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"Open Stage" bassists: Tell us about your gig...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by thrash_jazz, Jul 8, 2002.


  1. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Okay, I know there is at least one other open stage bass mercenary here on TB, hopefully more... so tell us about your home base and your "regular customers"... :p

    Myself, I play at several open stages in the downtown area. I usually try to go to at least one a week (although I really should try to go more often) Most of the music is acoustic folky-rock stuff - easy to pick up quickly and jam on. There is one particular open stage with a REALLY great house band... and I heard their semi-regular bassist has left :) ...

    The audience is, in general, surprisingly open-minded, if a little musically uninformed... the talent on stage generally depends on the venue, but can range from suckdom to pro level.

    Is this pretty much the same for all open stages everywhere? Please tell us about it! :)
     
  2. I've played quite a few OPEN MIC/Jams and even hosted a bunch of them...

    Played with some good players (drummers/guitarists) and even got the pleasure to play with those that weren't. It's a growing thing and a chance to learn; just make sure that you do your homework....Also, it's sure fun to play with a drummer who CAN'T swing...Talk about torture...Also:

    BRING YOUR OWN DAMN INSTRUMENT!!!!!!!!!!

    Another thing I hate is the folks that show up to one of your GIGS (not a jam) and expect to get up and play. Maybe if you were invited, maybe...But don't cut in and expect to play 'cuz your band isn't playing or whatever the lame reason is. GET YOUR OWN GIG!!!!! Let us folks in the TRENCHES get our 15 minutes of fame....No, we don't want you in the background picture either...

    Sorry for my venting....
    Darn fighter pilots are giving me crap here in Transient Alert and everybody wants to land here @ Osan....Have a great day...
     
  3. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well, my singer wanted me to go do that with him, the whole open mic/jam thing. Unfortunately, it never went through...shame, because it woulda given me an excuse to pick up a 2x10! :D

    That, and my jam skills aren't that great, so I'm not sad. That woulda been kinda neat though. Some acoustic jamming to counteract the metal I do.
     
  4. msb

    msb

    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    I play in a house band that hosts an open mic every Sunday night.Most of the regulars that sit in are pros with the night off-Some are amateurs that play very well (just as good as the pros ) and we get the odd one that is just awful.It is generally understood that in any open jam situation you are going to hit some and you are going to miss some.Egos are generally left off the stage and we do our best to support whomever comes up to play.You have to have quick ears - some people will quickly map out odd changes -some don't.Some are notorious for going way out on the limb and you stay on those like a hawk.I like to play fretless but I generally bring a fretted bass for those who get nervous about that.Some bring their own instruments- I don't mind lending mine to those that don't.Most of the bass players that sit in are pros-I can have 4 or 5 sit in on a regular night.Every once in a while I'm the only one up there.Been doing the Sunday night thing for years now ...still enjoy the gig and the chance to hear other players in an ever changing environment.
     
  5. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Use to go to a local open mic all the time, near where I live. We did have some good talent. Two guys hosted it. One was a Wierd Al type guy who would write parody songs of major hits. He was great at that. Isn't a bad guitarist either. The other played acoustic and would get me to go up and play bluegrass with him all the time. Then we had two Piano prodigies, and other people that just came and went. A lot of great talent, but a lot of.............well, less than great talent. It is a good venue though to play music that wouldn't fly in another setting. I haven't played there in a while. I think I got stuckup when I started playing bars and found out I could get paid. ;) :D

    I wouldn't mind finding a more liberal open mic though, where people just jump up on stage and jam out when they feel like it.
     
  6. our band host's an open mic blues night at a local bar called cheers, we had the opurtunity to have a fellow talkbasser sit in with us ,he played my bass and used my amp, i like to host these type of venues brcause it gives me an opurtunity to see other bass players up close, and i always try and learn something from them, i don't mind letting other people use my equipment as long as they dont start bening the neck on my bass, there was this one guy guy who played my bass one time i swear i thought he was gonna bend the truss rod
    LOL
    frank
     
  7. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    It's a great way to network.
     
  8. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    IMHO, it's the best way to network short of going to music school (and you can also learn a heck of a lot at an open stage from just listening).

    Probably a lot cheaper than music school, too, although this is dependent on how much beer you drink. :D
     
  9. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I got two gigs going to one just 2 days ago.
     
