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first band/ gig advice

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by pandaman37, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. pandaman37

    pandaman37 Inactive

    Sep 17, 2009
    Clovis, CA
    well i am but a novice, been playing for a year, and ive jammed with a few people, and not to be mean but only one or two were any good, the rest didnt play or practice too often, werent serious etc etc.....
    anywho, i was wondering if anyone had any stories about their first band or gig, and maybe offer a little advice to a young'in such as myself.
    i suppose i should tell you off the bat cos i get the feeling someones gonna ask, i play a squier jazz, just got the neck fixed and it plays FANTASTIC.. i practice every day for at least an hour, self taught but now im taking a music theory class at a different high school, and i decided to try and teach myself a little guitar (i spose it cant hurt..). im open to many styles of music, but funk/jazz is my true passion (i know, cliche, sorry). im very serious and dedicated to finding a musical career, i honestly dont care if i get famous, im just sick of playing along to itunes, i want to play for people and really create something.
    im hoping im qualified to join a legitimate band, or at least on the track to doing so, any input would be deeply appreciated, thanks
  2. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    Well, my story is that I just answered ads and did a lot of "auditions" at the beginning. I just got out there.

    I was recommended for the gig I have now by a guy that checked me out for a band he was trying to form even though it fell apart before it even started.

    So I would recommend answering ads for bass players, and taking what you can get even if it isn't perfect. Play the field as best you can. Enjoy the BS'ers and wanna be's as a part of the journey. If you're good enough you'll find a place.

    This is just my experience, but I've found that bands looking for bass players like it, if you show up ready to play a few songs but like it better if you can "wing it" a bit with stuff you've never played before. Maybe that's just my experience.
  3. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    It sounds like you're committed to the instrument. By all means, put yourself out there, network with other people you meet who play, answer Craigslist ads, post ads yourself looking for bandmates. The worst that happens is that you have some things fall through or some bands tell you you're not ready yet, but just the auditioning is a learning process and I would say it's never wasted when you're starting out. If you're sick of playing to iTunes, you're ready to hook up with other musicians. Just tell them what you've told us and sooner or later you'll find someone you click with.
  4. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    I hate to bring age into this, but if your a young guy the approach you might want to takeshould be different than an older guy just entering the scene.

    If your young and your auditioning a lot more doors will be open(it's just the way life is with anything). If you are auditioning ask the guys to give you the files to 3 songs the way they perform them. You should be able to learn them within a weeks time.

    Go in get a good tone and volumne balance and know the songs like the back of your hand.

    Don't let band get you all caught up in quirking untraditional audition request.
  5. HeadyVan Halen

    HeadyVan Halen

    Jun 11, 2010

    1st show I ever played was backing band for a hip-hop fresstyle battle. We were playing basic funk grooves and the like and when the MC said were 'bout to bring the band back up someone from the crowd says "we don't wanna here no more of that bullsh!t.." after that I was good, never really got nervous again..


    the only advice I can give you is, when you guys practice, make sure you practice and NOT jam over a I-IV-V for 20 minutes. Have a certain number of songs or parts of songs to work-thru, work'em out right (no confusion on parts) and move on. Set a time limit, so it doesn't become a 'hang' instead of Band Rehearsal..hangin' and jammin' is cool, but it ain't practice.

    Jam= when your just having fun and trying out new licks

    Practice= is what you do at home, to clean up your parts

    Rehearsal= When you have jammed, practiced and are rehearsing the song..
  6. Yes, and don't be practicing at rehearsals.
  7. Audition as much as you can, and to gain experience take any offers that come your way while your young .


    I would also recommend starting your own band too. It's kinda nice. You call the shots, play the kinda music you want, chose who you want to play with, and make your own musical experience.
  8. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    I would also recommend starting your own band too. It's kinda nice. You call the shots, play the kinda music you want, chose who you want to play with, and make your own musical experience.[/QUOTE]

    I think the whole starting your own band thing is thrown around to loosely. It's not that easy and requires a whole other set of skills. However, even that is a lot easier when your young and don't know any better.
  9. Rookwood


    Aug 10, 2010
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Self-appraisal is a critical part of development. If possible, get a small digital recorder and record your rehearsals, jams and gigs so you can evaluate your technique and timing at a later time.

    Best if luck!
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Check out the link in my sig. below for some great TB info that may help you reach your goal.

