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Gig Report and a Question

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Blue Dragon, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Blue Dragon

    Blue Dragon

    Jan 4, 2016
    First, the gig report. Last Saturday was, imho, the first REAL gig we've ever done as a band since I've been part of them in 3 years. We've done birthday parties of friends/bandmates. We've done quite a few neighborhood events where the drummer lives. But those are a bit of a 'captive audience'. This was our first time playing at an established place for $. That's a BIG milestone for me.

    Had a great time in general. Got there about 1.5hrs before showtime. As typical some glitches in the PA when setting up (in fact, I think I caused it. Put speaker into monitor amp input. Heheh. No magic smoke so it's okay!) Drummer invited some girl up to sing one song. Girl started too soon. I don't know why he did that, but new official rules: NO ONE ON STAGE BUT BAND! (Actually that was already a rule, but apparently drummer didn't understand that it even applies to people you know.) Also the temp dropped 10 deg around here in ATL between Friday and Saturday so it was GLORIOUSLY nice out. Everyone seemed quite happy and, most importantly of all, the owner invited us back! (the ONLY opinion I trust really!)

    Okay, that was the happy-happy-joy-joy report. Then reality hit. I recorded us and 2 days later I made copies for all the members and sent them out. Just 9 out of all the songs, but... they did not sound good. Really, they didn't sound good. Like... offkey singing, bad notes galore. Lead guitar player has gone into a funk (not blaming anyone but himself). Started a bit of an argument among others - not about the bad playing, but how bad is "too bad" as some want to ditch some songs that sound bad while others don't.

    So, though we had a great gig Saturday, I'm considering never recording us out (practice I certainly will!) again. Thoughts? Should I stop recording actual gigs and stick to practices?
  2. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    If the response is "to go into a funk" and argue about dropping songs - probably not.
    If the response is to show up to the next rehearsal and say "we really need to work on *this* part here and our vocals *here* and make everything better, then probably yes. :D
    Fretless1!, fhm555, Wisebass and 25 others like this.
  3. Oddly

    Oddly Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Congratulations on your first paying gig, and on getting asked back!

    As for the recording, Kesslari has your answer.
  4. Blue Dragon

    Blue Dragon

    Jan 4, 2016
    Yeah, I guess drama is going to happen. Not recording would simply be ignoring the issues. (fwiw me and the drummer were nice and tight, though he did commit one egregious error. He STOPPED and started a song over. Jeeze, your drum intro was off, but not enough to stop the song in a live gig dude!)
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Why not have a discussion? Rather than go into a funk, work on what has to be worked on, so you sound better?
  6. Blue Dragon

    Blue Dragon

    Jan 4, 2016
    Oh, we'll have a discussion for sure! I just was thinking maybe I shouldn't cause disruptions with a recording when otherwise everyone left pretty satisfied (till I rolled the tape!)
  7. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    We require ... Food, Rig and Chick pictures of all gigs (see BassCliff)... plus a video is optional but required ;)
  8. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I record all my band practices at the studio for the sole purpose of practicing at home. Playing out live we sound great to us but the recording doesn't lie and picks up everything... It helps you get better by pointing our your flaws. It's a tool maybe you should keep to yourself and not share with the others. We all suck sometimes but not all the time. (speaking for myself of course) ;)
  9. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    YES! You guys...you had the first gig for $. That's a big deal. I remember the first time I played in front of people and the first time I did it for pay like it happened yesterday. You get asked back. Also, a big deal.

    And because you're just starting out, you want to be perfect and that just won't happen. It's not a big deal. You will get better. Record your practices and work on the stuff that crops up there. You'll be fine.
    Spidey2112 and juancaminos like this.
  10. Blue Dragon

    Blue Dragon

    Jan 4, 2016
    Oh! I actually have a very short little video the establishment put up on facebook. (Oddly we didn't have our own video running. Usually we do.)
    McG, dbase, Wisebass and 5 others like this.
  11. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    I've recorded every gig and rehearsal for 40 years. The rehearsal recordings are invaluable for working out new songs and trying out ideas for established songs.

    Recording gigs is invaluable to truly know how rehearsed material worked in a live setting. Often times I've walked off stage thinking we had a bad show, only to find out we played well. The opposite can happen too. In those cases don't get down on yourself or others. Just use it as a tool to improve rough spots.

