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First Gig tomorrow night

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Harro72, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Harro72


    Aug 3, 2007
    OK.... getting onto to being 37 and have my first gig tomorrow night. Have only been playing for 8 months.

    I have been practising through the week, but tonight I don't know if I should practise or give my fingers a rest for tomorrow night.

    Has anyone got any good tips for n00bs to the live scene??
  2. doobeye


    Jun 3, 2008
    Moorpark, CA
    do what you do during practice, and never give your fingers a rest
  3. Consider playing live just as practice! Only more fun :D
  4. tyggis


    Mar 11, 2008
    Lovely to hear that you have your first gig.
    If you are nervous remember this:
    You are doing the best you can and no one can expect more.

    If you are tired now, let your fingers rest.
  5. Congrats on your debut gig! - most important - ENJOY!!!!!
    Keep your fingers moving.
    It doesn't matter if you're playing bass or not, keep the muscles warm and moving to keep them supple, especially in the hour running up to the gig.
    Some players, (and sportsmen), believe you can develop a "Muscle Memory" - when you've played a piece so often you don't have to even think about it, it just "happens". I tend to agree with this.
  6. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    I'm sure you've done all your preparation at this stage. So just try to relax and enjoy the gig. After all, is n't this what it's all about.

    Just one small tip, but could mean a lot : Bring your tuner, and use it.

    Best of luck. :)

    EDIT : +1 on letting your fingers rest.
  7. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I'm a drummer when I gig so I can't make any bass related comments. But just in general I can offer these tips of advice as I just started gigging recently (5 gigs down, 4-5, maybe more to go this year).

    First and foremost, RELAX. I think that no matter how much you warm up or prepare yourself, if you don't relax it's not going to really matter.

    Expect to screw up, expect that you may not play the best you've ever played or the band has played, except that you may not have a great turn out, expect that things might go wrong, but definitely expect to have FUN, because that's the whole point after all.

    Finally a big thing is, don't beat yourself up or get overly disappointed if things don't go the way you hoped. Every gig is different and every one is a learning experience. There is always next time. Any time we have a lousy turn out or don't play as well as we'd like or something goes wrong when we take a break I just say to myself "I'm having fun, and that's all that matters".
  8. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    it's too late for the really crucial tips like 'make sure you know your material inside out', so i'll just say this:

    enjoy yourself! have a fantastic time because you only get one first gig, and you'll remember it forever

    me, I had my first one at 17 (I'm your age now), and it was terrible... my hands froze, my legs shook, I messed up and wanted to die... but it's like losing your virginity... it subsequently gets a lot better :)

    best of luck, we're all right behind you!!
  9. dj150888


    Feb 25, 2008
    Belfast, Ireland
    Hey man, well done on your first gig, great to see someone getting into music at a later age too (I'm currently teaching my dad a little, he has trouble with the joints in his hands, it seems to be helping a lot!)

    Tip 1 - Don't get drunk before going onstage :p

    Tip 2 - Don't worry! You'll make mistakes, everyone does, most people won't notice them except you.

    Tip 3 - Try not to get hypercritical of your performance. Do your best, keep practicing, you'll get better every time

    Tip 4 - If you're not totally confident with any of the parts, stay pretty still during them and concentrate just on what you're playing, feel free to rock out when you're playing parts you're confident with.

    Tip 5 - Try to forget you're playing to a crowd if you're really nervous. A bass player, especially during a first gig can usually get away with less crowd interaction than other band members.

    Tip 6 - Enjoy! You'll quickly realise gigging is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have!
  10. SMILE!! :D

    When the crowd sees the band having fun, they have fun! :bassist:

    Congrats and may this be the first of many! :bassist:
  11. coxeymcqueen


    Oct 31, 2007
    I was in a very similar situation for my first gig - I had been playing for less than 5 months. The audience was mostly made up of friends and family which helps with the nerves.

