I Got Invited Into A Band!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by stephanie, Jul 10, 2002.

  1. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Yesterday at my lesson my teacher asked me if I was interested in being in a band. He said it's the band my old teacher used to play in and they are looking for a new bass player. He told me I should come to a few of their practices and see what I think. I was the only student that was asked and I feel honored. (hehe)

    Now, this both shocked and delighted me at the same time. I have all these emotions running through me right now. I've never played in public before and I think this will be a wonderful experience. The band is a jazz quintet. I'm not much into Jazz and am more a solo-atist-wannabe :D but the majority of what I've been trained in leans towards Jazz. And, again, a great experience.

    Anyway, my teacher said that I'll have to be able to read chord charts. So he gave me a song I've never heard before. We looked through the chords in it. I knew these chords and I knew the notes in the chords. But then I had to come up with the bassline on-the-spot there. Ugh. I was terrible. I've worked on improvising with walking basslines before and stuff and I realize I'm not very good. I can't exactly pinpoint the problem. I know the chords. I know how to make walking basslines. But I seem to freeze up when I'm put on-the-spot. This is the major thing that's making me nervous. What if I can't do this? I don't want to have doubt. I want to be able to do this. I took this song home and am looking over it and looking over it and figuring out where I'm going wrong. There has to be something I'm missing.

    And another thing is: gear. I have no gear! :eek: Just my lousy little practice amp and Squier. I have no money for gear. I don't know what to do. What if they say I can't be in the band cuz I don't have the gear? I don't want that to be the case. :(

    Well, just thought I'd share that. If anyone has any advice on anything I'd really appreciate it. :)

  2. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area

    Whenever your walking trips up, play a root, octave, or sometimes a 5. Hard to go wrong there. Maybe learn the whose song rootwise 1st, and then when you own the changes work in your passing tones.

    As far as gear goes, start saving. If there is a show really soon, you could always borrow or rent a rig. If they have a good PA get yourself a DI box and run your line straight into it.

    Have fun w/ your new band!
  3. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
  4. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Nice one!

    I can't really offer much in the way of advice, but try not to worry too much about your playing - I don't think your teacher would have asked you to be in the band if he didn't think you were good enough.

    Good luck!
  5. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    What Yawnsie said.

    Remember that every musician is still learning.

    Good luck. If you can get in a band, do it. It opens up a whole new world.

  6. Your teacher wouldn't be trying to take you to the next level if he didn't plan on helping you out along the way. I wouldn't sweat it too much; in fact, you should welcome the new challenge. Your teacher sounds like a great guy and someone you're going to learn a lot more from. Good luck.
  7. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Thanks everyone (and thanks, David, for those articles. I'll check them out. :)).

    I am excited about this. When I feel I'm getting nervous all over again I just go to that other side and think about how exciting this will be.

    The bad thing I'm feeling is that I think ppl have expectations of me. I don't like that. Then you fear disappointment in them if you mess up. Like, my teacher said I'm the only student my old teacher told him about, that I'm advanced, blah blah blah; told him all about me, even silly things like I play too softly, that he sometimes had to turn his back to me when I played cuz he made me giggle staring at me. :D. But the thing is he said I was advanced, was the farthest ahead in the lesson book, etc. And that I write my own pieces.

    My new teacher then told the band about me I guess. So I wonder what they are expecting from me? Did he tell them I've only been playing for 2 years? That I've never played in public? I'm wondering this b/c this is a working, well-known jazz band and I'm sure these ppl have been playing their instruments for quite some time.

    Yeah, I guess you can look at this as a challenge. Hehe. My teachers seem to like to do that to me. :D Like I said, it's just lots of emotions running through me.

    ...in any case, it's made me realize I need to practice! practice! practice!

  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Congratulations. It's a good feeling to know that your peers respect your art. This band may turn out to not only be a fun experience, but it will certainly enhance your skills.

    In my opinion, the best way to look at a chart is not as a series of chords, where you play connect the dots. Instead, look at the overall tonality of the song.

    If the chord changes are, let's say:

    BbMaj7 / Gm7 / Cm7 / F7
    Dm7 / Gm7 / Cm7 / F7

    You can look at it that way, or you can also look at it this way:

    IMaj7 / vim7 / iim7 / V7
    iiim7 / vim7 / iim7 / V7 (in the key of Bb major)

    Now you have a better understanding of the tonality of the song. You can also feel more comfortable realizing you can stay completely in the key of Bb major, never moving chromatically, and even if you hit a "wrong" note, you're still only a half step from a "right" note. If there are altered chords, or chords not within the key, a quick mental check will solve your problems.
  9. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I have been in your position, except, I never had a teacher, and know very little about the theory (I know..I know..should work on it). Point is, you progress when you challenge yourself. Accept that you WILL make mistakes, and just plough ahead. Within few practice sessions you'll be doing OK, and a month later you'll be wondering what all the fuss was all about.

