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Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bearfoot, Jun 12, 2018.
I've come across it as well.
And I detest it.
Guess it depends what circles you run in. I see it all the time and have no problem with it. Like any symbol, you just have to learn its meaning once to know it.
Exactly. A well rounded musician does what is needed. If you want to dictate things like this then you need to be the band leader.
I personally prefer the minuses when things are hand written because "M" and "m" can look the same depending on the writing.
It’ll be fine, just get the stuff best you can. Organize your own list of the tunes from rock solid down to sketchy, give your self a couple discards. Let the bandleader know how it’s going. The missed email really sucks.
If I was the BL, the regular bassist would be coming to the gig, for his regular pay. He can just help out and chill, but stay sober enough to step in. It’s cool of them to accommodate the groom’s request, and if the guest bassist works out, great. But if it’s a struggle, bearfoot can play his solid tunes, and then step back into the wedding party.
Just keep it fun. Go for what you know and leave the cold sweat tunes out.
Everybody would like plenty of time to prep, but these kind of gigs with a short lead time with a bit of pressure and the actual gigs are perfect for building skills. And survival strategies.
Remember to smile and make eye contact.
I once crammed three sets of mostly original material (the few covers were highly stylized so they might as well have been originals) in a day and a half. I took a day off work and got er done. But it wasn't fun.
One constructive suggestion I might make is that demanding charts from an established band tends to alienate them, rather than encourage them to help you. Bands just don't have libraries of charts for the most part. The last band that I played in that did was a big band. Every player was given a folder and the tunes were numbered. The year was 1976 and I was 20. But you certainly can gently probe for additional information. Otherwise, the smart thing to do is get cracking on that large list (or turn the gig down). You had months to work on this and you didn't. Some responsibility must lie with you on this.
That is a GREAT story! It's live music, anything can happen. That's a good thing.
Then it’s doubly on the BL. Should have refused the conditions outright, rather than compound it with half assed preparation to fail as a passive aggressive ploy. There is no reason the bandleader couldn’t say they don’t have charts. I do this for a living, you need to be exceedingly honest to make it in this business, so that both you and the clients are prepared for what they are getting. Every once in a while I will have a client complain about the complexity or stern the language of my contract, (which is kind of silly to begin with since it’s 2 pages of 12 point text in plain English, no legalese). I let them know the more thorough they are in preparation, more pleasant the actual day will be. For instance, my requirement that parking be provided onsite or otherwise compensated for is not to punish the client or a Prima Donna rockstar demand, I’ve got a van load of gear to unload myself and it’s to ensure an on-time start to their event. They are welcome to not pay for onsite parking, in which case, I charge an extra hundred dollars for early arrival and set up, and cover my own parking fees. It’s not punishment, it’s not nitpicking, it’s preparation for a critical phase of providing entertainment for a wedding.
Bad situation all around. Let the pros Be pros and friends be friends. At the very least, communicate about what is expected and possible, leaving it to crash and burn on the wedding day is the worst possible course of action.
You're committed to the two songs, and that's it. Your part in the reception was canceled. When the bandleader came back at you with songs, after he had already nixed you, why didn't you say something then?
Don't play the reception. Don't make a big deal about it…but don't play it. You don't need that. Have a good time instead. Do you really want to spend your friend's wedding working, isolated from the party, instead of eating, drinking, and socializing?
Personally, I think it's a kind of crappy move to ask your friends or family work an event you're throwing. I have been forced into that as a photographer for my cousin's 20 year vow renewal party next month...and let me tell you, it sucks. I want to party with my fun-ass family, not work my ass off for four hours instead... and then probably another four hours of editing at home.
The way I see it, you are largely disinviting a friend or family member from your party when you ask them to work it. You're giving them responsibility that takes them out of the same experience of the party that your run-of-the-mill guest will have. You are assigning/allowing them less fun than everyone else. In the case of somebody playing in the band or working the bar, it's not too far from working for a stranger.
When my wife and I planned our wedding, I was initially adamant about not wanting friends or family to be working the party. I was eventually forced to soften this stance, however I still insisted on two things: 1) Their work would not heavily interfere with their partying at the reception – only during or before the ceremony, or extremely briefly during the reception. 2) They would be offered a solid wage – perhaps discounted, but a still an amount of money they could actually do something with. If they insisted on refusing it, fine; their choice.
