Finding Rep is always weird because you basically have to be the worst version of yourself to do it properly. (Oh, BTW, we’re switching to monthly blog posts because I’m lazy… get over it) Here’s my guide to finding good solid adult Rep (It’s basically like buying shoes… this would also be applied to shoes)
Step One: The Lord baby Jesus in all his infinite wisdom gave you two ears and only one sound hole you shove crackers in to… LISTEN! listen to things you’d like to play and things that should good to you, you’re favourite genre, you’re favourite singer.
Step Two: Take away everything and just leave the tune. (If this is shoes, take off all your clothes and just wear the shoes) If you can listen to it then it’s gold! If you can’t it’s garbage.
Test: Let’s listen to some Bruno Marz and Hum the Tune.
The Verse is two notes. It’s awful, but the chorus makes it seem like there’s a tune and it’s worth doing but it’s really just one phrase repeated over and over again.
If you can hum the tune and it sounds good then do it! If we look historically at tune and the development of songs, there’s a reason we have all these folk tunes that have survived hundreds of years. They actually have melodies and movement that makes them exciting to listen to on their own.
Step Three (get it! steps like shoes!): Arranging!
So you’ve found the shoes/piece. How does that work for your instrument? Does that even work for your instrument? (for shoes this is a can you walk around the block and still feel your feet situation)
Nothing is ever arranged for Lever harp and singer. It’s just not, and if it is I’m too lazy to sit down and learn the notes the corporate machine wants me to learn! Maaan you don’t get it! you weren’t there! I’ve seen some things Maaaan, some chords with too many fingers to be played maaaaan!
No, in all seriousness, If I play repeated bass notes on a harp they sound a little tired by the third bar, so I’ll do an arrangement of the piece that works for my instrument and plays to it’s strength… ok… mainly just ascending arpeggios and glissandos for days! But I know what works for me! I can still feel my feet when I get home!
Step Four: Try it out! This is like wearing said shoes on a test run somewhere low pressure and easy! like, at your work where if you mess up that’s ok because no one is listening to you that closely, or while you busk because again, no one is listening. Go to the pub in your new shoes, go for a shop. Try out and see if it works before doing it in front of people who are actually paying to be there! Be curious!
Step Five: Some say ‘practice till you get it right’ others say ‘Practice till you can’t get it wrong’ but I say ‘what’s practicing? What? Who are you and how did you get into my… oh you want that quote…. ok… ummm something like “practice till you don’t have any memory of learning it”… that ok? good? great… bye.
Honestly, I have no memory of learning the pieces that I know so well. In my head when I’m playing Somewhere Over The Rainbow or Both Sides Now, or a Nightingale Sang in Berkley’s Square I’m just singing it in my head and my hands know what notes to make that noise happen. It’s pretty easy!
So, you’re new shoes/songs/pieces look great! and all in five steps. which is as many as it takes me to eat an entire cake! Little known fact but I thought I should share!
Have a great month!