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Advice for a Group About to Play their first Gig!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by TheJimster, Apr 13, 2006.


  1. TheJimster

    TheJimster

    Feb 21, 2006
    Pensacola, FL
    Hey Guys,

    Slipknotz again! I was wonderin you all seem to have experience with gigs, My band Silent Nightmare is about to play our first gig at a middle school talent show (WOW! Big gig! :meh: ) and my guitarist is afraid that she won't stay in sync. My drummer drowns out our two singers (temporary). I'm kinda nervous because i'm also doing a bass solo after. I was wondering if you guys have tips on how to handle the stress?:rollno:

    Thanx,
    Slipknotz
     
  2. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    Practice until you can't play the songs wrong.
     
  3. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH

    +35000154546465416


    perfect practice makes perfect performance. also, when you do go out there, just have fun, don't stress on stage. If you make a mistake, who cares, you're human. But try to practice so you eliminate as many mistakes as possible. I'm not advocating a bad performance. Hopefully you understand this confusing post:help:
     
  4. Yep - once you are on stage all you can do is enjoy the ride! No time to fix, change, or re-write it then. So work hard up to it, the go out there and do it!

    --tz
     
  5. jacko spades

    jacko spades

    Jan 9, 2006
    Central FL
    as others have said- practice like crazy (as a band not just by yourself) and also when you practice play the whole song through every time, if someone messes up don't just stop. That way you'll be used to reacting to other band members, and, dont worry about it if you do mess up, compose yourself (no pun intended) and carry on.
     
  6. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    Keep your head up and face the audience!

    At a battle of the bands I attended recently half the bands played facing each other. Particularly frustrating as I was supposed to be photographing the event, and could only get shots of their backs. Watching the drummer on an ending is one thing, but you're there for the benefit of the AUDIENCE.

    Keep going, and have fun. You're gonna screw up, but as long as it's not too bad no one will notice, and you'll learn more from 1 gig than a month of rehersals.

    Ian
     
  7. RyansDad

    RyansDad

    Jan 31, 2006
    Tolland, CT
    Just have fun. If you mess up, you mess up; no big deal. Also, joke about it with the guitarist, so that she relaxes more. Also, consider suggesting that the drummer use rods or something until he learns to play quieter.
     
  8. FriscoBassAce

    FriscoBassAce

    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    Just be confident and go out there and give it your best shot. First gig jitters are natural, and as soon as you play the first few bars of your tune, you're adrenaline will take over and make things good for you. If you're a band that wants to project an image that you're having fun, then smile! If you're a hardcore band (sounds like it), then practice your poses in the mirror before you go onstage.

    Most of all, just relax. All of your hard work and practice will pay dividends. If you make a mistake, just keep going. Most of the times the audience doesn't even know a mistake was made.

    Lastly, as someone else mentioned, play to your audience. Even if there are blinding lights shining on you, try to make eye contact with the people in front (or if that scares you to death, look at their hair...they won't know the difference). Let them know that you know they are there. They will appreciate you for it.

    Good luck man and break a leg!
     
  9. TheJimster

    TheJimster

    Feb 21, 2006
    Pensacola, FL
    Well we would play in bars but we're too young.....

    In Pensacola we can play festivals and recreational events as long as we haev sponsors at last years springfest 3 bands had members under 17. It's pretty cool. We're not expecting to play one of those we we're thinkin school dances and sponsored events for schools or charities. But thank for the suggetion :p
     
  10. ric1312

    ric1312 Banned

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    Well a couple of little tricks I use are as follows.

    1. Dont think about the show the day of or right before you go on stage, try to remain calm and think about something else. Otherwise, if your like me you'll have adrenaline going for a an hour beforehand, then be all tired when you do hit the stage from adrenaline exaustion. You want the adrenaline as you hit the stage, it will make you play better.

    2. I'm a singer, when I get on stage and adrenaline hits my mouth turns into the sahara. Chew gum and you don't have to drink water and can keep singing.

    3. Pretend it's just a rehearsal and have fun, have a who gives a crap attitude.

    4. smile, even if you are a metal act, it's much more charming than someone looking all dour. It's inviting to people

    5. 40 yard stare. Look out through the audience or at the back wall so it at least looks like your connectingwith the audience. Don't look um in the eye, cause then you'll get distracted wondering what they are thinking.

