Facing the music

So far, I’ve been pretty much a slacker band leader. In half a year we’ve only met up once. While I blame it partly, on a runaway drummer who cancelled on a practice session (without telling me) and then quit (also without telling me, thus keeping us waiting for a couple of months thinking he was just busy), it’s also due to conflicting schedules and the lack of available studios in our music school, especially during the festive period.
The other thing is ‘administrative’ work. For one, I dislike writing scores for songs. Even if God has blessed me with the ability to play by ear and write notations, it is just so tedious and boring. And where there are quick, successive chord changes which I can’t quite figure out … I mean, just kill me!
I’d settle for chord charts but sometimes they’re not good enough. The songs I’ve chosen are not found in Fake Books because they’re mostly recent fusion jazz pieces, so there’s no easy way out.
I’d prefer someone else giving me the outline of each song and I just hit away on the keyboard. Alas, the band is totally dependent on me. I feel sorry they’re stuck with me sometimes. I hope my laziness doesn’t hinder their own musical development.
I wonder if making me band leader because I’m supposed to be the most ‘musical’ is like making a top striker the captain of a football team when he’d rather focus on scoring goals instead. In any case, after that pitiful loss at Sheffield United, at least we thundered past Charlton. 15 points to catch up, like it’s for real but you can’t stop them from hoping.


  1. Ivan Chew

    This post reminds me of my days playing with an amateur band, where we just agreed on the chords and winged it. But could be that we never played for an audience, so we weren’t too concerned about correctness & accuracy. Besides, rock tunes are pretty simple.

  2. oceanskies79

    I’m a Friend of Yesterday.sg, and happen to visit your blog today.
    I am impressed whenever I come across people who can readily compose. I wish I have the gift to play by ear.
    On administrative work to get a music group organised, I can appreciate how some things are simply mind-boggling to do. Do give yourself a deserving pat on the shoulder. I realised that for a music group to be successful, not only should the music it plays be good, it needs a good behind-the-stage support. =)
    I’m sorry that I have not been following your earlier posts on this blog, what genre of music does your band play?
    I play in an amateur symphony orchestra on the double bass. Some jazz music appeals to me, just that I don’t like the sounds from the amplifiers for I think they are too loud for me.
    Meantime, have fun making music. 🙂

  3. vantan

    Dear Oceanskies, thanks for visiting my blog, and for the encouraging comments. I play fusion jazz but actually we started off learning traditional jazz first. We just felt fusion may give us more options to branch out to, e.g. funk, soul, smooth jazz, latin…
    Wow, an ‘amateur’ symphony orchestra? Sounds like a bit act! All the best in your endeavours.

  4. oceanskies79

    Err. i play as an alumni member of the NUS symphony orchestra, in case you wish to know. Fusion jazz, I am not exposed as much to that as compared to classical music, but I won’t mind listening to it, I think.
    I shall check this space for updates regarding your band’s performances. If time should permit, you will see me at your performances.

  5. vantan

    Bleah! After a few months I realised I made a typo in an important place. I meant to say, ‘That’s a big act’, not ‘bit act’. Major difference! My apologies.

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