To gig, or not to gig, that is the question...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Tim Cole, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Hi guys, need your thoughts on something. A recently joined a new band, great guys, fun material ect. Essentially, this is 2 bands wrapped into one, as 2 of the guys have an acoustic side project. The two both play acoustic guitar, and great harmony vocals.

    Anyway, earlier this week, they decided they would like me to join them in the acoustic side of it. We got together Tuesday to go over some stuff for a couple hours, and only then did I get the set list. There are 34 songs total to learn, only a couple of which I am familiar with, and have gone through at one point. A lot of the rest is classic stuff I have heard, but never listened to enough to be familiar with the arrangements. I am good at playing by ear, and can fake it through reasonably just going with the feel, but I feel uncomfortable doing this. I don't want to be unprepared, and potentially sacrifice the overall sound.

    Of the 34 songs, there are about 10-12 I am good to go on now.....if I can't sing the song in my head from start to finish, I obviously am not going to be able to predict every change with accuracy. There are about 10 I haven't got to listen to at all, 34 songs is a lot to ask on dialup.....I had most all already, until my windows prog crashed last night, and had to start over on my womans computer.

    So I ask this from a pro standpoint: There is a 3 set gig tomorrow I was asked to do with them, I haven't totally given them an answer yet, due to not knowing how far I will have come along on the material before then. They can obviously pull it off without me, as that is how they have been doing it all along. Should I go for it and do my best, or decline until I am further prepared.....I am trying my hardest to be ready.
  2. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Oh yes, another thought is to go buy a binder folder, and make detailed notes on each song, aka cheat sheets. Would take a while, but so does trying to memorize arrangements fo 34 songs.
  3. I'm no pro or anything, but I would go with what you feel most comfortable with. In this case it seems that letting them do the gig by themselves would be better...maybe going to watch them might help, but hold off on giging till you got all the songs down and can play them without messing up. Just my opinion, but like I said, I'm not a pro.
  4. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I would tell them I can do one set, and ask them to put the tunes you know in that set. You might be better at faking it than I am. I'd rather play 1 good set than an entire night halfassed. They won't miss you on the other sets becuase they usually don't have a bassist, right?
  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Take the gig. It'll be good experience for ya.

    Constantly listen to the required material. Make it all you listen to for now. Then also make charts on them. Even if its only something as simple as I-IV-V in G. Just anything that will help you get through them.

    Ive had to do several gigs where I wasnt familiar with the bulk of the material. Charts shaved my tail. Also just keep the lines relativly simple.

    Between listening to them and charting them out, You'll do fine AN. ;)
  6. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If they're asking you to play, they've obviously got some confidence in you. Keep it quiet, keep in the background and write "supporting role" on the top horn of your bass as a reminder... :D

    You won't be laying the foundation for the songs, but you can add a bit of extra depth. If at all possible, record the whole lot, which gives you some material to work from over the next few weeks.

    It might also be worth asking one or both of the guitarists to help you scribble out some cheat sheets to work with.

    Whatever you do, I'd certainly lean towards the 'go for it' side of the argument :)

  7. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I would do my best to prepare as many songs as you can. Take whatever you have, CD or Tape, write down all of the tunes and what key they are in and go over them as many times as it takes to get them in your head. It is also a good idea to ask the guys if they are doing any of the songs in a different key then what's on your recording. Learn 5 songs walk away for an hour, learn 5 more, and so on. If a song gives you trouble or has a tricky arrangement skip it and get back to it later. When you are done go back over them again and workout the parts you are having the most trouble with. I've had to do this a few times to prepare for a gig and it seems to work for me. Take notes!
  8. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Thanks for the advice guys, I have done a lot of cramming on these, but 34 is just to many to memorize in 3 days. None of the songs are difficult, I just like to know I know the material down pat. We'll get em next week.
  9. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I stopped by the one of the guys places today to drop off some gear, and ended up taking my stuff and doing the gig, it went very well. I'm making a post about it in BM&P, check it out for details!