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Gigs are largely overrated/overemphasized...convince me otherwise.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by glocke1, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002
    Probably the 5th or 6th time I've started this post, just haven't found the right words..Probably still not the right words but here we go.

    I think for most of us, there is simply far too much emphasis placed on gigging and playing out, and not enough attention on refining the overall performance of the band, and to some extent the musicianship of the individual. By that last I mean that I know some pretty good players that simply don't put the time in on individual practice that they should and simply rely on whatever innate skillset they already have going on to get themselves through tunes, often times taking shortcuts, skipping hard parts, and not playing the tune correctly at all.

    Add in the fact that a lot of times you end up playing to a room that at the end of the night probably may have a 10-12 drunk people left at the end of the night (heck, sometimes 10-12 people total for the whole night) and Im often left wondering what exactly is the point of some of these gigs? Just to get out and be seen on a stage? It obviously isn't to play music as well as one can as some of the folks I see performing don't know the tunes as well as they should.

    Im not saying people should lock themselves up in rehearsal rooms forever, but a great many bands out there should spend more time rehearsing together and less time gigging.

    This doesn't apply to all bands either, as there are some good, tight groups out there, but they often times seem to be in the minority.
  2. You talk a lot without saying very much.

    The single most memorable bit of improvisational playing I ever did was roundly appreciated by three barflys and the other two drunks on stage. True fact.

    Lately my main band has played to full houses. Sometimes I play to a few dozen. Sometimes a couple of thousand. A gig is a gig. Give it your all.
  3. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002
    I sleep little...so post.

    Gigs are/can be great...I also love improvisational playing, but there is improvisational playing and than there is song structure and often times what I see happening is that the former can sound awesome at times, but the latter is lacking due to lack of rehearsal or people not doing their homework (or both).

    Just honestly calling it like it is. Truly great bands transition seamlessly between the verses, solos, and improv parts and the music just flows seamlessly. Bands that are more interested in gigging and don't put the time into perfecting that "flow" sound disjointed and clunky.
    Gooney, slapshot, Kijuer and 9 others like this.
  4. Stop going to dive bars and start hanging out where the cool cats play. :cool:
  5. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I think the correct phrase is "fight me".

    And I can understand your frustration. Gigs are not an end unto itself, and I'm personally done sharing the stage with hacks.
  6. I see what you are saying. I have my reasons for the enjoyment, the main one is that I'm part of the reason that people are having a good time. There is something satisfying about that. We hope you can find some satisfaction in what you do... we all wish we were on a flawless Steely Dan hit song, but that doesn't happen for many
    LowActionHero and juancaminos like this.
  7. RattleSnack

    RattleSnack Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2011
    There was a time, when kids took up instruments and as soon as they could play a song from the beggining to the end, they did gigs. Those with tallent and persistence grew as musicians and became heroes we adore.
    Go out and play for people. As you get better, you will get recognition. Rehersals are there just to get agreement on how song starts and ends.
    2pods, Mr40mm, Oktyabrski and 16 others like this.
  8. DrMole

    DrMole Supporting Member

    "There is no better preparation for playing live than playing live." ..or something akin to that. Somebody may have said that.

    I agree that people should have their stuff together befor performing but you can only gain so much performance experience in the basement, no matter how superb your chops. Rattlesnack's point is well taken.
  9. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Saying that great bands are the exception and not the rule, as a whole, is a fairly obvious statement. Whether that has anything to do with a preoccupation with gigging is debatable.

    What part of PA are you from?
    MCF, 2saddleslab and MattZilla like this.
  10. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002

    Therein lies the issue...LOTS of bands I see playing out there cannot even agree on that. Going out to see friends bands play or watching their videos they can't even agree on when the verses come in, or what the structure is for the solo sections. Even happens in my band. We were playing a relatively simple tune the other night, but the solo section was different from the verses. Half the band was playing the solo section as it was on the album, the other half was playing the solo section the way the verses go. You could tell who actually listened to the tune before the gig.

