Preparing for a Slow Melody Contest

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Matt Lawson, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. Matt Lawson

    Matt Lawson Member

    It's my Slow Melody debut tomorrow - can anyone briefly outline what I should expect?

    I know that the adjudicator is in a tent, as per full band contests - but what is the audience usually like? Sporadic or full?

    It's at a Conservative Club so it won't be a massive venue!

    I'm really nervous as I don't often play soloistic lines, but I think I've prepared the piece OK.

    Out of 9, obviously I want to win - but I'll be happy with 5th and above for my debut.

    Any hints/tips?
  2. SteveDunster

    SteveDunster New Member

    Good luck Matt

    This is my personal view on nerves and performances, in case it is of some interest to you...

    Don't get excitement mixed up with nerves. Excitement and butterflies is a good thing. It means the adrenaline is running and it will help you rise to the occasion. Nerves on the other hand might make you shake, or wobble, or dry up - and an assortment of other unwelcome symptoms.

    In my experience, the more you focus on getting nervous, the more you will get nervous.

    You have put time, effort and emotional committment into your preperation and you will be playing a professionally composed work, so you are more than likely going to engage your audience. I suggest you think of your performance as a "gift to the audience and to the adjudicator."

    Don't concern yourself with winning or losing, concern yourself with giving the most emotionally engaging experience you can to your listeners. In other words - think about them, not about you.

    In this way, it will move your attention away from your nervous self, and towards your expectant audience.

    Personally I think nerves is a selfish emotion - it is evidence that you are making your performance more about you than about your audience, and it can be quite disabling.

    You have done the prep, so you have a gift worth giving. Enjoy the giving of it - and if you get excited, welcome the excitement, it is always a priviledge to play to someone. Don't be put off if there is a small audience, even if only one person enjoys your musical gift, it is a gift worth giving and they will be grateful for it.

    I wish you well Matt, let me know how you do. Enjoy yourself and make it more about your audience than about you.

    Good luck

  3. Matt Lawson

    Matt Lawson Member

    What a fantastic reply!

    Thank you so much - that has all sunk in and I'll give it a good go!
  4. Kiz7

    Kiz7 Member

    Eat a banana about 30 minutes before playing
  5. Matt Lawson

    Matt Lawson Member

    What about a morning rehearsal?

    The piece has a couple of top Bb and Cs in it - so don't want to waste my lip - but I'm not due on until 11:30am.
  6. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Not sure if a "rehearsal" is a good idea, but a "warm-up" most definitely is.

    Lots of long notes (hymns are good for this), get your lip going and your breathing + sound. No fast stuff and no high notes, save the lip for the performance.

    A "warm-up" about 5 mins (or whatever suits you best, some people like to do more) before you're due on is a must, in the car if you have to (I've done this in slow melodies in the past). If you go on thoroughly warmed up and your instrument warm, you'll feel more comfortable and will play better because of it.

    Good luck!
  7. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    What u playin Matt?? Dont think Nic and Priya would appriciate you rehearsing this early lol would just do a few warm ups with a practise mute in (that is if you have one, and also if nic is awake!)

    Audiences at these things are usually just parents and friends of whoevers playin, most of the ones ive done there has been no more than about 10 in the audience. just imagine there is noone else in the room when you play!!

    He is right as well if u wanna warm up just before u play you will most likely have to do it in the car as it prob wont have a separate room for warming up!!

    you will be fine!! Good Luck!!
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2007
  8. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    What a superb way to look at it - and it applies equally to a full band I would imagine. Great advice.
  9. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    oh and i am officially stupid!! just looked at the dates and this contest was yesterday!! gaah sorry matt! Howd u do?
  10. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Nice thread, great posts. Please let us know how you got on Matt yeah.
  11. Matt Lawson

    Matt Lawson Member

    I came anywhere between 4th and 9th, though having heard all the others I've estimated 5th.

    Mr. Williams in the box didn't write points on anything outside the top 3, so we're all left guessing as to where we came!

    For my first contest, and the relatively few rehearsals I had on it, I'm quite pleased with how I played.

    It's about experience at the moment, not about winning.

    Really enjoyed it though and will definitely enter more in the future.

    Thanks for all the advice!
  12. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Good effort :clap:

    Hope you enjoyed it, it is totally different playing with no band behind you for support. Once you've done it, it makes playing a solo with the band feel so much easier!
  13. So is it unaccompanied? Literally just you on your own?
  14. Teflon1961

    Teflon1961 Member

    I did loads of these, ermm a "few" years ago... I'd wish you all the best and advise a lot of long notes in the gents!

    Good luck my friend, it's the best grounding you'll ever get, barring the Sally-Ann of course!

    Good luck, enjoy, feel confident and succeed.

  15. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    I think most of them are. ive only ever Standish, Elland and Dobx and all of those were unaccompanied...nice thing with that though is that you can just take your time and dont really have to count bars rest!
  16. It does sound quite a good challenge. I'm not sure how I would find out about one in my area. Does it link up to a national thing?
  17. Kiz7

    Kiz7 Member

    The Forest of Dean Solo Contest is within travelling distance to you - and there are official pianists at this contest so not completely unaccompanied.

    I posted the details early tonight in a new thread in the Adjudicator's comments. Let me know if you are interested.

  18. SteveDunster

    SteveDunster New Member

    Well done Matt - I'm glad it went well, and delighted you're planning on entering more solo contests.

  19. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    There's a slow melody contest in Oxford on April 29th! PM me for more details if interested....
  20. ratpit

    ratpit Member

    How do you find info about solo competitions?