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Gigging Archives - Page 5

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...

Dealing with Sound Engineers
Ask Damian Erskine

Dealing with Sound Engineers

Q: I have a question regarding how I might get my sound man to successfully change all the monitors on stage, (5 stage mixes) before a song with a different lead singer and making the original lead singer a backup and not in the musicians mix anymore. Changing to a song that is led by a female while still having...

Gigging Without a Car: A Discussion on Gear
Ask Damian Erskine

Gigging Without a Car: A Discussion on Gear

Q: Since I don’t own a car anymore, I was thinking about changing my gear to better fit my new way of moving around (public transportation). Do you have any suggestion about ways to reduce the amount of stock I need to move around while keeping a good sound on stage? A: I think that even those of us with...

The Lightbulb Moment: Toil And Trouble
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Toil And Trouble

It’s finally jacket weather. The leaves are falling, the sun is setting earlier every day, and the pumpkin spice latte has returned. Halloween is just around the corner, which means that my friends will search for the creepiest haunted houses and hayrides, only to force me to join them on an adventure that will make me extremely uncomfortable. I have...