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Kind of a gig report: Hearing your band without you...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by bound'n'blocked, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Ok, this happened about three weeks ago, but I hadn't really thought about it much until now...

    I had posted a thread back in Sept/Oct. about how I had transplant surgery and would be out of commission for a bit. We had a backup bass player planned for the time I was out, and had three gigs booked in the time I was off. The last one was the week before Christmas. I probably could have played this one, but since he was available and had cancelled a show with his normal band to cover for me and I didnt want to knock him out of the money, I let him play and I just went and listened.

    It was really weird. They sounded really great. I kept joking with people that I had heard that this band was really good and I had always wanted to hear them. But it was strange to see the other guys up there without me and me watching them.

    I hope we sound that good when I play with them.

  2. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    The busiest I ever was, was with a classic rock trio whose original bassist had quit due to job changes. There was one Halloween party we played where he came and sat in for a couple of songs. They sounded good with him, and played a tune that they had never asked me to learn, so that was interesting. Some months after that he subbed on a gig I couldn't make, and they wound up firing me and bringing him back on. However, a lot of people who had heard us both play were incredulous... "they let YOU go... to bring HIM back...?" So I didn't feel too bad about my playing.
  3. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Glad you've recovered and are ready to get back to gigging. :thumbsup:

    I have a somewhat similar story. Many years ago I suffered severe injury to the index and middle fingers of my fret board hand. We had a gig booked a few days later and I went to watch and check out my replacement. They sounded fine as I expected, but what I hadn't expected was the frustration of being in the audience instead of on stage. The next day it dawned on me that I still had two good fingers so I got busy modifying my bass parts to work with only ring and pinky fingers. Even though the bass lines became very simple I was able to get right back on the horse and only missed that one gig. :)
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  4. mwbonsall

    mwbonsall Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2000
    Casa Grande, Arizona
    BnB, glad to hear you are recovering fast!! My career would get in the way of playing music about 10 years ago and I would have to bow out of my band. When I got a chance to hear the band with a sub they sounded good. Always hoped the band was as good when I was playing.

    Take Care!

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    Stumbo and McG like this.
  5. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Guest

    Aug 2, 2017
    Do you still play like that or have since recovered from the injuries?
  6. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Well, to be a bit graphic, 20 years ago I lost the index and middle fingertips in an industrial accident. After two surgeries a year or so of rehab I was able to get the index finger working again. It's 1/4" shorter than before but it healed nicely. There was too much loss on the middle finger so it was retired from playing, LOL. Since then I developed an odd three finger style. Every once in a while a bassist in the audience will notice and mention it. Most probably just think I have crappy left hand technique. :laugh:
  7. I understand, I broke my left hand pinky finger three times in high school. I have no strength in it, so I've sorta developed an odd three finger left hand technique as well. And I play a 5 string to move my hand up the fretboard, to have shorter stretches.
    McG and Stumbo like this.
  8. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Guest

    Aug 2, 2017
    Sorry to hear you went through that, and I guess I probably shouldn't have asked. Glad you were able to adapt though! I kinda only use three fingers anyway, because I do infact have crappy technique, plus weird hands. Big palms...and short stubby sausage fingers.

    Some medicine I take sometimes causes finger/hand swelling, especially in the summer, that makes it feel like my fingers are made of concrete, not making excuses, my suckage is all on me.
    Sore Thumb and McG like this.
  9. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    I once let our sub-bassist do a half set once while I took a break out with the outdoor crowd. It was great to hear how the band sounded from a whole different angle.
  10. tlc1976


    Aug 2, 2016
    When I quit the last band due to kids and family, I saw them later. Stopped by to see them for a bit with my daughter when she was 2. My replacement sounded great and so did they. I was glad, because they thought they were going to have to disband with me leaving.
    McG and Stumbo like this.
  11. It was the first time in 13 years with this band I have heard the mix clearly. I usually hear what is closest the best, usually me and the drummer, and the other stuff just good enough to know where I am. It was nice to hear "us" as a whole band!

  12. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    That was my experience as well! It was kind of surreal...
    McG likes this.
  13. I had to leave a band over health issues. It was weird at first, but I really like the guy who replaced me. He had a totally different approach and though he played a couple of my parts "wrong" he added a lot. In that band I played electric bass and one of the percussionists played upright on a few songs and I'd play guitar or mandolin. When the new bass player joined, I'd come and sit in on the song I played mandolin on when I could.
    Sore Thumb and McG like this.
  14. growlypants


    Nov 10, 2012
    Yea, I wouldn't waste another second getting back into working with the band again. The longer you're out, the longer the band gets used to playing without you!! And then, it's like..."Oh, we thought you quit."
    McG likes this.
  15. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    It's the same with me as far as not ever hearing what the audience does. I've been considering going wireless if for no other reason than being able to walk around the room and hear the FOH mix.
    Sore Thumb and bound'n'blocked like this.
  16. 4-fingers


    Nov 22, 2015
    Ontario Canada
    Three of us sing in the band I am a part of, with the lion share being done by the band leader, who is the best I have ever played with. There are a few songs he puts his acoustic down and goes out into the crowd to listen when someone else is singing lead. I have to admit......I wish I could do that from time to time! I have ventured out front to get involved with the crowd on a gig or two and enjoyed hearing the band that way. Wireless? Nah........
    McG likes this.
  17. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    You'd better! :laugh:
    McG likes this.
  18. I took photos while a fellow bassist played two songs at a gig last year. Heard my bass tone out front finally and knew what to do to fix it.
    McG likes this.
  19. SuperK

    SuperK Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Last year I couldn't play a gig so my band got a sub. He was a guitar player in another band that played a little bass on the side. During the gig our drummer decided to live stream the gig on Facebook so I was able to watch them live. Not the same as being there but it still felt weird watching my band play without me. I told them it felt like watching an ex-girlfriend on a date with someone else!

    At rehearsal the next week, after we played our first song they all told me "Man are we glad to have you back! It just wasn't the same without you." That makes you feel good.
    Sore Thumb, McG and Fat Freddy like this.
  20. The guy that subbed for me is really good. I knew he could do a fine job, but my guitar player says the same thing about it not being the same. He said he misses my little licks I play as cues that the other guy doesnt do. I dont really do them as cues, I just play them the same place every time...

    I get to get back into it this Friday and Saturday, so I guess we will see!

    Sore Thumb, McG and Fat Freddy like this.
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