First real gig

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Bassman12593, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Bassman12593


    May 22, 2007
    Jericho, NY
    Hi, I'm a sophmore in high school and my band just made it past the auditions to get into battle of the bands (18 auditioned, 4 got in). This is my first pseudo-gig (don't laugh, high school kids can be mean) and I was wondering if you guys have any tips for putting on a great show. We play primarily funk and soul (some big influences: Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire) and we have an alto/soprano sax player, a tenor sax/guitar player, drums, guitar, vocals and of course, bass. Thanks in advance!
  2. brucehum

    brucehum Guest

    Only counsels I can give:
    1-have fun!!
    2-play 'tight', you are a band, not 6 musicians randomly stuck together
    3-remember point 1.
  3. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    WOW! What a breath of fresh air your band is compared to what most high school bands play! It's possible that lots of people in this forum will give you long lists of technical and personal advice about putting on fresh strings, not tuning on stage, eating right, checking all your cables, doing finger exercises to warm up, etc. All you REALLY need to know is -
    - Show up early
    - Figure out who's in charge, then do exactly what they tell you to do
    - Be respectful of the other bands and the venue: thank everyone and tell them how good they are (even if they aren't)
    - Take a leak right before you play <<< THIS IS VITAL
    - Play exactly as you did during your best rehearsal, the on-stage adrenaline will make you even better (except maybe the drummer - he should be careful not to get too much adrenaline!)
    - This will be fun! This will be the most fun you've ever had! Smile like you mean it and everyone will love you!
    - Battles of the Bands (BOB's) are never fair, so don't expect to win, but just have fun

    Break a leg!
  4. lenlen

    lenlen Guest

    May 31, 2008

    Take a leak right before you play <<< THIS IS VITAL

    So true. Doing the pee pee dance while on stage is so uncool. Ha Ha I had to do it in front of a couple thousand one time! Learned my lesson.
  5. lmfreeman9


    Sep 1, 2007
    Have fun. You will be nervous but if you are prepared you have nothing to worry about. Stay in the moment. It will be over very quickly.
  6. namraj

    namraj Guest

    Feb 7, 2008
    Connect with the audience, and judges, look at them and smile, dance, and as has already been said, have fun, don't care what you look like, if you like like your enjoying it it will be a show, even if you look slightly silly.
  7. When the gig is over, after you pack everything up, have a 10 minute band meeting in the parking lot. Bring a little pad of paper... and write down everything thing... good and bad... you learned.
  8. Bassman... That's really cool! Enjoy it as much as you can. Another point is to try to be easy going with the sound and light people and the other musicians. It makes a really big difference in the long run, when you'll be dealing with promoters and club owners. Take lots of really deep breaths as you step up on stage, pick up your bass, and just get right into it!
  9. NS2A


    Apr 3, 2008

    Why musicians look at their feet the entire gig I'll never understand. If you don't feel comfortable with eye contact, look at the tops of their heads.
  10. lamonica78


    Feb 9, 2008
    Can't really add much more than the others, but the fact that you are a funk band in high school is going to instantly set you apart. Use it to your advantage and display your chops, but don't be over the top. Remember, you still have to connect with an audience that is probably not going to be familiar with a lot of the music, but if you do it right, you'll have every *** in the room shakin! Have fun and good luck!
  11. Bofee

    Bofee Guest

    Aug 19, 2005
    Grass Valley, CA
    It's easy to get distracted and amped up before a gig and play everything twice as fast as usual. Make sure everybody is paying attention when a song gets counted off and watch the pace.
  12. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Everyone in the band:

    1) Don't think about mistakes you make - keep looking forward. If you think about a mistake you'll make others.

    2) No evil eyes at anyone who makes a mistake. If you make eye contact as a result of a mistake, wait a few seconds before you do (no "head jerks" toward the offender that tip off the audience, who might not have noticed) and just smile it away.

    The bands that last are the bands that have fun together. Positive vibes only, at least in a performance.


    Those are the big two from me, but try not to be a "shoe band". Your instrument will be there whether you're looking at it or not. Ween yourself from staring at the neck.

  13. denhou1974


    Mar 6, 2008

    -Everything that everyone else has said.
    -HAVE FUN! If you're having fun then the audience will too!
    -Don't just play the song. Entertain.
    -You won't make any mistakes. Everything you do at a gig is intentional.
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Back in the day, I played a BOB where we had 15 minutes to play. The band that won did a great 15 minute medley. I thought that was such a good idea that I've always recommended it.

    Since most BOB's don't have dancing, playing 4 minute songs can get boring. I suggest that you play your own medley of 2 or 3 minutes songs and go through the whole thing w/o stopping. Even if it's just to end a song and have the drums intro the next song. Play the tunes that show off each member of the band. Songs with vocal harmonies are always great.

    If you decide to play your normal tunes, always go to the next song immediately.

    If there's no time for a sound check, be sure to have someone in the audience that can help you balance your FOH sound by using hand signals.

    Be sure to play with dynamics. Many bands play at the same volume for every song and every part of a song. Accentuate your songs with changes in dynamics.

    Please take lots of pics and video if you can. You'll get a kick out of watching it and learn a lot as well.

    Be sure to record your rehearsals and performances to really hear what's going on and to keep them for when your old and decrepit so you can relive all the great times you've had.

    It's so cool that you have a funk/soul band in high school!

    Good luck.

    Please keep us posted on your band. I'm mean...not just in this thread. Maybe start a new thread and post your set lists, equipment, gigs, recordings, goals, pictures and such. Many members of TB will be all over it to offer some great advice and encouragement.

    Actually, I have a couple of threads that you may want to take a look at: If I only knew then... Best musical advice
  15. baalroo

    baalroo Guest

    Mar 24, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    On the visual side, remember this:

    When on stage acting timid looks dumb and acting dumb looks cool.


    The scale of the stage makes movements seem smaller and yet makes the lack of movement more obvious.

    One tool to use:

    First, when you step on stage imediately imagine one of your heroes on stage.
    Then realize they feel/felt the same way that you do at that exact moment (small, uncomfortable, stared at, awkward, etc).
    Finally, try to be someone in the crowds new hero.
  16. it's really worthwhile to get it recorded.
    what you hear is in a gig is different to in rehearsal. We have finished gigs thinking that we have not played as well as at rehearsal, but have been really pleasantly surprised when we heard it played back.
  17. Don't get hung up on mistakes. EVERYBODY makes mistakes. Don't get into the "blame game" afterwards. It was a screw-up, it's done an' gone, and I can guarantee that 95% of the audience DIDN"T NOTICE.

    Practice the bejesus out of your starts. The hardest mistakes to recover from are fluffed starts.
  18. Way to go Bassman!!! Enjoy the gig! It sounds like you guys will have a ton of energy with the material that you're playing! Butterflies are normal, we all get 'em but as was said before, the gig will be over quick so enjoy the moment! Congrats!
  19. bggeezer

    bggeezer Guest

    May 25, 2001
    I wouldn't record my first ever gig... you will end up focussing on the negatives too much.

    Be well rehearsed, and enjoy it. You've got a head start on the norm, being a funk/soul band.

    Maybe get the sax players to coordinate a few moves, like the memphis horns or something...always looks cool.

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
  20. Bassman12593


    May 22, 2007
    Jericho, NY
    Thanks, all. I'll be sure to keep you guys posted on how it goes. It's on January 30th by the way.