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First gig

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by PeaveyPlayer, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    So i'll be playing in calgary and I have 9 songs to learn... Gospel reggae, is there any tips for learning new music?
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    practice, practice, practice. Listen.. . rinse, repeat until you can play them standing on ur head!
  3. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Gospel reggae played in Calgary, if it were still April 1 I would think this is a joke. Sorry. Anyway, there is no easy way, practice, practice, practice. Same advice for centuries!
    PeaveyPlayer likes this.
  4. justbass57

    justbass57 Supporting Member

    Practice them till you can play them without any backing track or any other crutch.

    Good luck and have loads of fun!
  5. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Any tips.... well, learn it. Kinda depends on what the music is. Are you getting sheet music, chord charts, a recording to learn from, what? In general... listen to it a lot, learn the structure and chord progression, and any signature licks that have to be there. Fill in from there. Learn it as tight as you can in practice because you'll lose 15% of it when you go live. Live situations always have lots of distractions when you're not used to it. Just concentrate on what you're doing, play the best you can, and if you do make mistakes, let it go - all that matters is the NEXT note.
    kwaping likes this.
  6. If you learn the songs by just learning where you fingers go on the fretboard, you'll have less confidence playing live because you learned it parrot-style. Get the lead-sheets for the songs and quickly learn the chord progressions - then make sure that you can play the chord tones that go with the chords, add appropriate rhythm and you'll be much more relaxed and will probably sound better.
    avri62 likes this.
  7. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Practice, of course, but focus is very important, too.
    Even at home, take a few deep breaths, close your eyes for a few seconds and then, simply...be.
    Become part of the music. Nothing exists but the music.
    Years of martial arts training really helped me focus, and it works for everything.
    You're not a doctor or a lawyer or someone working in an office or factory when you have your bass in your hands, you're a musician.
    Again, become part of the music.
    It might sound silly at first, but it works for me and it should work for you.
  8. If this is your first live gig playing with other people, you kinda need to know how to play with people. But, first the rhythm this band will use is going to be unique, you will need to get with the drummer and see if you can fall into a groove with this rhythm. That's the first thing I would do.

    You and the drummer will be the beat keepers. I let the drummer be in charge of the beat (the drums are my metronome). Now if there are no drums then you are the beat keeper. Get the bpm from the lead vocalist, this is not hard, however, keeping that beat will be the hard part. Vocalists tend to speed up as the song goes along. Your job is to keep them from speeding up. That is why they need you and the drums.

    You are expected to call attention to the chord that is active. Easy way to do that is to follow the chord chart and make sure when the chord changes you do a root note on the first beat. What notes to use? Roots, fives and eights (R-5-8-5) now the song may only give you room for just the root, probably a root five -- so be it. Keep your bass line simple. First time out of the chute be happy with maintaining the beat and not stepping on toes.

    If you can have chord charts on stage do so. OK how to take what I've outlined and practice the song is the question. If you are lucky you will be able to call up the song using Google (video, chords, "name of the song") and develop your bass line while listening to the video. Armed with the chord chart listen to the video and make notations in the margins to help you with timing and phrasing.

    Good luck. First time out - keep the beat, call attention to the active root and do not step on anyone's toes. Less is usually more. After that getting along with the rest of the guys/gals is what will get you asked back. Be the first one there and carry in some of their stuff. Be the last to leave.

    Have fun.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
    Jhengsman, kwaping and tfer like this.
  9. lstelie

    lstelie Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Paris France

    I did my first gig a year ago only, so I understand the trouble you may feel

    Some random advices :

    - Stick with the drummer, the natural tendency is to follow the ones who make melody (guitarist, singer..) this is a mistake, the only guy/girl you may want to be inline with at first is the drummer, you are part of the rhythm section, as I have read on a funny facebook page one of the bassist rules is that "Thou shalt not shag up the groove. shag up the notes if thou must, but not the groove."

    - Keep in mind that the audience will hear you better that you hear yourself. This is something strange, in rehearsal room you hear you amp noise, you hear exactly what you do, in a gig situation, what you hear is not always what the audience hear (for example your amp sound can seem very low while in the room the bass sound level delivered to the audience is high because the sound guy set stuff this way, and the other way around).

    - Learn playing the songs with only the fundamentals (root). In case your are lost, you can roll back to just play the root notes, and come back later in the song with the full line

    - Stay relax, don’t stress you right hand on your strings, stay relax (difficult when your heart beats at maximum speed because of the stress) cuddle your strings, don’t hurt them

    - Be confident, you will hear your mistakes (you will do mistakes) but except if they are huge, your audience will not (OK your bandmates will :) )

    Good luck, everything will be fine and playing live is a fantastic experience (I could do that all day long)


    Note : did I say that you may want to stick to the drummer ?
    PeaveyPlayer and kwaping like this.

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