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First gig since last May...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Sundogue, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I will be playing with my new band this coming weekend after not playing in a band since last May.

    I had thought I was giving it up for good until this guitar player, who's playing I've admired for quite a long time, called me up one day and asked me to join his band.

    This gig is an annual party for local musicians. A few hundred musicians show up for this event. I know quite a few and there are alot I've never met or heard of.

    The thing is, I've been playing for 25 years now and I have never been nervous before a gig. I've felt the anxiousness before going onstage, but not really nervous. We are tight as a band, I know the tunes inside and out, and feel very comfortable with the band. Yet I am feeling nervous about this gig in a way I've never felt before.

    Part of it is, I think, that some of my old bandmates from a band that dumped me will be there. To this day they still say that they had no problem with my playing, they only wanted their original bass player back when he expressed interest in rejoining them. It was a sudden boot, no warning, no communication...just let go. It has always given me a sick feeling when I think of it.

    Anyway, now I've got this gig with probably the best guitar player around here, bar none...and I'm thinking perhaps that my nervousness has more to do with my old band and my desire to impress them, more than anything.

    I'm thinking I should just have a couple of drinks (not to get drunk, just to chill out) and try to relax and enjoy the gig for what it is...a good time for all.

    This is the weirdest feeling I've ever had before a gig...never experienced it before...and I would think, given my experience and age that I would be more "cool" about the whole deal. :)

    Any thoughts?
  2. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Don't stress about it, nobody ever notices the bass player . . . :eek:

    Seriously, if you know your parts cold, just smile and play like you're supposed to. Don't try anything fancy or extra, that's when I usually mess up. Just do your job right, remember that even musicians focus on the vocalist and soloists, and know that the guys who booted you will be impressed that you're now playing w/ the best guitarist around.

  3. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Well, we are on speaking terms, though I still feel uneasy just because of how the situation went down. None of use were pissed off, it was just a very uncomfortable situation.

    And they know how good the guitar player is...the lead guitarist from the old band told me himself how much he thought of him. They had e-mailed me and told me they were glad I was playing again.

    Still, while I know everything will be cool...it's a weird feeling. I plan on playing it straight, nothing fancy, but there are some really cool tunes that we are very tight on that should help us "show off" a bit (though I'm not really into that and I don't feel that music is a competition). Human nature I guess to want to impress a former, uh...anything really, be it a former girlfriend, boss or band.
  4. Already nervous about this weekend?

    I was just talking about this with a friend last nite. I always get a bit of "excitement" about playing a show, but I can only think of one time that I was actually "nervous." Even then, it was after I was all loaded in and waiting to play.
  5. We're playing our first 2004 gig this friday too. Our first gig with our new drummer. What's stressful is that the drummer we fired lives at the recording studio where we've done previous cds. we're almost ready for the studio but we're nervous about seeing this guy, especially when he sees this young kid we brought on to replace him. So i know how you feel about that ex-band thing.

    Playing to an audience of musicians has got be nerve wracking too, I've only played before the easily impressed non-musician public (and i get nervous as hell!)
  6. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I've played this event before...and I'm accomplished enough to not feel any pressure playing before a group of musicians.

    But this has been a weird ride. I get the boot from my old band, I sell my amp and buy an acoustic guitar. I figure, hey it's been a good, long ride playing out all these years. I'm ready to hang it up.

    Then I get a call from this guitar player and I'm thinking, "hey, why not?" He doesn't want to play out much (which is good for my family life), he's a superb guitar player, and a really easy guy to get along with. The band plays some cool music that I've never really played much of before, so all in all it's a great situation for me. Everything turned out to be a positive for me.

    We practiced again last night and I feel really good about the gig...I feel less nervous and more excited day by day. Also, my new guitar player told me a few things about my previous band that have made me think differently about the whole situation.

    Funny thing is (and stay with me on this, 'cause it's really confusing, even to me :))...

