I admit it, I am not good with names. If I see you at the games, I’ll probably say something like "Hey man, good to see ya". We’ll chat, but all the while I’ll be thinking "name . . . name . . . name . . ." I’ll be half-way back to the band tent before I remember, of course, that was Gordon MacGregor!
It was a few years back, when I was a new Grade 2 player and had to submit two tunes. I approached my judge who asked what tunes I had for him. I announced the first one, and then . . . Blank. Stare. Think. Think hard. Still blank. I just played it a thousand times, what’s the name? I apologized. I tried to sing a bit for him. (Note to self: work on that canterreachd, dude!) Neither of us had a clue. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, it came to me, he wrote it down, and I got started. Nerves probably caused the forgetfulness, which increased my stress levels even more. As you can probably guess, my playing was not my best.
At the next games I attended a few weeks later, same scenario. I approached the judge who asked for my tune. This time, I was prepared with a strategy. I confidently pulled a 3x5 index card out of my sporran. On it I had written the names and composers of all my tunes for the day, prepared days earlier. On the back, I had written what I learned at registration time that morning: approximate play time, judges name and tent number for each of my events. I was ready!
I played well that day.