Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Reading in the Studio

Just last week I got called for a quick session for a short film (10 minutes). Quick is my specialty. Between lower budgets and greater numbers of wannabe directors makes for many opportunities for the musician who can get things done in a timely manner.

Below is the lone chart for the session. A very simple melody in 3/4. But here's the rub: there was no click, it was suppose to be played free but in a call and response to a sparse vocal. So 120bpm was just a rough guide tempo. The composer wanted this melody on slide. And wanted options to pepper throughout the movie. First on acoustic with a slide, then on dobro with a slide and lastly on mandolin with a slide (that was my idea).

The first thing I did was memorize the melody. It's kind of difficult to play slide while staring at a chart. I like to lock in my pitches visually, as well as with the aid of a clip on tuner  - Intellitouch Tuner

The acoustic was in standard tuning, EADGBE. The dobro however was in open G, DGDGBD. And the Mandolin was in standard tuning, standard for a mandolin, GDAE. So the melody laid differently on each instrument. The composer wanted everything with lots of feeling and slide noise. Then we did passes on each instrument of just making random noises. All done in less than an hour so we had time to go to In-N-Out for lunch!

So get out your slide and read though this one!

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