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Lessons

Lesson 1 Relaxation
Lesson 2 Practicing
Lesson 3 Playing fast
Lesson 4 Plucking
Lesson 5 Walking bass
Lesson 6 Ethics in jazz
Lesson 7 Bass solo
Lesson 8 Your story
Lesson 9 Listening
Lesson 10 Mistakes
Lesson 11 Questions
Lesson 12 Standards
Lesson 13 Rehearsing
Lesson 14 Tensions
Lesson 15 Timing
Lesson 16 Price/Quality
Lesson 17 Taking lessons
Lesson 18 AABA
Lesson 19 Your own style
Lesson 20 Basic theory
Lesson 21 Modulating
Lesson 22 Rapid changes
Lesson 23 The left hand

Lesson 14 Tensions

I was rehearsing with my first Salsa orchestra Bapao and suggested we should play a certain song. The piano player jumped up and shouted: ‘You just say this because you hate me, you’tre always pestering me!’ He ran toward me and started hitting me. I was flabbergasted, I just didn’t realise what was happening, this took me completely by surprise and I didn’t resist at all. I did not understand at all why he felt so insulted and no one else in the band did either.

Bapao had a lot of gigs and was appreciated a lot, we played at least two times a week and often four or five times. For that reason, nobody in the band wanted to stop playing, or take the risk that we would not find an adequate substitute for the piano player. So I kept playing with this person. This was not a good idea at all, for although we kept it to ourselves, we really hated each other. It took the band half a year to decide this should stop and that the band would tell the piano player we did not want to play with him any longer.

bass

Later on, I was in a band with a percussion player who thought he knew everything better than the rest of the band. He quarreled with everybody in the band, every rehearsal with another member, and when he had quarreled with everybody, he started all over again. Apparently I had not learned my lesson the first time, for I kept playing with him for quite a while and for the same reason: this band played a lot, it was quite successful. But I was very relieved when this band stopped. That feeling was much more important than the feeling of regret that this band was no more.

It’s always possible that people just can’t get along, but apart from that, there are a lot of pressures band members have to cope with. They feel a huge responsibility; the quality of the performance of the band is very important for them and they are very dependent upon each other – while criteria for the quality of the performance are very ambivalent.

I hope I have learned my lesson now. When things start to happen in the band, I quit. To keep playing in a band where tensions mount, is a very bad idea. Playing in a band is supposed to be a party. A band is not an encounter group… But most of the time, I appreciate my musical contacts very much. To make music together is very intimate and satisfying!


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