With an upcoming tour, Victor, Steve, Derico and Oteil took the day to rehearse their show. This was one of the more informative sessions for me. All they did was practice the songs, but it was not like very many practices I have had. They broke each song down, deciding what to keep and how to change it to fit the musicians at hand. Each time, they would start playing the song until some question or issue surfaced, then they would stop and work it out. Each time through the tune, it would fill out more, adding a chord coloring here, note choice there, a rhythmic progression or two until the song eventually became quite polished.
On the tour, they were playing on playing a few Jaco Pastorius tunes. Each musician took turns breaking down the song, talking about the passages and how they would voice their parts so as not to step on each other. They had their sheet much on the floor in front of them for reference.
One of the questions asked was how common is it for musicians to have to relearn their songs. Steve Bailey put it this way: "When I go over to Victor's house, there's never a Victor Wooten album playing." I can somewhat relate to this; whenever I have played in bands that do original music, I spend a lot of time trying to remember how the tunes went -- particularly if the songs are older. And I pretty much never listen to my own recordings; usually because I can hear too many boo-boos in them to really be able to enjoy them as music. While I had wondered if musicians at that level would have a different experience, I suppose that it's somewhat comforting that all musicians face that obstacle.
Another interesting question concerned time signatures. The four of them were working through the tune Double Oh Six when someone asked what time signature they were playing in. Derico said "6/4", Steve and Oteil both said "6/8" while Victor said "4/4". All of those will work, but it was just interesting to hear how they were each going their own way but getting there together.Posted by Casper at September 10, 2004 02:23 PM