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sukie
09-30-2011, 10:38 AM
I had the pleasure of having a cocktail (maybe 2?) with Gerald Ross last weekend at the Milwaukee Uke Fest. Sometimes I talk to people and he was one I just had to converse with. He is an awesome ukulele and lap steel player -- and heavens knows what else.

While he does still have a "day" job, I know that he plays at a lot of festivals and other stuff. My question to him was: "Even though you are a professional and you play a lot, do you still practice a lot?"

Know what he said? And I quote: "I don't practice. I play."

Wow! That statement was like a brick to the head. I wanted to share this with you in case you are like me -- always practicing. It's made me re-think my playing.

Gerald Ross is a great guy. I really enjoyed chatting with him. Listening to him is great and he has a lot of CDs out there. Check them out if you get a chance.

SailingUke
09-30-2011, 11:39 AM
Gerald is a great player and entertainer as well as a really nice guy. (I love his jokes!)
He is a very strong #2 to my #1 guy James Hill. Seeing the two of them together was a little slice of heaven.

sukie
09-30-2011, 11:42 AM
Gerald is a great player and entertainer as well as a really nice guy. (I love his jokes!)
He is a very strong #2 to my #1 guy James Hill. Seeing the two of them together was a little slice of heaven.

hahahaha.........

We asked him about his son. He tells a joke about "..a couple of years ago when my son was 2..."

Anyway, we said his son must be about 5 now. How is he? Gerald laughed and said his son was in his twenties. Old joke. Still works.

ricdoug
09-30-2011, 12:58 PM
Playing and performing are both forms of practice, Sukie. Playing along with others, without looking at songsheets is another great way to practice. Gerald is an all around great entertainer, from playing music, to telling stories, to comedy, ETC... Ric

joeybug
09-30-2011, 01:00 PM
Thanks for sharing that Sukie, it does give me something to think about :D

23skidoo
09-30-2011, 01:36 PM
It really is a matter of perspective, I guess..... I'd love to be at the point where I 'play' all the time, but I'm too busy practicing to get there to actually be there.......

Gerald Ross
09-30-2011, 04:45 PM
Hey sukie,

I remember that conversation at the post-festival party last Saturday night. It was fun chatting with you even though we had to yell to get above the noise of the party.

Thanks for all the kind words. Yes I play a lot but I suppose I do indeed practice. For example, when I am working out a new tune I will play the song over and over again until the rough spots evolve into something that sounds musical. I have fun while I'm working out the tune and never see it as "work".

Sometimes I drive my family nuts playing the same song 400 times in one day.

BTW, my 26 year old son (formerly two years old) called me from New York City this evening while I was working on a new uke tune. He wanted advice on a guitar amp he was thinking of buying. I talked him out of it - too expensive, too heavy and too loud for a NYC apartment.

olgoat52
09-30-2011, 06:10 PM
I didn't even see Gerald at the Silver Spur. You must ta kept him hid Sukie.. :cool:

Dominator
09-30-2011, 06:26 PM
I didn't even see Gerald at the Silver Spur. You must ta kept him hid Sukie.. :cool:Ha Tim, must have been cause you were stuck over in the corner with the crazy group of energizer bunnies:D.

olgoat52
09-30-2011, 07:04 PM
Ain't that the truth. If I had know there was an alternative... ah well.

Ha Tim, must have been cause you were stuck over in the corner with the crazy group of energizer bunnies:D.

Mandarb
10-02-2011, 08:05 AM
Interesting thread and topic....

I would love to just play or have enough skills and songs in my head to just play but alas, I mostly practice.

hoosierhiver
10-02-2011, 11:02 AM
Gerald cracked me up during his workshop when he said," If you want lowG, get a guitar"

olgoat52
10-02-2011, 02:33 PM
Gerald cracked me up during his workshop when he said," If you want lowG, get a guitar"

If memory serves he prefaced it with "in you are using low G, get a real ukulele!" :)
That cracked me up.

OldePhart
10-02-2011, 02:49 PM
Sounds like my kinda guy. I've tried, and I just can't develop any love for low-G. LOL

Jon Moody
10-02-2011, 03:28 PM
It's nice how simple some of this advice from the pros can be, and yet so sage-like. My old teachers always stressed (whether I picked up on it or not) to "practice like you're performing," which I think is one of the main reasons that when I gig, it's no big deal (i.e. no stage fright, nervousness, etc.).

And also, it's always cool to just shoot the bull with a fellow musician!