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Gigging Archives - Page 5

Should I Cancel A Gig for a Better Opportunity?
Ask Damian Erskine

Should I Cancel A Gig for a Better Opportunity?

Q: Have you ever been put into a situation where you have booked yourself for a gig in one place (even months in advance) but had a even greater opportunity come calling after? How have you handled bowing out of the prior engagement for a greater one? A: This is a tough but all-too-common quandary for the freelance musician. There...

When Personal Beliefs Conflict with The Gig
Ask Damian Erskine

When Personal Beliefs Conflict with The Gig

Q: I spent this past Saturday marching the streets of Austin, TX with about 50,000 like-minded fellow Americans. Felt great… both humbling and inspiring! The next morning, I was playing my regular church gig – a place with a very different worldview and some decidedly harsh perspectives regarding my fellow marchers. I kept my mouth shut but was in danger...

How Much Should I Get Paid for Gigs?
Ask Damian Erskine

How Much Should I Get Paid for Gigs?

Q: I gig about 10-16 times a month on double bass and electric and live in a rural part of the UK. Some gigs involve a drive of 50-100 miles for about ?50-75. Do you have a minimum fee for local work, and a max distance you will drive for small bar type gigs? I am trying to find my...

Starting Out: Getting Work
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Starting Out: Getting Work

Photo by Alan Levine Q: I recently saw a video that talked about going to music school. After watching it I got the impression that maybe school wasn’t such a good idea. At the same time it seemed like the only way to get work as a musician, was to go to school and use that school’s alumni network to...

Surviving the Holidays as a Freelance Bassist
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Surviving the Holidays as a Freelance Bassist

For non-musicians the winter holidays can be a time for rest, relaxation and extra time with family. For many freelance musicians, however, it is a time of early mornings, late nights, long hours playing, coffee, and lots of time in the car going from gig to gig. The upside is, of course, that it can be our most profitable time...

Learning Lots of Songs Quickly
Ask Damian Erskine

Learning Lots of Songs Quickly

Q: I have a dep gig in 5 days and need to learn 23 songs. Any tips? I’m quite a good reader and have all the songs transcribed so I can probably read the music as I play but it’s for a rock gig and wouldn’t look particularly cool. A: For those who don’t know what a “dep gig” is...

How To Transition to Pro Level?
Ask Damian Erskine

How To Transition to Pro Level?

Q: My question is this: how did you transition to a pro level and play concerts vs. playing bars and functions? I have been playing for quite a few years and have played with some very good musicians out of Berklee and local players, but I always dream of stepping up to the next level. I am lucky to find...

Jam Session Etiquette
Ask Damian Erskine

Jam Session Etiquette

Q: I have never been to a random, strangers-in-the-night jazz jam as a bass player and a lot of jams tend to have their set bass player (ahem – often the organizer of said jam – ahem). What’s the etiquette if you just want to walk a few tunes with everybody? A: First of all, I love your, “random, strangers-in-the-night”...

The Lightbulb Moment: Learn Lots of Songs
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Learn Lots of Songs

Here I am, once again, on the bandstand with a bass in hand. Two sets down, one to go. It’s a free for all… no official set list and a handful of requests. A guy with a twenty in his hand walks up to the stage and says, “Do ya’ll know ‘Whipping Post’?” The guitar player immediately looks at me...

Cutting Through a Big Band: A Discussion for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Cutting Through a Big Band: A Discussion for Bass Players

Q: I’m playing in a jazz band of over 40 people in a song featuring bass guitar. I’m looking for a pedal that will make my sound distinct and rise above the band but not distort it. Any recommendations? Thanks. A: Personally, I wouldn’t change my sound much at all. You might leave yourself a little room on your volume...