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[Sticky] Your first gig - tell us!

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Posts: 20
Eminent Member
Topic starter

What  was it?
Where was it?
was it your orginal band?
what name did you perform as?
what was the set list?
did mess up the solo?

Answer these and any other questions about
( this one comes as a shocker  ;) ) your first gig

We have to ask ourselves. What would Ultralord do?

Posted : 29/12/2003 1:29 am
Posts: 2118
Noble Member

Hey NIN - great idea, but you were supposed to go first! ;)

OK, here's mine:

Event: College Dance Marathon
Date: February 1979
Name: White Ash (w dHodge on rhythm guitar, pre-Laura)
Songs: Crazy on You, Somebody to Love, Watchtower/Reaper medley, other stuff which I can't remember, total of 60 minutes played.

Goof: Not to bust on dHodge... :o  We played Somebody to Love in Fm to match the singer's range, with capo on the first fret.  Since it was dark, dH missed and had the capo on #2 (F#m).  The singer and lead guitar caught it by ear, but I was still a raw beginner bassist.  I knew I was playing the wrong notes, but I didn't know why, so I just stopped.  Finally, during the lead solo break, I asked the singer what the f$*% was happening, and she listened and then told me to shift up one fret.  I was then able to finish the song.

I learned that sometimes you just have to NOT play.


Posted : 29/12/2003 6:20 pm
Posts: 1196
Noble Member

I was sitting in playing guitar on Beale Street in Memphis, TN.  It's big for blues.  There I was, skinny white kid (19) with long hippy/metal hair (this was 89) playing with old black guys in their 50's and 60's.  No particular song, just a jam in Em.  I sucked and the guys in the band found that out.  The audience, however was clueless.  This place called The Daquiri Works (now out of business) had maybe fifty people in it when I started to play.  Then, as I was jamming on looking at the fretboard, wondering what the hell to do next, I saw camera flashes in front of me and I looked up and skipped a couple of beats as I saw people piling in the doors and taking pictures thru the front window.    The palce got packed in like 5 - 8 minutes ( 200-250 people).  It was a blast, but I sure wish I could give them a taste of what I can do now.

It is a small world for metal fanatics. I welcome you fellow musicians, especially the metalheads!

Posted : 30/12/2003 12:02 am
Posts: 596
Honorable Member

Does it count if I just sang and didn't play?  ;D

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- "WOW--What a Ride!"

Posted : 30/12/2003 2:46 pm
Posts: 118
Estimable Member

I'm still waiting for my first gig...

Hopefully we'll get one soon, but I feel we're not quite ready yet

"I had these dreams that I would learn to play guitar, maybe cross the country, become a rock star"

Posted : 08/02/2004 9:30 pm
Posts: 5582
Illustrious Member

My first REAL gig (getting paid) was back in the late 70's. The name of my group was Steel Canyon. I hated that name because it sounded country or western and we were more a jazz/rock band. We had guitar, bass, drums, coronet, saxophone, and lead singer. We performed at the Miss Teenage Connecticut contest in front of maybe a thousand people. I can't remember all the songs we played, but we did songs by Chicago, Average White Band, Chuck Mangione and others. We practiced often, plus the event had a rehearsal every night for one week before the show and made us practice as well. We would go through the entire show. Every one of us fell in love with a different girl. The night of the show we played almost perfectly.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

Posted : 08/02/2004 11:51 pm
Posts: 530
Honorable Member

This past november for 2 hours :o
All covers, played with a pal for about half of it.
Botched nearly every song a wee bit. Almost ran out of songs, that was scary

All and all, a truly horrifying experince.


I'm actually playing the same place in two weeks or so, with my brand new geetah ;D


"Contrary to popular belief, Clapton is NOT God. The prospect that he is God probably had a large hand in driving him to drugs and booze. Thanks everyone."

-Guitar World :lol:

Posted : 11/02/2004 4:19 am
Posts: 1735
Noble Member

Laz, that is hilarious!  Glad you had the smarts at that tender age to stop and ask what the heck was going on!  Maybe the crowd thought it was cool dissonance?  Often I wonder if the crowd ever truly knows when bands make mistakes or they think "these guys really know what they're doing!" :o

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."

Posted : 15/02/2004 6:23 am
Posts: 2118
Noble Member

Often I wonder if the crowd ever truly knows when bands make mistakes...

No one ever knows, except for other musicians in the room.  Laura and I have been know to be dancing near the stage when someone goofs.  Usually the guitarist starts looking around nervously.  We'll nod and smile, give the thumbs up, and he'll usually shrug and keep going.

Having made some major goofs over the years, I never bust on anyone about theirs - just laugh and keep dancing/playing.  Often the bandmates will recognize a kindred soul and we'll talk between sets.


Posted : 16/02/2004 3:05 pm
Posts: 5582
Illustrious Member

My first gig came out well only because we were so rehearsed, but I have had many things go wrong at gigs since that time.

