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First Gig

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Johnny L, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I got called Thursday evening to play an hour-long jazz gig at the country club with some really fine players on Friday.

    I didn't know any of their songs, still can't walk worth anything, and can't read the chord spellings without stopping and thinking first what in the blazes they're supposed to mean. But the other players were warned who they were dealing with and called tunes that they thought I'd have the best chance of faking my way through.

    As far as I can recall I generated doo only about half the time, and the other half of the time I got positive responses that made me feel embarrased that I couldn't offer what I was doing with every song. I simply hate being unprepared to do my best to either support the music being played adequately or knock my own socks off during a solo, but after a year and a half of doublebass lessons I couldn't resist throwing myself out to the wolves to see if I could keep a pace just far enough ahead of them to come out alive. In the end, it was lots of fun and I'm glad to have both been given the opportunity and had the courage to take the opportunity to do that gig.

    Since one of our moderators has been so kind as to offer soundclips of himself from his website, I've been influenced to purchase one of those K&K gizmos for reasons beyond price and pay more attention to the music theory forum just in case I get called again!
  2. Johnny L MacPherson,

    Congrats on the gig! Now that you've put your name into the hat, you'll probably start getting some more calls, even if at first it's to sub for someone, or to make something on short notice, when the usual cats are already working. So I'll pass along some advice that someone gave me when I was getting started - don't turn down a gig because you think you're not good enough yet.

    Gigs are an impotant part of the learning process. In a way it may accelerate your growth, because in the "baptism by fire" scenario, you may be forced to get it together faster than you would by yourself in the comfort of the practice room. Recording the gig is a great idea, so you can go back and learn from your mistakes and reaffirm what you did well.

    I found a good tip about walking and note choices on bassist Tom Warrington's site. http://www.tomwarrington.com/ in the section called warringtonisms. It is geared toward high schoolers, but it can be applied to a tune that you're not familiar with, or one that is faster than you're comfortable playing. In a pinch, it could help you get through such a tune until you have opportunity to work out something more advanced.

    Good luck!
  3. Congrats Johnny L!

    Live performance is a challenging yet rewarding experience. :) I hope you get addicted and get more opportunities in the near future. :)
  4. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Hell, there's tons of opportunities to play live out there. Oh, wait, you mean the kind where you get paid??????
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Having a live sound you're comfortable with is a great advantage. Whatever equipment it takes to do that is the equipment you should strive for. The best live sound investment I've made in a while is a small 1x8" speaker which I use as an "intonation monitor" apart from my regular cabinet. When you can hear yourself, it's a lot easier to play. Congrats on the gig, and keep that good attitude!
  6. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Thanks very much for the link and extremely helpful advice T-Bal.

    Thanks also Chris for the kind words and amplification advice. That's a great idea with the intonation monitor.

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