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Poll: How many shows have you played?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, May 17, 2019.

  1. 1 - 50

    120 vote(s)
  2. 50 - 250

    183 vote(s)
  3. 250 - 500

    109 vote(s)
  4. 500 - 750

    56 vote(s)
  5. 750 - 1000

    37 vote(s)
  6. 1000 - 1500

    45 vote(s)
  7. 1500 - 2000

    26 vote(s)
  8. Over 2000

    116 vote(s)
  9. Still working on getting my first, or have no desire to play live.

    27 vote(s)
  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    And/or where was your first gig?

    Responses to my last thread on what covers have you played most got me thinking. Some people put down some incredibly obscure songs, and then it occurred to me - maybe they're much younger and have only played a small handful of gigs in their life?

    Anyhow, I did a little rough math. My first gig was in a battle of the bands in 1976. Guitar was my instrument. First "real" club gig was CBGB in 1978. And I kinda quit music from 84 to the early 90s. That's when I picked up bass and fell head over heels in love.

    All that being said, my best guess is I've played throughout my life just a little short of 2000 shows.

    What's your best guess as to how many shows you've done?
    Pbassmanca, Turbo Sparky and Jamvan like this.
  2. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    36D09D6E-5518-4FB2-98F3-81392904FA5E. My first gig was , ironically, at a school for the deaf in 1983
    My first paying gig was as my high school’s Sadie Hawkins dance.
    I’ve probably played over 3000 shows since
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  3. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    My first "paying gig" was in May of 1970 and I played percussion instruments (tambourine, maracas, etc.) in my friend's band for a graduation party because the drummer could not make it. We made $2.50 each.

    I did some grade school orchestra gigs prior to that.

    I have played well over 2,000 gigs since then. I don't have an exact number but probably between 2,500 and 3,000 gigs.
    Pbassmanca, Jason Hollar and ONYX like this.
  4. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    1988. First "gig" was my junior high talent show. We played "Somebody Save Me," by Cinderella and "Burning Like a Flame," by Dokken. No vocals.

    1992. First "all night" gig was my high school homecoming (the carnival, not the dance). We played mostly originals, but also some Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and RHCP.
    ThinCrappyTone and And I like this.
  5. DoctorZee

    DoctorZee Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2018
    New York / New Jersey
    Im told that, at my uncle’s wedding when I was two years old, the bandleader let me come up on stage and bang the drums for a while. Does that count as a gig? My meal and transportation were provided for me.
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    My first paid gig was in 1980 at a bar near the University of Connecticut where I was studying at the time. It was a bluegrass quartet, we got $30 for the whole band ($7.50 each) and all the beer we could drink (which in those days was quite a lot of beer).

    I chose 2000+ but that's just a wild guess, 39 years of gigs adds up.
  7. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    More than 500, less than a thousand. However, I don't count my high school "Battle of the Bands" in that total...because my band lost. ;)

    First paid gig was at a house party during college.
    Turbo Sparky likes this.
  8. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    My first gig was in 1982, at my secondary school (High School, for you Americans) graduation.
    I then played a lot for the next 10 years, then stopped for 20 years.
    Not played many since I got back to it, but I'd guess the lifetime total is about 1111.
    So far.:D
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    BassCliff likes this.
  9. 4yo 1978 - first Musical singing/acting.
    11yo - Brass Bands, Concert Band.
    14yo - Guitar first gigs
    15yo - Bass, first paid gig at a Pub. Still doing it 30yrs later.

    Well over 2000 gigs if you count Choirs, Musicals, Brass Bands, Marching Band, Big Bands, Jazz Combos, Rock Bands, Pit Orchestras, Weddings, Church services, Worship meetings, Private Functions, Busking, Christmas Carols, Accompanist for exams/concerts, etc.
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    AFAIK you never mentioned covers in that other thread Joe. [​IMG]

