Quiz: Are You An Accompanist Abuser?

pop quizI usually hand my pianist:
a) Double-sided copies, three-hole punched in a black binder.
b) Single-sided copies, maybe a little faded.
c) A copy in the wrong key. It’s not hard to transpose, right?

The last bass line on the page is:
a) Fully legible in all its harmonic glory.
b) Missing some low notes that got cut off.
c) My pianist should be able to improvise the bass line, dammit.

I give my pianist her part:
a) As soon as I start working on a piece.
b) Three to four weeks before the performance.
c) The day before, if she’s lucky. Don’t I pay her to sight read?

Last time I needed my pianist to sight read contemporary music, I:
a) Would never do such a thing!
b) Apologized profusely and thanked her for trying.
c) Asked what was with all the wrong notes.

I typically indicate my desired tempo by:
a) Singing/playing a few bars.
b) Humming somewhat halfheartedly.
c) Snapping my fingers with no resemblance to the actual tempo.

If I can’t make a rehearsal, I:
a) Email, call, text, and send smoke signals at least 24 hours in advance.
b) Send a last-minute email and pay the pianist’s fee.
c) Don’t show up and pretend it never happened.

And now for the results…

If your answers are mostly a’s:
You’re a saint. Your pianist thanks you for being a wonderful colleague and hopefully rewards your efforts with extra preparation, flexibility, and musicality.

If your answers are mostly b’s:
You’re a typical musician. You might be too busy to take the extra step or two, but you’re generally pleasant to work with.

If your answers are mostly c’s:
Leave your name and number. I’m calling the Accompanist Abuse Hotline.

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