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1st live gig NERVOUS/SCARED

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by willwonka, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. We have a option to do a local outdoor festival, around home, theres about 7 band, there will be about 200 people there, mostley younger crowd.

    Now how do you know if your ready? I started playing bass a couple of years ago, which got me interested in music in general, have a ton of fun playing, but the thought of going in front of a crowd makes me nervous as hell. They asked us to play a few songs before the headliners go on, which are the guys putting the show on. Our drummer is a bit sloppy, just due to the fact that he dosnt get much time to practice due to work, Our guitarist, just started playing a year ago, but getting the hang of it, and said he would be ready to give it a shot, but he dosnt know any covers, so when he started playing we would come up with jams then I would write words, so we mostley play our own stuff, which is only 6 or 7 songs, anyways, and we only need to do 3 song. BUT....!!!! on the songs we decided we would do if we do the show, I play guitar on as well (and Im just learning to play (4 weeks i have been playing)) AND...! I will be singing as well , which I have just began to do the last month as well (have had 4 singing lessons just, never sang before) and trying to combine the 2 I find takes a lot of concentration.

    I dont think we are quite ready, but I hate to pass up a opportunity that I would latter regrett if we didnt do, since this will be the last year the festival will probably run.

    now the concerns.....

    -Im worried I will go blank and forget the words to the songs.
    -or that the timming will be horrible
    -worried my singing wont be good enough, since I just started to do it.
    -that the songs are not complex enough or maybe to simple, it makes me nervous to play music that I have wrote in front of a crowd, it fine when its just the band around, but playing in front of a crowd your own songs is like letting people see into your soul a bit, you butcher a cover tune, its just a cover tune, you butcher one of your own songs, it a bit more personal.

    HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR READY? or should a person do it for the experience and just go out and have fun. And how do you get over being nervous, we havnt said yes yet, and I am already nervous.

    SORRY about the long post, its more like a nervous rant more than anthing!
  2. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    This is always a tough call. Your first time playing out should be fun and not be a serious freakout. If you don't feel that your band is ready you should put it off until you are. There are always other gigs and parties and such to play. Now if you think you can practice the songs your going to play and get them down tight in time for the show, I say go for it.
    But if you think you are going to suck, then most likely you may not do so well.
    I'm just one guy talking here.
  3. I would encourage you to do it, but try to practice a lot first. Set up the band exactly like you would onstage, for starters. Start a tape recorder. Then run through your set list from start to finish. No breaks, no do-overs. Just get through them. Stop the tape recorder, and listen. Lots of obvious mistakes? Can't get any of the beginnings right? Well, then maybe reconsider whether you're ready. But if there's only a few mistakes, then try again. Keep plugging away, do all the songs in order, again and again. Tape everything and listen to the tape, the tape doesn't lie. And don't be tempted to skip a song "oh we don't need to practice that one again, we've got it down cold" 3 songs should be 10 to 15 minutes, so in an evening you should be able to go through your set list at least three or four times.

    At every practice, go through the "setting up the band" routine so you have that part of the gig down cold. You don't want to be called up on stage, only to have a debate about "should the lead guitar set up on the left or on the right".

    If you have to, write out charts or cheat sheets on the words, but try not to refer to them while you practice (But when you're finally playing live, have them out where you can see them in case of a sudden brain fart).

    On the day of the gig, don't party too much, eat sensibly, and maybe bring some Pepto Bismol or Immodium to help with any problems that nerves can bring on!

    Good luck, the first time on stage is always the toughest :bassist:
  4. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Picture them all in their underwear.
  5. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Ahh, I remember my FIRST TIME. The previous post by nashvillebill was excellent. Pick three songs that you think you can master and drill them in order, start to finish until you can do it them your sleep and you think if you have to play them one more time you will all puke. You might try out your originals on some friends that are similar to the demographic you expect the crowd to be to see if they'll go over, otherwise some simple fun 1-4-5 covers would do. After you gig once, you won't be able to wait to do it again! Rock on.
  6. Just remember:

    - you are the best man for the job
    - most people in the audience wish they could do what you are doing
    - now get the the hell on with it

    Have fun and let us know how it went. Like LoJoe said, you won't be able to wait until the next one. :)
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Just do it. If it's a train wreck, it will evolve into a funny story over the years.
  8. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    Just remember.....your the one with enough to balls to get up and play infront of people.
  9. Thanks guys for the responses! I feel a bit better today about it, the drummer from the band putting on the show came over last night, after the hockey game we jammed for a bit and played a couple of songs we were planning on doing, went alright, and he liked the songs, which made me feel a bit more relaxed. Our drummer will be down for a few days, so we should get a Idea if he thinks he will be ready and If we can get it tight.

