The Journey of a bassist under my tuition (Part 2)

BassCiao maestro,

Set list: Cast Adrift - Steve Hackett (postponed); Starless - King Crimson; To be
over - Yes; Prairie Angel - Steve Hackett; Owner of a lonely heart - Yes; The Fish -
Yes/the late great Chris Squire.

Guest list: Andy, Chris, Holly and the
animal chorus. Jo & Shirley had gone out to
the Indigo fusion restaurant.
Wine list: Enville Ale, Fruit Shoots.


The journal begins. My fingertips, on both hands, are so sore after two hours of
almost incessant practice, rehearsal and "performance". The tunings needed repeated
amendments, largely to Chris's six string leads. Even though we were essentially
performing to camera (Holly was doing her own viola stuff and Facebooking in the
front room, not in the "studio"), I ended up learning, leading and accompanying
Chris on "To be over".

Chris is NOT a teacher. He likes to play anything at random and rehearse his own
stuff too. Yours truly has to bring him into line, position him to face the
potential audience at home and get him to stop riffing wildly so that I can follow,
accompany or, at least, get the timing right. When dealing with a tetchy yet
accomplished younger sibling (of only 53 & a half), from the position of a far less
proficient performer, the gloves could have been off. However the MUSIC was always
the maestro!

Despite this being a performance, Chris and I complimented one another during the
"To be over" piece so that I was actually learning it then playing it "for the
record". His tablet memory is now full but I hope that both producer brother Chris
and engineer Holly (12 & a quarter) can transfer all the takes to their PC then
AirDrop them to me by email. If so, I'll send them over to you after some pretty
necessary editing.

Actually, I'm quite happy with the first results before any editing. My confidence
got quite a boost, lastly, from the improvisation section from "The Fish
(Schindleria praematurus)" by Yes [Fragile 1971] on which the lead loop of the
six-string guitar lays the foundation for the bass to improvise in E. Thanks to my
mentor and teacher's unfaltering patience and motivation, I took confidence from my
learning so as to then incorporate the minor notes I'd practiced into my ramshackle
attempts e.g. E minor, B flat minor etc, in order to add variation and colour to the
piece (probably outshone by the ceiling light reflecting off my Gianni
Infantino/Telly Savalas/Yul Brynner coiffure)!!

One final aspect of the event/experiment was the refreshing reconnection which Chris
and I felt about performing, in future (on or off camera), the wealth of material
that we still mutually appreciate from our adolescent years...and well beyond! 

As an experiment, we now know that we need more than thirty minutes rehearsal time!
As a performance musically, it was pretty heartwarming. We'll arrange another "gig"
before they all head off to Mexico for the Easter holidays. Caramba! 

Have a top night, maestro!

For part 1 click here

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