First Gig ?'s, going to the best place for advise, TB!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by RicPlaya, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Hey TBer's, got my first gig, Holloween show Nov, 1st in Detroit. I know it's the day after, but this is our first show. We are running costume contests, prizes, announcing drink specials you name it. Also we are bringing our PA and setting everything up. We have all kinds of stuff going on we are unfamiliar with. My bandmates fail to realize the importance of doing these little things. So I need advise from the gigging vet's out there. For instance what kind of stuff do you talk about between songs and sets to keep the crowd interested while guys are tunning and stuff? Any advise on doing costume contests, games, etc? I think we will be o.k. with the PA end of it but it's all the little things like dealing with the crowd. The last time we played we has a lot of down time between songs and I need stuf to fill in there with, just any advise in general that I am not even thinking of when doing a first gig would be appreciated. If you knew then what you know now how would you handle your first gig? Thanks
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    This post would be better served in the Band Management and Performance forum. I am going to move it there for you. And I believe that there are already some good threads on this subject, in that Forum. Check it out.
  3. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
  4. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Here's a few tips for a first gig, and for eliminating dead space between songs.

    1. Get there early. Give youself enough time to set up, do a quick soundcheck, and then have a drink and chill for a couple of minutes before the show. You'd be surprised at how much less dead air you will have if you take the time to set up your stuff properly and make sure you can get the right sounds out of them. Taking a break before you begin performing lets you relax your nerves, and gives the audience a chance to see you make a professional entrance.
    2. Bring spares. Bring a spare guitar, bass, strings, picks, cords, drumsticks, etc in case something breaks. Obviously you can't bring spare everything, bring spares of what is likely to break, and what is practical to bring. A spare guitar is helpful because changing a string on stage can seem like an eternity.
    3. Get your stuff tuned before the show. If you're one of those guys whose playing style knocks strings out of tune, then plug your instrument into your tuner, and then plug the tuner into your amp. Keep it that way. Just turn on the tuner, and turn off the amp and you can tune silently. Tuning audibly between songs is annoying.
    4. If you need to switch instruments, use an A/B Box. It's still faster than putting your amp on standby, plugging and unplugging, etc. Better yet, avoid tweaking your tone too much on stage. Do that stuff during sound check.
    5. If some drunk is talking to you between songs, have a band member count out the next song. Some people in the audience can try to talk to you for minutes in between songs. Nice for the guy talking, but not for the audience members who are asking "What is going on?". Since the drummer usually counts off a song, they should try to keep the show going.
    6. Keep the talk to a minimum. There's probably a reason why you guys are musicians instead of comedians or motivational speakers. If you need to rap during dead air, mention where your band is playing next, drink specials, the club you are playing in, CDs if you have them for sale, tipping the bartenders and waitstaff, acknowledgement of people dancing, or an occasional joke. Don't ask the crowd questions, because you will waste time waiting for or trying to comprehend their answers.
    7. Write out a set list with the key to all the songs on it. Give the list to each member and make sure it is legible. No need to have dead air from bandmembers asking "What key is the song in?", or "What are we playing next?"
    8. Be careful how you use the microphone. Even if you aren't speaking directly into the microphone, it can still pick up stage sounds. If you need to talk to the drummer, or tell tell the guitar player he's too loud, make sure you're out of the mic's range.
    9. Turn off the PA between sets. Don't give some drunk the opportunity to scream into your mic and blow the PA speakers, or do something stupid.
    10. Duct tape cords onto the stage. You don't need you or someone from the audience tripping over a cord and hurting themselves or your gear. Wrap cords around the mike stand, or speaker stand and you reduce the chance of them getting pulled out accidentally. But, don't tape your instrument cord, unless you don't plan on moving around on stage.
    11. Organize your stuff when you pack up because it will make setting up easier the next time. It will also reduce the likelihood of you forgetting stuff at the venue.

    There's more, but this should be a good start.
  5. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    thanks Jive! anything else to add?
  6. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    anything else to add, anyone?
  7. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I think jive has pretty much got it sewn up - theres certainly enough good advice there to get you going through your first gig. Remember, the more ideas you have floating round in your head, the harder it's going to be to follow any of them through effectively. Follow half of jive's advice and you'll be doing okay.

    BTW, excellent post, jive.

  8. yeah, great advice, i wish i had this info for out first gig(s ). For the entire audience "What song is next? that one?" "I don't like to play that one, let's skip it" :D
  9. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member


    Where's the show? There's an off chance I can come and see ya. So SPAM it!
  10. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Thanks Guys!! wish me luck and that we don't suck
  11. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    The gig is getting closer I will be sure to let you know how it goes!
  12. pbd

    pbd Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2003
    Metro Detroit
    owner Procables N Sound
    if you do need to talk, introduce the band members. Next gap, say where they're from, how long you've been playing together. Thank the establishment for; haveing a great stage, audience,drink special,etc.
  13. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Then I will announce the wet T shirt contest!
  14. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Well, most everything has been covered, except the most important aspect for a band.


    I can't tell you enough how important this is, your energy will translate right to the crowd.

    I would also make sure you have setlists prepared you plan on sticking to, as mentioned.

    IMO it's best for a band to remain loose with the crowd. I personally disagree with the "announce the band members" as a primary discussion piece. Just have a good time, and go with whatever feels right, just don't spend too much time between songs, or people may lose interest.

    HAVE FUN MAN! And also, please report on how your gig went, after the fact!
  15. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000

    As per this forum's FAQ, ... here's a thread full of first gig advice

    And general gig advice :

    I'll merge this thread into the above in a couple of days.

    Best of luck with your debut, and have fun !

    My tips ... the more practiced you are the more fun you'll have.

    And if you do need to talk or introduce the band or whatever, it's best if there's a low-volume groove in the background and be sure to *enunciate clearly*. Remember what it's like when your'e at a gig and don't do the things you dislike other bands doing.

    Also if you can record the show do so. You can learn a great deal from it. Video too, but don't have mom or a girlfriend up from videotaping you - that looks bad. Just set up a tripod in back of the club - you need to learn to project to the back seats anyway.
  16. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    You guys rock! Thanks I'll be sure to let you know how it went, we are working our butts off to get ready for this I almost forgot to have fun glad it was mentioned!
  17. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Have fun indeed! That is the best part. It's kind of like the first time at something else, as I once wrote about HERE Seems like only yesterday.
  18. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Hey LoJoe, we are in the same boat. At least you had a guitar background which is great, I am a drummer so this will be my first time doing a full show with a string instrument. I know I'll get through it, I'm worried about the rest of the guys! That was a great story, but if it is anything like my first time getting laid than it will be over after the third note!
  19. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Hey RicPlaya,

    Where you gonna be giggin'? I see P. Aaron is interested in possibly showing up. Same here? Lift the shroud of mystery....Give up the details. ;)


  20. IvanMike

    IvanMike TTRPG enthusiast, Happy, Joyous, & Free. Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    ah yes, relax and have fun
    and keep the time between songs as short as possible
    oh, and keep the time between songs as short as possible
    and while you're at it, keep the time between songs as short as possible
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    Primary TB Assistant

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