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ribbetingfrog

my first gig, any advice?

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Not till December so loads of practice time to come yet.

And I hardly ever drink so no problems there.

I think our main worry is our guitarists are too quiet, how often does that happen!?!

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Some very sound advice given above. My two penneth worth would be to concentrate on tempo and structure. The truth is that very few people, including band mates, will notice if you miss the hammer-on at the end of the forth bar, but everyone will notice something is amiss if you continue to bash out the verse whilst the others play the chorus. So at this stage of bands live career, I would say it's far better to be 'tight'(starting and stopping together etc) than putting pressure on yourselves to play the covers note for note.
The other big thing to watch out for is tempo.it is very easy with all the adrenaline and excitement to launch into the opening number at 100mph. If left unchecked, the whole set can become a train wreck (and I've been involved in a few..) and turn a laid back half hour into a 15 min thrash-fest!! Practice helps, but really work on communicating with the drummer before and during songs (I find smiling, nodding, followed by kicking and throwing stuff at them is the best way to get them to slow down) rather than trying to match their tempo and get into a race, at which point the whole thing spirals out of control.
But most importantly enjoy it!

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[quote name='CamdenRob' timestamp='1444231820' post='2881411']
Six pints and a couple of jagerbombs before hand will settle the nerves and ensure a professional performance... :mellow:
[/quote]

This would be my advice too :-)

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[quote name='Lw.' timestamp='1444667400' post='2884930']
This would be my advice too :-)
[/quote]

Yeah, till about 5 or 6 years ago I'd never done a gig without a few drinks. I dont enjoy it half as much these days.

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[quote name='UngratefulBass' timestamp='1444666914' post='2884919']...(I find smiling, nodding, followed by kicking and throwing stuff at them is the best way to get them to slow down) rather than trying to match their tempo...
[/quote]

Once the drummer has started, that's the tempo to play to, whether it's the right one or not. Once it's established, a good drummer won't change. He won't slow it down, nor speed it up. It happens that it's a tad too fast, or the opposite, but once the count has been given, that's the tempo. Drummers also usually have a fair supply of stuff, some pointy, to throw back, so I'd not advise any other tactic than following the leader. :mellow:
Just sayin'; on the night you'll be fine. We've all been there, and most of us survived. :D

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[quote name='Dad3353' timestamp='1444672433' post='2884992']


Once the drummer has started, that's the tempo to play to, whether it's the right one or not. Once it's established, a good drummer won't change. He won't slow it down, nor speed it up. It happens that it's a tad too fast, or the opposite, but once the count has been given, that's the tempo. Drummers also usually have a fair supply of stuff, some pointy, to throw back, so I'd not advise any other tactic than following the leader. :mellow:
Just sayin'; on the night you'll be fine. We've all been there, and most of us survived. :D
[/quote]

I get what you are saying, but the salient point was at the beginning of the sentence, as in 'work on communicating with the drummer before and during songs..'
I have seen many examples of drummers speeding up and rather than laying back slightly, the bassist digs in and the whole thing gets quicker and quicker and quicker.. I'm not suggesting that anyone should start at anything other than the tempo set by the drummer, more to use the bass line (with eye contact, or some form of communication) as an anchor if they start getting a bit carried away.

And as for retaliation from behind the kit, I find giving them a lighter to play with or, for those with a reflection, a small mirror is enough to distract them longer enough for you to get out of harms way :)

Edited by UngratefulBass

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I like the option of throwing things at the drummer.
I may take this up.
I had a teacher who used to throw board rubbers when we misbehaved. Same principle I feel.

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Relax. People love live music and they will forgive slip-ups because that is what makes it live.

My first gig was in a maximum security prison. How I wish we could've had alcohol!

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[quote name='DavidMcKay' timestamp='1444767984' post='2885888']
Relax. People love live music and they will forgive slip-ups because that is what makes it live.

My first gig was in a maximum security prison. How I wish we could've had alcohol!
[/quote]

Aye - and our opener was All Along The Watchtower. Seriously!

