Bassists In Front ! ! !

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by BassAxe, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
    An Open Mic for bass players!

    Organized by Victor Wooten Bass/Nature Camp alumnus, Maria "Pete" Durgan, and her partner-in-crime, Barry Warsaw.

    This fantasic event took place on Saturday 25 October 2003 at Luna Park Grille in Arlington, Virginia.

    Here's a link with pictures and the flyer.

    That's me performing on didjeridoo with my Tacoma bass. I performed my versions of Raunon Valssi by Big Blow and the Bushwackers and Burnin' Down the Mountain by Steve Vai.

    Currently there are plans to hold this event again in the Spring. If you're in the area, come on by!
  2. That's a great idea!

    Any samples of the bass/didjeridoo tunes?
  3. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
    Bass Players' Open Mic is a great idea? Or Didj and bass is a great idea? Maria "Pete" Durgan just sent me an email on what she did to put this show together. She encourages us to do similar shows in our areas. Here's a copy/paste of her email.

    Hi Y'all,

    I got several messages about how to do a Bassist-In-Front Open Mic in your own home town.
    It's so easy! Here's what to do:

    1. Do some networking and make sure you have about 5 people who say they'll perform. This is really important because people won't sign up unless they know someone is already on board. Gives the event more of a solid feel. Besides, who wants to have a party and no one show up?

    2. Find a music-friendly restaurant or bar that is open around noon, but doesn't do a great lunch business on weekends. Talk to them about letting you take over for the afternoon. I scheduled the showcase to run from 1 to 5 on a Saturday. Why? Doesn't conflict with dinner business, doesn't conflict with NFL games (Redskins fans are fanatic here), and - most important - doesn't conflict with gigs. I did not charge the place any money to play. They didn't charge me any rent, rather they were happy for the lunch/beverage business. They did give me a $50 bar bill for the organizers, which was very nice. You could do it anytime that works for you and the venue, but this is what worked for me. (BTW, I've been running a showcase once a month at the venue for a couple of years, and the owner and I are very comfortable working with each other. Those relationships are so essential to cultivate, and I encourage you to do that as much as possible just in general.)

    3. After the date and time is booked, make up a flyer, post it at the venue. Make a webpage. Post messages about the opportunity on every music oriented message board you can think of , and also send it to your personal e-mail list. Make sure it includes something like, "forward this to every bass player you know." Go to to see what my webpage looked like. (Took me about an hour.) Go to to see the flyer and pictures of the event. (My buddy Barry Warsaw added this page to his bass-centric pages.)

    4. When bass players respond, make sure they know that the event is for bass players to be the front person. I didn't care what they did. I didn't care if they brought a drummer or guitar player, so long as they weren't just bringing their band to play the usual. The bass player had to be the front person. (This caused a few people to drop out, but they attended and now they know what to do next time.) Tell everyone to prepare about 15 minutes. That's plenty for an open mic. Some will do less, that's ok! Encourage everyone to perform.

    5. Ask people to confirm that they're coming and what they plan to do. This way you can put solo players ahead of a band if you want to, or if someone needs to leave early, you can accommodate. And then prepare to be happy to change it all at the gig! :) I did not have the entire time period filled, but people walked in and signed up to play. If you can, leave time for jamming at the end. Our jam was awesome!

    6. Once you have an idea of what's going to happen, decide if you want a drum kit on stage, how many and what kind of amps to bring. Ask for volunteers to bring stuff and just coordinate it so that you have what you need. Barry and I brought a guitar amp and two bass amps with a total of 3 inputs. I brought my PA, mics and monitors. I had a nice drum kit volunteered by one of the bass players. I had a drummer who played with one of the bassists, but stayed and played for others upon request. If you know a really fabulous drummer, ask him/her to volunteer his kit and serve as informal house drummer. It's a nice touch.

    7. Put notices of the event in the appropriate newspapers a week or two ahead of the event - make sure to get the deadlines so you're on time. I had two great bass players come based on a tiny ad hidden in the DC City Paper, a freebie with a good music want-ads section. Encourage networking, i.e., people who want to meet bass players should come - this is best in e-mail when you don't have to pay for extra words.

    8. You've done all the preparations. Go to the gig, set-up, relax about the inevitable changes that will happen, and have a great time! Make sure that you get up to play too!

    9. People who attended had really interesting instruments or gear. We asked everyone to talk about their gear for a minute before they played. That was really nice, it allowed everyone to relax a bit before playing.

    (OK, 9 paragraphs, lots of words. But honestly, most of this is just common sense stuff you are all familiar with.)

    It was a total blast - like a bit of bass camp at home. I hope you all will consider doing it. I feel like I made many new bass playing friends from this gig! You may use anything I've put together, you may copy my e-mail language, my website, anything. If you want more information, let me know.


    No samples yet. I'm working on making a demo CD
  4. Bass players' open mic is a great idea. I've always thought we should have one in conjunction with the Atlanta TB get togethers. Thanks for all the info on how it was organised.

    Dunno about didj and bass, that's why I asked about samples. Looks pretty cool, though. ;)