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Ground Zero (gig number 1) and the lessons learned.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by grygrx, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz! Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    I'm 32 and had my first gig ever this weekend. A list of lessons learned:

    1) The songs I practiced alot I played well, the songs I didn't had more problems (DUH).

    2) Problems beget problems. I wasn't nervous until I messed up the first time, then I was extremely nervous and nearly lost the song.

    3) Most people really arn't paying that much attention at any given moment. Your worst moment will likely go unobserved by everyone (god willing).

    4) 1ft platforms on a cobblestone street between two buildings creates the largest subwoofer I've ever encountered. I started sound check at the volume I play rehearsals at and I think they heard me in the next county. Nothing like playing that outside gig on "1/2"

    5) My Schroeder 1210 and Eden WT400 are all the amp/cab I'll ever need, everything else (perhaps even this) is just vanity.

    6) The fretboard looks different in full sun.

    7) After a winter of cold basement woodsheding, sweaty hands were a new experiance... one I was poorly prepared for.

    8) Breath

    9) When you have 1 square foot of space to play, don't try to move around... just bounce.

    10) Being prepared (cables, pics, extension chords, water, extra demos, etc.., etc..) isn't just for boyscouts anymore.
  2. Rezdog

    Rezdog Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    T.Rez, Canada
    Greetings from the North,
    Congrats on making it thru your first gig and taking away 10 lessons learned. There will be many more lessons as you go along. Prepare for what you can and always keep an open mind and heart.
  3. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Congrads...yep.... i learned as well this year.I just finished gig #3 and they are getting better and better heres what i learned.

    1.Never trust or belive the bar manager or who books you on the pay....it always changes on how well they do on sales ...and no contacts are used in my neck of the woods.

    2. The fretboard looks diffrent under 6000 watts of stage lighting on a tiny stage with the lights 20 feet away...hey the band we opened for were running them for us...i got a light burn i think:D

    3. 300watts and my 6x10 cab is enough for anywhere and i play in a 2 guitar band...i DI some and go stright to the crowd sometimes and barely turn up and am always loud enough...GK is great gear and i play passive.

    4.If you look like you are having fun on stage ...you are ...smile... move...let the crowd know you are there to entertain them they will feed off it big time. Stand there with your head down and so will they or they will go for the doors.

    5.Dont take to hard if you mess up or have a bad song or two.Really nobody notices that much if its a few notes here of there...regroup and give it hell on the next song...dont make a face if you do mess up and keep cool.I asked people about a song i thought my band did a so-so job on and they said we rocked it??????????? Im like ...oh great right on!!!!

    6.Set up...play hard..drink...get paid...go home.....happy!
  4. Congrats on your first gig. There will always be lessons learned.

    Be prepared for that. I know that I am going to make mistakes. When it happens, I just think: 'Oh, there is the first mistake' and move on.
  5. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Congratulations!!! Those are good lessons learned. May you have many more opportunities for such! :)

    I know I learn something new every time I play.

    Lesson #233...

    Don't kill the obnoxious drunk. Look at his wife with murder in your eyes, and she will drag his screaming, ranting self away from the stage for you.

    Lesson #82...Beware Of Bug Lights. They attract throat-curious bugs.


    Cherie ;-)
  6. RyansDad


    Jan 31, 2006
    Tolland, CT
    Mucho Congrats! The first show is always the toughest. Unfortunately, it's usually not the weirdest, so brace yourself. Sooner or later, you'll have a show from hell that you will look back on (much, much later) and laugh.

    Two other tips for outdoor shows:

    *bring sunglasses (sun in your eyes is not fun)
    *Don't wear white (if the sun is on you, photos come out kind of strange).
  7. For outdoor shows in summer, bring a pedal tuner and prepare to use it judiciously. Also, do not play an outdoor summer gig with even relatively new strings on your bass.

    Congrats on your first show. Don't worry about the mistakes. Nobody noticed except you and the drummer, and even he didn't notice unless it was a rhythmic mistake.

    "If you play a wrong note, play it three more times on purpose and call it jazz."
  8. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Congrats on the first show!!

    As far as being prepared goes, I always have my "little black box" which is about the size of a small suitcase (and homemade might I add) that carries extra cables, Swiss army knife, allen wrenches, batteries, strap buttons, screws, toothpics and superglue, extra strap, picks, power trees, and earplugs.

    I'm the only one in my band who brings it, so my guitarist depends on me. Go figure.
  9. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Congrats on your first gig. They get to be more fun after you're use to the experience.
  10. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    I carry a plastic container of baby powder. I learned this from watching Robert Fripp.
  11. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz! Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    Thanks for the added tips! I love being able to read others experiances and occasionally share my own. Talkbass makes me happy.

    A couple of pics for general amusement.

    The band

    Me looking like I need to borrow some ex-lax
  12. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Sweet, rocking out on the Geddy. Are you doing covers or originals? What genre of music?
  13. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz! Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    Doing originals now. Sort of a wierd blend of sound actually. Everyone has a fairly strong opinion and presence in the writing and we come from wildly differnt backgrounds.

    The singer guitarist was a mandolin player in a bluegrass band before this one and has been playing forever. The drummer has a folk guitar background but listens to pretty much everything. I've got a more anger-management vibe with a touch of agnst, techno, and punk. The keyboard player likes things to be very well organized.

    I suppose alternative-rock best fits. We've been a basement band for nearly two years (which is the whole time I've been learning to play as well). I'm still learning tons and there is a lot lacking to my playing... but I'm working on it.

    Some demo tracks we recorded about six months ago are available on our website if you are really curious: http://empiredown.net/?q=node/19

    I don't think these are our best songs per say, but what we were solid with at the time.
  14. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Great pics!!! Y'all look like you're having fun. The "Exlax" look is just bass-face, hon! :)

    "The keyboard player likes things to be very well organized."

    Yeah, I think that's a "thing" with them. Nature of the instrument affects your approach to music. :)

    Dude, I wish y'all could play down here!!! It would be cool to share a gig with your band. I think our sounds would complement one another. I like what I'm hearing.


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