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Performance Demand


Performance demand: Mark Black's term for the overarching imperative to play something, anything, no matter how flawed, when an audience is listening, just so you don't sound lame. That's an audience of even just one or just yourself. Performance demand can work for your or against you. "For you" would be helping you continue when you make a mistake or have a place you're unsure about - you try to keep going and cover up or ignore mistakes. But there is a negative element to it, especially when you are working in a group or working toward a performance. You can easily miss or never work out important details, changing the unique, vital aspects of a song into something you can DO, right now. And again, lots of times that's a good thing, like when you're trying to put together songs quickly for something - you rely on your experience and musicianship to get them together as soon as possible. But if you're trying to learn from a song, catch the essence of an artist or style, absorb the song as quickly as possible - you've got to slow down the learning process to catch those details. In fact, you WILL miss important details as you play with others and the song get "OK" and your sights start to move to other places in the song or other songs in the group. It's good enough, so let's go on. make yourself stop being pressured by yourself or the group, your buddy...and hear and workout those precious details. Performance demand. Make it work for you and be aware of it.

Make scales seamless, regardless of changing voices or strings, crossing fingers over. Accent different notes in the group (2nd, 3rd, etc).