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Drafted into an originals band.. Tips?Advice?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Sojhen, Apr 8, 2005.


  1. Alright, my girlfriend was working at a cafe were she met a lady that plays a tenor guitar. This lady writes all her own material and gigs fairly often.. My girlfriend plays guitar and so the two of them got together and played a little bit. But, over time they started not hanging out too much due to their busy schedules.

    My girlfriend recently saw the lady again and they started talking. The lady said that she was looking around for a bassist and that she will be giging next month. She then asked if I was still playing bass fairly frequently which my g/f replied to with a yes... Anyways... I got together with the lady and she gave me a CD with four of her songs on it.
    I took a listen and they are very Poprock-ish sounding...
    Which personally isn't my style, yet she has talent and all the songs are solid.. So I said sure I'll play with you....
    So now the gig is coming up in a month. The drummer, her and I are going to be having a rehearsal tomorrow.. And the problem is
    a)I run my bass through a PA & a 100W speaker, and
    b) my vehicle is not insured so I will need a ride to where ever the gig is...

    Do any of you have any suggestions for me.. As to how I should go about playing to her songs, techniques which would make it easier for me to integrate my style into the songs, etc, etc ?

    Basically I'm fishing for any kind of advice... Lame-o I know...
    :D :bassist:
     
  2. pklima

    pklima

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Ask the singer what she wants the bass and drums to add to her songs. Does she want things to sound bigger, more solid and more danceable? Or does she want y'all to make it more interesting, varied and artistic?

    Also ask whether she intends to play the tenor guitar in exactly the same way she would on a solo gig, or whether she wants you to free her up to play different chord voicings (leaving out the roots etc.), more spacious rhythms or melody parts. If it's the latter, you'll have a little less room to maneuver but the bass will be much more important in outlining the chord progressions and keeping the harmony together.

    Beyond that, experiment. That's what rehearsals are for. Maybe if a song has four verses, play a completely different part on each verse and ask which she likes best. You should quickly develop a feel for what works best.

    Above all good luck.
     
  3. Thanks for your help. Through your advice I have been given another view point at which to look upon my situation. I know now after having our first rehearsal that we definitely won't have enough time before our gig. I'm going to try my best though to be prepared for the gig.
    :hyper: :bassist: :hyper:
    -----------------------------
     
  4. pklima

    pklima

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Hmmm... so you need to learn songs and come up with bass parts before a gig and don't have time? There are a few things you can do to help. One, have charts with the chord progressions and if necessary song structures. I know a lot of "simple" pop music has confounding structures like intro-verse-verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus-verse-half a verse-chorus-chorus-coda. If you can't have a music stand on stage, write it all out and tape it to the floor in your area of the stage so you can at least quickly glance at it between songs.

    You can do one of two things to make the gig easier. One is to play really simple basslines (largely stick to roots) to reduce the chances of making mistakes. The second is play jazzy walking lines so if you do make a mistake you can get away with making it sound like you're just being artistic and making interesting note choices. As long as you find a way to lead to the right spot! I don't know which of the two approaches you'd be more comfortable with, but either one will get you by.

    Once again, best of luck!
     
  5. Thank you once again.... :D
     
  6. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    When I joined the 'Teeth last summer, it was a similar situation - original, acoustic based music. What I did was to take manuscript paper and a pencil to rehearsals and also record a lot of the material on minidisk.

    Week by week, I'd do my homework, expanding what I'd scribbled down by listening back to the recordings and then typing it up in a notation program (so I could have a chance of being able to read it back!). I'd be looking to capture the best of my improvised ideas for future reference and also to listen out for sections that didn't work so well where I needed to generate some new approaches. The first few gigs (open mic events, so fortunately 2-3 songs rather than having to present a full set) I took my music with me, gradually working towards just having the folder on stage in case of emergencies and then eventually not needing it at all.

    Almost a year down the line, I don't need the music (although it's handy for songs that have grown a bit dusty). However, I still take notes and write out my transcriptions of new stuff (and also occassionally try out new approaches, even to tunes that are pretty much in the bag).

    Therefore, based on my experience, I'd say that recording your rehearsals would be a real benefit, as long as you use that to feed your practise times.

    Wulf
     
  7. Definately, I carry a tape recorder with me at all times... Just in case I think of a riff.. And I could definately record the rehersals... If we have them.... The band leader phoned me and left a message on my machine saying that she was going to cancel our gig yesterday... It is the 18th today... And we must be ready to gig on the 8th....
    :bassist:
     
  8. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    How many songs have you got to learn?

    Wulf
     
  9. Eight in total. She gave me a CD which she recorded with four out of the eight songs.. I know two, and am working on the other two.. But I still have yet to even hear the other four songs which I must learn. Personally I must hear a song to play it.. and I won't play if we are not ready . I will not make a fool of myself due to mismanaged time before a gig....
     
  10. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I'd get your work on those two "in progress" songs wrapped up pretty quickly (at least to a basic level). You can then let the guitarist know that you're fully ready to rehearse all four and that you need the other four tracks post-haste.

    Don't aim to finalise your approach to the songs though - you just need enough of a roadmap that you won't get lost when you start jamming along on them at your next rehearsal.

    Wulf

    Wulf