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Playing new material on Friday w/ only a CD to learn by

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tonedeaf, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. I have a great opportunity. A friend of moved about 3 hours away a year ago and just moved back. While he was gone, he started a band. I saw him a couple of weeks ago, and offered to fill in on bass for him if he ever needed someone to do something locally. He called me a week later. He has a gig in Daytona Beach this Friday, and his bass player can't make it. I jumped at the chance.

    Here's the hard part. I have heard some of this guy's past material, but none of his newer stuff. He's a great songwriter/guitarist/singer, so I was flattered to get the invitation and jumped at the chance.

    The gig is on Friday (10/17) and I just got the CD last night (10/12). It has 13 songs on it, and I'm only familiar with 1 of them. I don't get to sit in with the band until the night of the show. All I have to go by is the CD. In about an hour I figured out the chord progressions to the first 4 or 5 songs, and I hope to be able to spend at least an hour with the CD every night (Sunday thru Thursday).

    Have any of you ever done something like this before, and if so do you have any tips for how to make the most of my practice time?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. KeithPas

    KeithPas Supporting Member

    May 16, 2000
    I learn tunes like that all the time. I have done gigs with even less preparation that you will for this gig. Write out charts for each song you figure out. Include the title for each song and get a set list if you can so you can arrange your charts in some sort of orderly fashion so as not to be fumbling around onstage in between tunes. Best of luck to you. It may be a bit hard on the nerves but when you pull off a gig like this it is alot of fun.
    BTW, if you pull off this gig you officially have to change your screen name. :D
  3. Well looking at your user name, I'd say you could be doomed:p But don't worry I have giged learning stuff over the phone that day.

    So it can't be too bad;)
  4. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
  5. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    You're lucky to get a CD of the material. Many of the sub gigs I play, I only get a list of songs(something I require). I then have to find copies of the songs in order to learn the list. I have a pretty good collection of CDs and cassettes (even some records and 8-tracks) that I have collected over the years.

    Usually there are no practices for Sub gigs and I am lucky if I find out a week before the Sub gig. Many Sub gigs end up being repeat sub gigs - so I always takes notes after I finish a gig.
    If I have subbed for a group before, I will usually take the gig even if all I get is a days notice.

    If the gig requires original music, I will only sub if they have charts or I can get a copy of the songs - even if it is a rough practice tape or a tape from a live show. I only require a set list for cover gigs unless its something I have never heard of before. I have found that if you are too picky about Sub gigs then you may not get any - word travels fast between bands.
  6. LoJoe,

    Thanks for the link. That post was very informative. The suggestions in it are very close to the approach I was using, but he had some refinements that I think will help a lot.

    I printed it out for reference.

    Thanks to everybody who's posted so far. Useful "meat & potatoes" advice and everyone's willingness to share ideas is what makes this a great site.

    Still soliciting helpful suggestions.

    P.S. - The screen name is (obviously, I hope) tongue-in-cheek. I don't think my playing lives up to it. Certainly hope not! :bassist:

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