    Good luck.
  11. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Rule 1: Never play for the 'door' unless you're doing the counting.
  12. pandaman37

    pandaman37 Inactive

    Sep 17, 2009
    Clovis, CA
    yeah ive considered responding to cl posts before, its just i feel like i cant really join something whole heartedly until i can drive, so i spose i need to wait on that, depending on how vital transportation is..
    and i dont understand the door comment lol...
  13. I was so nervous my first gig. My hands were shaking and I could barely play. I remember feeling like I was standing there naked in front of a bunch of people. 1000+ gigs later I still remember conquering that fear. Best wishes!
  14. I'm going to disagree with the putting your own band together thing. You're a novice, you really don't know what to do, being a bandleader is way over your head at this point.

    Also the best thing for you is to get exposed to as much music as possible, if you start your own band, play only what you like, you're really limiting yourself to what you already know, which as a novice isn't much.

    Think of yourself as an apprentice, join bands, pretty much any band that will have you (that sounds decent), learn new stuff, learn how to learn songs quickly, eventually see if you can hook up with a successful well run band, and study how they do it right. THEN think about starting your own band once that one falls apart.

    The advice about recording yourselves is great advice. Things you don't notice while you're focused on playing a particular part become painfully obvious when you're just listening. You can sound like the pro's, they're not magic, the music isn't that hard. Strive to sound like a pro. Don't beat yourself up when you don't, but on the other hand, don't accept mediocrity. Work towards being better. That doesn't always mean more/faster fills. Playing fewer fills/notes correctly, IN TIME, makes for monster grooves... Playing too much to the point you lose meter kills the groove, makes it impossible for the band to be tight.

    Avoid drug and alcohol fueled bands. If their goal is to get high get to steppin. Sooner or later you'll see guys that threw away a lot of promise over drugs and drinking and you'll understand. In the meantime, until you see it for yourself, trust those of us who have been there and seen it.

    Walk before you run....

  15. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
  16. I completely disagree with your first sentence. I started my own band school shows in Gr.7/8 and my friends and I started doing the bar and houseparty scene and even local festivals (a combination of 4x45s and a dozen originals) around 12-15years old, doing 30+ gigs/yr.

    As long as you do your research, always be in "learning" mode, and always ask questions, even if they may sound dumb to you.

    On the flipside, I DO AGREE with Everything else you said :D Very good stuff there.
  17. I met a guy through school who already had a band, I learned their songs and then their bassist dropped out so I went to audition and got the part right away. Craigslist is loaded with ads, if you have some time on your hands and can learn a couple of tunes, go for it it'll be good practice. They'll send you 2 or 3 tracks to learn so make sure you pick a genre that you can physically play, don't go too much outside your reach and go try it out. You owe it to yourself to audition, it'll be nerve racking at first but you''ll be happy you went through it. Know the songs cold, and don't try to show off, just play the songs, there will be a lot of time to be flashy later on.

    As for my first gig, it was in the dead of winter in a small bar and I got lost on the way. Got there half hour late, but the owner was really cool and the band was just happy to know I was alive and didn't get into some accident. I set up, went to the washroom, got back on stage, tuned up and as I stepped on my tuner I looked up and the singer said "ready?" and we started. I didn't have time to get nervous, I actualy grasped the situation half-way through the first song. Then I got scared poopieless. Good times. We ended up getting invited back though!

    Good luck!
  18. Blah114


    Feb 7, 2008
    my advice.. learn 100 common songs other bands are covering.. learn them well.. then start doing fill -ins.
  19. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    No substitute for knowing songs. Well known songs that are standards in their genres. Not obscurities known only to the hardest core fans. There's no money there at all.
  20. Based on your attitude alone, I say a resounding "yes, you are qualified."

    Keep up the regular playing routine, keep nosing around with the more technical aspects of music, keep working on your fingerings and chops, do the scales, do the exercises, keep reading everything you can about the subject, take excellent care of your equipment, your hands, your body, and your mind, remember that music is meant to be fun, but for the pros it's really fun when it's really good, think like a pro, who cares if you're not one?, and seek out like-minded musicians with whom to plot world domination (starting with your end of town).

    Anyone tells you you're taking it too serious, just smile, nod your head, and move on.

    Basically, just keep doing what you're doing, and good luck with all you do.
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