First Gig Have questions

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by tucker, Apr 22, 2001.

  1. tucker

    tucker Guest

    Jan 21, 2001
    North Carolina
    I have a gig coming up this Thursday and I need to know what I should do not to f*** up and make myself look stupid. I figured that I need to bring all my equipment and gear.( thats an easy one) But I need to know what I should do. Like I've played before at a Christmas act show but this is different. But I wanted to know like what I should do about my amp where do I put it.
    And two other big questions. First I need to practice my lines and scales and warm up pretty much. So when an where should I warm up? I have to be there around 5:00 and the show starts at 7:00 we will play at 8:00. And my other big question is how do I get over stage fright. I mean I don't have it bad but I do have it. I was planning on drinking beers or is that a real bad idea? What should I do about it is there anything I can do? If you have any comments or advice please respond so you can help out a fellow bass player. Thanx.
  2. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Ahhh... your first gig - brings back so many memories! Anyway, to answer your questions...

    About your gear, to be honest, more information would be better. What sort of place are you playing at? Are there going to be any other bands on with you? When you get there, ask whoever's in charge where your stuff should go. There should be either a backstage area, or somewhere near to the stage set aside for gear.

    As for preparing, you should get most of it done before you go to the gig - there's nothing wrong with warming up and running a few scales when you get there. Again, there should be a place set aside where you can do this, as well as tuning up when you're about to go on. Don't end up like me - I had to learn one of our songs twenty minutes before we went on in my first gig! :rolleyes:

    As far as stage fright goes, I wouldn't be too worried about it - it's not unusual to be nervous, especially before your first gig. I wouldn't recommend drinking before a gig, although that's my personal preference - if you're really panicking, so much that it'll affect your performance, then you can have a few to calm your nerves. Too many and you probably won't want to remember your first gig - still, you probably won't be able to. ;)

    Anyway, hope it goes well for you. When you finally get on stage, it'll be alright. Let us know how you get on!
  3. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Tucker -

    Congradulations and welcome to the club of gigging musicians :D!!!

    First, learn to relax, eaiser said than done of course, but doable. Remember that most (but not always all) of the audience wants to see you do well, and have fun watching you do it. Ignore those that don't seem to feel that way, you're not playing for them anyhow. Next, accept that you will make a mistake, heck many of them. Even those of us with hundreds of gigs under our belts do it at every gig. Just roll with it, keep right on going like it didn't happen. The worst thing you can do is get upset about it onstage, for two reasons: 1 - you'll just draw attention to the fact that you screwed up, and that's the only way 90% of the audience will ever know you did (the other 10% won't mind so much either unless..); 2 - it will most likely lead to another mistake, because instead of concentrating on the song, you'll be thinking about the mistake you just made, causing you to forget what you're ABOUT to do. :eek:

    Alcohol may seem to help calm your nerves, and it's possible that a beer or two can take the edge off for some people. But, you need to be very careful of two things: 1 - don't over do it. Going onstage tanked will NOT make things better :rolleyes:; 2 - be careful not to become dependant on it. It's better to go up with a bit of nervous energy and learn to harness it than to get in the habit of having a belt or two every gig and becoming an alcoholic in the process. I've seen one belt be come two, become four, become eight, become...all too many times. Don't start, and it can't happen, eh? :)

    As for warming up, I'd recommend doing it before you leave for the gig, if it's at all possible. Most times you won't get much opportunity to do so at the venue. You may have a chance to noodle a bit, which will help though.

    Amp placement is going to be influenced by the stage and it's size, but you really should have the figured out at rehearsal. Know in advance of gig time where you want to be in relation to the drummer, and then set up there on the stage. I personally prefer to be to the drummer's left, near his/her hi hat, as that's where he/she tends to be looking most of the time. It doesn't happen for me though because of the size and arrangement of our band, so I'm to the right. We still manage to keep an eye on each other alright though.

    The biggest and most important piece of advice I can give you is this: HAVE FUN! :D
  4. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    Funny you should ask. I been at it so long now, that I usually just wait till the band is almost set up, get my tuner out of the case, tune my bass, plug it in, and put it on the stand till I am ready to play. I usually don't ever warm up or anything. Just drink before hand. I adjust the levels as I go. Don't sweat the small stuff brother.
  5. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    while the rest of our band tends to get a bit high/drunk before a gig, i, as the band's mum :), prefer to meditate with a picture of my babe in front of me.
    you don't need no artificals, man. if you can cut it, you can. if you can't, keep trying.
  6. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Pretty much what everyone else has said - if you're enjoying the music, don't worry so much about playing in front of people. I'd stay a little internally focused - stage presence will come with time. Don't ignore the audience, but let them come second after enjoying the gig. You may find it easier to interact with your fellow bandmates rather than the crowd, and it can be appealing to the audience when they see a band that enjoys playing. As far as butterflies - pray that you always have them before every gig you ever play. I always felt like a caged animal, pacing back and forth, waiting to start. When you hit the stage, you have a single outlet for that anxiety, and it will help you. Remember - you already know the songs - don't fret about mistakes. We all make them.