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Pit work

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by mandocaster, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. mandocaster


    Dec 24, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I have been fortunate to get work periodically in pits for various musicals. Since I am a hack, I usually find the experience harrowing. I am doing rehearsals for a show called "Lucky Stiff" now. The second song is just three pages long, has 10 key changes, numerous meter changes, several tempo changes - i.e. typical show music. I am usually the only bass player, so I am very exposed. Nonetheless I really enjoy the experience, and the opportunity to improve. Anyone else enjoy this kind of thing?
  2. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC
    I like doing it for the initial challenge -- the stuff you mentioned like on-the-dime meter and key changes, the sometimes wide stylistic palette, etc. Then, depending on how long the show's running, the challenge of keeping your focus night after night without blanking out and making stupid mistakes. The downside is, especially in "traditional" musicals, you end up playing two-beat for at least two-thirds of the show. The "modern" ones are admittedly more challenging.

    There are a couple of outstanding high school programs in my area that typically hire pro and semi-pro guys (like me) for the pit. I've played Cabaret and Bye Bye Birdie in the past couple of months, with Urinetown coming up at the end of April. Sweeney Todd, though, stands out as a favorite.
  3. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I'd love to play that one.
  4. BassLand


    Mar 20, 2000
    Lost Angeles
    Playing musicals are fun. Getting Ready for "HAIR" as the principal bassist, doing sub for "Howling Dogs and Dirty Blues" The life & Music of Big Mama Thornton", Have done 2 musicals for Motown's Mickey Stevenson, "Heaven Can Wait" and "TKO", "Gloria Duplex", "High School Musical". I really like those that I have been fortunate to have played. Most have been medium or short runs and were moderately challenging.
  5. ouija


    Jan 18, 2009
    I get to try my hand at Aida with my school in a few weeks. It's not too bad, although it has bred a hatred of whole note A flats in me stronger than I thought I could ever have...
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Hah! I hear ya. I did Maury Reston's version of Phantom awhile back. Beautiful score, way superior to to A.L. Webber's. But after the run was over, I didn't want to see another tremolo for at least ten years. :rollno:
    Need Gigs likes this.

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