HOW THE GRID WORKS
AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1.) All participants will have the opportunity to select songs and parts they would like to perform at Prog On The Ranch. You can ADD new songs to "The Grid" or JOIN songs that other participants had previously added. Once your song has a full roster of players, your song is complete. At that time the song will "Go Green" on The Grid, and will be scheduled to be performed at Prog On The Ranch. You are allowed to add up to two parts to any song. EXAMPLES: Lead Vocals & Bass Guitar, Drums & Backing Vocals, etc.
2.) Choose songs that you feel will have appeal for the other musicians and will fill up on The Grid. If you choose a particularly obscure song, don't be too surprised if very few of the other musicians join you. This means the song may not Go Green, and therefore may ultimately not be performed at Prog On The Ranch. You are encouraged to reach out to other players to join your songs (that's part of the fun). IMPORTANT NOTE: There is an EIGHT SONG LIMIT for songs originally recorded by any one Band/Artist, to encourage a broad range of music styles (for example: up to 8 songs by Rush). Unless otherwise noted on your Song Request Form, the "original studio version" will be the default.
3.) VERY IMPORTANT PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: We are reverting back to the "CHIP SYSTEM" that we have used very successfully in the past. We are expecting a record number of musicians to join us in 2023, and we need to adjust the grid to accommodate everyone fairly. As always, we are expecting a "feeding frenzy" when The Grid opens, and we expect The Grid to close within 2 to 3 days of opening (it used to take 3 to 4 months). The chip system will help keep things visually organized and easier for new players to understand.
SO HERE GOES...... On the FIRST day that The Grid opens, each player will start out with FOUR RED CHIPS in the bank. If you are performing in any of the Sunday Bands, you will start out with THREE RED CHIPS since you have already chosen to play on 6 to 8 songs, which have already gone green, and we want to give everyone a chance to add songs. Your RED CHIPS can only be used to ADD new songs to The Grid . You cannot JOIN a song with a RED CHIP. Each new song that you choose on this day will be represented by a VIRTUAL RED CHIP on The Grid (meaning your name will be highlighted in Red) You don't need to do anything, your name will automatically be shaded red on the first four songs you choose (three songs for Sunday Band members) IMPORTANT: If you don't use all of your Red Chips on the 1st day, your remaining Red Chips can be used on the following days to ADD and/or JOIN songs.
On the SECOND day, and up until The Grid closes, you will also have FOUR virtual BLACK CHIPS. BLACK CHIPS can ONLY be used to JOIN songs that have previously been added to The Grid by other players. So INITALLY you will be able to Add/Join up to a total of 8 songs initially (4 Red, 4 Black) however we will very likely be able to expand that number as The Grid unfolds. (Sunday Band members will be able to Add/Join a total of 7 songs initially). Every Grid has its own dynamic, which changes as it grows, and we need to adjust with it. Nothing is set in stone. If you are new to this, you'll understand what I'm saying soon enough ;-) Be aware that the likelihood of all your songs "GOING GREEN" is not guaranteed. It all depends on how many other musicians are motivated to join the songs you have chosen. If you initially added a song with a Red Chip, and that song is not getting attention, you can drop that song & JOIN or ADD a different song.
The best way to make this a great event for both yourself and the audience is to ADD a few songs that you are really excited about playing when The Grid first opens. Then JOIN a few songs that other players have posted. Try to hold back a chip or two to help other players complete a song that isn't getting much attention, that you think you might like to play. Collaboration is what The Grid is all about.
NOTE: This section of text may be a little difficult to absorb, even for our seasoned musicians..... even for me. This chip method does work well, but my articulation may be the issue. If so, I apologize in advance. My suggestion is to read it twice, gargle, and then read it again. If it still seems confusing, message me privately, my hourly rate is quite reasonable ;-)
4.) To maximize the number of songs we can realistically perform in the allotted playing time, we have developed a system to helps assure that the average transition time between songs is between 3 and 5 minutes. As The Grid fills up, we will be keeping track of how much live performance time is remaining on the POTR song schedule. This is all dependent on the overall length of the songs, and the average time it takes to transition between each song. Once we run out of available time, The Grid will close, and any incomplete songs will be deleted. Notifications will be posted once we get down to the last few song slots that can be completed, to allow the players to make their final choices on The Grid.
5.) Have Great Fun, Learn Great New Songs, Make Great Music, Make Great New Friends. THAT'S how The Grid Works!
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1.) SO WHAT IS THE GRID ALL ABOUT? This is an online pre-production tool, and real-time song registration format with a set schedule, allowing participants to individually select songs, and rehearse them at home in the months leading up to the Prog On The Ranch Event. This is a multi-faceted event, assembled by our production team and a core of volunteer musicians and instrument techs. This unique format provides our musicians the unique opportunity to perform live onstage in dozens of different "band" configurations of players, over a three day period from Friday February 3rd through Sunday February 5th 2023.
2.) HOW DO I SIGN UP TO PLAY?
A.) Firstly, you do NOT need to send an audition audio or video sample if you have ever previously signed up and/or performed at any Prog On The Ranch, or Cruise To The Edge event. Just go right to “The Grid” tab on this website and choose the relevant link to ADD new songs and/or JOIN existing songs.
B.) If you are joining us for the first time and have been recommended to us by one of our Alumni Players, you do not need to audition. Go to The Song Grid and choose songs.
C.) If you are a Tampa Bay based musician and have been contacted by a member of our production team (after we've searched tirelessly through Facebook, Bandmix, Craigslist, and recruiting musicians at nightclubs, restaurants, and even a Sam's Club, to find musicians like YOU for POTR)....... then this means we have already seen your videos, or have heard you perform, and you are good-to-go.
