Thelonious Monk tells you how to get gigs

This is a visual exercise for once, instead of an audio example.  

The exercise is called READING and it's gonna stretch your brain with something from the jazz Universe instead of more digitalectronics.  

There's a hand-written list of advice down below, check it out and see what you can take from it.

Thelonious Monk was a beautiful weirdo who played crunch chords and melodies that absolutely smashed expectations at the time, and the way he did it still leads you into a place where you expect the melody but get smacked with... something else.

Better to hear it for yourself. 

k.  While that's playing, here's a list of things Monk said one day, to the musicians he was working with, about how to play, how to dress, what to do on stage, what to think, what to imagine, what you put into the music, etc.  

It's like a 'how to run the show' list for bandleaders, 'what to do onstage' for musicians, and 'what to ignore' for people who are not reading it.

My favorite part is what he said about gigs.  It still applies right now.  

He said,

"Don't sound anybody for a gig, just be on the scene."  

It means don't show up out out of nowhere and start asking for gigs without having any emotional connection first.  (we're not talking about the booking agent thing here.)

When you're around a scene in your city, going to other people's shows, seeing people who play and who go to concerts to support each other, it's natural and simple to find yourself being invited to fill a slot that someone needs.  

The reason is that when other musicians see you at shows, they KNOW YOU UNDERSTAND.  

Before someone hires you to get on stage at their gig, they have to be sure you know what emotional pressure to bring, what the audience wants, what level of performance must explode, and what the vibe is like.  

Nobody wants a stranger to start dropping trance on a house set, y know?

Another way to say it is, forget about the money and think about the music, get gigs when people see how much you love the music and the audience, NOT by trying to kill the competition or push yourself up front first.  Doesn't work that way.

The other great thing about Monk is when I listen to his music, a lot of times he sort of gets stuck in a loop and does the same thing over and over and over again.  Sounds like he's making electronic music almost.

Steve Knots

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