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My first reading gig

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by jive1, Sep 16, 2003.


  1. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Well I had my first performance that required reading music. Just didn't realize how much I would have to read until the performance.

    My drummer asked me to perform at his church. I had to get there by 7 AM, which sucked since we played an all-niter on Saturday. It was a first time playing in a church for me. At first they just wanted me to play 2 songs, and I was at the choir rehearsal for that. I got the sheet music, took it home and made notes for myself for the performance. I thought it was cool because I had an opportunity to work on my reading skills, without having to sight read.
    But once the services started, I was asked to play during their Praise and Worship, as well as the postlude. I grew up going to church and attend currently, so I was familiar with some of the songs, but not all of them. I couldn't look at the keyboard players left hand, or the guitar player's fretting hand. I couldn't even hear the guitar player in our monitors. Since I never played these songs before, I had to use sheet music. One of the songs happened to be in 9/8 and I never played it or heard it before. So frantically, I looked at the music and jotted down whatever chords I could locate and wrote them above the bass clef staff. I figured if I couldn't translate the note to a fingering fast enough, I can at least keep the feel and play the root. I finished my jotting whatever notes I could right before the service was to start, and I played the introduction. The rest of the service went well. Writing out the chords helped me to make educated guesses of notes. Yeah, it was cheating, but it could be a way for me to improve my reading.
    By the second service, I was able to get all 7 songs down. Most of it was learning from my mistakes in the first service. I'm glad the early service crowd was small and somewhat asleep. The whole performance went pretty well, considering the circumstances. The audience enjoyed it. Gave me some confidence, yet made me realize how lacking I am in my reading skills.
     
  2. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    You just made the breakthrough. congratulations,
    the rest is easy.

    Reminds me of something weird that happened to me years ago.

    I was visiting my college roommate in Arizona, we always played music together. He was fiddling with his upright piano, and I was on guitar.
    Then he wanted to swap. I have only basic piano skills, [ play c, G d, etc. ]. I said I can't really read this music you have on this song, I don't know it.

    I learned music in first grade, and had 3 weeks of guitar lessons in ninth grade.

    He said, 'Sure you do.'

    So I sat down. And played it just fine. The notes went up, I went up, down, I went down.

    It isn't that hard, you have to go in with a can do attitude, the rest comes right along.

    You should have no problem next time, right?

    Thor