    6. Rehearse like you would like to be on stage. Saying, "I'm so going off when we play out, " after never doing it at practice rarely if ever happens.

    7. Don't just practice the songs and the set, but set up and tear down. with my band I time them, I make them take everything down then say, "we just arrived the gig, we have to play in an hour and we want a sound check and have to watch for anything unforseeable like strings or instruments or missing cables." It works wonders for reality checks, many guitarists that think they can hook their stuff up quick will find they often put a cable in the wrong place or something and can't figure out whats wrong under pressure.

    8. know what it is you absolutely have to hear to play the song right, 9 out of 10 times yo uwill get less that great sound and not hear everything. If you need to hear the drums and the vocal to play the song or certain instruments on certain parts be prepared for that and move your location accordingly.

    Crap, just realized I probably made you more nervous.
     
  11. need4mospd

    need4mospd

    Dec 22, 2005
    Houston
    I can't say I agree with those. They might work for you, but they certainly don't work for everybody.

    1. I play much better relaxed than shaking with adrenaline. I like to get really pumped up right before so the rush of adrenaline is gone before I hit the stage.
    2. Gum in your mouth while singing? I don't think so. Bottle of water, that's it. Oh yeah, and if you didn't have that big adrenaline rush, your mouth wouldn't dry up so much. :)
    3. Have fun for sure, but don't pretend it's a rehearsal unless you pretend it's a show during your rehearsals. :D
     
  12. ric1312

    ric1312 Banned

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    On #2 you are dead wrong, have fun having to go for a pee in the middle of a two hour set. The gum doesn't mess with my singing one bit.

    Of course I'm not chewing three wads of hubba bubb, just enough to keep my saliva going.

    Also, a little known fact, drinking water while trying to sing actaully makes your throat feel dryer, excess water washes away the mocous lining. Have fun singing in a dry room with smokers.

    This is also why some singers use some of those sprays, water doesn't do the trick.

    I'd like to point out I'm talking about lead vocals here, where you sing every song, not just a bass player singing one or two lines every other song. In which case you will dry out quickly.

    On the adrenaline thing, either you don't get much of it, or have never had to deal with adrenaline. After a real adrenaline dump is gone and over with the average person is sluggish and less responsive. Adrenaline is natures way of makeing everything work better and faster.

    I get mine just as I hit the stage and the first song is on, gives me impetus, and makes me look excited. which I am, which excites the crowd.

    Totatally relaxed may be great for folk, but I like to watch bands that appear excited about what they do.

    I've been gigging for 15 years, I've never got so used to it that the adrenaline won't come. I think that is with a lot of people. Most just get nervous having to go in front of crowd.
     
  13. need4mospd

    need4mospd

    Dec 22, 2005
    Houston
    Dead wrong? I don't think so. If you have anything in your mouth that obsructs or alters the path of air coming out, it will change the sound. Not much, but it does. If you are happy with that sound, then go for it.

    Go pee beforehand. Go pee after. Don't drink more than you can hold. Warm water seems better for me.

    First off, drinking water while trying to sing would get you a wet shirt. :D But I digress.... I've never in my years of vocal training heard that water dries your throat. But I have heard many times that it is the best way to healthy moisturized vocal chords. That throat spray is just a band aid.

    I've sung lead/choir/backup/etc... Water is still #1 in my book along with most vocal trainers.

    Just my experience. I've told my technique to a couple people and they liked it. Others didn't. I still get a rush of adrenaline at show time, just not a huge rush that makes my hands shake. Some people can get really shakey when adrenaline hits. Shakey hands = terrible playing.
     
  14. ric1312

    ric1312 Banned

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    "I've sung lead/choir/backup/etc... Water is still #1 in my book along with most vocal trainers."

    Any good vocal trainer will also tell you that sure water is great drink a lot of it, but if you wait until you are on stage it's too late to become properly hydrated.

    "don't drink more than you can hold," well what if you've drank all you can hold and you are dry?

    "pee after," sorry it just sucks to be on stage, trying to be into it and really just want to go to the john.

    Drinking lots of water is to keep in shape and train vocally.

    When I'm actually singing the gum is usually under my toungue and on in my cheek, so it's not altering a thing.