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If you make a mistake - glare at the drummer, works every time! I don't generally drink alcohol at a gig coz it makes me need a slash at the most inopportune moments! Remember Pino Palladino is unlikely to be in the audience, stick your shoulders back - SMILE and enjoy!

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Open with your strongest song as a confidence booster. End with the song that will make the audience happy. I have seen some awful bands who end with a big number and the crowd think the whole gig was amazing. Sadly this is a true story.

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While rehearsing, set your gear up as for a small gig (personally I like to be on the hi-hat side as at least I can hear it cutting through!). Reasonably tight into the drums. Have the singer stand where he would at said small gig. Helps you get spatially comfortable, so you don't turn up at a gig and feel out of place once you start playing.

If you have the chance, set up a camcorder and film yourselves rehearsing. If nothing else, it'll convince you to look up from your fretboard and attempt a smile every now and then during an actual performance. :) Also a handy way of discovering that the cool lick you've quietly inserted actually sounds totally crap.

Know your songs' structures inside out. Most common post-gig conversation between guitarist & bass player: "Well, I couldn't hear a thing you were playing...". If the song structure comes naturally, there's less chance of a verse/chorus mismatch between you during early gigs!

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[quote name='Dropzone' timestamp='1444903529' post='2887104']
Open with your strongest song as a confidence booster. End with the song that will make the audience happy. I have seen some awful bands who end with a big number and the crowd think the whole gig was amazing. Sadly this is a true story.
[/quote]Only if your strongest song is not that difficult to get right, I would say start with your easiest song to play, it's very disconcerting to make a cock up on the first song before you've ,hopefully, settled down. After 300 hundred gigs we still start with Blitzkreig Bop :)

Edited by PaulWarning

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[quote name='ribbetingfrog' timestamp='1444567417' post='2884145']
Not till December so loads of practice time to come yet.

And I hardly ever drink so no problems there.

I think our main worry is our guitarists are too quiet, how often does that happen!?!
[/quote]

If you are playing through FOH the guitarists will be heard by the audience ok and the sound tech will probably ask them to turn up a bit anyway. If you are struggling to hear, even after a sound check to sort the levels, just ask for more guitar in your monitor after the first song.

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I used to get horrendous stagefright to the point where my right hand would shake away from the guitar and I'd miss strings and notes. Usually it would take me a song or two to calm myself down enough to take stock of where I was and what was going on! By that point you're midway through your third tune and time to play your slow song. After that you play your pre-final number and finish on the best tune. Honestly that's how quickly a 30 minute set goes by.

Some fantastic advice above so I'll reiterate some of the things that've been said and some that helped me when I was starting out and playing originals as a nervous teenager as opposed to the 29 year old battle hardened wedding band guy I am now, cruising by on cheesy covers.
[list]
[*]You'll be nervous, just take some deep breaths and don't be afraid to look out at the crowd. They're not all staring at you or cringing at your fluffs!
[*]Don't worry about mistakes. Only the band will notice them, even the horrendous ones!
[*]Avoid drinking booze til after the gig
[*]Don't let the adrenaline get to you so you play everything at double speed. Missing runs you normally hit with ease can be an indicator
[*]Smile and look at your bandmates. Share a laugh. You'll maybe even forget you're playing in front of an audience
[*]Make sure you're all comfortable with the beginning and end of every song. Intros and endings should be tight
[*]If it's your first gig practice your set in order for a bit before it. See if you can get song transitions seemless. If you're planning on witty stage banter, plan it! Experienced guys say the same stuff every gig cos it works. You can always change it up on the night but having a starting point helps
[*]If you're responsible for your own volume, figure out if you should be playing so people can hear themselves speak at the middle and back of the room. If so, walk out during sound check and see if you can. Really depends on the type of gig and we killed a few rooms by playing too loud for people who just got up and left
[*]On the night just forget it all and have a good time
[/list]

Edited by IzzyDunn

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