    My old band booted me to get their old bass player back. Their old bass player, is the former bass player of the band I'm in now. He left my new band to rejoin with my old band. My new band went through two bass players that didn't work out. So the guitar player called me. His old bass player (the one who replaced me in my old band), told him he regretted leaving my new band to rejoin my old one. But by then it was too late to get back with my new band. So he left my old band and took a job in another state and my old band had to look for another bass player...while I, on the other hand, am perfectly happy with how the whole situation turned out.

    To clear all that up...
    Band "A" kicks me out to get their old bass player from band "B". I join band "B". The bass player that rejoined band "A" after they kicked me out, feels he made a mistake leaving band "B" to join band "A". He wants to get back into band "B", but it's too late as I am now the bass player for band "B". That bass player takes a job out of state leaving band "A" without a bass player.

    Kind of cool how it all worked out. Kind of a Karmic thing going on. My old band and their old bass player got screwed by the move and I got everything I could want out of the deal.

    I guess I'm feeling pretty good about this gig this weekend. :bassist:
  7. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane what goes here?

    Feb 23, 2003
    Denton, Texas
    You may have wound up sittin' on top of the world.

    Break a leg man!
  8. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I'm really pumped up for this gig. I'm not nervous about it anymore...just excited to be playing again.

    I'm really looking forward to it. We've got the songs down. Very tight and since it's just a 45 minute set (we are one among 6 other bands playing), it will be an easy ride, and a fun time.

    Thanks for letting me vent my frustrations and worries. Talkbass is a great place to get feedback.
  9. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    really , try not to let the former bandmates get into your head.
    they've got their problems , but don't rub it in or anything like that ...
    it's best to leave things as they are , and move on with your current
    project .

    are you still using the Hartke HA4000 ? last time i talked with you ,
    it seemed to be holding up pretty well . hope everything goes well at the gig , have fun and RELAX !!
    :bassist: :cool:
  10. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    The gig went great, though I had to play with the existing stage gear...all we could bring were our instruments.

    I had to play through an Ampeg SVT that had an ampeg 2-15 cab...and it was most atrocious sounding setup I've ever had the non-pleasure of playing through. Horrible sound. No matter who played bass all night, not one of us could get a decent sound out of it. Why they chose a 2-15 cab instead of an 8-10 I'll never understand. It was so muddy that I explained the sound as a tuba with a pillow stuffed in it. That was about as clean as anyone could get it. Plus where they put it, I could not turn it up much without blowing my guitarist away...so that part of the night sucked.

    But the gig went great...out of all the bands there was alot of talk about us and it was all very positive.

    I had long talks with the other bass player and my old band mates and all went well. The place was packed. We all played for free as it was a benefit to raise money for band instrument purchases for local schools. I heard we had raised about $5000. So it was a great night for everyone.

    Oh, and yes, the Hartke 4000 is sounding great. I wish I could have used my setup (I'm sure all of the bass players last night, felt that way).
  11. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Isn't it funny how a lot of gigs end up this way. Maybe not for you, but I have only played live 6-7 times. Before shows there is always that kind of feeling for me. But that's the fun of it, putting yourself in that position knowing you have to step up and do your job before hundreds of people. But infront of a room with all musicans and ex band members.... It seems to always take care of itself when you get on stage.
  12. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yeah, it's true. Once you're up there, all there is left to do is just play man!

    I've played thousands of gigs. For about 6 years back in the late 70's/early 80's I was playing about 250-300 gigs a year. Full time, on the road. It was mainly a cover band with a few originals thrown in, but what a life!!! :hyper: Working on the road at least 4 nights a week. The fun to be had and the outrageous money! Miltary bases that paid $2000 to $3000 for three or 4 nighters. We were only a 4 piece band and a couple of roadies. Ah, the good ol' days. Probably better in my memory than they were in actuality. :D

    As I said before, I never get nervous really...I just get overly excited to play...like an adrenaline rush. This last gig worked out better than I imagined it would and I'm back into it big time.

    I'm anxiously awaiting our 2004 schedule. We've got a few more rehearsals before our first "real", full set-list gig. I can't wait to get back into action!!!
  13. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    What a life indeed...

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