Re: Gig Report - my first upright gig
- From: BW <barrybassist@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 15:17:55 -0700
On Jul 19, 10:46 am, Mike <tetri...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I wanted to post this gig report on Wednesday, but Google Groups was
acting up all day, so I figured I'd wait.
Anyhow, the gig at the retirement community was terrific! The show
was scheduled to begin at 7:30. I got there around 6:15 (I like to be
the first band member at gigs). It was a torrential downpour and I
don't have a case for my upright, so I was pleased that they had a
drive-under drop-off area at the front door. I quickly got my bass
and stand, combo amp, small gig bag, and music stand in there. I was
ready to go, so I helped the social director set up the tables and
chairs while I waited (I just gotta stay busy). This retirement
community is not a depressing nursing home atmosphere, it's one of
those places that well-heeled seniors pay $5,000 a month to live at -
parking lot jammed full of Cadillacs. The band leader got there
around 6:50 with her husband and I helped get her equipment out of the
van. A real small set up, her keyboard, stand and stool, powered
mixer, 2 small speaker and 2 poles. Helped get all that set up. The
guitar player (who also plays trumpet, valve trombone, and sings about
a third of the songs we played) arrived about 7:10 and quickly loaded
his stuff onto a dolly and was set up in no time. The drummer arrived
around 7:15 and unloaded quickly and was ready to go 10 minutes
later. I asked the guitar player if we would mostly stick to the
order on the list of songs, or just call them out and he said there
likely would be no order. I wanted to try to arrange my charts a bit
to avoid having to scramble to find the music, but that was not to
be. Anyhow, it's 7:30 and we start off with L-O-V-E and all is well.
The band leader was very relaxed and happy, calling out the songs as
we go. I was able to find most of my charts quickly, but a few times
I couldn't, so I just went with it and followed along. One minor
drawback is that from where I was standing I couldn't see the band
leader's hands on the piano, nor could I see the front of the guitar,
so I couldn't look for visual clues from either person if I felt
myself getting a little lost (the guitar player did tell me a few
chords over the course of the night). I have a pretty good ear,
though, so there were no real trainwrecks. We played for about 45
minutes, took a 5 minute break, then played another 40 minutes
finishing up at 9:00. Our closer was "When the Saints Go Marching
In" (the guitar player does a convincing Louie Armstrong vocal) and
there was a conga line. Gotta love that.
As far as the physical playing of the upright, my left hand started to
get a little tired toward the end, but my right hand was feeling
good. No blisters, not even close. Maybe I'm playing too lightly?
This was probably the longest time I've played my upright at one
time. I did get a little stiffness in my legs through the gig as I
was largely in one spot. I'm used to moving around a lot when I play
electric. I found that shifting my weight around helped. Anyhow, I
was using my Fishman BP-100 pickup, into the Sansamp bass driver that
I use with my electric rig, into a nice little 80 watt Ampeg combo amp
that I pickup up off craigslist. The sound was very nice to my ears,
however the notes played on the E string were the weakest ones. I
dialed up a little more bass on the Sansamp and the amp itself and
evened it out. Not sure if this might be caused by the pickup I'm
using. I'll play around with the pickup and see if I can get it
seated onto the bridge a little better. That might help.
The band leader was very complimentary and we both agreed that we'd
like to continue to work together going forward. She plays out a lot
(some she does solo, some with just guitar, some with a band) and she
has a couple bass players she works with, I just want to be on the
list of guys she can call when she needs someone. I'm still very new
to playing standards, so I have plenty of work to do in the
The drummer was a pleasant surprise. He's one of these guys that
spent 15 years working on the L.A. scene and he is a lively player.
Used brushes all evening and punctuated his playing by using the
handle of the brushes on and in his cowbell and cymbals, and did some
well-placed vocal fills and yells, too. He is apparently a
contributing editor to Modern Drummer magazine (or some drum-related
mag). It's nice to play with a highly-skilled guy like that.
The gig ended at 9:00. The seniors were very pleased with the show.
I had the van loaded by 9:15. Helped everyone else get broken down
and loaded up, hit the road at 9:35, home before 10. Can't beat
that. Beats the hell out of playing in a smokey bar till 2:00 a.m.
(though I'll do that again many times I'm sure).
I videotaped the first hour of the gig and I will post some vids to
Youtube tonight I hope. There was only one place to set up my camera
tripod and, as it turned out, the guitar player was directly between
me and the camera (my mom will be slightly disappointed). The sound
is pretty good, though.
Thanks for the words of encouragement you all gave me before this gig!
Nice, Mike. Sounds like everything went wonderfully well. Good for
you. Nice that you help the others with their gear as well. (I do
that, too.) Every little thing (to quote that band from Liverpool)
contributes to the next call you get from them.
- Gig Report - my first upright gig
- From: Mike
- Gig Report - my first upright gig
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