    Nashvillebill, where do you put your cheat sheets on stage, so you can see them and no one else can?

  10. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    If you have to go with cheat sheets... OK let's call them preparation sheets because they are just helping you be prepared. They can be placed on the stage at you feet or on the monitors(if provided). Good luck and have fun :hyper:
  11. If there's room, I'd use a music stand. Sure it may look dorky, but what's worse, a music stand onstage, or playing the wrong notes? (And here's a hint: for dark stages, buy one of those little clamp-on battery powered book lights for $10)

    A slightly less obtrusive option would be the small little stands that clamp onto a mic stand. Some people duct tape their charts to the mic stand, but that's not very user-friendly, the paper's at the wrong angle.

    I've also set my notes on the amp, only problem there is the feedback if you're playing and need to look at the chart.

    The floor is too far away for me, unless it's written in huge letters with magic marker. I'm getting old, my eyes aren't as good as they once were.
  12. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    You want dorky? How's about a heads-up display?

  13. dood.. practice practice practice... then at showtime, look at the tops of their heads, and remember, people are paying to SEE YOU PLAY. that should be more than enough.. send them home happy.. I love being the bassist cuz i can't think of a single girl that goes home hummin a lead geetar line, but you know every single one of them keeps on groovin afterward.. you get the girls moving, the guys follow and guys end up getting some after the show (ok, ladies do too).. not only are you a musician but you are an entertainer!!!

    if you are not happy, NEVER lead the witness.. always say thanks and "yeah we had a great time".. you might think you sucked, but don't tell anyone that! they might've had the time of their life and you think you are crap cuz you missed the 4th note of an arpeggio in the 3rd tune or something... whatever, they don't know that.. they came to have fun, give it to'em!! :D
  14. Bigwig


    Dec 27, 2003
    knock back 4 or 5 beers and ull be ready to roll and rock.
  15. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    I agree with the other guys. Make some cheat sheets and have them handy. I write them in marker and tape them to the floor. If you make a mistake most people will never know it,( just don't make a face) I remember my first live paid gig in 1983 or so and I felt exactly like you do now. I remember we started the song and to my surprise and delight my fingers knew exactly what they were doing even though my brain was going about 100 miles per hour. I had practiced a lot and it paid off. Like the earlier post, practice them until you wanna puke and have fun. :bassist:
  16. Thanks guys for all the replies, Our drummer came down last night, we had'nt played together for a long time and thing went good. Tonight I think we will set up as if we were on stage, last night we were still looking at each other for cues, so we will see how things go tonight when were not looking at each other.

    Im a bit worried our excitement/nervousness will take over and we will play our songs twice as fast as there suppose to be, any suggestions on making sure we get the speed right?

    We thought about starting off with a fast loud song first, its the easiest for me to sing and fits my range good. Second one bit more of a grungy'r song, takes me a couple lines to find my voice, but once in the saddle it seems to lock it self in fairly good. Last one I swicth and play bass on, its a fast as you can go heavy little 90 sec jam with very little singing.

    What do you guys think, any suggestions or constructive criticism would be appreciated.

  17. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Pick songs you know you can play well as a group; show your strengths rather than expose your weaknesses. Know the songs really well so that if anyone forgets their part, the rest can cover for them (you're a team, not in competition with each other).

    BTW, when is the gig? Any chance you could squeeze in something smaller before then? Also, how about getting a few people along to one of your rehearsals. Get used to having some other people around and playing to entertain them rather than just trying to make it through to the end of the song.

  18. Thanks Wulf,

    The gig is next Saturday (June 19th), but Im heading up north to go fishing tommorow until Sunday night, and next friday I have a customer golf tourney and banquet in the evenning, so after tonight we might have a couple of nights to get everything together, hopefully we will get one night in with the headliners rehersal, since we will be using some of there equipment and vice versa. So that is the closest thing we could come to doing a little show before hand, and there would maybe be only 30 people at the rehersal.

  19. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    You don't need a lot of people there - just enough so that you remember you can't stop when you (or one of the other band members) makes a mistake and to get over the novelty of spectators watching and listening as you play.

  20. Quick question, how do you start off warmed up, it usually takes a couple songs for us to get going, fingers moving, voice working, ect. What exercise do you do before taking the stage?


    2 more days before gig, and I feel like popping the Amodium already.