Breaking strings is always fun, especially when you have a floating bridge. Not only are you missing a string, but the other 5 go badly out of tune. Usually, I try to finish the song, but recently I broke a string, my guitar went out of tune so badly that I had to stop the song. I am sure the crowd realized how out of tune I was. I have learned to put new strings on my guitar a day before a gig.

I have accidently stepped on my tuner, muting my guitar in the middle of a song, Had fellow bandmates step on pedals unplugging the cord, had mic stands fall over, drummer losing their sticks, had drunks fall into us knocking a keyboard off its stand once etc....

Plus, we have had the one player playing a completely different song, or wrong key.

I have gotten sudden mental blocks where I could not remember one word of the lyrics. That's a good one.

It is amazing how the crowd does not usually notice.

It's all fun. It's Rock N Roll!

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

Posted : 16/02/2004 4:34 pm
Posts: 1735
Noble Member

Wes, I'm laughing too hard at your tragedies.   ;D  I can't wait to be in a band to experience those hilarious moments.  When I'm praticing with friends in a band they all pretty much know their songs.  I really notice if I hit a wrong chord or bad fingering.  It stands out to me like black on white.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."

Posted : 16/02/2004 10:02 pm
Posts: 243
Reputable Member

I don't know if you could call it a "gig"...

About three months after I started playing, my neighbor wanted to put a band together to celebrate his 40th birthday.  We rehearsed for about twenty minutes the week before - basically just going over a list of songs we might play.

So there we are - six acoustic guitars, one electric, one bass and a keyboard crammed in his tiny 8 foot gazebo.  I'm sitting on the rail and my soundhole is right next to the ear of another guy.  I don't know how he could play since I was at least one measure behind everyone else the whole time.  What a mess.

It was only about 60 degrees F outside, but it may as well have been 97 the way I was sweating.  I can't wait to do it again.

Blame it on the lies that killed us, blame it on the truth that ran us down.

Posted : 18/02/2004 5:24 am
Posts: 0
New Member

hehe, mine was last night.

just a couple of my own songs at a local acoustic night.

i rocked!


Posted : 18/02/2004 3:40 pm
Posts: 96
Estimable Member

I made my first real singing-and-playing this weekend on a wedding on Germany..
I was in front of about 100 people... and I asked the player who was resting at that moment to pick and play his guitar...
He agreed... it was a Classic string yamaha with cutaway, very nice sound trough the amp they had...
The mic was high, and it helped me a lot, cause I had a little hoarseness.
I just played two songs
Flowers in the window by travis and a cover orf 'Be my baby'
The first one I  was incredibly confident, but I made a short version of it cause my voice was running out...
The second one was near a dissaster... I forgot the lyrics, and I improvised 2 lines of the verse... but I went trough the chorus well... saved by the bell!

This was my first 'play and sing' real event... and it was great. I had a little problem with the F fingering at the beggining, cause I practice sitting, and I was standing... but not much... I will practice standing more often from now, cause i've seen that I love it! even playing covers is great... so... my own stuff could be amazing

Thanks for reading!

Posted : 30/03/2004 8:57 pm
Posts: 98
Estimable Member

My first "gig" was in Chicago in 2001, at the Riverside Jam.

I'd been playing (bass) for less than 6 months.  My wife (she's one of the writers of "The Other Side" department here) and I had made the trip to Chicago specifically for the Jam, and we finally got to meet (in person) the wonderful folks we knew only online (/me waves at Hodge and the Lasleys) at Hodge's place on Friday night.

On Saturday, we got to the site and helped set up the room.  As the rest of the musicians set up and decided what to play first, I heard Laz say something along the lines of "JBD -- get your butt up here!"

The tune was Dave Mason's "Feelin' Alright".  I told Laz that I knew the song, but didn't know how to play it.  He said, "No problem -- here's the few notes and the pattern you'll need.  Just keep doing that, and try to stay on tempo."

I mostly managed to keep up, although I did screw up a couple of times.  When I got lost, I tried my best to figure out where to come back in.  This was the first time I'd ever played with more than one musician -- my wife and I had played together, but that was just me on bass and her on guitar.  This was also the first time I'd ever played with a drummer (/me waves at Annie).

Nerves?  You bet!  Once the song was done, I handed the bass back to Laz and sat down to try to get my hands to stop shaking.

I played on some other tunes as well, mostly clinging for dear life on to the root notes of the chords, as the majority of the tunes were ones that, again, I knew, but didn't actually know how to play.  The one that I remember most was Otis Redding's "Dock of the Bay", one of the last tunes we played that night.  One other tune I remember playing was the Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", a tune that my wife and I had worked on a lot, using the "Fast Track" book's arrangement of the tune.  Wow -- what a difference when, instead of playing along with the instructional CD, you've got a drummer, a keyboard player, a vocalist, and *several* guitarists.

Great fun!

In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don't wobble.
-- Yun-Men

Posted : 16/04/2004 4:35 am
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