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A Hack on the Stage

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by r05c03, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. r05c03


    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    Oh man! So I have been jamming with this guitar player and some others (acordion, ukelele etc) in doing widely varying covers acoustically. We generally play at a local restraunt where everyone listens but you are not being overly scrutinized. Tonight we will be opening for a group (The Silent Type) that is touring through our area (as part of a national tour). All of a sudden I feel like a hack rather than a bassists. This will be my most substantial gig type thing so far and I know there will be people there actually scrutinizing my playing and knowing when I mess up. How intimidating. I suppose you are supposed to feel like this? Pressure.
  2. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    If you play original songs, no one will know if you mess up. :)
  3. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    Once I stopped caring what others thought of my playing I found more happiness in how I played.

    Hope this helps,

  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    When I go onstage, the absolute last people I care about impressing are other musicians who may be there. I just play to the best of my ability and other musicians can bite me if they don't find anything redeeming in my playing.
  5. Just do what you do to the best of your abilities. If the audience gets it and appreciates it, great. If they don't at least hopefully you got paid.
  6. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    the thought that when on stage someone will like you and someone will not.

    One night I was convinced the only one who liked me was my father (it was the only time he saw me gig). I was wrong, many of folks at the bar liked the band and liked me. The guys that got cancelled so we could play, didn't like us one bit. For some reason the audiance did.

    This was a 4 man band,and on the first gig, the singer had never met any of us, the guitarist and drummer played in the same nad for a month or so , 5 years before this, I had never met any of them.

    Play, be happy
    Wesley R.
  7. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Just do your thing and have a good time. Believe me, at least half those people in the audience wish they could do what you're doing. And other musicians are gonna nit-pick, it's what we do. We take the most wonderful, personal thing- self expression, and turn it into a competition.
  8. Since its a familiar joint, I wouldn't worry about it. Obviously you keep playing there, so you are enjoying yourselves and they keep bringing you in. You shouldn't be up there trying to impress people(especially musicians). Just get up and play like you usually do, and just enjoy yourself. If you mess up, no worries, happens to everyone, best thing you can do is keep playing. I remember one time I totally lost myself during one of our songs in the second chorus, hit a couple of wrong notes, but managed to make it sound not bad. Nobody noticed, not even my band til I pointed it out to them later.

    Have fun tonight!
  9. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Before your first song, make the disclaimer:

    "I suck, but you paid to get in, so sit down, shut up and dig the intent"


  10. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    A wise jazz player once told me,

    "The audience never hears what you INTENDED to play, they hear only what you actually played." :D

    And my own addition..

    If you make a misteak, do it again, and it will sound like you did it on purpose. :D :D
  11. Make a mistake, do it again, and it becomes jazz. ;)
  12. If you mess up don't worry, you're only human.
  13. verbass


    Apr 26, 2004
    dayville ct
    Don't worry about who goes on after you .
    It is usually a real bummer when you go on after a great act and stink the joint up.

    My band played as a guest opener for our guitar players other band.
    We did our set kicked it through the uprights and got off stage.
    The band "headlining" which included my guitarist went up and Imploded . Thedrummer played the same beat at different tempos or the wrong song entirely for the whole set, the singer was off key , andtheir poor bass player was playing like he had a mitten on his left hand . My guitarist quit their unit that night after they fired the drummer.

    It was painful to watch.

    If the future is now............
    What was yesterday?
  14. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Just have fun. Don't worry, and you'll play awesome.
  15. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    r05c03, how did it go?
  16. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Oh yeah, so just forgot that time happens. I'm curious too! How was it?
  17. r05c03


    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    Well it went. The turn out was really low, I do not where that went wrong. Basically we were playing for the other band the venue staff (and my parents who were out here visiting to see my new born son). Screwing up at least once a song frustrates and embarasses me. I need to practive with this dude more, but we have to balance between playing the songs we know to learning new ones to expand out set list. I think I will record the dude on my equipment doing our songs so that I can feel more confident that going into a show. That night we played two songs that I had just learned the night before. Thanks for the support and good words. Will be playing again soon I am sure. It seems that we have at least one montly gig and Borders bookstore of all places (we have done it once before, its a little weird to hear people clapping from behind the magazine racks.
  18. If you don't screw up every once in a while, you're just not trying hard enough.
  19. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    I find going to "open mic nite"s with my bass and walking on stage with a bunch of people I have never seen or heard before is a real good way to get and stay real sharpe by listening intently to what everyone else is playing and let your hands get connected to your ears directly with out the interference of your brain trying to think about it before you play it.
    When you do the open mic thing, no one in the audience or on stage has any expectations of anything other than a train wreck. So you can't possibly mess up, you can only sound good.
    Try it a few times, you might wet your pants the first couple of times but after the initial panic you will teach yourself to listen and react. Then the playing gets real interesting as everyone starts to come together...It is like flying with no wings, you are just there. Amazing!
  20. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    Totally. That's what I love about older music and I find is missing in recent stuff. If someone made a mistake when music was recorded with one mic the whole band would have to do the whole song over so most clams were left alone. Then even when bluegrass players began recording in stereo they still left that human element because that's exactly what you would hear if you saw them live. That's integrity!

    I really like that quote. It's such an eloquent way to put it. I think the whole "play it twice and it's jazz" has become a joke. It's way overused and I've been on stage when, someone who has no idea what jazz even is, has tried it and well it's just awful. It's like they look bad for even taking the advice seriously. How about "play it once and mean it".

    I used to be pretty self-conscious about my playing, whether on or off stage. If there were some well-respected musicians in the crowd I would tense up and not play like myself. Charlie Haden figured out a way to deal with it. He closed his eyes. That wasn't always an option for me so I learned to deal with it and eventually I realized that all fear is wasted energy and I let it go.

    Oteil once said, "When you're inside the music you get to this point where you just can't make any mistakes. Nothing is inappropriate."

    I was the house bassist for an open mic for eight years. It was the single-most important factor in my development as a complete musician. Having to turn on a dime and learn new songs in new keys by ear, while you were playing the song, was just so key for me.
    You're right Funken, amazing!
    Trust yourself. Believe that you are bad-*** and you will be.