    It's a little trick I use that works great. You don't like it that's fine. A pack of gum in your pocket is easy to have instead of making sure you have bottled water or a cup of water from the bar.

    yep, loads of water on stage will actually wash away the lining in your throat, which is what keeps you from feeling dry in the throat, not hydration. Water does not cling to the inside of your throat saliva and mucous does. had it happened to me, and seen it happen to many guys on stage in smokey clubs at rock shows, or just when it was really dry out and no humidity.

    they keep drinking loads of water inbetween songs and keep getting drying and raspier, viscious cycle, talk to them after the show and it's like they just smoked a pack of ciggaretts.

    chewing gum is like haveing a super humid day while you sing, lot of constant moisture in the right spots.

    Remember my trick when you are in a similar situation, it's better than going through a two liter of water on stage, or begging waitress to bring you water before your next song.

    So, you say you've sung lead. For how many songs? for a two hour set in a smokey bar, or just for one song taking turns with another guy in the band, big difference. choir lol, some of the worst singers come out of choirs. and well backups are just, what, a chorus here and there.
     
  15. I would avoid soloing especially in my first gig ...
     
  16. need4mospd

    need4mospd

    Dec 22, 2005
    Houston
    If you are just going to insult my experience, then I'm done. Apparently your experience is better than mine.

    Water is better than chewing gum. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. A good vocal teacher would be able to help you if you can't manage it.

    Have a nice day! :D
     
  17. ric1312

    ric1312 Banned

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    I honestly wasn't trying to insult you, was asking your experience. though re reading my post it did seem a little snide.

    I'm sorry if I insulted your choir singing, I've never heard a choir singer translate into a good rock lead singer.

    On no less than five occasions I've had guys come in an either want to do backup or even a lead and claim they could sing because they did choir for x amount of years.

    Each of them sounded like poopie, and didn't understand why. I think it was because they were used to people all around them creating an Illusion that they were making good tone, when in fact the tone came from all of the men in their range together singing the same notes. And the fact that using the mic in lead situation is tottaly different.

    I've had plenty of vocal coaches, even some formal schooling, and teach myself.

    I'm not argueing the point that water is the best thing for your voice. What I'm saying is that constant water on stage is a no no. All it really does at that point is quench your thirst not lubricate your throat.

    What a stated about the moucous being washed away by an excess of water is a medical fact. Sure the moucous comes back, but not fast enough for the next song.

    And light moucous/saliva is what you actually want, it is the actual lubrication. Water is just it's transport through the body.

    Which is also why habitual smokers cough up heavy phglem. The body is over lubricating in response to the dry smoke.

    While your body would be hydrated by the water, of course, it takes to long for that to translate into a well lubricated throat if you need it right on the spot while you sing.

    Whereas if I chew gum thicker saliva is going down my throat and keeping my mouth moist constantly, rather than pouring water over it just to relieve the dry feeling for a moment or two, and also wash away any moucous I had building up.

    Trust me, next super dry day try it. Or just when you forget your water cause your in a rush.

    You have nice day too.
     
  18. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    1. Smiling is important. Very important. Or at least look like you're into the music.

    2. The way your stance is, is important. Play with confidence and treat the stage like it's your living room.

    3. Avoid keeping time with your feet or legs (toe tapping, leg lifting, stomping) that's lame-o. The drummer will keep time, not you.

    4. Get a friend to video-record your gig. IT WILL BE A REVELATION. I cannot stress how important this is. If you have any bad habits, you will see for yourself what you look like onstage and you can change things for the next gig (which you will also video).
     
  19. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    I kind of agree with you on this - I played in orchestral type settings with a conductor, and he would stop the band if he spotted someone tapping their foot - he would tell them that there was ONE time keeper in the band. If you tap your foot then your following your foot, not the timekeeper.

    On the other hand it's certainly usefull sometimes - I've had other teachers tell me it's a good idea....

    Personally I can see it both ways - I'd welcome more discussion on the topic: To keep time or not?

    Ian
     
  20. Just remember one important thing:

    Most guys in the audience will think " I wish I could do that"

    Most girls in the audience will think " I wish my boyfriend could do that"

    But most important, remember that the audience won't know you messed something up, unless you let them know. When someone goes astray, just slowly turn and smile at them. ( though at one gig, it happened so much my cheeks hurts for a week). If there is any way possible, record yourself. AND HAVE FUN! :hyper:
     

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