Things you don't want to know about your idols.


happyrat1

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I was watching a podcast interview with David Letterman yesterday and he dropped a bombshell about his bandleader Paul Shaffer that blew me away.

When he hired him Paul could NOT READ MUSIC!!!

A little further digging and now I know that in a recent interview Paul said he CAN read music but cannot sight read.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Shaffer

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/ct-ott-0630-paul-shaffer-20170629-story.html

Nonetheless I find it both disheartening as well as inspiring to know that this great keyboard player from Ontario, Canada managed to "fake it" as music director for some of the most iconic television programs in recent memory and makes me wonder if it's even worth my while to master the theory while working on improving my musical ear?


Gary ;)
 
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Rayblewit

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I have never seen David Letterman ever.
I have heard of him and I have heard of Shaffer too but never seen him play.
I am not sure if that show made it here in Aus.
I just watched the vid (above). I can see Shaffer looks at the keys carefully and intently as he is playing. Does that tell you something?
Nice playing nevertheless.
and makes me wonder if it's even worth my while to master the theory while working on improving my musical ear?
I wonder that too. It is a huge task. Fred and some others here are doing it however!
Ray
 

happyrat1

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Before he became Letterman's band leader Shaffer was the Music Director and Bandleader for Saturday Night Live!!! Back in the Akroyd/Belushi days I think!

Gary ;)
 
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Nonetheless I find it both disheartening as well as inspiring to know that this great keyboard player from Ontario, Canada managed to "fake it" as music director for some of the most iconic television programs in recent memory and makes me wonder if it's even worth my while to master the theory while working on improving my musical ear?
I wouldn't sweat it too much Gary. What suits you is what suits you. Learning theory certainly won't make you a worse player and it will deepen your understanding and appreciation of the music you're playing. It also gives you a common language to communicate with other musicians, which is very helpful.

Paul is a monster player and great band leader and I'm guessing his theory knowledge is probably impeccable - sight reading is another skill altogether and if he's had such a successful career without needing to do it, good luck to him!
 

happyrat1

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Yeah Paul, I was being somewhat disingenuous when I made those statements.

I do realize that every addition to ones knowledge arsenal is never wasted nor superfluous and ultimately all musical knowledge makes for a better player in the long run.

Nonetheless when I think of the daily sets Shaffer had to create, rehearse and perform on a medium worth literally tens of millions of $$$ per minute it amazes me that he performed so admirably night after night if he had to hack his way thru the scores a few notes at a time.

Gary ;)
 
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I have always said, even though I was an 80's hard rock keyboard player, Paul was always one of my idols, just for the ability to play in any style. Years ago I read an interview with him in a Keyboard magazine, he said he has almost total recall of over 10,000 songs in his estimation, in all genres. To me, being able to play the right style is as important as all the right notes. He never sounds like he's faking it either.
 
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