A Sequencer?

I like looking around music stores and testing their stuff. It’s like the equivalent of a candy shop for the kid in me. It also happens to be the kinds of places where I get all sorts of info regarding the local music scene, and so here’s one story:

There was one time when I was visiting one of my favorite music stores (Lazer Musical Instruments SM Bicutan), and the reliever for the store manager was there. We jammed a bit, talked about music, about performing, etc. and then he asked (I’m just paraphrasing here), “Nagsi-sequencer ka ba?” Now, for my non-Tagalog-speaking friends, the question seems odd. Bear with me for a little while and you’ll get the gist of what the question is all about. I thought that the guy meant, “Do you use a sequencer for live performances?” And so I replied, “Hindi, pero sa bahay may computer ako na ginamit kong sequencer.” (No, but at home I use my computer as a sequencer.) The ignoramus in me never thought that he was referring to a kind of musician.

So, since I’m rather ignorant, I ask what exactly is a sequencer the musician? From what I have deduced from my conversation with that guy, a “sequencer” is a pianist or keyboard player that plays cover songs in lounges or bars with a singer. From what understand now, “sequencer” is Filipino musician slang for lounge pianist or musician (which I am not) that specializes in performing covers of other artists. And so, when I Googled that up, I found terms like “sequencer band” or “sequencer duo”, all search results referring to groups of Filipino musicians. It must be like that because they’re supposed to sequence a musical program or perhaps sequence a musical program with real instruments plus a sequencer (the hardware). I’m not really sure if that’s how would you define “sequencer”.

And so, the lesson learned here is that if you’re going to talk to a Filipino musician, especially the kind that plays in cover bands or groups, and you’re talking about sequencers, clarify first what is his/her definition of the term “sequencer”.

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