1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Earning my wings...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Don't_Fret, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    Ok, so I was playing a show last night. The house was pretty packed with at least 200 people, and I was excited to be playing some of my band's new material in public for the first time. I really wanted to make an impression, so I was pouring on the stage presence, moving around like crazy. At one point I even hopped onto a big wooden crate off of the stage, creating for myself a makeshift stage extension, which everyone thought was pretty cool.
    Meanwhile, our guitarist started our set in front of his amp and didn't move for the entire set. He didn't really get into the songs at all, he just stood there.
    We finish our set, and I'm exhausted. I've never worked so hard on stage in my life. As people start to walk around and filter out, I don't get so much as a glance from anyone. Looking back towards the stage, I see the guitarist getting swarmed by hot girls telling him how good he is. Naturally, he and the singer leave quickly and don't help the drummer and I pack up our gear, even though we transported all of theirs for them. We ended up being the last two people there.
    I've never experienced this kind of treatment before. I've heard a lot about the bassist being ignored and the guitarist getting all the attention, but until last night I hadn't actually experienced it myself. What a thankless job it is do be a bass player. You really have to be humble and have a servant's heart to do this every night. I guess this is a part of "earning my wings."
  2. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Next time, jump in front of the guitarist. Gives those young ladies a sightful of you, too, and the guitarist has to move if he wants to stay in their view ;)

    Oh, and the last time the two guitarists of ours wanted to bail out without roading the stuff, we had a simple solution: it was out of their gig money.
  3. Ash Holes I say...find a new band man:)
  4. Did you play real flashy stuff? I'm always amazed at how much wanking is liked in most places.
  5. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    That was pretty much every show I played in Florida.
  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    wow, i've never had to deal with that. :smug:
  7. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    You'll get used to it, haha. Although, I've kind of made myself a presence in my band. I'm singing more now and have some cool solo type stuff in between songs now with the drummer. I get alot more attention now than I used to. But that's not really all it's about, is it?
  8. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    Thanks for all of your responses. My question now is it even worth it for the bassist to have any stage presence as he/she is generally not noticed?

    P.s. It was a battle of the bands, and luckily for my band I was on the judges' side so they were watching me moving around most of the time. I don't know if this will improve our placing. We're supposed to get the results some time today.
  9. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    I wouldn't go nuts if no one else is, it'll look awkward and out of place. Either get the others to get into it or calm down a bit. There's nothing wrong with you having more energy than the rest of the band but if they look like statues and you look like a 7 year old on a pixie stix high it'll be bad
  10. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    It was kind of half and half, fastplant. The drummer and I were going off while the singer just moved around a little and the guitarist didn't move at all. I'm sure it looked weird.

    BTW, 3rd place $50. Not bad, but if everyone had been on the same energy level I'm sure it would've been better.
  11. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    people will pay attention to you if you give them something to pay attention to. serve the song, sure, but entertain as well. hopping around might not be entertaining, depending on the style of music you are playing and the audience. i wouldn't worry about it. you'll get recognized for what you contribute the more you do it.
  12. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002

    Cool, 3rd place, not bad at all, and $$ to boot! I would seriously talk to the band members though. I had the same talk with my band a while back. Basically, I said we need to not be afraid to feel the music and let it out. Now we all go prety nuts on stage. It defintely makes more of a show.
  13. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I honestly can't wait until my first gig with other people (I've only ever played live once before, and it was solo). June 3rd...two buddies of mine and I are doing Too Many Puppies and I was just practicing my "Les moves" (especially the non-chalant strumming he does). It gets to a point where if you're missing the notes because you're jumping around so much, ya need to calm down...but to me, there's nothing more boring than a bunch of musicians playing like they were made of wood.
    Check out www.warwickbass.com and then go to Bass101, then lessons...there's a great article on moving while you groove.
  14. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Hmm, that sounds quite familiar to me...maybe its just one of the disadvantages of being a bassist. I seem to have the same problem. Even if you play fancy stuff, most of the times only musicians and other bassists in the audience will notice you :meh: ... A few girls on a gig thought I was cute, however, they saw me at a party, thought I was cute and then came to our gig..so..hmm, man this sucks...although the attention is quite lovely I must say :D

    Once you have money they will be kissing your feet :smug:
  15. I get noticed more for singing backing and occasional lead vocals- which is understandable- most people can't tell which instrument is doing what, and when I'm playing something complex or using some effect they probably think it's a guitar doing it.

    I move about more for my own purposes than for making the band look good or attention seeking.
    it's more getting into the music and/or venting various stuff eg. bad drivers encountered on the way to the gig etc.... :D
  16. Ever watch Will Lee perform? Hell he is almost as old as I am and still has a super high energy stage presence.

  17. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Way back when, I decided to make myself as necessary to the band as possible. I figured that If I wrote all the lyrics, sang most of the leads, at least co-wrote all the oriiginals, and basically made myself indispensible I wouldn't have to be told "Well, we're getting more high-profile gigs now, so we want to get a bass player who looks more rock and roll." again.

    It worked.

    That way I got as much attention as anyvody else. And I could be as high or low energy as the moment demanded. :cool: or :hyper: occasionally :bag:
  18. Yes, but wait until he hooks up with one of 'those' girls and starts a relationship.

    Then, her attitude will become "I'm sick of your band!! Sick of your guitar!!!". The guitarist is torn between his girl and the band and he will be constantly pissed off.

    :rolleyes: :D
  19. i find it funny, Iam 29 and I get propositioned more now than when I was 19?? I don't get it, but not complaining. Maybe if you don't try so hard at wanting the female attention ,it might swing your way. Don't overdo it I spose, but hey, the more gigs you play, the more regulars will come and see you guys play, the more new people you will meet. As they say: You never know where lightning is going to strike!

    P.s.: dock their pay if they aren't going to help pack up. You are not their mother.
  20. Some bass players approach the instrument & stage with the intent of getting attention for themselves.

    Some bass players approach the instrument and stage with the intent of making the band sound good.

    Some manage to do both.

    Do whatever floats your boat, just don't expect a bass to be an 'expensive 10 pound piece of girl-attracting jewelry', maybe?