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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by glocke1, Jun 3, 2019.
I don't think I'm saying anything new in that it sounds like these guys just play things a little loose. That might just be their thing. Some people want a more structured gig. Both approaches have some appeal. A less structured set can develop organically over the course of the night if the person calling the tunes can read the room well. A more structured set can come across more like a proper show.
So how did the bandleader read your responses? It could have come across to him like you need some hand holding or you're high maintenance. And from your perspective? You might think that this band could be a sloppy hot mess (the photo of the hand written song list stuck out to me). The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. But since the bandleader is the one doing the hiring he has the position to say yes or no to you filling in on this gig.
So how can you approach this type of situation to make things easier for everyone? First, the number of songs. Even for a night-long cover gig you probably aren't going to play 100 songs. If you played 40 that would be a lot. If you really needed this gig? Your language can convey your attitude to someone who wants to hire you. So you get that sloppy hand written list? Let the band leader know "Hey, I'm cool with these 60 or 65 songs (provide your list). Which of the rest of the tunes do you guys usually play so that I can focus on learning those?" Some of this is simply being polite and not getting someone pushed into a corner. But it's also about being positive and flexible.
I’m 62 and I will play many styles and prefer it that way. How else can you grow?
You may be right for most but that’s not how the crow flies in my book. There’s nothing worse than being out of touch with the times.
I am with you brother, and I by no means meant that this applies to every musician over 55. However, it does apply to a lot of them. Way more than it should. The thing that shocks me the most is that I am not that much younger than most of them.
Any chance we could put together a list of these 100 must-know songs? Just, you know, to be prepared.
I'll start the list:
1. Mustang Sally
OK, help me out here guys...
That is a great idea. You are off to a good start, and I am sure if the OP would post the song list he was asked to learn it would be pretty close to what you are asking for.
I think it was likely cancelled by order of the Galactic Senate. Or because the van broke down.
Seriously, I think most musicians who don't play bass, view bass as the sort of instrument that should be able to just fake it through most songs. I mean, how hard could it be? It's only got 4 strings (usually) and those four are the same as the first 4 on the guitar... the bassist can just watch the guitarist for changes... I mean, it's a bar gig, not Jazz Odyssey...
Haha. If only.
embarrassing yourself onstage and falling on your face is NOT fun....... If you can play anything off the cuff with requests, go for it..imho i'd rather be well rehearsed and know exactly what were doing without surprises..the better you know, the better the show.
Our last gig was cancelled because the drummer fell on the stairs and dislocated his shoulder 24 hours before downbeat. You never know.
I prefer structure, and I like set lists. I think it's the professional thing to do. But were talking about musicians — artists and performers — and I’ve learned that for sub gigs, one needs to expect the unexpected. Even when I get a set list, come show time, there can be deviations.
For me, it comes down to this: Do I want to play in a band or two and have structured sets always, or do I want to gig around as much as possible? Like marriage or single, there are plusses and minuses to both. And if I'm going to gig around, it's a good idea to know the same ol' 100 or so songs everyone plays whether I like playing them or not, because, well, everyone plays them. For playing something outside that norm, fill-in gigs just might not be the thing.
I think the concern here is that 101st song. Even the classic rock bands around here pull out the odd current hit. So if you're going to jump from the Doors to some Ariana Grande thing, I need to know well in advance because I cannot even name an Ariana Grande song. The last thing I want called as a sub is a song that I have never heard.
I always insist on a song list with keys immediately upon agreeing to the gig. I don't want every song the band knows - just the ones that they will be doing that night, and perhaps a couple of extras. I'm coming to do one gig, not join the band. I'm not going to learn their entire repertoire and do not want to waste my time learning songs we're not going to play. I tell the BL which songs I know, which I can learn quickly, and which I have never heard that might take more than two listens to get down. Nearly all bandleaders send me an actual set list shortly before the gig, based on what I told them. I don't care if we deviate from the set list, as long as they call out something I know or can easily fake. I've had to shake off a song from time to time.
This demographic definitely exists, it's not "everyone 55 and over", but these guys form a loose coalition and play random gigs and open mics pulling songs from they hymnal of classics. They probably wear shorts with sandals as well. Heh.
Why do you assume the gig was canceled because you asked for a set list?
That is a pretty freakin large leap.
Tell me about it. You should hear the excuses when I suggest Uptown Funk (and I'm 67). But they can all play Take It Easy of course
It sounds like a part of the equation here is your dislike of being in a situation where you're forced to do something that might not be optimal. That's fine, but for a call like this, when I get that picture of 100 tunes, I text back that I know about xx of them, maybe even list the ones I know, and say 'I'm happy to learn a few others that you really want to have in the pocket, see you at the gig!' If a text comes back saying 'We need you to learn these other 40', then two things
1. I'm dealing with people who don't understand the way things work when you've asked a good player to sub
2. I'll sketch out as many as I can and just show up. No more back and forth. When I arrive I'll say 'From the list of tunes I didn't know, these are the ones I'm ready for'. If they don't like something about my approach, no problem.
Nothing wrong with asking the band to narrow down the master playlist to a more specific gig playlist when you are subbing. I always do it for my subs without even being asked.
As mentioned, you could have gone in and faked it through called songs you don't know well. But that doesn't sit so well with everybody, and understandably so. The reluctance of the band to show a little courtesy is the more glaring flaw in this scenario.
Next time these clowns call, you're busy. But you already knew that.
This, exactly. I don't like it when I get to practice and they tell me "We do the live in Vegas version from 1995". Most times totally different.
I would pick out the songs I know and send him a list. That's the setlist.
I once made the mistake of taking two gigs before seeing the setlist. BL sent 100 songs and I roughed them out only to play 40 of them at both gigs. Biggest waste ... And he kept changing the list up to the day of the gigs. Never again.
Confirmed...what a bunch of weirdos.
the gig was not cancelled.
Talked to a drummer friend of mine, he played this gig, and one of the three guitar players played bass, and what I suspected was true. they dont like setlists, they just call out at random they 80-100 songs on their master list.
I'm more miffed that my KB player "friend" lied to me about the gig just being cancelled than I am about not playing it, because to be honest three guitar players in a band is just crazy and secondly Im just really not down with getting up and winging it these days as. I like to be prepared.
As much as I want to reach out to the KB guy who lied to me and call him out with a " hey, what the heck", Im thinking I should just let it slide and ignore these guys if they come back up on my radar. thoughts?
not getting all-up-in-your-head about these things takes practice, but the results are rewarding!