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Question Regarding My 1st Gig

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by slipperyPete, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. Hi everybody, I have my first payed gig coming up (tomorrow) and I have a quick question I'd like answered. I was asked to do the gig 2 weeks ago, and in that time the band wasn't around to practice much (3 times.) So I was wondering if it would look completely unprofessional to have a music stand on stage with the songs and basic chord changes? Sadly, I just don't have all the songs memerized yet. I'd keep it off to the side (since we bass players are often relegated there anyways) so I doubt most people would even be able to tell. Anyways, any advice on this or just general 1st gig advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. need4mospd


    Dec 22, 2005
    I'd ask the band to see what they think. They will have the final word in what is ok anyways. Personally, I don't see too much wrong with it as long as you aren't expected to be jumping around. It's certainly better to look slightly unprepared than to sound unprepared.
  3. Thanks for the reply, and I definetly agree that it's all about sounding the best and looking awkward rather than fudging up the rest of the band.
  4. I used to use a music stand right on stage next to my mic stand.
    The band I'm in has several compicated medley's and it was tough
    to get them committed to memory at first.

    There's nothing wrong with having it on stage. If you can put it
    off to the side, that's even better. I don't think it even matters
    what type of music you're doing, a music stand has it's place in
    music performance. If anything, I would think people would see
    you as wanting to be professional and do a good job.

    I've since moved on to a mic stand mounted smaller version.
    Similar to this one, however, mine attatches to the stand, not
    the boom:

    Anyway, I say go for it. It's just another tool for you to use
    to do your job, nothing to be ashamed or worried about.
  5. I had my first gig last night and the band before us had stands on stage that they worked with. It did'nt look bad at all. I don't think the general public sees it the way we might. Every body pays attention to the guy or gal singing anyway so it doesn't register in their heads what they see. You know what I'm talking about.
  6. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    Don't stress over it. A lot of guys use a music stand so they can have a place to put a set list. Frankly, the audience doesn't know what you have on there, and they don't care.

    I've done a lot of gigs with printed music, especially lyrics. Music is pretty easy for me to remember, but the lyrics with newer songs can be somewhat tricky the first few times I perform them. Heck, for NYE I played a song that we'd been playing for three months and completely forgot the first verse! I opened my mouth to sing and nothing came out...

    What you don't want to do is bury your head in that music. Don't use it as anything more than a safety net. If possible, put it somewhere slightly inconvenient, so that you're not tempted to look at charts all the way through the gig (if you think you can do it for the most part). Then, if you come to a tricky section, you can sneak over and take a peek. I like to have a peice on paper down on the floor by the monitor, with chord changes written with magic marker. The audience can't see it, and it's easy enough to glance down and see what to do. When my bassist was just starting out, I'd put the keys or any tricky chord sequences right there on her set list, and she'd have a quick reference in case she got lost. Heck, my drummer still makes rhythm and tempo notes on his setlist, and he's been playing with us for nearly a year.

    Just remember - the audience will be concerned about aesthetics and energy probably MORE than they will be concerned about music. I watched a musically incredible band this weekend, but for the most part, they all stood in their respective areas and just played. Following them was a band that wasn't quite so solid musically, but moved around a lot more, engaged the audience, and really had a lot of energy flowing. FWIW, the last band of the night moved around TOO much for my taste - the lead singer looked like he was pacing in a circle the whole night, and the bassist appeared to be doing the same thing.

    Bottom line - have fun, and the audience will likely do the same.
  7. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I recently joined a band, and prior to my first gig with them (where I had to learn 60 songs in a week and a half), I had notes for every song on my set list.

    I just tape my setlist notes to my monitor. No one in the audience sees it and it's right there in front of me when I need it. Thankfully I don't need it any more (except for a few of the more complex tunes...or some of the brand new ones we add regularly).

    I've been doing that for the past 25+ years...and you can't see the notes from the audience's view.