A man and a bass walk into a bar in Nashville...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by kai_ski, Jul 26, 2013.


  1. kai_ski

    kai_ski

    Apr 14, 2007
    Wenatchee, WA
    what are they going to play?

    Looking at a local CL ad for a bassist. I've always had trouble with the "repertoire" question. Do people actually keep a list of the songs they know? What kind of list would you expect this band to be playing?

    In my past experiences, when I email the band, and ask them for a songlist, usually to see if I'm even interested in the gig (I can usually judge the taste and age group of a band based on their set choice,) I get the canned "thanks but no thanks" response. For the past several years, I've played a lot of different genre's, mainly it's been r&b/soul/blues but I also love the genre's listed above.

    OR I could just ask them for a list and if I get rejected I'll inform them that "alot" is not a word. How can I possibly know what they are talking about? Might as well read "know laskdjfaksdj of songs!! We do laskdjfaksjdf of originals..." :D
     
  2. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Seattle
    Yeah, that's always bugged me too. There's literally MILLIONS of songs out there, a significant fraction of which are 'popular'. In my (limited) experience dealing with bands who want you to know "a lot!" of songs, just give them a brain-dump of every setlist you've ever played. I did it not too long ago as an exercise just to appease a similar request from a CL band leader. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I've played something like 400 songs in the 'pop' genre! I didn't get the gig, but the BL at least had the decency to write back and say "wow you've played a lot of songs! Unfortunately, only about 60 of those are on our list so we'll have to pass...." *headdesk*
     
  3. They may know a ton of songs or it may be bullspit. If you already know a ton of songs and can learn on the fly, I wouldn’t worry about it - just go wing it. But if you’re paranoid, or don’t know a lot of songs, or just really particular, you might want/need to email the band and ask for the whole song list or for 2-4 songs for audition. Good luck

    TIP: No one likes a spelling/grammar cop!!!
     
  4. kai_ski

    kai_ski

    Apr 14, 2007
    Wenatchee, WA

    The point of that exercise should be... "look at all of the songs I've learned/performed in the past. Certainly I'm capable of more." BL's don't usually see it that way, that's why I'm hesitant to give them a list.

    Now, if I can get a jump on what most BL's are looking for in this genre, I can look over a list jot down the songs I know, or at least have heard, run over them and give them a list they won't just write off.



    On another note, I wouldn't refer to myself as a PRO, that's why I'm asking TBer's for opinions. Is this repertoire idea as big among bass players as it is for guitarists/singers? I seem to be running into a lot of those guys who are really hung up on it.
     
  5. Calebmundy

    Calebmundy

    Apr 5, 2007
    Nashville
    Endorsing Artist: DNA Amplifiers
    There is *kind of* a standard repertoire for the downtown/lower broadway bars in Nashville, other than that it's not so cut and dried. The thing about Nashville is that there are enough good players who really know more or less and entire genre's worth of music, that a musician wanted ad can leave it at that. I don't know that stuff, and I work pretty much full time. If you're thinking about moving to Nashville, get in touch with me and I'll help you out. If you're just debating that kind of ad, it's a hard nut to crack when trying to make it in, but once you put the research in to learn the tunes in a "scene", you're kind of set for life.

    Craigslist is about 90/10 crap to actual gigs down here, but there are some real offers.
     
  6. kai_ski

    kai_ski

    Apr 14, 2007
    Wenatchee, WA
    Yeah, I'm not in Nashville, but I just get the feeling that is what this particular band is trying to emulate. Thanks for the invitation, btw.

    I guess what I'm looking for is exactly that, what would the song list be for any given band playing the "scene" in Nashville that fall under the genres listed: Country, Bluegrass, New Orleans, Folk, Americana?
     
  7. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    That would be about the same here.
     
  8. bluesblaster

    bluesblaster

    Jan 2, 2008
    just tell 'em you know all the good ones
     
  9. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I wouldn't bother giving them a laundry list of the tunes I knew. Crap, I don't even know how many tunes I've played... does anyone?

    I think Joe Louvar's suggestion makes a lot of sense; just ask them for a couple of tunes to learn for an audition. Tell them you know lots of songs and would have no trouble learning more if that's what they require. If a BL finds a way to have a problem with that, I'm not sure it's someone I'd want to work with anyway.
     
  10. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    I think some gigs are just like that. You get an assortment of musicians onstage together with an encyclopedic knowledge of music, and the bandleader can call any number of tunes because they know that the band can pull it off. Someone may ask the key the singer wants to do the tune in, but that's it.

