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Just learned about 20 songs in 4 hours....

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Barfly, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. Barfly


    Dec 27, 2000
    GTA, Canada
    I took a sub gig for this Thursday, mostly standard stuff but still stuff I had never played before.

    Tonight is the only night I had to learn the stuff because of other band practice tomorrow night.

    I am exhausted from playing, listening, charting and burning discs.

    Hope to God this gig goes good. LOL!

    Wish me luck...please!
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Best of luck. I feel for ya. I've been doing the same thing - learning 30 songs that are Zappa like in stucture for a tour I got asked to do, and another dozen or so that I'm working on with this guy with for another person. I've got a month to get it all together, but I can't chart it, gotta commit it all to memory - and my head is numb.
  3. I've been there too just wing it and use your ear
  4. Barfly


    Dec 27, 2000
    GTA, Canada
    Thanks guys. Thankfully this stuff is not rocket science - or Zappa-science :eek:

    I'm new to the sub-scene and this is basically the second sub-band I've sat with but I like it and am looking forward to more.

    Doing the trib thing is great and all, but the overall challenge is limited once you've learned the set. This stuff is R+B based which has never really been my strongsuit but I totally respect it and it's really helping chop-wise.
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I love sub gigs where you have to learn songs on short notice or even fake them on the fly. They can be stressful because I worry about not being absolutely perfect, but in the end they are extremely satisfying (especially when playing unfamiliar material) and usually lots of fun. Much easier said than done, but try to relax and enjoy yourself. If you hit the groove, the right notes will follow.

    Try to set yourself up where you can look at the guitarist, or (even better) be close to a bandmember who can give you hints. That isn't "cheating": many bands don't play songs exactly like the record.

    Best of luck, but I'm sure you won't need it. You've worked very hard, and I'm sure you'll do just fine!
  6. Secondhandloser


    Mar 28, 2005
    I love it.

    I WEEKLY learn 5-10 songs in 30-40 minutes, then play them in front of 100-200 people. I'd practice, but it's more fun this way.
    My best was getting in front of almost 1200 people, to play one song I had played once before, and to sightread the other. Without and timing structure written out (blend of chords and tabs)- with a bass solo. Luckily, the lead guitarist, drummer and I had jammed al ot, and we just locked in and grooved. Might have been of time as compared to the original ( but I wouldn't know- I've never heard it) but we were together. Rhthym guitarist forgot to plug his guitar in after changing cables. He missed his 6 1/2 minutes of fame.
  7. Barfly


    Dec 27, 2000
    GTA, Canada
    Man, that gig was a total BLAST! Great players, great guys. The bar loved it and the owner already has us rebooked in a month with the possibility of a regular Sunday afternoon slot.

    Thanks for the mojo, guys!
  8. form52


    Mar 17, 2005
    Good to hear it went well.

    I only did that once. A band we were actually opening for lost their bass player Thursday afternoon for a Saturday gig. They asked if I could fill in. I did.
    They handed me cd's and tapes and a set list.

    36 hours to learn 45 classic rock and metal songs.
    I managed to pull it off but swore to never do it again.
    I lied. I've done it three or four other times for different bands.

    In the end after all the stress, headaches and finger cramps are gone, those kinds of gigs are always GREAT learning experiences.
  9. Secondhandloser


    Mar 28, 2005

    You played a 45 song set?
  10. Barfly


    Dec 27, 2000
    GTA, Canada
    Just got the call for a second gig with the same guys this Thursday.

  11. wtg man ..... glad to hear it went well ..... i usually try to watch the guitar player's hands, keep my ears open to that kick-snare thang and flow with the singer's melody and just have fun :)

    i think it's time for a "it reminds me of the time ....." story

    ..... it reminds me of my very first gig when i was ten ..... i had been taking bass lessons for two years and my teacher set me up for a gig with 'The Bobcats' :eyebrow: ..... he called me wednesday, said i needed to get the sheet music on thursday for the gig on friday ..... i had thursday night to learn their 30 songs (country roads, lyin' eyes, rhinestone cowboy, etc.) to play in front of around 200 cubscouts :help:

    needless to say i was a nervous wreck and thought about blowing off the gig from my lack of experience and my age and all ..... got to the gig, met the band, started to tune my bass and was having a hard time (nerves?) so my dad stepped in to tune it for me (he's a drummer btw) ..... i guess he didn't realize that there is an octave difference between my bottom E and the guitarist's ..... he kept winding it tighter and tighter and yup, you guessed it ..... SNAP!

    first gig, 10 years old, one night to learn songs and no E string ...... what a friggin' nightmare ..... if i drank at that age it woulda been a perfect time for a pint or two ...... made it through the gig somehow and ended up with $5 in my pocket for the gig :D

    my first pro gig and i was hooked ..... however, i ALWAYS have spare strings with me and i keep my dad away from my axe :smug:

    be cool and don't forget ..... stay off the pipe and don't forget to wipe
  12. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    Yeah, I know the feeling. I learned/charted 22 songs in one night, gig was next day. It sounds to me like you prepared really well. Good luck.
  13. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Hey guys found this thread...you have any tips to learning songs on the fly or quickly. I am in a cover band (New) and besides c.ds and charting its tough...i cant find free music on the web and buying greatist hits from bands gets expensive.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    here's what I do:

    take credit card, buy individual songs from MSN Music, Wal-Mart, etc, rip to hard drive, burn to cd, play in Tascam MKII@ slow speed to pick up bass line more easily, save receipt, use on taxes to offset inevitable 1099 as a business expense.
  15. Here's a good piece of advice I read somewhere and always found true: Listen to whatever you need to learn, over and over again, before you touch your bass (unless they're songs you're already very familiar with). Know the songs *well* before you even pick up your bass, and you will learn them much, much quicker, in my experience. Instead of learning a few notes and then going "alright, what happens here... oh wait chorus, okay... hold on, lemme go back and try to remember that" you already know in your head what is coming, and it's just a matter of learning how to play it.

    I have always learned songs quicker that way, and am playing them 'right' alot sooner (with the right feel, etc). The few times I have had to learn a bunch of songs on short notice (30+ songs in a week, a dozen or so songs overnight, etc), I have literally eat, sleeped, and drank the music. Also, I know alot of people in here have mentioned "winging it" or 'looking at the guitar player's hands' etc, but i've never been able to do that. When in doubt, LEARN EVERYTHING. Don't say "well i'll just fake that part". LEARN IT, you'll be glad you do, when you get up on stage and realize you know every song like the back of your hand and can relax and just PLAY, rather than sitting there thinking "please don't call that song, please dont call that song" or playing the chorus stiff and out of the pocket because you're dreading having to try and play that bridge coming up (is it after the 2nd or 3rd chorus, anyway? OH SH** ITS AFTER THE FIRST, DAMMIT I hope nobody heard that)... :)

    Also, you'll be surprised how *amazed* bands can be by a bass player who shows up, actually knows their songs, and can play them right off the bat with no rehearsal. I always get a kick out of how impressed people are by a little bit of professionalism...

  16. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Sad but so very true, isn't it. :) If ya want a gig, learn the songs. Period.

    I'm on song learning house arrest again tonight.