    I'm not saying these bands out there are truly awful, they aren't. I am just saying that in their zeal to be either performing in front of people , they aren't doing what they could be doing to be delivering the best music possible to people.

    It's not even about being "Steely Dan" tight. It's about getting up on stage and having the music flow effortlessly from the first chord to the last chord.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
  11. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    That just sounds like laziness more than anything else. I believe you're overextrapolating.
  12. staccatogrowl

    staccatogrowl Savoring the spinning, shimmery aquasphere Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    Performance is the fire that forges strong, durable, tough musical steel. Individual practice and band rehearsals are forged in the fire of pending performance, with upcoming, fast-approaching calendar dates.

    Do well in performance and future opportunities appear and grow. Fail in performance and fool yourself into thinking performance is unimportant and overrated. Or, use humiliating performance failure as motivation to become better.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
    Runnerman, jj4001, DavC and 17 others like this.
  13. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Maybe live music isn’t for you.

    If you crave perfection, there are outlets in writing and recording.
  14. HeavyJazz

    HeavyJazz "My arms are too short to box w/ God." J.R. Cash Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    Personally I enjoy playing for its own sake. If everyone in the ensemble is dialed in, I don't care if we're in rehearsal, recording and album, playing for 10 people or 10,000 people. That 'click' is worth whatever circumstances it took to get there.

    The magic of music.
  15. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    As expressed, I think you might be mistaking the act of preparation for the goal. Or the process for the product.

    For me, performance - whether it be for an arena full of people or just yourself - is the raison d’etre for practice and rehearsals. Because music is, at its core, a performance art form.

    I will agree with you on one point however. Most of what I’ve been hearing lately in the local music scene sounds underrehearsed.

    And it is a real problem. Even with the ‘real pros’ such as classical orchestra musicians, who are probably the most heavily trained musicians out there. And for whom flawless technique and mad skills are a given.

    In the classical music world, one of the things keeping a lot of newly written modern classical works from being performed is that orchestras can’t afford the necessary rehearsal time to do them justice. Especially if they have guest soloist appearing on the bill with them. So rather than go out sounding under prepared, the music directors pass on new works in favor of the usual well known numbers that can be performed with minimal rehearsal time.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
  16. "a great many bands out there should spend more time rehearsing together and less time gigging."

    Yes - practicing and rehearsing:
    1) Practice at home (do this on your own to learn and memorize the songs)
    2) Rehearsal with the entire band after everyone completes Step #1
    3) Gig

    I've observed too many musicians showing up at rehearsals unprepared because they skipped step #1. This makes rehearsal less than productive for everyone else.
  17. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    If you guys want to flame the OP you can go ahead and flame me too. I'm with him/her 100%. I can see "not rehearsing" if you're one of those sorry bands that's playing the same repertoire everyone's been playing for the past 30 years. I can see "not rehearsing" if your music is largely improvisational (jazz/jam bands). The rest of you don't sound nearly as good as you think you do.
    Gooney, Kijuer, Pbassmanca and 8 others like this.
  18. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Nobody is saying rehearsing isn't important, but an overemphasis on gigging is likely not the culprit.

    In the examples provided, songs clearly weren't even learned - that's not a rehearsal problem.
  19. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    I love gigging. If it's a grocery store, a bar, a actual stage venue, wherever.

    It's just plain fun.

    I practice my parts, I practice my theory etudes, I go to rehearsal and it's all nice and enjoyable but playing live when every is thing new and weird happens is something that just triggers me in a good way.

    The stage; she is the God-damnedest woman you ever saw -- Neil Diamond
    juancaminos, bass_case, Koog and 13 others like this.
  20. DrMole

    DrMole Supporting Member

    Who is flaming? Thousands of hours on stage. Many more hours rehearsing for bar to choir with symphony performance.

    Performance will test and inspire improvement or if the audience accepts mediocrity, perpetuate exactly what the OP describes.

    What he is describing sounds like pure amateurism or very inexperienced performers. I wouldn't play in bands like that now...but I have years past and soon looked for better.

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