Before the Show: Full Sail Hall of Fame 10

 

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in Full Sail University’s Hall of Fame week. This year was really special, not only because it was their 10th year recognizing the accomplishments of distinguished alumni, but the university also celebrated its 40th year of existence! To get a glimpse of the festivities, check out their instagram and facebook pages.

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The week ended with an awards ceremony and Full Sail did it BIG! The event was held in three different venues across campus. Two of the venues had two bands of the same configuration and the entire event was run simultaneously from all the venues. The entire tech crew was spot on and the transitions between each venue were seamless.

From the band perspective, we had two days to prepare together. Before then, it’s important to know that the personal prep makes or breaks a performer. Here’s how I get ready for any show. If the music is a pre-existing recording, I check out the original album versions first. I like to get into the vibe of the writers/original performers and really draw from the elements created by them. This includes tuning, timbre, fill styles, groove feel (straight or swung), lyrics, and how the moving parts function together.

Then, if there is a special arrangement, I work that into the practice rotation. After learning the original recordings, the arrangements are normally easier for me to grasp. Whatever has been added by the arranger most often draws from features of the song.

For this show, backline was provided for the rehearsals and performance. In these situations, having an idea of what I wanted the drums to sound like was paramount, seeing that I wouldn’t be on my own time once I finally got to the venue. Some tips for this would be to tune your drums in your own space and record the tones (I got this from checking out one of the industry’s top drum techs, Cedric Crout Sr.) or have the original recording handy when it’s time to tune.

After the personal prep, full band prep, and tech run throughs, show time should be a breeze… and it was! While some methods may vary from gig to gig, keeping a core system in place will keep you ready! You can check out the show opener here starting at the 22:17 mark!

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Gerald Law IIComment