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First "gig", any advice

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Ryan Donahue, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. Well I have my first practice for my first gig ever. I'll be playing bass of course but am sort of nervous since I have just started playing and have never even had a lesson. Luckily its just for a contemporary worship band at my church but damn can those ladies be vicious. Anyway, to keep this somewhat inline with general instruction, I was just wondering if you guys have any advice for me. Whenever I practice, I am usually sitting down but tomorrow I will have to be sitting. Is there anything I should be consious of as far as my right and left hand technique that I should keep in mind. I played standing up a bit today and it was a little awkward.

    Also, I only know a few chord shapes and in this band only the lyrics and basic chords are written down. Granted its pretty much all your basic G-C-D with an occasional Em or F but I am afraid that in the course of having to make up all my own basslines I will wind up playing the same lines over and over again.

    I guess I just need some reassurance and luck. Either one would be great.

  2. i was in the same boat as you some months ago, and my advice is keep it cool, dont stress about the little things, and have confidence in yourself.

    playing in a church is a relativly easy start if you think about it, compared to a battle of the bands or something. at church the people are focussing on the singing and the music aint hard, and the people are nice mostly..:rolleyes:
    even if you stick to the root note thats cool, most of the time thats even what they want!

  3. chrisbs


    Jan 12, 2002
    No sweat, just remember, most people in the audience ae not musicians and will not be as critical on you as you probably are on yourself.
    Just relax and have fun.

  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What other instruments are in the band? How well do you know the other musicians?

    If you can get them to look after you - simple lines that don't get in their way and making an effort to follow their suggestions (although not being afraid to flag up something that's too difficult for you at present) you should do fine.

    It's also a good idea to play confidently but a little quieter than you might ideally like - far better to be asked to turn up than told to turn down ;)

  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
  6. Well I had the practice today. Although I don't really think that I sounded all that good I must say I had a really good time. Playing the contemporary worship songs aren't really my thing but it seems easy enough to start off with to help me get over my stage fright.

    My biggest weakness I found was that when I saw what the chord changes were I pretty much just played the same three notes per chord. Also when the tempo started getting higher I sorta just flung my fingers wherever they landed and tried to make it to the root for the next change. I imagine that is just a product of starting the bass and not even having a few comfortable licks that I can rely on.

    Overall I really enjoyed it and am actually looking forward to playing on sunday.

  7. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Glad it went well. Just keep it simple on Sunday - I often get by with just one note per chord, a bit of rhythm (locking with the rest of the group) and maybe a few passing notes here and there ;)

  8. I've beem playing bass in our contemporary worship service for more than ten years and I started just like you. My best advice to you is to KEEP IT SIMPLE. Don't be mislead by all these complex and fascinating bass lines you hear on the radio. For a live church performance it is much better to play cleanly and simple than try to throw in a bunch of licks and lines you cant really play cleanly, and don't really fit with the song. I had a bad habit of doing that back when I "thought" I was getting good. I've just gotten good enough to realize how bad I suck. Simple and smoothe with as few fumbled notes as possible until you are comforable enough to jazz it up a notch. Be humble and be solid, and no one will complain, My bet is none of them are bass players so they cant really give you a hard time about what to play.
  9. A couple of things to remember:

    To be a musician who performs before a live audience, you accomplish many steps. There are several factors that can all add up to being stressed and having stage anxiety (relating to the conditions, your personality, etc). A way to handle some of the anxiety is to remember that you do not have to deal with the entire process at once:

    -learning the songs
    -getting your gear ready to go
    -getting to the gig
    -setup of equipment
    -being ready for each set
    -being ready for each song
    -being ready for each change in each song
    -being ready for each note
    -etc. etc. etc.

    If you try to think about everything at once, or get that overwhelming feeling, just rememberÂ….

    You only have to accomplish one thing at a time. This may put you at ease a bit. Being on top of the game (being ready for the steps above) is important. Also, while playing, (in addition to all the great advice in the posts above) try to lock in with the groove of the song. Let your bass line fit the tempo and feel of what you are hearing. The groove thing may take awhile to feel right, but once it does, you will know it and love it (so will your band).

    And remember, there are tons of people in the audience that wish they could do what you are doing, so be proud of yourself.
  10. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN

    :D :D :D

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