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Gig Notes

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bassprof5, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. bassprof5

    bassprof5 Commercial User

    Thought I would suggest this thread to provide a place for the working bass player to post his/her experiences about a gig. How did it go? What was good about it, what was bad about it, did you learn anything new from the experience? What would you have done differently or what is working really well, right now?
    It seems we can all learn from each other with this topic. Being a bass player means we usually are playing in a band (as opposed to a solo guitarist or pianist), I'm sure there are some good stories to share.

    Bass Player Association - Home

    Country Rock Association - Home

    Attached Files:

  2. bassprof5

    bassprof5 Commercial User

    Had an interesting experience this week.
    The band I am working in recently played a show that was put together as an event featuring several different elements. There was my band, there was a mechanical bull company providing a mechanical bull, there were Go-Go dancers from Coyote Ugly, and there was Jim Beam providing product to the venue and swag. Turns out, my band is sponsored by Jim Beam regularly. They provide product, swag, advertising, etc and we play. It's a great relationship. The place just blew up that night. A very large crowd and tons of sales. So, Jim Beam decided to reward the band by providing an all-expense paid trip to Spokane (we are in Seattle) to see Kid Rock perform an the Knitting Factory. We got tickets, lodging, and beverages and connected with the Jim Beam rep over there, who was handling the show for Kid Rock, who is also sponsored by Jim Beam. What a great time. Just the band went, so no wives, girlfriends or anything like that. Very bonding experience.
    Not exactly a gig story, but thought I'd post it anyway, cause I thought it was a pretty cool experience.

  3. bassprof5

    bassprof5 Commercial User

    A little more about the gig that brought about the opportunity (see above), it was a casino that has one of the best stages I have ever had the pleasure of working on. Great sound, great crew and great venue, easy load in/out, monitors are clear and as loud as you want, dressing rooms, and great lights. A really fun place to play.
  4. TBrett


    Nov 3, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    Sweet! :cool:
  5. Heres one from just 2 days ago - we're doing this outdoor gig (yeah...somewhere between 0-5 degrees celsius, and it'd been snowing over here too) and the stage got flooded the night before, so we ended up playing in the attached marquee just on the floor...it wasn't SO bad, but the tuner died again (advice - don't buy poundland Kodak double-pack 9v batteries, they only last for one gig!!!) and our guitarists guitar kept going sharp so we had to borrow the other band's tuner for our set...my bass is actually amazing at staying in tune luckily - other than that there weren't any problems except for it being freezing and the drummer nearly losing a stick at one point because he wasn't used to playing in fingerless gloves lol
  6. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Bremerton, WA
    Played a gig 2 Fridays ago with my cover band - vocalist came onstage drunk-ish and proceeded to sing the wrong words to songs...for two sets. As in 2nd verse switched with the first, and words and melodies from other songs...and then asked why we weren't "following her lead". One of the worst gigs I've played.

    They hired us back to play the 6th - I'm not sure if they think we're a comedy act or a band or just like musical trainwrecks...
  7. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I will have to get back to you, I have my first gig with the new band next weekend. It's a dive bar, but I will still be nervous.
  8. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I have a good one. The punk band I used to be in played a show at a sort of coffeehouse-vibe bar, which, if you live in Brooklyn, might make sense (it was Goodbye Blue Monday in Bushwick). At any rate, not necessarily the best venue for a band like us. Well, the guy who got us the gig sat right in front, in this small bar, in front of the small stage, and proceeded to yell, "YOUR GUITARIST IS TOO LOUD! YOU'RE DEAFENING MY GIRLFRIEND!" His girlfriend sat there with her hands over her ears looking miserable. What's funny is that for once, the guitarist was really not that loud. :D Go figure. He stepped up to the mic and said, "I'm at 1 on the amp. I can't turn it down anymore and my guitar is turned down quite low too." But this guy just wouldn't quit. Finally, the lead singer started yelling at him and heckling him back. I think people there might've thought we planned it. The drummer and I were just like, "..." It was sort of awkward at first, but then it was funny. I can't say we had a great performance, per se, but at least we were memorable.
  9. bassprof5

    bassprof5 Commercial User

    I am wondering about bluewine's first gig with the new band, how did that go?
  10. bassprof5

