

The second project is with a community Jazz band. The tunes are reading grade 5 or 6. I have discovered that I have a lot of homework to do in reading Afro-Cuban rhythms. In most written music, there is a concept called ‘The Invisible Barline’. Rhythmic notation is usually split into two equal halves of a measure. A simple example is that there will be two beats in each half for a measure of four; a measue of six will split into three beats in each half. Other time signatures split as well, just not equally for the same reason that odd numbers do not split into two equal whole numbers.

I didn’t realize until last night how much I depended on this ‘Invisible Barline’ concept.

The director/conductor mentioned that one of the other players was more than a little frustrated with her performance. I suppose it is a good thing that the director/conductor’s consolation to her was: “Look, even Justin is having trouble with these rhythms.”

The third project is a Jazz band program at a local boarding school. The music in this group is decidedly easier, but since most of the students are good at reading, even these will have a surprise now and again.

It is nice to have a solid challenge; it is very nice to be needed/wanted in so many projects.

What do you think?

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