Tuesday, August 25, 2015

749. When the music fades

I picked up a guitar when I was 5 years old. My first solo singing performance was when I was 3. My first public stage performance with my guitar was when I was 8. I still only play those couple of chords I played when I was a child. Why do I say all this? Because I felt I would never get an opportunity to blow my trumpet anywhere else other than my blog.

I used to play the guitar for some singers and there has been ocassions where people have played the guitar for me when I was a vocalist (Sathya sodhanai for them).

I still remember that incident. It was the year 2009. I was asked to come and play the guitar for a so called veteran singer in Singapore. It was a Christian song and the couple of musicians who played along with me knew the song. The singer - because he is a appatucker, did not practice along with us. He just told that he has done this often and asked us to just accompany him.

It was a small auditorium in a place called Aljunied in Singapore. The program started. I went on to the stage, the keyboardist and the bassist also joined us. The drummer was already sitting in his podium with his kit. 

The emcee gave a big introduction for this veteran singer and the veteran singer walked towards the stage. The crowd were on their feet. All of them were standing and clapping. He gave an impression as if he was Freddie Mercury walking up to receive a Grammy. I thought "Why this build up for someone especially when they are gonna sing a devotional song where praise and honor should go to God". But I submerged that thought and calmed myself by saying "He is a veteran. Let them praise him".

So this veteran walks up to the stage and with an attitude stricken face looked at all the musicians with contempt. I was the weakest link in the musician line up. The other three guys on the keyboard, bass and drums were awesome musicians. All of us felt little bad because of the way he looked down on us. But he was a big guy (once upon a time). 

The song he was supposed to sing was an old famous Christian song called  "Amazing Grace". This song is usually played in D Major. It has a scale change in the end, if the singer plans to go higher. Some singers finish the song in E Major after the scale change. So here I was holding the guitar and strummed the D Chord for him to give him the cue on what scale he had to start the song. He never even acknowledged my cue. 

He spoke a couple of lines trying to emotionally move the crowd and suddenly he started singing  the song even before we could give the prelude. The sad thing was that he was singing the song in a minor scale. How could one do that. 

You see the picture above? That was the same look we gave him. We tried our level best to play for him.After the song was over, he turned towards us and said  "You guys need to practice". The drummer could not hold it any longer and replied " You should first learn singing". The crowd heard it. The illiterate crowd thought that we did not accompany him well and one of the organizers even commented that youngsters like us should first learn some manners. 

We felt like standing in a zombie zone and we decided to keep our mouth shut, take all the verbal abuses and leave the place. Have you been in such a situation where people who know zilch about a subject come and try to teach you about the subject? If so, how did you react? Vent it out in the comments section

- Chronicwriter


  1. ROTFL :D Can perfectly understand.. it's especially tough..when it's only the keyboardist and the singer can't follow the drums.. and the tempo goes all weird.

    p.s (Amazing grace is a F/G?) isn't D too low.. ?

    1. True :) If the singer had a high register voice, we would have chosen F,G or even A.

      We could have immediately shifted to G or F if he had sung in that scale, but it still beats me how someone could sing that song in a minor scale

  2. tamil christian singer give lots of built up but usually they sing in harmony with the Kaakas.

    1. if the meaning of worship is understood by everyone who handles the mic, then the show biz stuff would vanish

  3. Ok I understand what you have gone through and I just wanted to know the name of the "veteran" singer.

    1. I would have written the name if I had wanted to


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