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The Arch Enemy, TENSION is back!

Posted by bj on Monday, October 26, 2009

Yesterday I busked with Jane for awhile. I'm not sure if it's because it was a bit cooler outside, but the whole time we were playing, I felt STIFF. I managed to play more or less okay, including the three times we ended up playing round after round of Golden Slippers (twice on request!) It sounded good enough, but it didn't FEEL good, not like it normally does.

I tried to loosen up, and sometimes I managed to kick it loose a bit, but after a minute or so, the tension would creep back in, especially in the left hand, though it was also happening to my bowhand and arm and fingers. I did manage to work into the zone MOST of the time, even with the discomfort, which is a good sign, though I fell apart rather spectacularly on Redwing, but that wasn't stiffness, that was a rather disruptive bunch of Jane's antics working through to me.

Anyway, with this tension issue, I hope it was just the cold, I would hate to have to go through all the myriad diagnostics of figuring out what's wrong again-- been there, done that, wore out the dang teeshirt! It was happening on old tunes and new, so I'm suspecting that's what it was.

Time to go play for a bit and hope I'm feeling loose and comfortable now.

Regardless of my discomfort, there were some magical moments. One of the town characters, wheeling an old red kid's wagon full of junk he was unsuccessfully trying to give away, was making requests of things he could sing along with, which resulted in 8th of January and the second rendition of Golden Slippers, as well as doodling on Jimmy Cracked Corn, which Jane nixed since it has the minor part in it, which she's always said is not a good choice for busking, since people don't fork over bucks for blue tunes.

The guy loved singing with us, and Jane and I were laughing the whole time we were playing. We were photographed numerous times, and filmed at least once, and I really hope my fiddle face wasn't in evidence! And then, as we decided to pack it in, a whole family came over, and Dad said he'd brought them back to hear us, could we do Golden Slippers again for a five buck tip? Well, the answer, of course, was yes. It was great, The three little kids stood there watching with HUGE eyes, and then Dad picked up one of them and started dancing around, as the teen filmed us playing, and everyone with big smiles, while our town character sang along again. By the time we'd wrapped that tune there was quite a crowd on the sidewalk, and lots of cheering and thank yous and grins. A great ending to the day!

15 comments on “The Arch Enemy, TENSION is back!”

Cyndy Says:
Monday, October 26, 2009 @9:00:49 AM

What IS it about Golden Slippers? I've played bass (okay--tried to play bass) a couple of times with a family at a farmer's market and it seems to be a favorite. For me, I like it because it's easy to hear the chord changes. (laugh) Cyndy

bj Says:
Monday, October 26, 2009 @9:05:25 AM

Geez, I thought it was just because we're near Philadelphia, home of the Mummer's Parade . . .

bj Says:
Monday, October 26, 2009 @9:07:54 AM

FiddleCat Says:
Monday, October 26, 2009 @12:13:15 PM

What a great time!! Wish I could have joined ya's. Did you take the Magic Stick??

bj Says:
Monday, October 26, 2009 @12:33:36 PM

I had it with me, but I don't normally use it except for waltzes, which we don't often play when we busk, since we try to keep it up tempo and happy.

mudbug Says:
Monday, October 26, 2009 @3:09:31 PM

If it was cooler outside, did you have on the heavier, bulky clothing that you were referencing re: having to adjust your shoulder rest? That would change things.

FiddleJammer Says:
Monday, October 26, 2009 @3:54:36 PM

What time of day? Morning sux for me.

Ozarkian DL Says:
Monday, October 26, 2009 @6:23:55 PM

Satisfaction fer U & Jane......
5 bucks fer tha tune......
Memories fer tha kids.....( priceless ).

bj Says:
Monday, October 26, 2009 @6:34:36 PM

This was very late afternoon, just as the sun was sinking, and the air was starting to cool. No bulky clothing, just a longsleeve shirt over a teeshirt. I was wishing I had brought a hoodie along.

Oz, you got it in one!

bj Says:
Monday, October 26, 2009 @8:53:43 PM

So I played this afternoon and this evening with very little tension, just a bit on the new tunes I'm learning. So yeah, it was most likely the goosebump factor.

Ozarkian DL Says:
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 @9:42:51 AM

I get stiff too sumtimes....( in all tha wrong places ).

fiddlepogo Says:
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 @11:45:30 PM

It COULD be the weather... OR...
it could be the rosin not working because of the weather making you dig in harder than normal.
OR, it could be playing outdoors.
Playing outdoors or in a big room with sound absorption tile can suck up your sound and not send enough back to you to give you a "monitor" effect. Result: you play harder to try and hear yourself. It's happened to me many times.
When playing outdoors, try to play against a wall or under an overhang, something that will reflect some sound back to you.

bj Says:
Thursday, October 29, 2009 @5:24:30 AM

Michael, the "no monitor" effect might happen if you wear an earplug. I don't. It's never been an issue and I play outdoors a LOT. Also, right now in our busking spot, there is scaffolding above us. Jane had commented the acoustics were "closer" with it there. We play with our backs to a plate glass window (well, actually we caddycorner to it, since we turn in towards each other a bit.) We've played in this spot before (probably half a dozen times) and this is the first time I've had the issue.

janepaints Says:
Friday, October 30, 2009 @7:58:41 PM

Don't ferget you'd been flea marketing and thus had been up since crack o' dawn, folding and refolding all the vintage textiles which thoughtful customers would inspect, decide not to buy, and then toss into the canal across the street, just to see if their throwing arm still had the fire.
Enough to give anybody Tension Issues.

bj Says:
Friday, October 30, 2009 @8:07:06 PM

LOL! Yeah, there is that . . .

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