View Full Version : Just back from my first "gig"

Feb-12-2004, 12:51am
Hi all,

In my continuing efforts to live up to my New Year's Resolution to get over my fear of playing in front of people, I am attending a weekly slow jam on Mondays at lunch at work. The banjo player there, who is one of the more skilled players, and I have been working up a few tunes over the past couple of weeks. Last Monday, he asks me, "What are you doing on Wednesday night?" When I replied nothing (my wife lives a long way away *sigh*) he told me that he was playing at a work-related (University) international cultural night. I bit down on my lip hard, and said, "sure, I'd love to!"

So, we worked out a couple of arrangements, got a guitar player at literally the last minute (darned classical musicians!), and away we went to play a couple of old time/BG chestnuts in front of about 100 folks.

Well, it was great! The first tune, Soldier's Joy, I was shaking so hard I couldn't pick my half of the duo melody, so I stopped trying and started playing rhythm. As I calmed down, I started voicing the chords, and by the end was right in there. The second tune, Old Joe Clark, I got to kick off, and we played a fairly melodic version slowly one time through, then kicked it into high gear for two more (and progressively faster) passes, up to about 200 bpm. Whew!

Its not Carnegie Hall (or the Freight and Cargo), but it was my big step past irrational inhibition. It was great fun, and sounded pretty good! Just wanted to share: even a rookie playing about 2 years can make folks happy with music.

Feb-12-2004, 1:12am
Good job jasona, just let all of it go and play what you know. #I know there is pressure but you must learn to thrive off of that pressure and do what you know you can do. #It's hard for me to even speak in front of a large crowd but my first gig profesionally was in front of 5,000 people and I made it through it (with Grisman, Duffey, Gaudreau, and others sitting out in the band-only seats!). #Just feel the groove and go with it. #You will learn to love it and make the best of it.

mando bandage
Feb-12-2004, 6:54am
Alright jason! Just like public speaking. First 2 minutes are the hard part.

Keep it up.


Keith Wallen
Feb-12-2004, 8:33am
That's cool Jason! It gets easier the more you do it. Just consentrate on what you are playing as if you are at home and try to forget about the crowd. The next step is connecting with the crowd. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Feb-12-2004, 2:13pm
Thanks all! Its funny, but I don't htink having Bush and Grisman et al. in the audience would intmidate me because muscians are very forgiving of beginners, I've found. And as suggested, it really was a matter of getting into the music to the exclusion of all else, and once that happened all was well.

Funny you all talk about the terrors of public speaking--I do not have that in the slightest, but I've trained, lectured, and acted so much it is second nature. This is why I am forcing myself to play my mandolin out in front of folks--with experience comes confidence.

Michael H Geimer
Feb-12-2004, 2:43pm
" because muscians are very forgiving of beginners, I've found. "

So true. It's the non-musicians that often hold the false expectation that live music should be as 'blemish free' as the mixed, mastered, polished stuff that gets broadcast ... its like comparing women to those oh-so-pretty-skinny-retouched models in the magazines.

A good friend offered some wise words to my group one afternoon. Scotty said to us, "Live music is just better ... always."

- Benignus

WV Mike
Feb-12-2004, 2:53pm
Way to go Jason! Thanks for sharing your experience. And, I like your song selection.
I can, almost, get through both of them at a good tempo.

I've yet to play in public. There's an open mic event here in Charleston, WV once amonth that I might eventually get the nerve to do.

Don't stop there. You're on a roll.


Feb-12-2004, 4:31pm
Played in the Gate jam up at Beanblossom last year watching all those people applauding at the end of songs sure do give you a rush !!nothing like playing for folks http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif