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People are so weird...asked to fill in..than gig is cancelled after asking for a setlist.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by glocke1, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002
    yeah I know...trust me i see enough day in and day our drama going on the local scene around me to know it's better to just let this float off into the wind, but it's really just something i find ridiculous.

    Though I'm sure those guys are like "what? he asked for a setlist? what part of "jamband" doesn't he get ?"
    JRA likes this.
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    sure. but seriously: "so what." or "big whup." it's one group with their own culture, and you may not even be accurate with your 'assessment'.

    if you're that concerned: i'd follow up (in spite of the cancellation) with a conversation about how the next time might go...so that when they call on you = they know what to expect! you might not get every call, but the calls you get will be preferred! ;)
  3. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    While i can pull off a lot of songs off the top of my head, a setlist is always nice but i make a point to never play it in any particular order when cramming. It can get real awkward when a tune is called out of order and someone starts playing the next song on the list.
  4. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey

    You could take this any of a number of ways. First? These guys just roll differently than you do. And they didn't want to be hurtful about it. You might be a cool guy. But in terms of being flexible and able to step into a less structured gig? You may not be the right fit. Now I can appreciate you WANTING honesty from your buddy. But would you really be open to a REAL answer?

    Seriously, how would you have taken it if they were upfront and said that they don't typically write a set list? And how would you take it if they said that they got the sense that you might be a little rigid for the way they do things? Truth be told, there are a lot of gigs where you might be called on to do things in a loose way. I've played a number of those gigs myself. Things are not always perfect, but they can get really interesting, creative and organic. It calls on you to exercise some more advanced musicianship in terms of improvisation, listening and being able to hang. And some of the most exhilarating experiences that I've had on stage have usually been playing gigs with more of a jam like feel where something unexpectedly cool happens.

    While I don't know these particular guys and how they do things, I do know other musicians who do. The ones who call out the tunes on stage and do it well will continue to work and get gigs. The ones who keep it loose and it turns into a hot mess? Those guys aren't working much. But with the ones who are? A good deal of them have pretty significant repertoires and can pull from a long song list. If you know a lot of those tunes, too? It can mean getting gigs. But I've also been at some jam sessions where they wanted to play a particular tune. When I didn't know that one? I wound up having to sit down, and that's not a good feeling. So I went back and learned tunes like "Cissy Strut" or "Shaky ground" or "I wish" because I DID want to be able to hang with these guys and show what I could do.

    But where you proceed from here is your choice, and you can do a couple of things. Your inclination to move on and stick to the way you do things is your prerogative. But if you want to grow as a musician and expand your opportunities for gigs? This could be the signal that it's time to expand your repertoire. Or to work on your ear training. Or to play with more musicians who are better than you and challenge you.
    ArtechnikA likes this.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Seems pretty logical, dunnit? But you would be surprised at how "offended" some bands will get at this request.

    "Oh we just play the standard stuff." You get there and the first song they call is a deep album cut from The Cars. "We changed the bridge some so watch us for the changes."

    Um...... what?????

    Never again.

    These days I will not take a gig via text. Period. We are going to talk on the phone. I will ask about the event details. If they are acceptable to me, I follow with "Sounds great. I'm happy to fill in under the following condition...."

    If those conditions can not be met, I politely decline.... and even offer to put the artist in touch with another bass player who might be agreeable to their terms.

    But, as you stated, a set list WITH KEYS is the minimum I can work with. Sure, you might call from a list of 2,000 songs at a regular gig. But, if you're calling a perfect stranger to play bass, this ain't no regular gig. ;) We're going to work from a set list for that night.
  6. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002

    too much to reply to now, but real quick..

    I totally get the concept of keeping things "organic and loose". When my main band gigs we typically play 15-20 songs with lots of improv in there, but send out lists that contain roughly 5 or so songs as "extras".

    Keep in mind these guys sent me a list of 100 tunes..2/3 of them I probably could have pulled off with little to no trouble, the remaining 1/3 I could have faked my way through but it would have required some verbal communication/queues onstage to do so and frankly shouting out changes on stage isn't how i want to play.

    They had a 2 hour gig. Thats roughly 20 tunes or less in this genre. I asked them to narrow their list of 100 tunes down to 30-40. Not an unreasonable request and leaves room for options (by the way, their "list" was a picture of a handwritten list sent via text, sideways none the less).

    My ear is actually pretty good...not perfect pitch good, but pretty good still. That doesn't mean I want to be on stage figuring things out on the fly..theres a time and a place for that and I don't think this was the time or the place.

    In any case, lists for me are essential. They are a guarantee that everyone is walking on stage knowing to some extent whats going to happen, what key things will be in, and they allow me to deliver a more solid performance which is to the benefit of everyone. Like I said also, I didn't ask for a specific list, I asked for 100 tunes to be whittled down to 40 possibles, which like I said leaves room to switch things up.

    As far as the "being upfront" question goes...Honesty, even brutal honesty is more preferable to me than a lie and deceit. Pretty much all these guys have shown a large lack of integrity in this situation which really doesn't sit well with me. Clarity and openness are important to me in my relationships with people, without that your left with situations that leave a bad taste in your mouth. All they had to say was "we aren't down with lists".

    Also, having played with these guys once before a year ago, I'd bet $100.00 that they don't all know 100 of the songs they claim to know off the top of their head.
  7. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Different bands do things differently... in the big picture this is a very good thing. Imagine how things would be if everyone was in lockstep with one another, always doing the same shtuff the same way. How boring would that be?

    Me? I like a little chaos to ensue in my cultural and musical endeavors. This adds spice and often takes you into directions you never even thought of going. I understand and accept... even appreciate that others are more coordinated in their efforts. Thank you all!

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