1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Words of wisdom for a newbie?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by WyrmDL, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. WyrmDL


    Feb 15, 2008
    Hey TB,

    I've been wanting to start playing gigs and such recently. I just thought I'd ask some of the experienced people here for some general advice.

    What steps should I step to start out? What are some things I have to look out for? What are some of the "manners" in gigging that I should be aware of? If I show up for a gig, what are some of the first things I should do?

    Just some stuff that I've been wondering about. Feel free to just add anything you think would help out a newbie musician! (To be honest, I don't know about anything in the music business)

    I realize there is a sticky that covers a lot of this stuff, but I'm mainly baffled over things like the business and political aspects of it all. Thanks in advance!
  2. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Well..... in order to play a "gig" ya need a few basic things,
    1: A well rehearsed band.
    2: A booking to play at.
    3: A well rehearsed band.
    4: A venue that works for your bands music. (ie; don't play metal at the local country bar)
    5: If you do not have all of the above, just hit the local jam night and sign up to play, just have fun, don't sweat the small stuff, and treat others as you would like to be treated.
    Most of all, Have fun and use it to grow.
    hope this helps, smogg
  3. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Check out the link in my sig. Everything you need to know is there.
  4. Jehos

    Jehos Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    Have spares of things. Spare strings, spare batteries (or spare bass), spare cables, etc. Stuff breaks at the worst time, so you need to know how to fix it quick.

    As for etiquette, set up fast and tear down fast, especially if there are bands before you and after you. You'll be nervous, but the whole band knowing the material cold will help you get past that and not screw up. Keep your rig as simple as possible--less stuff to break, less stuff to set up. There's no reason to take a stack when a combo will do, almost no reason to take effects at all--I've played at very few places where the "perfect tone" carried over like it should have, and most effects on bass just muddy up the mix.

    Finally, have fun. Playing on stage is addicting and something that some of us can never quit doing.
  5. Consider not doing it. My addiction was deep. I dug te whole gigging experience. If the band wasn't gigging I was subbing or hitting the streets looking for a gig. I liked the whole gamit, the money, the chicks, the gear, the stage, the sound, everything man, evertything.

    The cost was high. I didn't see SNL until in my mid to later 30's. Some women didn't want to hear about gear and playong all the time, I missed some of them upon occasion. Cost me some relationships, snowmobile trips, vacations etc. I went o LV for a vaction, ended up gigging on the strip, just once but hey it was a gig.

    One night, I heard my roomates GF sing, this chick was belting out the tunes. I had no idea she could do it that well. I said she could be in a band. My roomate and best friend, said 'Wesley you need to sit down, I have some schocking news for you.' I did, he said " Not everyone wants to be in a band.' It hit me hard, like a ton of bricks, I almost cried, didn't move for a half hour. Bob would never lie to me. I called my band and quit., sold them the PA for dirt cheap, on credit, packed away all other gear and didn't play at all for 5 years until my wedding.

    Most of this is tounge in cheek, but not really, there is a cost to this band life, balance it out early. Being all married and everything, I don't miss the chicks (now women), I miss the dough, but I hear bands paly for free or pay to play (*** is that all about), I miss the stage some and may well slap together a wedding band or bar/Legion/VFW/Orchastrated whorehouse-boxing ring type band. mAYBE A PRAISE BAND.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
  6. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Get friendly with the technicians and any other bands on the bill. I make it a ritual to buy the sound guy a beer and get to know him a little bit, so he doesn't steamroll us later. If the idea is to get your music and your name out there, word spreads a heck of a lot faster with fellow musicians and guys in the industry.

    Be cool to every dude and chick you meet, because it will come back to bite you in the ass later if you aren't.

    A drink or two before you hit the stage is fine and dandy, but try to lay off until after you play. Two beers will loosen your nerves, but three will definitely start affecting your playing. There's nothing more embarrassing than yakking behind your cab, or in the bass drum.

    Set up and tear down as fast as possible, especially on multi-band bills. It just makes everyone's life much easier.

    If you want to go for extra credit, keep in touch with the folks you really enjoyed working with. If dudes in the band after you were awesome and made for great drinking buddies after the show, get some contact information! Did the sound guy make your band sound like the apocalypse was extremely ****ing nigh? Get the man's card! Contacts are never a bad thing, unless they're ones that you'd never want to work with again.
  7. ENJOY YOURSELF and show it. You're not just there to make it to the end of the songs with as few mistakes as possible, you're there to entertain. So be sure you have as much fun as you can and let that energy radiate.

    If you're not enjoying the ride, why do it at all, right?

    Make sure all your gear is in working order BEFORE you go to the gig. Spend time at home getting your gig kit together. Make sure you have strings, screwdrivers, wire snips, batteries, even band-aids, deoderant and breath mints. Nothing like hauling and sweating, then having some attractive bar patron approach you only to be instantly turned away by funky breath and BO, ya know? ;)

    Get there at the right time. Get your stuff in and up quickly. Help others with their gear - especially if you provide your own PA. Make sure you help with the hauling. Don't get too drunk. Don't eat too much flatus producing food before a gig - use your tuner and tune quietly/silently. Smile at the ladies - especially if they're dancing!

    But above all, really, really focus on enjoying yourself. Don't get all balled up about the gig. If you've been practicing and rehearsing, you'll be fine and no amount of worrying before hand will fix anything anyway. Have confidence and don't be afraid to look people in the eye from the stage. They wanna be up there doing what you're doing - so just look at them and grin as you have a blast living the rock star fantasy!
  8. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    The more ya got....the more you have to carry....
  9. also a well REHEARSED band,,, rehearse the entire gig, load up, load in sound check, the show, load out, and load off to where ever it is you store the equipment. You may be surprised to see how many changes and modifications you will have to make during load in/ load out. It sounds easy enough, till you actually do it. Then you can get a REHEARSED, relaxed feeling about the whole gig, not just the show.
  10. ZonGuy


    Sep 2, 2007
    Don't make noises with your instrument between songs.

    Noodling = Newbie
  11. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    You say you want to gig but are you in a band yet? Or are you looking to sub or sit in? Those questions will help alot. If you are looking to get a band . Know what kind of music you want to play put out ads or answer ads in the area you live and try out. The number one thing i know everyone wants is Attitude followed by dependability and honesty. Those traits can make a band choose for a decent player over a good player if the good player is not one of the three. Be on time ,have good gear ,have big ears and stay sober.
  12. blockinlay


    Feb 21, 2009
    Phila Pa
    I stand in on guitar and bass with my friends band sometimes at practice sessions and small benefits when the regulars can't make it. It's just for fun for me for now. I can wing it pretty well, but the singer doesn't appreciate it if I am not prepared with the music. My gear is good enough for gigging. They have gear at practice, so I just try and be prepared with the music by practicing. I also am not shy to ask for help. I print the song titles in LARGE BOLD print along with the chords, and make a few notes, like where to come in, or where a riff is. I put this on a music stand, and am getting better at remembering. Time has made me a better player, and it's allot more fun now than like work. I want to get paid soon.
  13. ilovethesechord


    Jun 27, 2008
    understand that not everybody will give a **** about your music; not everyone will see you play a show and think "Wow, that kid must be some kind of unique person!" And, most importantly, and not to be taken too seriously,

    The "Rockstar Methos" is a lie!!!


    P.S. For every person that you'll meet who does not care about you or your hobbies, there will always be someone special who does!

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.