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markdavid

Gig to prepare for in 9 days time

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Hi all
I have a gig to prepare for in 9 days time with a band I have joined fairly recently and looking for some pointers on how to prepare.
Our singer booked the gig a few days ago, he knew we would have a lot to learn as due to various factors we can only rehearse once a week but the only reason we were able to get the gig is that the band that was booked for that day cancelled so I totally understand why he jumped on the opportunity.

So far we have around 26 songs 8 of which are originals the rest are covers, some of these songs we haven't even played together yet, I would estimate we are confident on probably half of the songs, looking for pointers on how to prepare, any tips for remembering the songs etc, even if we are far from perfect I would like to know that I did a job that was at least competent , thanks

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Root notes, write down the structure of each song with the notes for each passage (intro, verse, chorus, solo, outro etc) and include what type of ending, dead stop or rock n roll

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17 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Root notes, write down the structure of each song with the notes for each passage (intro, verse, chorus, solo, outro etc) and include what type of ending, dead stop or rock n roll

+1 on this

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Yep good advice. Starts, endings and structure and just play within the boxes, keep it simple.  The more you learn the nuances of each song the more intricate you can tailor your fills and runs etc.  Keep it simple. Good luck and try to enjoy!  

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1 hour ago, Lozz196 said:

Root notes, write down the structure of each song with the notes for each passage (intro, verse, chorus, solo, outro etc) and include what type of ending, dead stop or rock n roll

Absolutely the above.


 

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Guest subaudio
Posted (edited)

Make sure you are learning the same version.

Ask for gig or rehearsal recordings if they have them.

Divide the ammount of your available time to work on the songs by the number of songs so you know how much time you have per song.

Learn the hardest songs first.

Listen to all the songs constantly, totally immerse yourself in them.

Make a chart in your own way for each song, each song has an A4 chart that you can read from the floor, I use a lined A4 hardback note book written in sharpie. You need to be able to read it under stage lighting.

Listen to the track your working on three times before picking up your bass to figure out the arrangements, changes in the progression etc.

Good luck, you'll learn a lot and you'll surprise yourself a lot.

Edited by subaudio

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10 minutes ago, subaudio said:

 

Listen to the track your working on three times before picking up your bass to figure out the arrangements, changes in the progression etc.

 

That's a definite for me too.

If you can keep your notes somewhere discreet rather than the obvious lyrics on a stand that singers do in some bands.

Most of all enjoy yourself and have fun with it.

Dave

 

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Posted (edited)
  • Set up a Spotify/Apple Music/whatever playlist with all the songs (certainly for the covers) and listen to it on repeat.
  • Get tabs/song structures 
  • Make sure you're all agreed on which version of the original you're playing and which key
  • I've set up a "practice corner" at home, with my bass in a stand ready to go, my practice amp and my hi-fi with a place to plug in my phone which has my spotify playlist on and my tabs/song structures on a music stand.  I try to practice an hour a day at the moment (as I'm in 3 bands at the moment and I'm dep'ing with another band on Saturday).  

Also on a previous similar thread someone mentioned to set up a Kanban board, but if you have no idea what that is it's probably better to ignore for the moment :D

Edited by DrBike

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so you have 9 days to go, and only one rehearsal between now and then?

All of the suggestions above are good, but you also need to make good use of the remaining practice.  You need to run through the whole set, and you need to get the whole band ready so that you don;t spend half of it bickering over how to end the songs you haven't played before or which key they should be in.

I'd also suggest that just because everybody can't make more than one practice doesn't mean that the rest of you can't have an extra rehearsal - not ideal, but you can still work on arrangements and knowing the songs better, and doesn't necessarily need to be in the studio - you sitting down at home with the guitarist can be just as valuable

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1 minute ago, Monkey Steve said:

I'd also suggest that just because everybody can't make more than one practice doesn't mean that the rest of you can't have an extra rehearsal - not ideal, but you can still work on arrangements and knowing the songs better, and doesn't necessarily need to be in the studio - you sitting down at home with the guitarist can be just as valuable

^^^^ Totally agree, just don't go changing arrangements (too much) when someone is absent!

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Some great advice already.

I have 6 songs to learn for next Saturday so I'm in a similar, albeit easier position. Personally I set up a playlist on either YouTube or iTunes and run it from a laptop into my practice amp, plug in the bass and stick some headphones on. Take a few songs a day and add to a longer rehearsal as I start to build up.

