Thursday, December 3, 2015

Question Everything: Choosing a spot

In your group, do you ever get the choice of where you want to play in a song?

You might have a situation where different people know different parts and it's a bit of first-come, first-served.  Or maybe it's where you're practicing a song with multiple redundant parts (e.g.; 4 shime but all the shime are playing the same thing).  If you have the choice of where to go instead of being told, where do you go?  Why?  What does that say about you?

If you knew senior members of the group were watching where you went from song to song (if it's your choice), would that change which spots you took?  Why or why not?  Are you always going to the "prestige" spots, whatever those might be?  Are you always in the front?  Always in the center? Always hiding in the corners?  Is that choice a conscious one?

I'm not saying what you do now is "wrong", because without context, all I can do is hope you ask these questions of yourself.  So, ask yourself how you'd feel if someone else in the group took the same kind of spots you normally would take.  Would you even notice?  Would you form an opinion based on where they played (and didn't)?

In my 23 years of taiko, I've gone through a phase where I didn't know enough parts to have many choices, a phase where I could choose "prestige" spots but had to be careful lest I came off seeming arrogant, a phase where I purposefully chose last to let people have their choices, to where I am now.  Now I'll just pick a spot I want to play, sometimes "prestige", sometimes redundant/secondary, sometimes percussion, or sometimes I'll sit out if I know there are enough people.  Sometimes I'll wait a little bit, sometimes not.  I make sure I'm not always taking a solo spot, not always taking a center spot, etc.  It's much more balanced.

So what's right for you?  Only you can determine that, based on your group, practice etiquette, and how often you're able to pick a spot in a song.  But you should have an awareness about your choices, even if those choices are completely balanced in the end!

1 comment:

  1. I always end up center front row because everyone is afraid of that spot...