    I've done jams with musicians like this. They would call a 16 bar blues first, then a classic rock tune, followed by a Jazz standard. None of it was rehearsed. And everyone on that stage was there because of a mutual respect for their musicianship.

    This sort of knowledge seems to transcend an individual scene. Bluegrass players are expected to know the standards for that genre. There's a commonly played New Orleans song book. Blues has it's own set of standards. In Jazz, the Real Book tends to be the standard. And most classic rock bands will know a certain set of songs. There are just those types of gigs. I don't know that it's a copout by the people who posted the CL ad in question. It may just be that a song list could turn into a monumental undertaking for this particular act.
     
  11. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Minneapolis
    Not true. I like a spelling/grammar cop.
     
  12. Oh ok, I stand corrected. Never mind OP - go ahead and send the "alot" email. :D
     
  13. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    What we expect from you:
    -Be familiar with traditional American music. Country, Bluegrass, New Orleans, Folk, Americana, etc.
    - Know alot of songs!! We do alot of originals but we also have a huge list of covers. You should come to the table with a vast knowledge of songs already under your fingertips.



    Just tell them you know where the I and V are! :D

    If you've played one Bluegrass tune, you've played 'em both! ;)
     
  14. kai_ski

    kai_ski

    Apr 14, 2007
    Wenatchee, WA
    will do ;)

    I followed your advice and offered to come out for an audition if they shared their song list. We'll see...
     
  15. Calebmundy

    Calebmundy

    Apr 5, 2007
    Nashville
    Endorsing Artist: DNA Amplifiers
    Well I'll tell you that when I've travelled, I've picked up that there are a lot of country musicians in America who assume a lot about how Nashville works, and I've been pretty embarrassed sometimes when those guys show up in town, and assume I know a bunch of classic tunes I don't know, or have sometimes not even heard of!
     
  16. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    YAh, BL expects a lot out of you for a $30 gig.
    I just sat in at a jam night, was the only bass player there and ended up
    playing most of the night behind 10 singers. No one noticed that I was winging it thru
    half of the tunes.
     
  17. "I think some gigs are just like that. You get an assortment of musicians onstage together with an encyclopedic knowledge of music, and the bandleader can call any number of tunes because they know that the band can pull it off. Someone may ask the key the singer wants to do the tune in, but that's it.

    This sort of knowledge seems to transcend an individual scene. Bluegrass players are expected to know the standards for that genre. There's a commonly played New Orleans song book. Blues has it's own set of standards. In Jazz, the Real Book tends to be the standard. And most classic rock bands will know a certain set of songs. There are just those types of gigs."

    Hit the nail on the head!!



    A great exercise is 'Shadowing'.

    - Pick a local gigging band and learn their entire set list (say, in two weeks).
    - Contact them and let them know you're available at a moments notice.
    - Then do this for the next band.... etc.
    - Dedicate 2-3 nights per week to this (that you'd spend gigging anyway).
    - Once a month run thru each song on your list. (iPod playlist on random is great for this!)
    - Add those songs to the list on you website, Facebook page, etc.
    - Go to gigs of these bands, make friends with the band, etc.

    Pretty soon you'll know as much as these guys know, and just how much effort it takes to get there.


    A school friend of our was 'shadowing' our band, and when the original guitarist left the band this guy joined and knew every song!! Plus he played better.

    Try it!!
     
  18. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    CL is a great place to meet a whole bunch of freaks and wannabes and a few good musicians from time to time.

    BL shouldn't have a problem giving you 3 or 4 tunes to have ready for audition. This lets them know how good you are at doing your homework. The rest of audition should be throwing stuff at you seeing how well you pick up on it/wing it. Including throwing out popular songs but in a different key as well as throwing originals out there just to see what sort of stuff you come up and how fast you can think on your toes. The other part of audition has nothing to do with music, it's your personality. Being able to get along with someone is half of being able to make music with them.

    I'd email the BL, tell him to give you a couple things to have ready and tell him you can take it from there. Somebody who can think on their feet, improvise, communicate and make stuff sound good even if it isn't note for note is a whole lot more valuble than someone who needs every note spelled out for them, gets lost when things stray from the norm, or is hard to get along with.


    Do I need to mention being on time, having reliable transportation, some gear and at least showing up sober although you might not leave that way?


    Oh, the joys of CL.



    PS. At least knowing what proper spelling/grammar is, even if you don't use it all the time, is a good indicator of not being a dumbass. :D
     
  19. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    In these genres, a bass player only needs to know about 3 songs.:p
     
  20. Way cool. Have fun, and let us know what happens. Good luck bro.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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