Butt Groove

“That girl ain’t gonna fit in the groove my butt has worn into this bench.”
-organ player

So, one year from now, I will no longer be in the middle school jazz band. I will be in high school, which is a very scary thought. I started thinking this over, and I realized that my replacement will have to make the same mistakes I did, learn the same tricks, and hear the drums shake on the same chords.

That thought is even scarier.

I made lots of crazy mistakes my first year. I couldn’t even turn on my own piano. Why? ‘Cause I was a newbie. Jazz is tough, man.

So here it is: all the wisdom I’ve gathered over a year and a half. Haha, yeah, like that’ll be much. Oh well. Here goes.

1. You don’t turn on a non-electric piano. Just open the cover and start playing.

2. If you are as lucky as I am and do get an electric piano, then just press the buttons until it turns on. No, seriously, ask somebody. You’ll sound stupid, but that’s fine. Right now, you might very well be.

3. Never ever ever ever rely on microphones or amps to make more sound. Your fingers (keep ’em bent) and your forearms are your best weapons. Move your bench so you can stretch out your arms and touch the keys with your fingertips, then move forward about six inches. That’s about where you will get the most power to your arms.

4. Assume nothing. Do not assume that contest pianos will be 9 foot grands or even in tune. They could be, but don’t rely on it. Don’t assume the bench won’t wobble or the music stand won’t shift. This leads to you getting a bit too settled in. You must be flexible.

5. Make friends with the drummer….

6. … And the bass player. Chances are, they will be playing in your ear for a long time yet to come.

7. The wind instruments as well. Just be nice to fellow band members.

8. Have fun, dag gum it!


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