    bassprof5 Commercial User

    The Country Rock Association had it's annual Christmas Party show last night at a casino. We did our own production including lights. There was a new sound guy, who hadn't had any experience with a digital mixer before AND it was the first gig with the new guitar player. I was really pleasantly surprised at how the night went. We use 18in subs with 15in/horn mains and the sound was just amazing in the room. Somehow the system was perfectly tuned to the room and it was just singin', the band sounded really effin good. The singer nailed it and really delivered. To tell you the truth, I was expecting a total fiasco, given all the unknowns, ie; new soundguy, new guitar player, etc. But, man, it was really a smokin show. I guess it just goes to show you that no matter what, it's possible to get there from here, if you know what I mean.
  11. TC2112

    TC2112 Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2009
    Parke County, Indiana
    I had an interesting occurrence last night. I play in a trio, we do cover stuff from 60's to current rock and country. Typical bar band stuff. I've been with this band for about 6 months or so and we are all 40 and older. So as we are setting up, the bass player I replaced comes in. He is still friendly with the other guys, but much younger, so he wanted to leave and do some other type stuff. I notice his mother and sister also walk in with him.

    He talks to the guys for a while and then comes over and is talking to me about gear, looking at my basses, wants to talk strings, yada, yada,yada. fast forward....end of first set, we go on break. I walked outside to spend a little quiet time with my girl, relax a bit, save my hearing from the loud jukebox, typical stuff I do on break. I walk back in with a few minutes left of our break to have a pee and check my tuning and I notice this Schecter bass on a stand next to my rig. I go on and do what I do, and put my bass on to get ready. Guitar player says (on mike) Hey TC how 'bout (former bass player) plays a few with us. Now I'm furious because I realize that this kid has shown up with his gear and family in tow totally expecting to get on my stage and play through my gear and not one time has anyone asked me. I leaned over and say off mike that it's fine that he gets up and plays, but if he does, he is playing the rest of the night, because I'm packing my %h!* and leaving. Guitar player says OH! ok - we don't want that, no problem. (former bass player) no dice.

    After the set, I told the guitar player it was disrespectful of the kid to show up to someone's work and expect to play. If it was an open mike, or a party or jam type thing, no problem, but not my work. If it were discussed first, or if I was asked, then maybe, but I was not going to be put on the spot like that. He agreed and we all left cool, but I wonder what the opinion on TB is.
  12. Paying gigs are not jams, only exception if everyone agrees for a guest musician (which extremely seldom is a bass player, or drummer...)
  13. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Played a Church Musical for a large Baptist Church in the Nashville area. Got an email from the Music Minister saying that it was primarily Upright and Classical. I saw the Contractor at an earlier gig on Saturday and he said to be ready for anything, so I threw an Electric Bass and Amp (Carvin SB5000 and Eden Time Traveler 1x10 combo) in the van just in case. Turned out to be a smart choice in that 80% of the material ended up being CCM/Pop stuff I played on Electric with the other 20% Double Bass. Motto: Be prepared and don't assume anything.
  14. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I had forgotten how much fun it is to play bar gigs.

    The first set was good, I was not happy with the 2nd and 3rd set.

    I have not shaken so many hands and talked with that many band fans in a long time.

    My decision to drop the idea of playing in originals bands was a good one.
  15. clutebass


    Jan 15, 2010
    I had my first, of what I am sure will be many, battle with technical difficulties on stage this Friday. My original band has only been together since July and Friday was our 15th show together. In the short time we have had some minor setbacks that we handled well: lead guitarist's input jack wiring came undone and it took a full song for the sound guy to figure out it wasn't his amp, drummers snare stand broke while setting up and we had to use another bands, rhythm guitarists amp fried during sound check.... It was only a matter of time before it was my turn to have some on stage gear problems.

