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For me, the most important thing about gigging is the benefit to me as a musician. Yes, I enjoy an enthusiastic audience, being with my band mates, using my gear and earning money -  ultimately though,  improving my musical ability and gaining as much live experience as I can, are the real reasons I continue to do it. Therefore, I always see a benefit to a 'bad night' and I would always rather be out playing somewhere regardless of the 'quality' of the gig, than not be playing. I've found that band mates through the years have often not shared this view and would rather avoid certain gigs, or even offer to pack up and home if it's going to be a quiet night. I have a long list of all the gigs I've done and if I removed all the 'bad' ones, I'd have about a third of the live experience that I do have. It's all valuable to me and adds to a long body of work. Does anyone else on Basschat think in a similar way?

Edited by arthurhenry
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For me, pleasing an audience is the ultimate aim, but if they are not there, watching the football, or totally dis-engaged then I still enjoy just playing in a band situation.

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I have felt this way in the past, but at the moment I feel that too many gigs, or 'bad' gigs can suck up a lot of the energy that could otherwise be put towards productive practice/rehearsal towards better (albeit less frequent) gigs.

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IMO there are three ways to achieve a good gig. So, in my order of importance: you have to put on a good and entertaining show for the audience, work well with the other musicians in the band and you have to feel you played well.

You've got to put bums on seats and sell beer, you have to make the guys in the band happy you are there and for you as a player there is the satisfaction that you did a good job, and if it happens, the satisfaction that you played something new or better than last time.

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I've never had an interest in playing covers, so almost every gig I have played (I have done stints helping out mates' cover bands when their bassist or drummer has flaked out on them) has been for the enjoyment as getting paid playing original music is seldom guaranteed. Some bands, we were deliberately pushing the tolerances of audiences as we didn't want to sound like the other bands around us. I have experienced some properly stinky reactions but I still recall the worst original gigs more fondly than the most lucrative cover gigs so, yeah, gigging for my own enjoyment is what I have always done.

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I just love playing live, so whatever other circumstances there within whatever bands framework, well they generally fall away once I’m up there. Not in a gigging band at present mind.

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While my motivation priorities may be different I kind of agree. When you walk in with a bad attitude you play badly, if you go in with a professional attitude even though the venue may look empty or to have the wrong clientele etc then you can still have a great gig. Case in point, we did a wedding in summer and were a bit surprised to see a very small gathering of people mostly a few decades older than our usual audience. We had prepped well because we would be paid well and didn't want to ruin someone's biggest day of their life, agreed to play the notes, no pissing about at the end of songs etc. And played our best gig ever. The crowd was amazing, father of the bride knew the words to every song and led the singing and dancing, after the first tune loads more guests turned up and we got the place going. I learned loads from it, how to really separate the approach from pub gigs to functions for a start. And we had walked on to stage completely deflated tbh. 

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1 hour ago, Lozz196 said:

I just love playing live, so whatever other circumstances there within whatever bands framework, well they generally fall away once I’m up there. Not in a gigging band at present mind.

This is the crux of it for me, too.  I love being part of a group of people who get together and make music.  I like learning stuff at home, I like it when you get to rehearsal and after a couple of run throughs it all fits into place.  To then take that out and gig it is brilliant.  To then further get a crowd reaction is the icing on the cake, but all the other stages I find fulfilling, too.

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My favourite part is writing. Then the part of rehearsal where you’re working on new songs. Recording is about equal to that. Rehearsing a set and gigging are next and in a similar ballpark; sometimes one is better than the other, depending on the gig. We’re lucky in that we play originals but seem to have found an audience, most of the time, so most of the gigs - my anxiety aside, which is another issue - are fairly positive. If they weren’t, then I’d pretty soon grow tired of them. I don’t see the point in playing unless you’re enjoying it. 

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3 hours ago, Mykesbass said:

For me, pleasing an audience is the ultimate aim, but if they are not there, watching the football, or totally dis-engaged then I still enjoy just playing in a band situation.

Same, plus i get money at the end of the night. 

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The audience is actually the least important bit to me. In a hypothetical world where we could play & get paid without an audience, it wouldn’t matter to me one jot if there wasn’t one.

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1 minute ago, 4000 said:

The audience is actually the least important bit to me. In a hypothetical world where we could play & get paid without an audience, it wouldn’t matter to me one jot if there wasn’t one.

It does make me feel like its worthwhile when i see people dancing, after all i know we are there to entertain, and if we arent doing that, i feel we are doing something wrong, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. I do make sure I’m on point as much as possible, so no blame can go my way. 

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Just now, dave_bass5 said:

It does make me feel like its worthwhile when i see people dancing, after all i know we are there to entertain, and if we arent doing that, i feel we are doing something wrong, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. I do make sure I’m on point as much as possible, so no blame can go my way. 

Don’t get me wrong, of course it’s nice to see people enjoying your music, but it’s the least important part to me. As for dancing, well sometimes people get up and dance, but we’re not really that sort of band. 😉

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I've always hated learning new songs and rehearsals, especially if I think that the songs are garbage but realise that they are a necessary evil if you want to keep the set fresh and up to date.

There is a world of difference between playing in a pub band and playing in a wedding/function band. In all of the pub rock bands that I have been in, the focus has always been the band, whereas in a function band, everyone is there for the occasion and to get steamboats.

I'm happy in both situations.

For me, I just love playing regardless of whether we're playing for 5 or 500. If the audience are up for it then even better but I always enjoy myself.

Even when you're in rougher areas and some of the audience start singing "at" you with that starey eyed, pished, nothing going on but the rent, aggressive look, 999 times out of 1000 it doesn't end in any unpleasantness.

Years back I did it for the money and would always be looking at my watch hoping it was close to the end of the night. Nowadays I still get the money but I will occasionally look at my watch and can't believe how quick the night has gone.

I love gigging and I'm fortunate to be in a band where we all get on, there are no egos, there's no politics, just gigging and trying to be the best that we can be

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I haven't gigged in about a year and I'm fine with that. I'm actually learning more by not gigging to be honest. Unless I somehow end up in a killer band, I'm OK with not gigging at all. Live jams are my thing if I do play with others. 

I'm not interested in playing covers at all so this is the main reason really. 

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A bad gig is a paid rehearsal at the very least, and if you're part of a band, then a night out with your mates.

A good gig is a cool experience as a musician, and if its a paid gig so much the better.

Both are better than not doing it.

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