Oh, and I'm sure this goes without saying but spending too much time on Basschat doesn't count as bass practice when there is work to be done! :$

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All of the above.

For a rush dep I have a practice rig set up at home and then have any new songs set up on a spotify playlist and a bandhelper set list.  Listen to the playlist constantly in the car (luckily I have a long commute) and make sure the structure and roots are in bandhelper, then sit down and play the songs through a couple of times keeping it simple.  If it's a song I'm going to continue using in other bands then the nuances will come over time.

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I agree with all of the above but would like to add one suggestion:

Agree on a set list asap and a running order, then ensure you stick to it on the night and rehearse to it in advance it's surprising just how well the brain remembering the end of one song then triggers the recall of the next song.

I have always insisted on a set list in advance especially when working with unfamiliar material and the above has always made me more confident.

Good luck, enjoy the gig...it will be fine 

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Day before the gig: check your stuff, buy a spare battery if needed. Play some parts and especially the set starts a few times. Arrange your papers and pack all the stuff you need.

Be in time at the gig. Have a soundcheck and start with the first two or three songs. Then it is easier to start with the audience, when they arrive.

Play! Do not analyze any minor issues at the stage. If there was a mistake, did they notice? No, so please continue.

After the gig: take a deep breath and congratulate your mates for a nice gig. If you heard some wrong notes, the audience did not and they had good time. It went better than expected.

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Thanks for the replies, some really good suggestions, actually feeling a little better about the gig now 

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If you get stuck, deaden the notes.  You can still add rhythm without necessarily "sounding" a note

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30 minutes ago, charic said:

If you get stuck, deaden the notes.  You can still add rhythm without necessarily "sounding" a note

Liking that little tip. Nice one.

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Whilst glaring at the drummer, obv... 😀

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1 hour ago, charic said:

If you get stuck, deaden the notes.  You can still add rhythm without necessarily "sounding" a note

Absolutely!!

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Scrap the originals and concentrate on the covers from vast experience punters don't want to hear originals not in a pub anyway...plus the landlord won't book you again if your not playing to the audience.
In my last band we were all old mates who had been in lot's of previous bands and all had years of gigging experience we decided from the off we wasn't going to do the run of the mill cover thing that every other band did, so we set about learning album tracks from our favourite classic 70s Rock era, personally I thought we had a brilliant 2 sets but we died on our derrières and soon had to throw the pub faves in.
Insist on getting together keep it simple and work on intros and endings and get your frontman to get a little banter going if you don't go down well don't fret as you will learn a lot from your mistakes, best of luck and have a gud'n.

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+1 for making sure everyone is learning the same version - we shared you-tube links to solve this.

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We also shared started record the sessions and shared the best version of each song afterwards to practice against at home. Helps nail endings!

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Guest subaudio
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

We also shared started record the sessions and shared the best version of each song afterwards to practice against at home. Helps nail endings!

8 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 

 Big plus one for this, with good quality phone mics these days and very affordable Zoom recorders and cameras, to me every band should do this, plus, sometimes, a mistake can yeild really interesting new note choices that would be lost without a recording.

Edited by subaudio

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11 minutes ago, subaudio said:

 Big plus one for this, with good quality phone mics these days and very affordable Zoom recorders and cameras, to me every band should do this, plus, sometimes, a mistake can yeild really interesting new note choices that would be lost without a recording.

The guitarist brought in his laptop a focusrite box a a couple of mics. I've got similar. If you have a laptop already you can get a recording setup with a pair of small condensor mikes for very modest outlay.

Mike placement is key - as far away from teh sound spources as possible (assuming you are in a small practice room with sound deadening walls).

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Get a set list with the keys of all songs.

Get mp3 or YouTube versions of all the songs.

Get a list of any changes they've made to the arrangements of the covers.

Play all the songs at home. Write the structure down, ie intro/verse/chorus/riffs etc. Make charts for all the songs.

Play the songs until you know them.

Turn up at the rehearsal knowing your parts. Rehearsals are not for learning stuff, do that at home. Make the rehearsal a time for getting the playing together right.

Put the work in and it becomes easier.

 

Tonight I'm playing a gig with 2 sets of songs. Some I knew and some I didn't. Many of the keys are not the original keys. The guys sent me an mp3 of 2 of their  gigs and I also listened to all the originals versions as well. I've played the sets every day for a week. I now know the songs better than the band does!!

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