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Help Me! Possible First Performance EVER!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by slickhare, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. slickhare


    Feb 2, 2005
    every year at my school, the junior class has to put on a talent show. so today a friend of my called me and told me that he wanted to play "So Much To Say" by Dave Matthews. and being the only true bass player in out class they need me since no arrogant guitar player would touch the bass with a ten foot pole for a performance. so now it's up to me to hold up the low end.

    problem is, i've never performed before. i'm an actor but i've never done any type of musical performance. i've been playing bass for more than a year now and i'm just frightened to jump into this. i mean i'm pretty confident i can learn the song, but what if i mess up in front of everyone :( can any gigging vets give a newbie some advice?
  2. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    What if?

    Brother, it IS going to happen. Oh, you might get through a single song, on a single day, completely clean..... but "messing up" is simply a part of live music.

    I hold out no hope that I can get through one of our gigs (30-35 songs) without "messing up" somewhere. Something is going to distract me just enough to make me mentally disconnect from the bass, and there it is.

    Just rehearse the song completely, until you know it well.... this will help you jump back on track quickly.... and get up there and have a good time!! It's the rare audience member that will notice a bass mistake, anyway.

    Like they say in boot camp...... DO IT!! NOW!!! :smug:
  3. jrduer


    Jun 27, 2005
    Georgetown, TX

    I screw up several times a night (as does every single member of my band). Playing 4 sets, it can't be helped. (There's always a good-looking pair right down front to distract me... :eek: )

    The good thing is, no one from the crowd has ever said anything about it. Just try not to LOOK like you just screwed it up. Smile and keep playing.

  4. CanadianBass48


    May 8, 2005
    Ont, Can
    Run for your life. If you don't feel good about it then run like heck.

    Accually, um, first time gigs are always tough. Other then knowing you song, duh, it would be good to mentaly prepare yourself befor going on stage. Take it slow and slow your freakin heart down a little if you can. After the first verse, just try to have fun playing.
  5. I say screw it up really bad immediately. After that sort of shame, nothing you can do on stage after that could possibly embarass you. Takes the pressure off.

    My trumpet teacher told me, if you play a wrong note, play it again twice as loud so they think you meant to do it. Sometimes I'd take the trumpet, turn it around, look into the bell and shake it like something was stuck in there.

    On bass, sometimes I'll go over and kick the amplifier like its at fault.

    That's how I deal with mistakes.

  6. Aj*


    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    I can't remember who it was but someone said "When I play a wrong note, I repeat it to show them I meant it." That kinda stuck with me, I never play a perfect gig, heck even the greats make errors, there is a moment on one of my Led Zep DVDs where Jimmy Page makes an error and Rob Plant just turns and smiles to him, he smiles back and they carry on playing. The important thing is to just go with the flow, don't let a mistake upset you, most people can't tell unless it's a terrible one. My brother always claims to make mistakes when he plays but nobody can tell, he just carrys on and glosses over so efficiently.
  7. JoshB

    JoshB A great man is always willing to be little. -RWE Supporting Member

    As one of my teachers told me when I first started playing, "If you're gonna screw up, screw up 100%." What I've taken that to mean is that when I play a sour note, I don't shy away from my bassline, drop in volume or anything like that, I just keep going, usually with a shrug and a smile to the drummer, who is usually the only one who knows I screwed up.

    Just go out there and have a blast!! If you've done theater, as I have, I think you'll find that it's alot more of a rush and can be alot more fun. That's my bottom line...have fun with it!!
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    So act like you're playing bass.
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Yeah, I always miss at least a couple notes when I'm watching a NASCAR race on one of the TVs in the sports bars we play[ed].
  10. daofktr

    daofktr irritating, yet surly

    Feb 15, 2005
    aurora, IN
    whut they said.
    it always happens...in studios, live gigs, practice, whereever.
    the big thing isn't how perfectly you play, but how you perservere and recover.
    like what boobie said...don't drop the volume, don't shy away...just keep on going.
    lemme ask you: when you act, do you quit when you mangle a line?
    i bet you improv yer way back to the script, right?
    let us know how the gig goes, ey?
  11. The Nanny

    The Nanny

    Dec 23, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    99% of the people won't recognized a few duffed notes. The other 1% won't care. Apply the KISS method...Keep It Simple Stupid. For your first performance, don't do any complex riffs...stick to roots and keeping basic rhythm. Likely, your drummer isn't very experienced either, so your simplicity will help him. The first time on stage is a freaky experience, and completely memorable (like firsts of other things), and there is so much other stuff going on besides the song (crowd, lights, cords, boomy sound, chicks...).

    Best to keep it simple and simply enjoy the experience and not try to wow them with your chops. When you're nervous, which you will be, you'll find out your fingers don't work the same anyways, and certain riffs will be impossible.

    Have fun!!! And videotape it!!!!
  12. Messing up is part of being a live act, it shows them you are not all robots.

    (I think string noise has that effect too...)

    Hell, I'd would be happy to be on stage. Right now I'm in a marching band were 10 people would be on me if I mess up. :smug:
  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Same as acting: look over at the prompter and have 'em give you the next note. :cool:

    You'll do fine as long as you feel the song. Have fun!
  14. 4x4Given


    Jul 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I've been playing live in front of audiences for about 5 years now and missed / wrong notes are no big deal. Unless YOU make it a big deal. ;)

    If you know the song, but flub, KEEP GOING. :bassist:

    If you don't know the song, FAKE IT. :cool:

    If you can't hold the beat, STOP! Get mentally back into the grove and jump back in. Make it look like a planned break. :p

    Most importantly, as has been stated over and over....

    HAVE FUN!!! :D
  15. rsgars


    Aug 6, 2003
    NY State
    Do it and have a good time.
  16. Geezerman


    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Got a band going to do the talent show at my highschool, no one like metal but hey we thought we'd do something seeings its are last year, we are covering (meh cliche IMO) 'Master Of Puppets', I have 4 weeks to play and get in with the band. I'm very very nervouse.
  17. Rumple


    May 12, 2005
    I was playing a show last week and had terrible problems with all the stage lights. They made it hard for me to see the fret dots whenever I needed reference. This only happens at bigger venues with crazy stage light show machines. But anyway I probly had never made so many mistakes in a single show. I started to get a little concerned, but we rapped up are last song and the only person that really noticed any mistakes was My old guitar player and another bass player friend. And my drummer of course. Anyway nobody really noticed and I tried to smile it off. Most people probly saw my smile and thought I was having a good time> ;) Helpful tips for me to get relaxed is to move a little, try to lock in to the bass drum. Block the crowd out and go nuts! If its your first show a good thing to know is that every place that you play will have a differnt sound than where you practice. My first show I had a hard time because the levels we not what I was used to. HAVE AN AWESOME TIME. First shows or performance You will always remember. Sometimes I get a couple shots the bartender too before we go up :bag: Probly makes thing worse :bassist:
  18. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND

    Well, I am glad to see that I am not the only one who has done that.
  19. my first show ever was a battle of the bands(63 bands played,one was a no show another played 1/2 the set time) but only after the band being together 4 months we came in 5th place. just remember dont screw up, and it doesnt matter what you look like while your up their. everyone I knew in the crowed said I looked pissed and didnt move. but I didnt screw up :cool: so just get the lines down and play as best as you can.
  20. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Neil Young.

    I play in the "house band" for an open stage. One of the secrets is that you cannot stop playing. It is better to play something wrong than stop. If you are really really lost, just play half notes on the open E. Trust me, most people will not notice. But if you stop, *everybody* notices.

    This would be the one exception. You cannot play the wrong beat since this will really mess up the other members of the band.