Anyone ever play guitar in Mama Mia?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by maydaynyc, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. maydaynyc

    maydaynyc Supporting Member

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    I would definitely be fired in those instances. Maybe not grease or Mamma Mia book 2, but certainly most of the books I've played no way I could have gotten through them cold without some work at home. But like I said above some of the cats I've seen who do this for a living can do that. It's impressive really.

    Regarding positions, I make a lot of pencil marks as well. It's probably obvious for everyone who does this regularly but I generally look ahead a couple of bars to the highest note and use that to pick a position, coupled with the key signature.
     
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  2. russintexas

    russintexas Member

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    I will say that some of y'all are on a very different level than I am. I play for community theatre and high schools, so we're talking from 70 to maybe 350 seats max. I've played for equity actors twice in six years.

    I'm good enough to get through the show, but I'm in no way nailing every last voicing perfectly. I don't slouch on it, but I've got a day job, ya know?

    I'm in awe of the players who can really do it. :)
     
  3. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

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    I'm new to the theater world, about to start rehearsals for my 3rd show, Hedwig. So far 2 out of the 3 books I've gotten have been pretty jacked, I don't see how anyone could read these books cold. Wrong chords, wrong notes. These are official books too. Just got an email from the MD yesterday to basically rely on the cast recordings. Thankfully most of the music is basically Beatlesy pop tunes.
     
  4. russintexas

    russintexas Member

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    Hedwig is one of the _worst_ books I've heard of (talking to players who played this past summer). Are you going to be off-book (memorized) or not for this one?

    The absolute worst I've seen personally was the bass book for Great American Trailer Park Musical-- no key signatures or chords, just notation and _all accidentals_. Most books I've experienced have a handful of mistakes, but none have made me as displeased as that book.

    This is why I come here before new shows, though; I don't know any forum more likely to have players who actually have experience with the shows.
     
  5. maydaynyc

    maydaynyc Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. fortunately being in the New York area we've got some really high end Community Theaters and some great pit folks who used to do it for a living, got day jobs and do this for passion so I get to play with amazing players in pretty high-end gigs, but in the local non equity theatres. I've done a bunch of the high school gigs when I started doing pit stuff but I stopped after a while. Student drummers are just painful...
     
  6. Trevordog

    Trevordog Member

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    Yeah, guys like us that do shows should have a permanent thread on the guitar books of shows.
    I did "The Who's Tommy" over the summer, and got my ass kicked on "Capt. Walker Didn't Come Home". It was a three minute guitar solo using D tuning that was all sixteenth notes at a fast tempo! They transcribed Townsend's solo for the show, and they said that he couldn't even play it without tracking. It was for a small theater company that I'm on staff for, and they didn't wanna hire a second guitarist (the book is for two guitars), so I had to handle both parts at times.
    I told the boy genius MD that he'd have to help me out, and play some of the things on keyboard, so we worked it out pretty good.
    I got "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" at a resort upstate after that, which was a piece of cake compared to Tommy.
     
  7. Trevordog

    Trevordog Member

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    Yeah, it's like a NY macho thing. They think that you should be able to sight read flyshit if you wanna work with them.
     
  8. russintexas

    russintexas Member

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    The HS shows I play have an all-paid pit, just students on stage. I shudder to think of playing with a student drummer.
     
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  9. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    For some shows the guitarist has a bunch of doubles....and (their) pedalboard changes. I must not be macho enough to jump off that mountain without an advance parachute.
     
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  10. ldizzle

    ldizzle Supporting Member

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    Loads of interesting conversation here. I'm not a union 1 guy, but repped by another chapter.

    I did a couple of Disney pit productions... Worked pit for 4 years- definitely studied- some productions less than others, definitely showed up prepared and professional... went great. NBD. Pit is very enjoyable to me.

    I can sight read at speed... but some of those passages sneak up if not knowing they're coming. I'd advise, with any gig, to over prepare rather than under.
     
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  11. maydaynyc

    maydaynyc Supporting Member

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    Words to live by. TRUTH.
     
  12. maydaynyc

    maydaynyc Supporting Member

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    Color me jealous. Our school fills in paid adults only when they don't have HS students. Typically its guitar, keys and bass. but like i said I stopped doing them.
     
  13. maydaynyc

    maydaynyc Supporting Member

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    Tommy was one of my favorite shows to play. Luckily we had 2 guitars and the other guy had Capt. Walker. It was no joke and he shedded for a month.
     
  14. Trevordog

    Trevordog Member

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    If I had a choice, I'd always choose to see the book first, but some of the MDs are usually older, classical piano-oriented guys, who are living in the past. They don't have a clue about f/x- they just want to hear the notes on the page.
     
  15. Trevordog

    Trevordog Member

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    Yeah, Tommy was a pisser! I got called just a day or two before the first band rehearsal. Someone had obviously dropped out. The MD was a nice guy. He knew it was all guitar (with no stops between numbers!) with constant playing, so he played Capt. Walker with me from the score. He didn't say a bad word to me, and the show went great. The older MDs in this theater company turn down shows like that, because they don't understand the idiom. One of the younger MDs heard me play Sister Act the night before, so I got the nod for Tommy.
     
  16. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

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    I'm supposed to play Sister Act in April, how is that one?
     
  17. Trevordog

    Trevordog Member

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    Easy as hell. You'll have a great time- just think 80s disco/R&B, and bring a wah wah.
     
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