  10. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Right on! Could you tell us more about it? :cool:

    I've gotten a bit of a break in that I now get a chance to sub in with a house band at an open stage that is just 2 blocks from my home. The musicians are some of the best in the city (or so people tell me) and there are a lot of varied acts. I'm pretty happy about it - happy enough to not care about coming in to work on Friday with bags under my eyes every week! :)
     
  11. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Yeah. Seeing as how I'm new to the area, and my ads posted on the internet and at local music stores haven't yielded any results yet, I decided to check out some local open mics. Last week I went to one that was a bust. This week, I went to one sponsored by the Sonoma County Blues Organization. This one had much more time and money invested into it. Got up, played a set. They asked me to stay on stage for the next two sets. I played. Then, a local guy wanted to get up and tear out some jazz tunes with a buddy of his, (who could play!), and they asked me to sit in. We tore it up. Played some great jazz tunes. Did "The Chicken", "Well You Needn't", "Mr. PC", and just a 12-bar jazz blues with a I-vi-ii-V7 turnaround. Tore it up. Great playing. So much fun. So, when all was said and done the drummer got my info so I could play some stuff with his full-time band, and the lead guitarist gave me his CD and info and asked me to be the backup bassist for his band, (as the regular bassist lives far away and can't always make shows).

    2 1/2 hours of playing. 2 gigs. Great fun.
     
  12. I had stopped playing for a long time (10+ years) and when I wanted to get back into playing, I went to open jams. The house bands were, generally speaking, very supportive. After a while, I joined a band and we wound up being the house band at a jam, so I got to "pay it forward." We had lots of regulars at all levels of ability and experience. I always liked seeing the newer players get better and better with a little encouragement, experience and off the cuff "lessons" from me or some of the other more experienced players. I think open jams are a great way to get involved in the local music network. So what if you're not the second coming of Jaco, get out and play! You'll have fun, you'll learn something and you just might make the musical connection you've been looking for.
     
  13. JoelEoM

    JoelEoM

    Mar 11, 2002
    Lancaster, PA
    i did have a gig every wednesday night at a local bar(anyone in PA ever been to Bube's?) but i stopped recently because number one, im moving soon and need the time to get ready, number 2, its bar, and bars dont close til 2. and people like when you play that long. it was basically a house band, guitar/vocals, guitar, drums, and bass. whoever showed up with instruments was more than welcome to play along(a lot of the music was funky, bluesy stuff) and we got a lot of people with hand percussion. speaking truthfully, the talent on stage was such that people who werent at that level just wouldnt sit in. that simplified things quite a bit, since we didnt have to deal with "instrument owners" every week. this gig was also a BYOI thing, so i never had to worry about my bass being played by some guy drunk off his arse(look above VIHBASS's post, i was there for that gig. i felt so bad for his bass) i dont ever recall anyone else showing up with a bass either. thrash-jazz said about audiences being open-minded....ours was very open minded, as anything could happen. we would usually start with something very basic, a spur of the moment chord progression on guitar, a drum beat, or a simple bass line to get things moving. those kind of jams have lasted well over an hour, without stopping, and the end of the jam is always completely different than what we started with. the host also had more than a few songs that we all knew, which broke things up sometimes.

    I also go to an open mic in annville every monday, though its more of an acoustic format, so i usually play percussion with the host(who also hosts at bube's) and then i play some of my acoustic guitar stuff later in the evening. theres also another one in town thats very hit or miss, according to people who go there regularly. ive been there once, and i got good reactions from the crowd, so i suppose i cant complain:) ok, its long, im stopping.
     
  14. JoelEoM

    JoelEoM

    Mar 11, 2002
    Lancaster, PA
    speaking of open mics/jams, anyone know some good ones in the san diego area? im moving out there soon, and since they are good places for networking, thats where ill be. thanks.
     
  15. hey thrashjazz, you ever play at Cafe Dekcuf? Every now and then there is some pretty cool stuff there, I've been hanging out there for the last month or two and I'm planning on playing there for the first time tomorrow night.
     
  16. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Actually yeah man, I've played there several times with Steve Muss and some other guys as well (I'm the guy with the red-brown Godin bass). I might be there tomorrow also (I have a gig with Steve on Saturday so I could use the practice) so come say hi if you're there. :)

    More regularly, I go to the Crimson Clover (Tuesdays) and the Cajun Attic (Thursdays) open mics.

    Cool, this Ottawa TB scene is really picking up!