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Getting Prepared for a Gig

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by JazzBassvb, Jun 17, 2004.


  1. JazzBassvb

    JazzBassvb

    Aug 5, 2003
    Hi all!

    Well, after not playing with a group since high school (1996) :eek: , I was asked to sit in for a song or two (blues and jazz) this coming weekend with a friend who has a regular stint at a local coffeehouse.

    It's more of a favor to me which I truly appreciate, and I've been wanting to play with folks for such a long time, but I can't help but feel panick, anxiety and other unnerving feelings.


    Just a bit of background:

    Played in Highschool Jazz band for 3 years. Won several awards at festivals and at the local school for musicianship. (Not trying to toot my own horn, just providing info). Since then, playing has become more of a hobby and been playing solo bass since. Have played with a drummer maybe 2 times since.

    Personally, I think I do pretty ok when playing to CDs and playing to drum lines I've made through MIDI and HammerHead. Though, I tried recording myself with QuartzAudio, along with a MIDI drum line, and I'm not sure if it's the computer lagging, but when I start off, I'm slightly ahead of the beat and fall back with it. But, I play it back again and it's fine! :eyebrow: :confused:

    Anyway, along with the unsureness of my groove and the time spent not playing with a human, I'm pretty nervous.

    What do guys do before a gig to get yourself physically and mentally ready for a gig?

    Can you recommend some exercises or things to hear for when listening to yourself play?

    Am I just worrying for nothing and should just play from the heart?

    I appreciate any input you can offer.

    Thanks in advance.
    JBvb
     
  2. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

    Feb 22, 2004
    VA.
    Find out the songs in advance and go over them til you are sick of them. Don't try to be Jaco, under play til you feel a comfortable groove forming and then don't mess with it too much (though a little flavoring is ok). Take a couple of deep breaths and clear your mind. Relax and have fun. I sat in a couple of months ago with a teen praise band at a church youth function, I didn't know any of the songs. I got the chord progressions and we went through them once before we went live. I decided there was nothing more that I could do so I just kicked back and got in the groove and had a blast. Kids are fun because they were just having fun and it was contagious. Maybe you could do your songs at the first part of his set. It is easier to start off with him then to walk up in front of everyone and start playing in the middle of the set. Hope this helps and have fun.
     
  3. JazzBassvb

    JazzBassvb

    Aug 5, 2003
    Thanks very much.

    That's pretty much what I needed to hear.

    After I posted, I thought about playing real sparingly and I think that's what I'm going to do.

    As always, I'll stick to roots as close as I can with the occasational run or something to spice it up just a bit.

    If he wants a solo out of me, no problem. :D

    I appreciate it.
    JBvb
     
  4. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

    Feb 22, 2004
    VA.
    You'll do great and you will have a blast. Let us know how it goes! :bassist:
     
  5. Barfly

    Barfly

    Dec 27, 2000
    GTA, Canada
    Well , you asked....

    I have a nice shat before I leave. Nothing worse than being caught with the tanks full at a dive bar with nasty accomodations.

    :eek:
     

  6. Been there, done that, half hour to show time and the greasy cheeseburger and fries I had for supper kicked in.Sure could've used some Immodium!...not the most pleasant of memories. But at least once I got up on stage I didn't have to suddenly run off, that would have sucked. :oops:
     
  7. JazzBassvb

    JazzBassvb

    Aug 5, 2003
    Thanks guys.

    I'm glad I didn't fill up on fuel beforehand. They did have some good BBQ at the place, however. I had a braut with sourcraut and it was very, very good! :p

    Anyway...

    Well, I didn't get to play. I figured my friend invited me and so he'd ask me when I wanted to play, but never did.

    I was kinda bummed about it, but there were two guys who are part of a group who play SouthWestern folk music and they played a couple of tunes which I happened to recognise from years ago. It was stuff I was raised listening to.

    I was very, very impressed with their playing and singing. The lead guitarist had an awesome alternating strumming technique that was very complicated, but sounded just beautiful.

    My friend and I are going up there this weekend to check them out. I'm looking forward to it.

    I've learned in life that you expect nothing, appreciate everything. I had a feeling I might not get to play and when it didn't happen, it wasn't as hard to take as it would have been otherwise.

    If nothing else, during the week of intense practice, I learned I still have a good groove and while I know a bit, I always can learn more.

    Lastly, we caught a local group named Dotsero earlier in the day for a free concert and they just rocked! Their bassist was awesome (influenced by Marcus Miller) and we talked shop for a bit and had a great time. His name is Vernon Barbary and his website is www.vbass.com. Very nice guy!

    Thanks for the pointers and for letting me vent a little.

    Take care,
    JBvb
     
  8. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I think you are on the right path when bringing up the drummer issue. The fact that you have not played with one in a log time and only 2 times since 96 could be an issue if you let it. You also said your pushing the pocket a bit during practice too which makes sense. Keep it simple, practice with a metronome and you main goal is to be patient in your playing and lock in on the drummer. In order to do that try not to be too fancy and like I said be patient with your playing.
     
  9. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    An hour or two before leaving for the gig, I play tapes or CDs of songs that I feel are not totally "on" with me. As each song plays, I try and call out each root note just before it is played. That sharpens me up and I stay ahead of the songs later that night. I rarely eat anything before a gig (maybe a light snack) because I'd rather have more blood in my brain than in my stomach. I also like to arrive early to not only take my time setting up, but to mentally take ownership of my environment before a few hundred people arrive. I become familiar with almost every inch of the place, too. That cuts down on the nervousness when it's gig time.
     
  10. JazzBassvb

    JazzBassvb

    Aug 5, 2003
    Ricplaya,

    Thanks very much! Yeah, I'm working on not pushing the pocket and its coming. That is truly when you can groove, not rushing the pocket.

    Roundwound,

    That's great advice! I will keep that in mind. That is really a good way to get ready for a gig.

    Thanks to everyone who have responded. I appreciate the kind advice.

    JBvb