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Oh and btw here's 19 songs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bearfoot, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Nickweissmusic

    Nickweissmusic Knows all intervals from one Fred, to Juan octave Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    I teach lessons and perform live music in and around San Diego CA. Sometimes I even make money doing it!
    Great point. “Enjoying the experience” doesn’t factor in in these situations, it’s nothing but hard work if you’re taking it seriously. I feel for the OP, you’re being asked to be a friendor (friend+vendor), it’s a big ask, and I’ve seen a fair share of very resentful friendors over my 20 years in this industry. If you do a professional job yourself, you should be compensated as such, but if you cut loose and don’t take it very seriously, then your friend asking you to do the work could get resentful himself. It’s pretty much a lose lose, unless everyone takes a chill attitude. I would have an honest and friendly conversation with the friend regarding the situation, give him an idea of the hours you will need to prepare for this, he probably hasn’t thought that much about it, and make a joint decision as to how deeply you should study for this, and/or how you’ll be compensated. Read wedding nightmare blogs to see how many friendships end over one night at a wedding, not really something to be taken lightly. It can work, but I highly recommend some honest, friendly communication.
    QweziRider likes this.
  2. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Had to learn 20 identical sounding lightning-fast punk songs in 2 days for a gig at a popular club in front of anticipated hundreds (and yes, there were about 300). ‘Punk songs’ may seem simple, but due to this simplicity f-ups are real f-ups as the song immediately turns to nothing without precise execution. So I wore earbuds for 48 hours, wrote the opening chords on the set list, and got it down.
    Then on gig night the bandleader demanded that we transpose everything down 1/2 step. Fun fun. Worked out.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    spaz21387 and monsterthompson like this.
  3. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I'm kinda hung up on your friend hired a band and wants to make you part of it for one gig. I can't help but wonder WTH the rest of that band thought about it. Personally, if I was the bassist in that band I'd have raised hell, and there'd be an even chance that neither the OP nor the contracted band would be playing that wedding. I don't see this just as an issue of having to cram for a gig. ...
    spaz21387 and Nickweissmusic like this.
  4. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    My first bass gig ever.
    My guitar teacher knew I had just bought a bass and started playing around. Well, his cover band bassist had to tap out for a gig, so he asked me if I'd be interested. It was a huge honor for me at age 20, considering the teacher was a solid player, and the band's drummer was well known and respected locally. I was given about two weeks to learn 50 pop/rock/grunge songs to play 4 sets a night for two nights, Friday and Saturday, at a popular local bar. This was a big ask, but I wanted it. Then I got told they found another more experienced sub, and my hopes were crushed, but my anxiety was relieved. Then, the Monday before the Friday gig, I was told they needed me for Friday, and we'd get one rehearsal with the drummer and the singer.

    I was in college, so I found time between classes and skipped doing homework and reading. I got to play with the guitarist a few times. We had one band rehearsal. We ended up cutting down to about 35 songs. I had sheets and riff tabs on stage, and I played my guts out.

    The biggest uh-oh of the night was in the middle of Surfing With The Alien. I fell off the beat, and I couldn't get back on it. I couldn't feel the turnaround, and I got lost in the guitar solo, so I couldn't hear the chords to help me out. That's when the guitarist walked over to me, started playing his solo by only tapping with one hand, while he reached over and started fretting my bass with his other. Mind blown. Gig saved. My friends in the crowd thought it was part of the act.
  5. DrewinHouston

    DrewinHouston I'm the one on the right Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Disclosure: I am not a great bass player
    Four or five years ago I had two days to learn 40 songs to join a new band at their scheduled gig, their old bass player bailed at the last minute. Ultimately the gig went great and I'm still with that band today.

    Some things that helped me:

    1) When you're not on your bass learning, listen to the songs on loop. You pick up a whole lot by osmosis, especially song structure
    2) Don't be afraid to bail on a few songs, my list included The Lemon Song which I had never learned, I just said no. They were very happy to boot the ones that would have taken huge amounts of time for me to learn.
    3) If you're building charts, great, I normally don't use charts but I did make notes on each song, especially what key, outline of the song structure, how the song starts and ends.
    4) You may need to simplify some of the bass lines, that's okay.

    Good luck and I'm sure it will turn out great!
    TheBear, Chris Doherty and onosson like this.
  6. True. Actually I'm still curious what is really up with this "band", and whether it is a band in any real sense of the word. The OP should expect the unexpected.
  7. I've done lots of subbing gigs, some of which have involved this kind of thing (also lots of gigs where the whole thing is done on the fly, but that's kind of a different ball game...).

