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A Word With Willie

Welcome to Willie Oteri's Blog about his life and lessons as a musician. From here you can browse the full articles on each topic covered in this series.

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Performing as a Side Man or a Band Leader

Watch Performing as a Side Man or a Band Leader
In this video Willie Oteri discusses performance as a Side Man or a Band Leader and explains how there is a difference in approach.

Now I want to talk a little bit about performing as either a side man or a band leader and a difference in approach of those two things. We had touched earlier on, if you're going to be a side man you really have to know a lot about music reading, music, etc. -Not always, necessarily, sight reading real fast but being able to take a couple passes at something and pick it up really fast.

One time when I hired Mike Keneally to work on an album, he didn't want any sheet music, he just wanted to hear something one time. We ran a twenty minute piece by him and he had it down (snap) like that. And that's just a matter of really having a good ear, knowing a lot about theory and what to play where, and it works.

if you're going to be a bandleader then your approach is going to be, of course, to know how to hire the best musicians that are gonna fit right for your project. Sometimes it's difficult to get the best drummer, I've got some drummers on my recordings that I don't want to go out and play shows and play those things without that drummer because nobody plays like him etc. But, sometimes you have to make that sacrifice and you just have to sort of change it to go with what's happening, what's working, and if you don't have a lot of rehearsal time you're probably gonna need some good charts.

But, mostly what I'm doing right now is improvisation so there's no charts anyway, so knowing that the person can improvise and just sort of not worrying too much about if it sounds like anything you've previously recorded because it's gonna be the performance of that moment anyway, and that's part of the art form of it.

Last modified onFriday, 11 December 2015 04:11
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Thanks to KD Neeley of ZiADiA for putting this series together!

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