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Just played a 4 hour professional gig for the first time in my life.

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Libersolis, Jul 15, 2005.


  1. Libersolis

    Libersolis

    Sep 9, 2004
    Austin, TX
    When I first started playing double bass, I was in such discomfort that I never thought I would be able to play a 30 min gig. Since moving to Charleston and starting a new study with a different teacher things have changed in ways I never thought possible. I won't go into much detail as this isn't really a gig board but it was by far the most professional setting I have ever been in. My bass teacher (Frank Duvall, who is excellent by the way and the bass teacher at the College of Charleston here in Charleston SC) is the house pianist and Robert Lewis ( The sax prof at COFC) were the beasts I was playing with on this occasion ( no drummer). It was by far the most intense experience as far as my playing career goes but I managed to make it through it. I was not perfect by any means but I have a new level of confidence in my ability now that I did something like this......It also showed me just how far I need to go in order to truly be professional.. anyways just thought I would share.
     
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Ask Frank if he remembers a bass player from Augusta GA named Ed Fuqua, used to play some with Terry Rosen and Johnny Helms...
     
  3. WillBuckingham

    WillBuckingham

    Mar 30, 2005
    Congrats, man. I just played my first gig on upright last week. I made it about halfway through the second set, before my left hand started to really burn and I switched to electric.
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yay for you! I've yet to do a full 4 hr gig on upright. Done a couple half and halfs. But usually I just play 3-4 songs a set on it.
     
  5. abaguer

    abaguer

    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    Break out the Art Blakey at
    Birdland and play along. That'll get your stamina up. Good going. :)
     
  6. jtlownds

    jtlownds

    Oct 3, 2004
    LaBelle, FL
    Most of my gigs lately are 3 hour affairs. I'm an old fart now and can't handle much more than that anymore. Back in the '50's and early '60's most of my gigs were either 5 or 6 hours (8:00PM to 2:00AM). Try that sometime with a gut strung Kay, no amplifier, and an 8 piece band. ;)
     
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    OK, what time's downbeat?
    One of the piano players I work with insists on booking continuous music gigs, it's gotten so I can do 2 and a half hours without a break. That's on a 5 hour continuous...
     
  8. jtlownds

    jtlownds

    Oct 3, 2004
    LaBelle, FL
    I have worked with a couple of masochists like that. I recently did a 3 hour gig with no breaks. The fingers still hold up, but the legs don't. I sure don't miss those gigs
     
  9. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    With the exception of playing clubs back in the 70s, I don't think I did many Gigs over 3 hours and that includes a break/intermission. I guess I was lucky.

    The first time I sat in on a Jazz concert after not playing for 15 years, I was tired after 2 tunes. Now that I'm back in the saddle (sort of) for a little over 4 years, the Stamina is starting to come back. Still, doing only Concerts with the Symphony and a few Jazz Gigs, I rarely have the Bass uncovered for more than 3 hours.

    I don't look forward to any 4 or 5 hour Gigs.
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well Ken, you're fortunate that you don't rely on music to make a living and have a little more leeway than the rest to pick and choose. Your average club gig goes 4 hours, sometimes 5. When you get into conventions and backup gigs, those usually last 2-3 hours, but almost all clubs I've played want 4 hours at least. I try to avoid clubs like the plague because of the hours, but now and then I play one if it pays.

    BTW, I worked with Joey Dee and the Starliters last week and their bassist had one of your sunburst 5-string J style basses. That thing was badass, and I don't even like 5-strings! Sounded and played as good as it looks, too. If I hadn't sworn off ever buying another electric bass, I'd like to score me a 4-banger. Oh, and that gig I only had to do 2 half hour sets ;)
     
  11. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    On Father's Day I played a 6 hour jazz gig with a pianist at a hotel. We took breaks as needed and raided the tasty buffet, but man--it was a workout, especially the last hour. Considering I couldn't play for 20 minutes straight when I started DB 2 years ago I was proud of myself.
     
  12. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    BTW, I worked for 20 years as a Bass player for a living before retiring to run my business. In 1969, I did my first club gig for about 9 weeks from 9pm to 3 am or 10pm to 4am depending on if we were the starting band. There were two bands in that club in NYC. Then, I worked in the Studios during the day, gave lessons between when possible, did Broadway Shows from 8-10 and then worked in a Club from 11pm-4am. Not all the time year round but had many monthes over a the years with 6-7 day schedules. I DO know what it is like to work these long hours but most of my gigs were shorter.