    I've worked out a method for short-term "learning" that minimizes the time involved.. because I'm probably not being paid for my time outside of the gig!

    Spend NO MORE than two listens per song and take judicious notes. What's the key? What's the structure: verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge/solo-verse-chorus ... or something else? Any particular riffs or key parts?

    Notes per song should take up no more than ONE LINE of text - ideally, about half a line. Exception: if I need to write out a tricky riff or chord progression. Sometimes my notes consist of just the key of the song, if it's particularly predictable (many, many songs are).

    Once I've done that, I put the songs in a playlist and play them continuously in my spare time so that they become familiar. I don't really need to pay attention to them - it's like having the radio on in the background. If I have a couple days or more to do this, it usually works out pretty well. 24 hours, and it's tough to pull off well, but it can be done.

    Good luck!
    Nickweissmusic likes this.
  8. I cannot emphasize enough how true this is - once I realized how well this works, my life as a gigging bassist got a whole lot easier.
  9. ZAR14


    May 15, 2016
    I would apologize to my buddy and Respectfully Decline.
    Sighting that the BL's lack of proper communication and "Professionalism" has put you in a difficult position that you can't properly achieve...
  10. mark roberts

    mark roberts Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    My first gig as a bassist, high school/teen club gig, about 20 songs in 1.5 hours. In the performance, 18 went ok...the other 2 were a disaster.
  11. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Actually, the OP should play the two songs in the ceremony, and just enjoy the party afterward.
    spaz21387 and Nickweissmusic like this.
  12. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Blame it on the BL? Really? I can see that many respondents in the this thread have little or no real-world experience. If anyone booked my band for a job, and then dictated that one member would be replaced by someone of their choosing, who has never played with us, we'd likely turn down the job. Wedding gigs are where a band puts out its BEST product in hopes of getting more such gigs. Half-assin' it with an unknown sub wouldn't accomplish that.
    Nickweissmusic likes this.
  13. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    schenectady, ny
    Thanks, everyone.

    This is a favor to an old friend who knows nothing about music. He's the Groom, and its a very elaborate, ritualized wedding. Some details got mucked up, but I still don't want to disappoint.

    As it turns out there WAS another email from the singer / BL that I missed, and that is all on me. They sent me a set list weeks ago, but no charts, as was agreed upon.

    But now that I've realized there was some level of miscommunication, I'm glad I kept cool in my reaction.

    I worked out the charts until midnight last night, checking as I went. Many songs had to be transposed. I barely had a chance to woodshed anything on the bass yet.

    After spending all those hours working out the charts, I went to bed. An email came at 4am with , you guessed it, one large pdf of the song charts. :banghead: Bonus pet peeve: she marks all the minor chords with a "-" sign, like A- for Am. *** just use standard symbols people! (I'll use my charts anyway, they are clearer)

    A few decent woodsheds, and I think I'm good to go. There will be some practice time near the wedding also.
    design, veebass, TheBear and 2 others like this.
  14. acid bass

    acid bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    You're making assumptions that were never stated in the original post. It's not clear that the band has an established bass player that was being forced out for this gig. And even if that was the case, a real group of professionals would either refuse to go in without their bassist or decide to accommodate and the new person. If they chose the latter, it's in everyone's best interest to get that person up to speed so you all sound great. Withholding setlists/charts over a perceived offense is childish and bush-league. You don't need real-world experience to know that.
  15. Sixgunn


    Jun 6, 2012
    Colorado Springs
    I don't wait 30 minutes after eating, to go swimming.
    I don't generally get stressed out but I recently had a similar situation and it was no fun at all! Never again.
  16. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    19 songs by the weekend can be done. Get your keys and signature licks down and fake the rest. If anyone has a problem with it tell them to keep the money, you are doing this for a friend, not some slacker of a so called BL who sucks so bad they have to rely on their clients for subs.
    Chris Doherty likes this.
  17. monkeyland


    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: Curt Mangan Strings, JH Audio
    That IS a standard symbol.
  18. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    ^ THIS.
    Once you get to a point where you can hum the song straight through you've got a significant handle on just about everything minus the exact position of your fretting hand.
  19. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    OP....I’m curious....what are the 19 songs?
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  20. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Best wishes for a great gig. You've definitely gone above and beyond the call of duty here.

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