Singular Sensation: A Reader for my Blog

My first attempt at answering a writing prompt. My other blog is “People, Politics, and Pinheads and deals more with society and life in general.

Today’s Daily Prompt caught my eye. The idea was to pick one person that you would choose to be guaranteed to read your blog. This is a hard question for me to answer with this blog, because it is mostly about my music. To be honest, none of the musical people in my life are the type to read blogs. Therefore, I have to turn to the other aspect of my blog: a place for me to write. This is why I choose one of my best teachers ever, Mrs. S-,as my guaranteed reader.

Mrs. S- has encouraged me since elementary school to pursue what I love, which in this case resulted in writing and music. She taught me how to present my work, how to deal with people, and how to write so people can understand. It is because of her pure awesomeness that I am writing to you.

I would pick Mrs. S- because I want her to know how much she has helped me and how big on an impact she has had on my life. My TAG teacher, my editor, but most of all, Mrs. S- was and is my friend.

All the jazz (among other music styles,)
– Hannah

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!

Oi! Off the Bench: 10 ways to freak out a pianist

Musicians are often know to be among the most violent and high-strung people around. Probably among the worst of these are the rhythm section: piano, bass guitar, and percussion. As a piano player, I know that it is very easy to make any musician angry. But for the sake of a shorter blog post, I now present: 10 ways to Freak Out a Pianist.

10. Call their job easy.
I have 88 buttons to make a mistake on, and a thousand ways to make it. How many do you have?

9. Diss their piano.
Don’t you dare call my baby names! I will hurt you!

8. Compare them to others.
Just don’t. This really applies to everything in life.

7. Diss other piano players.
Some pianists stink, but they will improve. Don’t diss ’em!

6. Put stuff on their piano.
It’s an instrument, not a shelf. I don’t see the saxophones being used as cup holders, so why is my piano a table?

5. Ask them to play a crappy piano.
Pianists are almost always the only people who can’t bring their instrument with them to concerts and contests. If the piano is a piece of crap, my playing will be the same.

4. A crappy bench
You play Beethoven while sitting on a wobbly little stool and see how it feels.

3. The music
Don’t touch their music unless you are a page turner. Seriously. Not cool.

2. Play their piano.
No. Not unless you’re a piano player.

1. Get yo’ butt off my bench!

Bonus: Don’t point out that their piano is, in fact, not owned by them, but rather by the school/church/concert hall/whatever.