D.) This is a private event by invitation or referrals only. However, if you somehow found us, or heard about us from a friend or otherwise, please send us a message through this website's Info Page and we'll get you going.
3.) DO I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
"Prog On The Ranch" is for any talented musician who is up for learning some challenging songs and performing them in front of a large crowd of music fans, and fellow musicians who will also be performing during the event. The level of musicianship is semi-pro to professional level, so be sure to bring your personal A-game! If you've never participated at POTR, the best way to find out if you’re the right fit, is to sign up and send us your audition link(s).
4.) WHAT DOES THE AUDITION PROCESS ENTAIL?
Your audition does not necessarily have to be a high budget production. Some auditions have been nothing more than a clip of themselves playing along to a song while in front of a cellphone or iPad, while others have provided full-on concert-quality footage. This is what the production team will be evaluating: You should submit one or two links on the sign-up form, preferably a minute or two of video demonstrating your singing or instrument ability. We try to be very inclusive, and are always here to answer your questions and concerns, as well as coach you if needed. You will need to have an understanding of musical elements such as tempo, key changes, dynamics, and in some cases syncopation, odd meters and various other factors. You should also feel comfortable with your ability to sing that well-known falsetto, or play that legendary guitar solo, bass run, keyboard interlude, or drum-fill that fans of that song/artist would come to expect. You do NOT need to be a virtuoso; however, you do need to have the basic skills and confidence to be able to competently learn & perform the parts you commit to when you sign up, with the understanding that there are NO PRIOR GROUP REHEARSALS.
5.) WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING? Bring yourself – fully prepared to perform your songs. Bring your own Guitar or Bass (or make arrangements in advance to share). Keyboards will be provided, however you are welcome to bring your own keyboard. DRUMMERS - DO NOT BRING YOUR DRUM KIT, however you can bring your favorite peripherals (cymbals, sticks, temple blocks, etc). We suggest bringing a spare set of strings, and a possibly a battery for your active instrument as well. Amps, Drums, Keyboards, Monitors as well as a full state-of-the-art sound system will be provided. Vocalists should bring their own mics. If you're bringing gear you'd like to share, let us know.
6.) WHAT'S ALL THIS ABOUT SONGS GOING GREEN?
a.) "What guarantees that a song will Go Green?" A song is completed and "GOES GREEN" as soon as ALL players are in position, and there are no available instrument or vocal slots for this song. When a song Goes Green, all players are locked in place and the song will definitely be added to the POTR Performance Schedule, so those on the song can begin rehearsing their parts at home. The players on your song are encouraged to contacted each other (usually via a Facebook or Facebook Messenger) to discuss specifics of their song's key, tempo, endings, versions, etc. Groups that meet regularly on Facebook Messenger (or alternate platform) to coordinate their parts and discuss progress have a much better chance to pull off a flawless performance.
b.) "WHAT IF MY SONG DOES NOT GO GREEN BY THE TIME THE GRID CLOSES?" While we can't guarantee every song will be completed, we have contingencies in place that will ensure enough songs get completed to fill all the available POTR time slots. That doesn't mean all songs on The Grid will Go Green. When the allotted playing time runs out, the songs that are incomplete will be deleted from The Grid. To keep from getting stranded on a song that is attracting little interest, be sure to SWITCH into a different song before The Grid closes. There will be a button on The Grid that will allow you to quickly drop a song.
7.) HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT DAY/TIME I WILL BE PERFORMING?
The final schedule will be posted shortly after the POTR Grid fills up and closes. It will include the songs to be played, as well as the day and approximate times they are scheduled. Please be near the stage two songs prior to the song you will be performing; especially in cases where the schedule is pushed ahead (or back) due to varying circumstances. Please be at the designated side-stage “Pit Area” with your gear, ready to plug in at least one song prior to going on. The schedule will flex in case we need to accommodate weather issues or address a technical issue. Please don't count on all of your songs being chained together in one block, although it is possible.
8.) IT'S A MONTH BEFORE PROG ON THE RANCH, AND I REALIZED I CAN'T MAKE IT. WHAT DO I DO? Please let us know as soon as possible, so we can determine how to fill your vacant slots. Otherwise, any songs you're on will have to be dropped at the last minute, and there will be some very disappointed musicians who are at risk of not being able to perform their songs.
9.) GUIDELINES AND EVERYTHING ELSE:
a.) Whether you are a Newcomer or Alumni, don’t choose the same player(s) to perform all your songs with. Part of the fun for you and the audience is watching different combinations of players on each song.
b.) Make sure you fully read and understand the entire “HOW IT WORKS” section and ask questions if you are unclear on anything. You can post your questions on the Facebook Prog On The Ranch Discussion page. Somebody is always willing to help.
c.) Do NOT participate if you are planning to learn your songs at the last minute!!! We’ve seen it all. People who signed up for songs many months prior, but only get around to start learning them at the last possible moment. You may have the technical ability of your favorite Idol, but if you don't rehearse, take this thing seriously and prepare, YOU will be the reason that the song fails, and there will be about 3 different videos on YouTube afterwards that may make you and your bandmates cringe. So if you don't think you are disciplined enough to actually learn the songs you choose, then this is probably NOT for you.
d.) Remember, the other players on your songs are counting on you, so don't let your bandmates down by coming in too early (or too late) , forgetting chord progression, playing a passage in the wrong key or at the wrong tempo, etc. Don’t get us wrong, nerves and adrenaline can get the best of us, and mistakes can happen. That’s ok. However, it’s fairly easy to tell if someone just got around to learning their part merely days before the event.