    My first gig was a house party in the mid-70s. I reckon I've played over 1000 gigs/shows since then, and mixed several hundred more.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Been playing since the mid 70's. First real paid gig was in 1976. Estimate over 2000.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  12. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I'm including police and military pipe bands in my gig count (500-750). Aside from some house parties and school talent shows up to that point, my first real paid "rock band" gig was 1985 - Canada Day/July 1 - me and my four piece band of high school friends played a set of loud rock music through a crappy PA set up in the middle of a baseball diamond during a community party. Set would have included Stones, Springsteen, Mellencamp and Petty. Short set with the band and we also provided DJ services. I was playing guitar at that time. I took a long time off playing music during the '90s. Back at it since 1999.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  13. I conservatively estimate that I have performed publicly (virtually all paid engagements) on either bass, guitar, keys, vocals, or some combination of those at least once a week for the past 40 years. I'm a late bloomer and didn't join a proper band until my mid 20's, and it was one of the more popular working bands in town (prior to that I did a whole lot of living room couch prep). That's well over 2,000 paid shows to date. And I was only legitimately full time for about a decade, the rest was weekend warrior stuff. Now I kinda wish I hadn't done the math. I'm in my 60's and want to retire from music almost entirely and sell off my massive collection of gear, but my wife insists I join a grandad band and keep plunking away. I'd rather be one of the guys in the audience enjoying the music and sipping a mojito. I had my time in the spotlight and the memories are more than enough.
    mikewalker, Jason Hollar and Stumbo like this.
  14. stigbeve


    Sep 24, 2014
    First gig drumming in a cover band was at a coffee shop.

    First gig on bass was at a bar called "The Fire Escape". It's now called "the Couch". I messed up
    on our very first song and haven't made a big mistake ever again when playing live.
  15. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    Just based on how many years I spent doing 3-5 shows a week versus the time I spent not playing, I'll guess it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500+ but I can't say for sure. Some years were heavy and some more lean; these days it's all lean. First show ever was probably in some little club outside of Annapolis, MD, but it's really hard for me to remember that far back. That would have been where I met the people in the first real band I was in.
  16. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    First gig was on drums at birthday party when I was about 12.
    First gig on bass was at a middle school party. We were paid $10...for the group...made $2.50
    Played heavy for a several years while I was in school and after... and then took off for a bunch... prolly around 700-800.
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  17. Plus a sweet lady took you home and put you to bed. Not bad for a rookie.

    From HS to present, I'm probably still in the sub-250 club, or just barely across the line. A few unfortunate fallow decades in there don't help the score... :bawl:

    Not counting HS jazz band, my first gig on bass was in 1981 at a punk/new wave bar in New London CT called "Baba O'Reilly's." I think we got paid in drinks and I was underage. (Foreshadowing for the unfortunate fallow decades...)
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    TexasHeat likes this.
  18. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    my grandfather would take me to the elks lodge with his drinking buddies when I was 3 and they would feed me quarters so I would sing all their faves on the jukebox standing on some table while doing some silly dance

    nothing has changed
  19. jharms80439

    jharms80439 Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    Evergreen, CO
    It's been a while but... ~30 weeks/year for 10+ years at my Church - and that was 5+ years ago.

    Sort of a funny start though. Three Van Halen covers at the NCO Club, Wiesbaden Air Base (Germany) in 1985. An auditioning cover band needed a bass player and I knew the songs. I'd only been playing for a year or two at that point.

    Fast forward and I had played for ~20 years on my own (until ~40'ish) - with only one real "show" in all that time.

    Then one of the music directors at my Church started asking around for bass players and one Sunday she got up in front of the congregation and made the ask for a bass player public. My wife silently stood up and pointed to me (sitting next to her). I turned red and the MD said out loud - "Looks like we have a volunteer"! Played at Church regularly and learned tons about playing with others... My wife and I ultimately changed churches after a Pastor change but I greatly enjoyed my time there.

    After that I started subbing for other bass players - learning more along the way - even took upright lessons along the way with Richard Neizen from the Aurora (CO) Symphony. He REALLY started me out right on the double bass and while I wouldn't claim classically trained, I still can play quite a bit of what he taught me. Then came more than a bit of Jazz - on BG and upright. All of which came to a screeching halt a few years ago when I went self employed and playing was relegated back to the basement.

    FWIW, just found an acoustic group locally and I just got the song list(s). Youtube is now my friend as I learn their versions of songs - so hopefully I'll be back playing in a group soon...

    Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)

    Play on,

    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    Stumbo and Groove Doctor like this.
  20. totallywink

    totallywink Gold Supporting Member

    First gig: high school drummers garage doing Maiden, AC/DC, and Priest covers.
    First paying gig: College bar up the road from the campus. Ended up playing there (I think) twice a month for four years. After college, continued playing covers and orginals for years in a variety of bands, sometimes 3x/week... and now I gig locally and my wife and daughter come to the gigs. My have the times changed. Amount of gigs? Don't really know but they've all been fun and hopefully I learned something along the way.

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