Scariest thing for an insecure bassist

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by WashburnAB95, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    In the last decade, the one insecure time was being called on Thursday evening to do Sunday services at a church I'd never played at before. The place didn't make me insecure, the schedule did - normally, I have 1 to 3 weeks to polish material for a weekend, but they were desperate, and I gave in to their begging. My insecurity was about being the least prepared person on stage - in my normal gigs, anyone who started working on stuff only a couple days before would stick out like a sore thumb. So, I woodshedded like heck for a couple of days, and got the material down pretty well.

    Got there Sunday morning, set up, and the band launches into the first tune. Crap! - it's in a different key, For a few seconds, while the band plays, I'm figuring out what key we're in, contemplating transposing the thing, then the leader stops us. The guitarist was in the wrong key. Long story short, a few minutes and a few little issues later, I realize.....

    I'm the MOST prepared person on stage.

    The band wasn't the best I'd ever played with, but we did fine.
    Thorny1, GKon, juggahnaught and 2 others like this.
  2. SunByrne

    SunByrne trained monkey Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2019
    Pearland, TX
    I've been playing about seven months and this is the song I'm working on learning now. It's... kind of a bitch, actually. Really only three riffs to the whole song but that intro riff is a challenge to execute. It's encouraging to hear even veterans worry about this one.
  3. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    Two things.

    First thing - when someone's off-beat. There's always that thought - do I continue what I'm doing, or do I switch to their rhythm? (This happened tonight at practice - for some reason, the band missed a transition and I didn't - there must have been a signal I missed, because we kind of hung in the same phrase for a bit, something we never do, and due to that I had no idea where the one was. When we transitioned, it definitely had moved. I think our singer might have had a mic issue and signalled the drummer? Not sure.) This isn't so bad with one other player, but with multiple players it's rough. It can happen with drummers also, and it's a choice you have to make when you don't know the drummer well enough to know whether it's intentional or whether it's just a mistake.

    Second thing - before a gig, when I have to go on stage after a really solid rhythm section or a really awesome bass player. I've gotten insecure about the band as a whole when I don't think we're musically tight and we follow a band that sounds pretty professional, and that is a bad feeling.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  4. Meh..I mean this doesn't bother me..if anything it motivates me to prove I'm better..if anything..but really I don't pay a whole lot of attention of other bands that play before or after my band for two reasons..1) they may be having an off day, or a really on day so how do you really gauge it..and 2) music is not a competition..we are all trying to achieve the same goal...make people happy. Most of the people in bands where I live are friends of mine and many of them I have played with in other bands band is good..I know that so I don't worry about that stuff..I only worry about playing my best and hoping I can make people happy and forget about this poopy world for maybe a song, a set or a whole night...I'm good if I can do that..
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  5. dlb1001


    Jan 30, 2007
    Used to be "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse. Not a tough bass line but the drummer doesn't follow the same groove, as the record so it would throw me off then everyone else off. It didn't help that the guitar player would play fills that weren't quite in rhythm, which made my job even tougher.
    But, now, I just work my part with what the drummer can do and just make it work.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  6. bass4more

    bass4more Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    Oakland, CA
    Requesting payment from a shady bar owner with three giant bouncers.
    RSBBass, daveman50, Mr_Moo and 2 others like this.
  7. danesdad


    Feb 24, 2018
    Western PA
    Love that song. Love that bass line!
  8. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    When it comes to that bass break in “All right now”, and I realize I’m playing my Thunderbird. It’s quite a reach to those last frets. :laugh:
    Mr_Moo and chuckNC like this.
  9. Vanceman


    Feb 14, 2007
    So. Cal.
    The bass player in my favorite local band has the same struggle. It's fun to watch, what's gonna happen this time?
  10. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    When this used to happen to me i’d usually just play the regular line only dig in a little harder. I do not like solos, i’m perfectly content in my support role thank you very much.
    Mr_Moo and Bassman Spliff like this.