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First Gig

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by mikemulcahy, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    I will be playing my first DB gig this weekend for some society types in NC. I will be a sub for my teacher, which makes me nervous enough (actually I am a wreck about it). My question is in regards to the etiquette of interaction with the guests. During breaks do I just shut up and disappear until the next set or mingle?

    I have had many slab gigs and know the rules of engagement there, this is a new world for me and I don't want to do anything stupid.

    The gig is a tri with keys and drums, with some guys that have incredible chops. I really want to represent my teacher well, any advice would also be welcome.

    I have prescribed myself a Xanax drip PRN for anxiety.


  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Shut up and disappear until the next set, but be polite if someone gets chatty with you. Act like you do this all the time, but this is one of the nicest parties you've played this year.

    Every gig is different and society folks in NC, could go either way. Sometimes you, the waiters and busboys are all in one big social category and sometimes, people want to talk with you about their kids who are learning to play the....(whatever), ask questions about your bass...or maybe your cello. :-/

    I'm sure your teacher would not have put you in that situation if he or she was concerned that you would represent them poorly. Remember to enjoy your first gig while it's happenning. You're doing this because you want to, remember? There will be many more.

  3. stormwriter


    Mar 25, 2005
    Dude, you're going to have a blast! Anytime you get to play with musicians that are better than you, they'll pull things out of you that you never knew you had. And if they are cool (which they probably are..) they'll know you're a virgin, and that you're just filling in. So, even if you mess up a song or two, or twelve, they'll understand. Even if you've been playing 15 years and you screw up the changes, other players rarely get on your case.
    So, relax. It's not a Julliard audition.
    You'll probably just end up talking to the other musicians on the break. That's one of the best parts of being a jazz musician: hanging out with other jazz musicians.
  4. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    You've obviously already gained his respect. Having your teacher ask you to sub for him is the ultimate validation of your ability. Trust me, no teacher would send a student as a sub who was worried in the slightest about how you'll represent him.

    Skip the Xanax...you'll be cool as a cucumber by the end of the first set. :D
  5. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    If these guys are really good then you won't "impress" them with your playing. They've already played with xxx and yyy. You're not xxx or yyy. You are Mike.

    Once you've absorbed that, you realize that you are free of any self-imposed obligation to try to "impress" them with your playing.

    You can just be yourself and offer whatever you have to give. If you do that, everybody -- including you -- will have enjoyable and musical experience.
  6. mister_k


    Jul 27, 2004
    Los Angeles
    This is the best advice I've read all day.

    Be respectful and musically honest. Everybody wins.

  7. Farin


    Oct 19, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    I agree with Sam Sherry,
    Don't worry about impressing anyone; I've found that when you try to impress someone, your playing usually suffers. But play confident. Even if you mess up, just stay cool, and act like you meant to do it. ;-).
    As for what you should do on break, I usually get out of the way, hit up the bar, get a drink and maybe shoot the s**t with the other on gig musicians.
    I like playing for parties and stuff, even though you might not be appriciated as much, its usually a good chance to play with other musicians.
    Good Luck!
  8. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Thanks for your words guys, I appreciate everything said and will apply the wisdom.

    I don't have any expectations to impress the other guys, as Sam implies, they are well beyond that stage. I have jammed with them on other occasions with my teacher so I won't be going in cold. We will have a couple of practice sessions this week as well.

    As I said before, this is a new world for me and I really dig the brain change from the slab world. Thanks to all that post on this side as I have learned to shut up and listen to people that know.

  9. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Quite possibly the coolest experience of my musical life.

    Thanks for all the advise guys, it really came in handy!

  10. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Here's hoping that you have the coolest experience of your life many more times in the future. It sounds like you're off to a great start.

  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Amen. I still remember my first DB gig. It was a gas. Don't look back, doc.
  12. I ran out of gas on the way home from my first DB gig... There I was, out in the country, about 20 miles from my place, dressed all in black, 3:00AM Dec 27 2002, no moon, pitch black out, and I was supposed to be at work for 9:00AM that morning.