Ya’ll, I’ve had more gigs in the past month or so than I typically do in half a year… that’s awesome! And I have to say… I’ve been getting pretty creative over here, now that I have a bit more time to do so!
Back at the Bridge Run, there was a music store around the corner from me going out of business. That is where I got an incredible deal on my new toy! I’d seen some of my favorite folk artists like Jenny & Tyler and Gungor use things like this in their music… and I loved the simplicity that it took to add new creative texture to tunes. I’d been thinking about using different instruments like this in my upcoming CD, but with Amanda’s (the one who plays 4 instruments at once) schedule not as available anymore for gigging, I decided it could be fun to add new sounds to my own playing. I would love to have more people play with me to add different music textures to gigs, but with 40 songs in my potential set for gigs that often go 2-3 hours, it gets tricky! So the glockenspiel is a good way to make due with what I have; it’s also good to help me take a little break from singing and strumming during my longer sets.
Since getting my Glockenspiel, I’ve been learning my scales (which would be super easy if I played piano), and working on integrating it into my set. (It’s kinda fun to say I’ve been practicing with my “glock.” 😉 ) So far, I have 3 songs where I play a melody over my looper pedal, another 3 songs where I solo/improvise on the Glockenspiel (over the looper), and another 3 songs where I play it between strums! (That’s a sight to see! :-P)
I’ve always LOVED tap dancing… It’s super fun to do and watch, but it also might be because it combines dance and music into one fabulous creative art. Back in high school, my teacher (who is awesome at tap!) said tap dancing was dying as an art form. I started to believe it more as I struggled for a while to find adult tap classes/groups that challenge
me. (THANK YOU Erika & the ladies at Dance Lab Charleston!) But I think it’s been on the rise again, as I’ve seen it in multiple musicals, and the amazing Postmodern Jukebox has been using it in their classic remakes of contemporary songs, like this fabulous video, featuring Sarah Reich and Melinda Sullivan. I also heard of a local band who uses simple tap steps as the percussion instrument…. which appealed to me since I don’t always have a percussionist with me!
Anyway, that all inspired me to explore the fact that I’m not just a singer-songwriter… I actually make music from my head to my toes. So at the Bridge Run Expo, since I had no percussionist I decided to test it out. I mostly used it to accent the beat as I was playing (as if my shoes were the percussion), but on a couple songs I did some tap solos! I have to say, it worked out pretty good! But many of the gigs I play don’t have appropriate flooring to use my tap shoes. That’s where hubby and his woodworking hobby came in! He made this sweet portable tapping floor that is so much better (and less expensive) than anything I could’ve bought!
So next time you’re at a Stefanie Potter concert, enjoy the sights and sounds of me playing 3 instruments at once! 😉