    Like the other posters have said, relax, enjoy it and don't panic if you ,or another band member, make a mistake. The audience probably won't notice the odd fluffed note but they will notice you scowling at each other or pulling a face that says 'it's all going wrong'!...

    A couple of other tips are

    Be nice to the sound engineer, assuming there will be one.
    Make a list of everything you need to take and check it off when you load everything into your car (before and after the gig).
    Take spare batteries for any pedals/active basses you have.

    I'll say this again; Enjoy it! Post back after the gig and tell us how it went!

  12. El Bajo

    El Bajo

    Apr 12, 2006
    Congrats in getting this far!!! Many dont. First gig is always the worst to get over, and terrifying but when your up there its so exhilerating, and it seems to fly by. The first song you will crap it, 2nd, still crap it, 3rd realize your on stage in front of loads of people and either have a melt down or start to enjoy it, 4th song you'll be thinking 'hey I can do this, this is ace! (at this point you will probably hit a bum note due to not concentrating) 5th song is the best feeling in the world where your confidence soars, you interact with your band and you really start loving it. The its all over and you come of stage beeming and totally happy. The mistakes? So what! Use them to learn from.
  13. El Bajo

    El Bajo

    Apr 12, 2006
    Oh and dont practice a song before you go on, if you cock it up in practice you will get REALLY paraniod about it. Just do scales to warm up your fingetrs while waiting for everybody else to set up.
  14. dj150888


    Feb 25, 2008
    Belfast, Ireland

    But don't be afraid to tell the soundguy if theres a problem with the mix. Most won't have a problem if you tell them what you want changed.
  15. cossie


    Apr 29, 2005
    Everything has already been said by everyone else.

    Relaxing is the key - make sure you breathe, seems simple but you'd be surprised how many people hold their breath when they get nervous or panic!

    I remember my first gig, bit of a disaster but we got through the 45 minutes and the next gig could just not come fast enough.

    I was _hooked_ (and I still am!) to gigging.

    Best of luck with it, you'll rock! :hyper:
  16. cossie


    Apr 29, 2005
    This reminds me of my first gig, the soundguy wouldn't let me change the tone on my bass (or any of the other bass players that day!). So I was only allowed to have either both my pickups on full or one of them on.

    He was a total d!ck and didn't even hang around after the sound check, he just did the check and left. It was a band showcase in my old university, so it wasn't really a mickey-mouse kind of a thing.
  17. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    ............ and dont forget to wear ear plugs. ;)
  18. TheVoiceless


    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    My advice would be to first make sure you have all your gear before you leave for the gig. Believe it or not it can be easy to forget a piece of gear while thinking of the gig. Get good directions. Mapquest it then get the number of the place you are playing to reconfirm that the directions are good. Show up for the first band and try and stay for the last. Its a good habit to get in and people will remember that.

    Playing wise try and balance your playing with showman ship. One always suffers over the other. You will learn which parts you can move your eyes away from your neck to look at the crowd.

    Well that's the best advice I can give from my 20 years experience.
    Rock out!!
  19. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    1) Have fun - before, during and after the gig.
    2) Tune up before the first set and in between sets.
    3) Groove, hard. This means listening to the band and playing in the pocket. I usually overplay a lot less on gigs because I want people to danze and have fun.
    4) Drink water and maybe a few beers, but don't go overboard either way (drinking too much water will make you go to pee way too fast).
    5) Make eye contact if possible and smile a lot. If you appear to have a good time, people will have a good time.
    6) Keep smiling even if you forget your part, can't hear the guitar, forget lyrics, etc.
    7) Bring spares.
    8) Bring a new change of clothes if you plan to party afterwards.

    Some pretty pedestrian tips here and there, but I would have loved for someone to tell me to bring a new change of clothes after my first gig ;)
  20. ForestThump


    Jun 15, 2005
    Pee before going on stage.
    Practice the set blindfolded or in the dark to avoid staring too much at the instrument.
    Look towards the audience. People like to be played at not just played for.
    Have fun!

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