    All of us have off nights either solo or the whole band. Learn to let those gigs fade away. Remember, with every new gig there is fresh hope. The good ones will vastly outnumber the bad ones. :)
    dbase, fhm555, Mr_Moo and 9 others like this.
  12. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    They played some songs badly, so the options are drop the songs or keep playing them wrong!? Why is the first and only option not practicing more and getting better if you're going to be a gigging band?
  13. Keep recording everything and keep listening to everything you record!

    Not addressing problems does not make them go away. The recordings will help you find what needs to be fixed - even if it's bandmates.

    I've recorded everything for years also.
    Mr_Moo, Spidey2112, equill and 3 others like this.
  14. Shalto


    Aug 23, 2019
    1 - you got invited back so you were good enough for that venue. That is worth thinking about before getting too down on yourselves.

    2 - Talking about dropping songs can be good or bad, depending on whether it's because you've discovered that the song itself isn't good for a live show, or if it's because the players have lost the motivation/confidence to play something challenging.

    3. Don't stop recording. The fact members are disappointed in what they heard suggests some ability to be objective about their music. Which is good!

    4. Encourage others that rather than getting downbeat this gives them clear feedback on what to work on. Next show will be better because of it.
    Mr_Moo, bfields, JRA and 4 others like this.
  15. My band will play our 200th gig this coming NYE and I still think we sound bad when I hear live recordings, but there is a difference between thinking your performance is not good enough and actually sounding bad.

    I promise it sounded different in the room.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  16. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    USA, Phoenix, AZ
    When Dan and I started Fools Life almost 20 years ago we each bought mini disc recorders and recorded every gig. Then went home and listened to ever second of each gig. We would write notes on what we heard in every song. Then exchange notes with pros and cons. We did this for the first few years actually. Yeah there were off key vocals and songs that needed to be dropped. Dan thought it was something wrong with the recording. But we took ownership and got better. I also made note of which songs people danced to, which songs got applause, which songs got nothing and every request. We built it up from there. Our drummer and guitarist had never played in a band for hire. Dan had maybe 2 years of stage time. I had decades under my belt, it was a project for sure. Then just as we go going the guitar player moved. Two more guitar players later the drummer decided that raising a family needed more of his time so he hung it up. The revolving door went on and on.

    First few gigs will be tough but you will get better. Everyone has to have a open mind and take ownership of their part of the "project". To me the hard part is keeping the band together so that you actually can get better. There is no need for anyone to get upset with the out come of the first few gigs in the situation you are in. Just have fun, it will get better. Did I say have fun! With that said we always looked for musicians with good attitudes over chops and stayed busy for 12 years.
    Mr_Moo, L Anthony, Spidey2112 and 5 others like this.
  17. dramatwist


    Sep 27, 2019
    ... so, you guys got funked up, eh?
    210superair likes this.
  18. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    congrats on your paying show!

    i'm curious - could the singer hear himself?

    i've been a singer who couldn't hear my own voice at all and sometimes couldn't really hear at least one of the instruments. it's really hard to sing on key when you can't hear your voice or the instrumentals. and it's not that unusual not to be able to hear yourself sing at shows.

    and honestly, while i prefer for bands i play with to be tight, meaning on time, on key and playing with each other, i could live with that performance since i've heard that song played MUCH worse. but having a band member throw up his (or her) hands helplessly and want to cut some songs without at least trying to practice and rehearse till the songs are improved would not impress me at all.
    Mr_Moo, Spidey2112, bfields and 3 others like this.
  19. the reason you record stuff is so you can look back in a few years time and listen to the recording and smile and remember all the good times you had then..... either that or listen to it thinking "gee we sounded crap back then"!
    I've got some cassette tapes of recordings of a couple of bands I was in during the mid 1990's... last time I listened to them was a few years ago and my first thought was.... I have improved a lot as a bass player...
    Fretless1! and Engle like this.
  20. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Supporting Member

    I've heard/seen much worse in public, paid performances. You got invited back, so you're not as sucky as you make it out to be. The song is recogniseable: Stormy Monday, right? *scampers away cackling maniacally*

    Seriously, it's not bad. Granted, it's not great, either, but it ain't bad. At all. Like I said, I've seen/heard much worse.

    That being said: I'm always disappointed in my own recordings, no matter how tight it was. It's how I'm wired. Other people see/hear it, and they say it's fine. But I think it's poop on a stick. You may be having the same issue.
    juancaminos, 210superair, Ewo and 2 others like this.

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