By early 2002, a performance team emerged out of the larger NJGC team. Mostly a quintet, but at times, depending on availability or where a performance was taking place, it could be as small as a trio or as large as the full team. We knew most of each other’s guitar parts as well as much of the “active” repertoire, so when a performance was set, we could honorably act on it. In order to perform, it took practice, and not just the pieces we would play: we learned to walk on, walk off, learned to construct a set list, learned to play standing up, learned to listen during a performance to queues, all the things that go beyond actually playing the guitar. In the photos attached is the main performing team from the NJGC practicing for an upcoming show … and you’ll see we are standing up playing our guitars. Typically, during our regular weekly meetings, we would sit in a circle and do our work. But, as I cited, performance was different and we needed to practice that part in order to perform. Our performances took place in various settings and venues. We did some formal shows as well as local house concerts during this time. Places like a Civic Center, or a Church, and perhaps a Nursing Home or Benefit at a town hall. And as mentioned, a number of house concerts in the town where we held our weekly meetings. We never took money for any of the performances – rather, we did them for free or if money was involved, it was donated locally.
So, we practiced. We practiced in a line, we practiced standing, we knew our parts and our work. We showed up on time, we knew we were representing a large team when we did a performance.
However, there was one thing we didn’t practice. That was performing amplified (plugging into a PA). We learned that quickly after we did a show in Saratoga Springs NY and plugged into a PA that was supplied for the very first time (a bad idea BTW).
There are no mistakes save one – the inability to learn from a mistake.