    I tuned up my Jazz bass, clicked off the tuner and had sound. Grabbed my P, tuned it up and plugged the jazz back in for sound check and nothing.... I walk up to my amp and can hear what I am playing very faintly. It's not my bass, tuner is picking up a signal fine. I switch out my cable from the pedal board to amp and all of a sudden I have sound! We finish sound check and start the first song. Everything is fine. Second song is a really grooving bass and drum driven verse that picks up into the chorus. We hit the first verse and my signal is totally dead. Just drums and vocals when it should be bass, drums and vocals. I spent the entire 25 minute set kicking cables and unplugging and plugging them back in before it hit me in the last song. Go directly to my amp and salvage the rest of the set!!!

    Talk about a helpless feeling. Hard to be upset with the fact that I nailed it when I could be heard! But boy was I upset! I am sure this will happen again though so it was a good lesson.
  16. slaps76


    Jul 10, 2008
    Medford, MA
    Last weekend, played the best gig I've had so far. Huge bar, absolutely mobbed, great time.

    This Saturday, our singer showed up 20 minutes after we're scheduled to start. And that's our biggest paying bar. He got lost...he's gotta stop aiming to get to a gig 15 minutes before we start.
  17. LOL- you mean don't assume anything even if the music director tells you so? Well done sir, truly ready for anything.
  18. dave_p


    Dec 20, 2005
    Last Night:
    I'm in a 3 piece rock cover band. We are all experienced but have just started getting work for this band. we are also looking to find a keyboard player and make contacts with other local musicians. Saw an ad for a musicians showcase in craigslist and put us on the list. It was a very well run and fun event in a coffeehouse. There was everything from acoustic folk trios to full blown rock bands.
    We initially got 20 minutes, and possibly a call back if we did ok.
    First song we do I am 1/2 step sharp for the entire intro until i adust, because I had been practicing to a live version that afternoon. Actually, the song is in F but the guitar player decided to do it in E. No biggie, we recovered fast enough. It was our first time playing it out and maybe we had rehearsed it 3 times. I would have chosen something we had tighter but whatever. Second song was a Kravitz song we had spent a couple run throughs on at our last rehearsal and thats it. Came out OK but again, would have picked one of the 35 songs we have nailed. Second and third tunes were friggin awesome. We got a good response from folks in the room.

    These are the things we always get compliments and comments on wherever we play because apparently its not that common:
    Our stage volume. It is super manageable. The crowd can talk to the people at their table, yet we still project energy.
    Our dynamics. We can drop down and build into things, take the songs on a journey. We do breakdowns. People really dig that ****.
    Apparently we are very full for a trio.

    Did we hit a few clams? Hell yeah! We recovered though and plowed through.

    We did get called back up, last to finish the place off. We did 2 of our stronger songs and had the host ( a guitar player) come up and do the last song with us. Its too bad, that was the last live music for the place as its closing and we got to play the last note. had a lot of fun and met some cool people.
  19. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I won't say you are wrong, but I don't think there is any need to get furious. Obviously I don't know your situation, but I've been with bands that are very informal and people sit in all the time.

    I do agree that they should have said something first. It's pretty presumptuous for them to assume that you are OK with someone else using your equipment.
  20. collins81


    Jul 29, 2011
    I play in a trio designed for acoustic music. The guitarist/singer drinks jaeger and the bars are starting to not comp his drinks. He asked me to grab him a bottle on my way down because he was working a double that day and forgot to grab one on his way down. I obliged him and waited for the events to unfold.

    He lit a cigarette and took a drink in between every song, belittled the crowd, and once again got dumb drunk. The bar tenders yelled at him to play the last song of the night 5 times while he was analyzing something before the manager told us we were done. He even chastised the bar manager for paying me the money for the night. The kicker is he left his PRS at the bar. The drummer and I got the mandatory "you guys are my best friends, and I don’t want to disappoint you guys" line.

    The trio gigs a couple times a month but his antics are at the point of no return. The weird part is he has work and plays allot around my area. He does solo/duo/trio/full band work and makes enough to survive. He does go through lead singers and drummers in the full band like toilet paper. He has mind screwed the bass player in the full band to believe that he is lucky to be in this band and that no one else will ever want him. The bassist is a good dude, I feel bad for him.

    My notes are- I have realized that he is unable to see different perspectives or others point of view. I have a new band in the works. Unfortunately the little money I make playing for him is needed. I am hesitant to walk away from it without having a way to replace the income first. I am wondering if the money is worth the aggravation.

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