In the end, we hired my bandmate to marry us, and make three *extremely short* PA announcements during the reception. I offered him $300, and he turned around and told me $200. Another friend insisted on doing our flowers, and would not be paid for it. We gave her $400, and the morning of the wedding she took the money down to Flower Mart and bought what she could with it. She spent the morning making the arrangements on site, and was done working before my wife or I even got there. No responsibility at all during the ceremony or reception. As for photography, we didn't buy any, since we both think wedding photos pretty much suck anyhow, and they are ungodly expensive. But luckily I have a bunch of photographer friends, and they took it upon themselves to snap pictures throughout the day, so we have a nice collection of candid stuff from the day. That was a nice bonus for us, and all these people got to enjoy the reception like any other guest.
You should be able to do the same, especially given how this situation has developed. Just tell your friend that you were fine with the idea of not playing bass for the reception, that that's what you had planned on, and that you would be honored to perform on guitar during the ceremony.
To answer your question about the shortest amount of time I've been given to prepare for a serious gig, it's about a week for 50-something songs, just for the audition. I just wrote each section out separately in basic sheet music structure on lined notebook paper. I lettered each section. Then I wrote the entire song structure out using those letters. E.g. This is how part A goes, this is how part B goes, and this is how part C goes. The song's structure is: A-A-B-A, A-B-A, C-A-B-A, etc. Structure is always the part that takes the longest to learn, and which is the easiest to noticeably screw up. That's really why I bothered to notate anything at all. Chords are usually able to be picked up on the fly. It's when to repeat, when to go on to a different section, etc. that takes time to get ingrained.
At any rate, I got the gig (they auditioned me on only 24 songs, plus a few technical exercises, a few songs I hadn't learned, and a few improv jams). We played two 2-hour practices with the instrumental component of the band, and we hit the road for 30 days, without my ever having played with the full band. First time I played with the singer was on stage at the Continental in Austin. It was a wild tour (singer was a total diva; she's passed away now, R.I.P.), but we sure sounded good as a band.
This is the kind of thing I do all the time - fill in with bands playing tunes I don’t know in high stress situations... if it’s not something you do all the time, you should bag out. It’s not for the faint of heart.
What's tripping you up dude? The guy was asked to play with the band by his friend (the Groom). The band is well aware of this per their conversation about songs. When he requests Tabs and Key Charts the bands end of communication stops.
Time passes when the "BL" finally communicates with him with a lengthy setlist of unknown songs. Further requests for Tabs and Key Charts go unanswered.
A Band Leader is exactly that, a Leader. He can delegate responsibilities to the other members, but at the end of the day, HE or SHE is Responsible for getting things done properly. If not why assume the role of BL...
Well put... if you don't know it when you start, you will when you finish... preparation, all the way around, is the key for smooth operation at any venue...
... you can improvise, once you get on the stage.
Fail to prepare... prepare to fail
I practiced with a group twice before they asked me to be a member of the band. We went over a total of about 6 songs. Then on Wednesday they sent me a set list of 22 songs for Friday night's gig. The six songs we practiced were on it, but I had to find the originals, make my own lead sheets and play all 22 on Friday night. Some things went really well and some...not so good. It all worked out OK. Besides the songs we work out in rehearsal, I'm still finding songs on the set list from time to time that I haven't done with them before, but that keeps it interesting.
I've met the band during set up, and been given the set list. Reminds you that you're alive!
I used to jam with a worship band. One singer/songwriter who tended to lead the group would give us a list, and the artist who did it, and I would pull it up and learn it exactly. She'd roll in late, with different keys and arrangements than I had learned, sometimes subbing out entire songs (!) and we would all scribble on printed charts, and cram, and then play, and I would almost always mess SOMETHING up.
One time, I apologized to her. I had stayed out all night playing with my band, had no sleep and hadn't even LOOKED at the material.
Of course that day I was flawless.
Does anyone hears and cares about the bass player anyway?
a simple, I was told by the groom you guys decided on a smaller set up! Sorry to short notice !
Would of ended it .
To those who jumped on me ... I dunno ... your band, your rules. I don't have a problem with that. Do you?