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Nervous about first "Gig"

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Floydian, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Floydian


    Nov 17, 2008
    Richmond, VA
    Sorry if this isn't exactly the right spot to post this kind of topic but I'm a relatively new TB'er.

    Anyways, I have been playing bass for only 6 months now though I am pretty committed to it. I recently met a rather talented guitarist at a party and we got together and jammed today for a couple of hours. He was light years ahead of me, though he was patient and showed me a couple songs which i struggled with at first but chugged through after a couple tries. Anyways, at the end of the jam he gets a call from a girl looking for someone to play at her BBQ party on Friday (3 days from now) and he promptly agrees. I didn't pay any mind cause i thought he was referring to another band he plays in or something. Low and behold, it will be just me and him, NO DRUMMER, playing a set of three songs in front of 30 probably drunk people. After some convincing he got me to agree to do it, but I am nervous as hell because although I can play these songs with it being just us I know all of my mistakes will be heard loud and clear since it will only be us two.

    So anywho, I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me as I venture into the world of gigging? Any advice of things to keep in mind while playing these songs would also be much appreciated.

    We will be playing:
    Last Dance with Mary Jane
    Bad Moon Rising
    Sunshine Of Your Love

    Thank you to any advice given, and I will update after the "show."
  2. Forget about the audience - focus on the music.
  3. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    It's natural to be nervous the first time. Hell I get nervous almost every time and I been playing 30 years:) It usually goes away before the end of the first song so don't worry about it, Go kick ass and have fun :)
  4. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    BBQ?? Drunk people?? Sounds like they'll have beer........

    Dude, don't be nervous, be excited! These things are pretty much where I got my start 20+ years ago, and I can tell you from experience, it really doesn't matter a whole lot what you do or how you play, they can't do anything but love you! I don't know why, but that's how these things seem to work out.

    1st) Have some food. Not too much, you don't want to get all bloated and gassy (More personal experiance!)

    2nd) Have a beer, maybe 2. Talk to some girls, and have fun.

    3rd) Get up and have fun!! Play like you mean it and just enjoy yourself, you can do no wrong.

    4th) Go get another beer, and bask in the glory that shall be yours.

    5th) Don't be shy when they ask you guys to play a couple more tunes.
  5. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007

    And uh, for God sakes Phalex, change that avatar of Ron Jeremy! It gives me the heeby jeeby's.
  6. woffle


    Mar 26, 2008
    All been said,enjoy your start in The world of BASS and enjoy what comes with it.
  7. Bassman316


    May 27, 2008
    Longs, SC
    Well, for me, I've been playing between seven and eight years and just now my guitar buddy wants to do a small outdoor whatever-you-want-to-call-it in the parking lot at the Dead show in Greensboro next month, which will be my first time in front of people. Now THAT'S a crowd to play to- a bunch of hippies in the parking lot. Yeah, a little nervous, but I'm gonna do my piece, and do it righteous. Don't sweat it, man- remember, these people are drunk, right? You think they're really going to care if you hit some wrong notes here and there? Don't let that get in the way of you having fun, man, which is what it's all about.
  8. Ephminus


    Nov 6, 2008
    I wish I could go back to the days of getting nervous before a show.
    At the beginning of the first song, all of that nervous tension would turn into pure adrenaline.
    Channel it into your playing.

    Just go over your parts until you are relatively comfortable playing them.
    Don't cram for the show cuz you'll just end up burning yourself out and you'll probably make a silly mistake here and there anyway.
    When you do make a mistake don't get mad or make a face, just laugh it off.

    ...just remember that you are playing music because it's fun.
  9. ColdSteelRain


    Jul 27, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    You'll notice every little mistake except for timing. The guitarist will notice timing mistakes and most of the wrong notes. The audience won't notice any mistakes unless something catches fire or you fall off the stage. It'll still be great.
  10. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I'm nervous before every gig - and I've been playing out since I was 18. It's natural. Some people never get nervous, and others like myself don't lose the nerves until were in the pocket in that first song.

    Enjoy and learn from the experience. Playing with people that are light years ahead of you is also good for learning.

    Good luck, and remember to have fun. That is the reason most of us do it in the first place!
  11. LedBelli Bass

    LedBelli Bass Fine, Handmade Custom Bass Guitars

    Dec 25, 2008
    Pasco, WA
    Invite one the drunks to be your drummer. Then they will love you no matter how you play . . . they'll blame it all on him!
  12. LedBelli Bass

    LedBelli Bass Fine, Handmade Custom Bass Guitars

    Dec 25, 2008
    Pasco, WA
    Oh yeah, and tomorrow night I have the biggest audition of my musical career, so we can be nervous together!
  13. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Good tunes for the gig! For Last Chance with Mary Jane just keep a steady A-G-D-A (I think that's the progression :p) pattern going until you feel locked into the groove, then break out of it a little with a few extra accents here and there.

    For Sunshine Of Your Love just keep focused on the pattern and know where to pick it up on the next measure if you stray off of it a little. The best thing to do is just play it over and over again and remember where the changes are.
  14. fender_funk_man


    Feb 19, 2009
    yup ya gotta get your feet wet sometime. Besides the drunker they are the better you sound.
  15. BigNoise


    Nov 19, 2007
    Knoxville, TN
    As long as you know the tunes, you will be fine! I promise!!!. I used to be the worlds worst, shaking, cold hands.....until I got on stage and it is like a high, you will love it!!
  16. Vakmere


    Sep 6, 2007
    Have some ribs and enjoy yourself.
  17. crow01


    Sep 1, 2008
    if it would be a bar. the place will have a light pointing at you. so you won't be able to see the crowd.

    since is not. then it doesn't matter either. cause i am sure they wont pay attention to your bass lines. if you make a mistake, pretend that you didn't. if they know the songs, they will just sing the songs to what the guitar and vocals play. he should be the one to be worry.

    wear sunglasses. did you say this was in the day? that way you won't see the crowd and they will think you are cool.

    stick to the basics of the song, if you think you are going to mess up in some parts, just play lighter.
  18. Just don't mess up - everyone will know!


    Relax - you'll be fine. You know the tunes and the people are far more interested in having fun than seeing if you're going to make any mistakes.

    I've been playing for over 25 years and hitting off notes is par for the course no matter how experienced you are. Everyone hits a clinker now and then.

    But here's the trick...

    IF you do hit a clinker just plow on and smile!

    IF you do hit a clinker JUST PLOW ON and SMILE!

    If you look like you're having fun (and by all means, have fun and let it show) then everyone will enjoy the show. If you look terrified... well, don't look terrified! Smile - play your parts - don't sweat the clinkers.
  19. I would suggest not to drink.
    If you're just starting out it would be better to not use that as a crutch for nerves.

    I say drink after the gig to celebrate.

    Most people won't notice your mistakes, especially drunks.

    Since you won't have a drummer, be very solid on your timing, especially on Sunshine of Your Love.
    Don't rush.

    Good luck, you'll do fine.
  20. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    nice! Parties are the best/easiest gigs to play! no drummer? no worries...just rock it out and have fun.

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