Playing with the big boys and girls

March 8, 2014

Tomorrow two talented and experienced working musicians are coming over to my home to jam out and make plans for the recording of a song I wrote for a film soundtrack. (I am also an actor in the film.) I am ecstatic...and terrified.

 

My husband thinks it’s hilarious that I’m so scared. From his perspective, I have nothing to fear. I’ve been singing since I was three years old. My mom taught my sister and me to sing in three part harmony with her when I was four, and began booking our trio for weddings by the time I was five. I think my first time singing in a recording studio was when I was eight or nine years old. When I was a teenager my mom helped me to figure out how to play a couple of songs from Sarah McLachlan’s “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy” on guitar. Soon I was writing my own.

 

I just read my husband what I’ve written so far. He sighed, shook his head, and said, “you are so ridiculous!” I think he means it as a compliment.

 

When I was a teenager, I unabashedly played my guitar and sang for friends in school and strangers in coffee shops. I covered songs by Crowded House, R.E.M., Joni Mitchell, Ani Difranco, Linda Rondstadt, Aimee Mann, and threw in one of my originals now and then. When I moved across the country to New York in my early twenties, I spent my first birthday in the city in Central Park. First a picnic with all seven of the people I knew. I asked them if they’d listen to me play and sing a little, boost my confidence, then take off so I could find a good place to busk for money. They obliged and after we parted I found a tunnel with great acoustics. It was late afternoon in late October and the breeze was starting to chill my hands a little, so I decided I wouldn’t play for long. But within twenty minutes someone had thrown a twenty dollar bill into my guitar case! I finished that song then during the next one a generous elderly man gave a hundred dollar bill. During the next song a woman approached me and offered to introduce me to a well-known producer. (Long story short, that didn’t work out, but it was still a great compliment.) Throughout my time in New York I went to open mic nights and landed gigs at bars. But I never felt I was a good enough musician to play with other musicians.

 

I guess that’s the source of my fear. I do have some musical training, but it’s in voice and not guitar playing or composition. Although I’ve written a dozen songs, I’ve never taken a theory class and barely know how to read music. Where do I get off thinking I can play with the big boys and girls?  I guess I’ll find out tomorrow when two highly trained professional guitarists come over to my house to plan out the recording session for a song I wrote.  The actual recording session will be later this month, and there will also be a professional fiddle player, drummer, and a phenomenal bass player (who also happens to be my father).  Will they see how inexperienced I am? Will they hold it against me? I am terrified. But mostly ecstatic.

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Tomorrow two talented and experienced working musicians are coming over to my home to jam out and make plans for the recording of a song I wrote for a...

Playing with the big boys and girls

March 8, 2014

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