    For me, I found that the best way to move forward is to keep putting myself into situations that are 'out of my comfort zone'. It forces you to bring out the best in you, and fast. I have no doubt that you will do more than just fine :)
  10. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    Woohoo, you go girl :D

    Seriously though, congrats, Its one thing to sit in a room practicing/playing to four walls but when you start playing in a band situation in front of an audience its amazing how much you learn (the most important imo being how to interact with other musicians)..and hey once you can get up and perform in front of an audience its amazing what a confidence booster it is....the biggest thing to remember is ENJOY IT, you obviously have the chops (hey your teacher knows your good enough or he wouldnt have recommended you).

    I wouldnt worry about the 'gear' thing either, the first few gigs I did were with a 30w Laney practice amp, if the band are using a pa (which they probably are) as someone said get yourself a di box, then take a line from your bass to the di and then link from the di to your amp et voila..your own monitor.

    As a wise man (Ernie Morecambe) once said:
    "I didnt play the wrong note...I played the right note, it just wasnt necessarily in the right place"

    best of luck
  11. lowb


    Jul 27, 2000
    London, UK
    Yeah definately go for it.......NO FEAR hehe!! there's nothing like playing in a band situation :). And remember that whatever you're playing...If it sounds good then it's "right". Don't let anyone make you feel that what you're playing is "wrong", unless it sounds bad (i mean notes that don't fit, stuff like that) Your teach wants you to play because he feels that you can add something to the group. It'll be a fantastic learning experience for you.

  12. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Best o' luck Steph!

    I'd say that if you know the chords and what notes work in them, that is more than most bass players know right there. Still, if it is your first band experience, it can also be a little intimidating.

    I think just about everyone gets a little nervous and freezes up when put in this position for the first time. Perhaps a few "on the spot" jam sessions with your teacher might help with this. At any rate, the more you play out with others, the more you'll become used to the differences between playing by yourself and with others. Like reading, theory, technique etc, being able to play with others is an important part of music.

    Don't make any more posts about you not being very good, because being too hard on yourself is not only unnecessary, it's a waste of energy. (We also know that it ain't true) You were in a situation completely new to you, and you probably did better than you think you did.

    As far as the gear question... weeelll, it could be a stumbling block as time goes on. It depends on the band - what they play, where they play, and what they are looking for. I don't see why Squier would be a problem if you can play it well. The practice amp, unfortunately, isn't going to be enough. Perhaps not even for rehearsals. Still, you might consider spending a (relatively) small amount of money on a good DI and going direct into the PA at shows.

    Once again, don't let it get you down. This is supposed to be the most fun part! :cool:

    Hope this helps...:confused:
  13. Well done and good luck. They are obviously interested, and your teachers obviously think that you have got what it takes, so relax and don't worry. It'll take you some time to adjust to playing in the band - to hook in with thr drummer and get a 'feel' for the songs!

    And don't worry about gear - plety of other suggestions here so I won't go on.

    Go for it and enjoy!
  14. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    As regards the gear thing again, one of the perks of gigging is that YOU GET PAID..woohoo, and you'd be amazed how quickly it builds up to the point where you can afford new/better gear.

    (Starting out gigging 3 nights a week I'd earned enough in a month to go from a 30w Laney to a 200w Laney.....(hey they were the only amp available in my area 15 years ago)).
  15. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    congrats on the band invite.
    Don't worry about making mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, you will, and so will the other guys in the band. Nobody is perfect. Relax, do your best and most of all have fun. Practicing and learning new stuff from your teacher or a book is all great but there is nothing and I mean nothing that is as much fun than groovin live with other musicians. Oh and by the way, if you hit a wrong note, play that note again and they will think you meant to hit that note :D . Good luck, I hope it works out for you. If it doesn't, so what, then at least it was a valuble learning experience.
  16. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Is that an order, sir? :p :D

    Yeah, I realize that practice amp is not enough. I just don't have the money for new gear, been out-of-work for almost a year and even just had to close my savings account. :( I guess things will work out, though. And I was just thinking of something else: the person who has been playing bass in this band (after my teacher left) is now going to play keyboards. So maybe he has some gear I can borrow?

    Anyway, thanks again everyone for the advice. I appreciate it.

    Cheers, :)
    (crawling out of her skin...)
  17. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Bingo, gear problem solved
  18. sashi.d


    Apr 8, 2002
    i've been in that situation where i hadn't been learning for that long and i was asked to play in something
    It rules!!!!! if they ask u anything just say that u had only been playing for two years only and so when you play something and most of it is right just everynow and then chuck in something that sounds better than usual good and they'll be like "wow thats good for only two years" and then word will get around that your pretty good for the amount youv'e been playing and it opens up lots of opportunities.
    good luck
  19. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Ay, it burns! :p

    That was some nasty wording on my part. :eek: Humble apologies.

    Seriously, though, we all tend to be our own worst critics. If you feel that you can do better next time, then you can use that as inspiration and not discouragement.

    I've been down in the dumps after similar things have happened, and wondered the same things, but in the end I found it to be a great opportunity - to isolate these weak points and fix them.

    Let us know how it's going!
  20. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    No worries.

    I go through phases of a little doubt to phases of being a bass snob. LOL. Not trying to be pessimistic. It's just when my teacher asked me about the band it was a big kick in the hiney, it's like 'OMG can I do this?' :D. Made me realize I don't know as much about things as I should, or maybe as prepared as I should be.