    I am glad I don't have to do that anymore. Being young helps as I started when I was 17. I turned 18 in the Club I worked in till 3 or 4am. We did about 3 1/2 to 4 sets a night in those days with some decent breaks. With two Bands it was an hour on, hour off and we did a 1/2 hour set to even the time out as I recall.

    Besides Club Gigs like that, very few jobs ran over 3 hours. Working 6 days a week on average, I had plenty of chops for longer gigs but preferred not to take them unless it was a great Jazz gig or I was free the next morning. I usually had an early breakfase as most of my Jingle dates were starting at 9am. A few at 8am and once in awhile I would pull an all nighter. Finish the Gig, go home and change, freshen up, go out for Breakfast and on to the first job of the Day. Sleep was when the Phone stopped ringing. This was not my normal schedule but it did happen on occassion. I am glad I did as much work as I did.

    The other drag was lugging two Basses around in the Subway or a Cab. I used an 18th century Italian Bass that was very heavy and was a full 7/8. My Electric was whatever it was untill I made my Proto-type and started my business. Amps were almost always provided except for Club Gigs. All Studios, Concerts and Westbury Music Fair (which I did alot of the main acts for several years) rented the Amps.
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Dang, I would have never figured you for being that old where you'd play for 20 years before starting your company ;)
     
  14. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Actually, I started my company while I was a Player. I also bought, sold and repaired Double Basses to kill time as a work/hobby/part-time job Between my Music Gigs. I stayed active 24/7 until I actually Retired at the end of 1987. I joined the Union (Local 802) when I was 16 in 1968.

    I will be 54 this Sept, 2005. Playing in 2 Orchestras now kinda makes me feel young again. I get to apply all the Classical Lessons I had over the years will all my Teachers (2 of them in the NY Phil) and then some. I also do a few Jazz Gigs from time to time. They always comment about my sound on the Jazz Gigs especially when I play the Gilkes. Then when I tell them how old the Bass is, it's history and it's Value, their Jaws drop. Anyway, this has been fun talking about my past music Life. There were no computers back when I was player or even a Fax machine for that matter. I even remember Dial Telephones, pre touch-tone.. Talk about Age !!
     
  15. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    That is young, Ken! Take it from this 45 year old child. :D


    Fun hearing about it too. Keep the stories comin'. As much as I sometimes complain about cell phones, they've been an incredibly liberating tool for working musicians these days. I was having a conversation with a busy pro drummer who just played on my record, who talked about how difficult it was before cell phones 'cause you used to be afraid to leave the house between gigs, worried that you'd miss an important call. Even an answering machine wasn't completely comforting because you couldn't count on somebody waiting for a return call...they'd just move down the list. "Sorry man, but I needed somebody right away".
     
  16. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Back on topic, my weekly jazz gig tonight is kinda brutal...three one hour sets separated by two 15 minute breaks. :eek: I'm not the leader on this one, and never would have agreed to those "terms" if I were. Of course, as a total noob to DB, I'm still doing this one on slab, so physically it's no problem. The cool thing is it's going to be the perfect gig to work in the DB, and I'll consider it a fair accomplishment when I can handle the whole gig on upright.
     
  17. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Craig, if you at all can, Bring the DB and play the Ballads on it or a Swing/Blues thing here or there just the wet your feet. No sense diving in from the deep end all at once if you can wade thru the water from the kiddie pool!!
     
  18. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Great idea Ken! I'm waiting on an AI Contra that'll be here any day now, so the DB's going to the gig next week.

    In the studio last night listening to playback of some swing cuts we've done for the new record, although the MD7 sounds marvelous, it's just screaming for DB. I've kind of had this "I'm not worthy, certainly not yet" attitude towards making an attempt to give it a whack on DB...but now I'm thinking, ya know, "it's my record and I'll play *** I want!" Hey, if it sucks it won't make it to the final mix, that's all. Time to gird up my loins and be a real man.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled thread...
     
  19. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Psh, even I remember those phones.
     
  20. yeah, those long days are a great thing. some times i'll play from one to nine. it gets tiring, but then i always think, wow, i'm playing music for a living. yesterday i jammed with john esposito and gregg glassman, two hudson valley and nyc heavy weights. with time changes and break neck speeds with that added pressure it gets rough. and then doing a gig after, we are very lucky to be bassists.

    mike