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Wish they woulda told me sooner...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by tplyons, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    So I've been recruited by the conductor for our school's production of the Sound of Music. The director and conductor sought me out to play upright bass (because I'm the school's only upright bassist with pit experience) and I agreed. Now, first of all, I generally play soprano/alto/tenor/bari sax in pit orchestras and some clarinet and flute. This is my first production on URB.

    I hauled my upright bass (because of the pickup/preamp) every Tuesday night for seven weeks, including some Thursday night practices and Wednesdays right after school. Throw in gig bag, grab all the accessories, bow, rosin and throw it in the back of my El Camino, strap it down, drive a few minutes to school and unload it.

    Then, abdominal surgery prevented me from moving my own bass, so I get the drummer to move it for me. He owed me a big favor, but its still a pain in the butt for me to get him to do it. I spend seven weeks learning everything, getting the bowing, dynamics and everything down perfectly, and they suddenly make a realization.

    Our pit is at floor level, our stage only rises three feet. An upright bass is six feet tall. So last night, I'm told I'm switching to electric. Opening night is Wednesday, and after seven weeks of practice, they wait til three days before opening night to switch me to slab.

    Long story short, I spend all this time hauling a huge, heavy, and very expensive instrument around, learning the bowing, dynamics and other stuff, and I'm suddenly too tall for the part, and they need me to sit.

    Poo on them!
  2. Man that sucks. I would have be pretty peeved if someone did that to me. Do they not understand that playing an urb and electric is very different? Let em have it!
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    They do understand, but now they're telling me the cellist is very below par and they need something louder and more prominent in the mix. I have to relearn the parts (translate to horizontal motion) and find the tone I need now.

    Not cool.
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    The good news and bad news, I'm playing the fretless and people are noticing the improved low end, and is really helping out the dancers. On the other hand, noone's ever in tune when I am, so I get to compensate. I spend all DAY compensating because the cellist is tone deaf. Go figure :\
  5. Or you could use an EUB.

    On the other hand, it seems that you're doing fine with playing it on an electric. (I hope)
  6. snake


    Jul 21, 2004
    Aurora. CO
    You are still going to play, right?
  7. Sprudellio


    Oct 16, 2002
    Don't play finger style. Slap and tap all the time.

    That'll teach 'em.
  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yes, mostly because my girlfriend is Maria, and secondly, I'm trying to get a good reputation to make some $ this summer playing for other local high schools.
  9. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    I played trumpet in my high school pit band for Hello Dolly.

    I loved it.

    Hope you have fun.
  10. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Uh, odd question, but they can't move you far enough to one side or the other to keep the URB outta sight, or at least mostly? When we have a "pit" band at school, we have an URB player, and they just put him way over to the side... I dunno if you guys can do this, or would even want to, but may want to consider it? If you're doin' fine on the electric, rock that out... JACO style!

    Ray :p
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    To compensate for a tonedeaf cellist and a drummer with no rhythm. They need to keep the bass in the middle, which meant fretless.

    I'm playing it well (never really played fretless before it, I'd only bought the bass two weeks prior) so it was a learning experienced that proved to work. I prefer the fretless to a fretted instrument in that situation to avoid disonnace with tonedeaf string players.

    Semi-opening night was tonight. It was our final dress rehersal, we open officially tomorrow, but we invited the local senior citizens who were quite thrilled by the show.

    Oh, and my beautiful girlfriend is Maria. Our one year anniversary is on closing night too. :hyper: