FIRST GIG IN A LONG TIME COMING UP.

Kandinskyesque

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I've agreed to do a gig on the last Saturday of this month. A 45 minute solo vocal/guitar set.
I've been doing gigs of this nature (and much longer sets) since the late 1980s.

The keyboard player from my old 'signed' band in the 1990s has asked me.
He runs a large community arts centre and they're having a fundraiser to send a young woman to the US for specialist cancer treatment.

The problem is my last gig was in late 2017, when I had to quit my 'guitaraoke duo' (2 guitars/vocals/backing tracks) due to health, which ain't any better than when I stopped. I'm still only mobile 3 to 4 days out of 7, due to fatigue.

I really want to do this gig: it's for a good cause; on a good stage with state of the art pa and lighting. The engineer is someone I know well and we get along. I rate his skills very highly: my experience of my time with him live and in the studio, I've yet to have a better vocal and guitar sound. I only need to turn up, plug in and play.

There's no better place in the world for me than the bliss of playing live, I just go into a 'zone' and it's something I used to do really well (so I'm told).
No doubt I'll be wiped out for a few days afterwards but that's a price worth paying.

However, this health thing and being away from a stage for so long has brought a real crisis of confidence, in my ability. I'll probably do nothing else (hospital visits aside) for the next 10 days other than rehearse and make sure my gear is in top condition, right down to the socks on my feet, but I'm concerned about taking this 'no longer good enough' passenger in my head onstage with me.

Any advice out there about getting back in the saddle?
 

nojazzhere

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I've agreed to do a gig on the last Saturday of this month. A 45 minute solo vocal/guitar set.
I've been doing gigs of this nature (and much longer sets) since the late 1980s.

The keyboard player from my old 'signed' band in the 1990s has asked me.
He runs a large community arts centre and they're having a fundraiser to send a young woman to the US for specialist cancer treatment.

The problem is my last gig was in late 2017, when I had to quit my 'guitaraoke duo' (2 guitars/vocals/backing tracks) due to health, which ain't any better than when I stopped. I'm still only mobile 3 to 4 days out of 7, due to fatigue.

I really want to do this gig: it's for a good cause; on a good stage with state of the art pa and lighting. The engineer is someone I know well and we get along. I rate his skills very highly: my experience of my time with him live and in the studio, I've yet to have a better vocal and guitar sound. I only need to turn up, plug in and play.

There's no better place in the world for me than the bliss of playing live, I just go into a 'zone' and it's something I used to do really well (so I'm told).
No doubt I'll be wiped out for a few days afterwards but that's a price worth paying.

However, this health thing and being away from a stage for so long has brought a real crisis of confidence, in my ability. I'll probably do nothing else (hospital visits aside) for the next 10 days other than rehearse and make sure my gear is in top condition, right down to the socks on my feet, but I'm concerned about taking this 'no longer good enough' passenger in my head onstage with me.

Any advice out there about getting back in the saddle?
Go do it....and try not to worry beforehand.
Just keep in mind, you've got the collective "synergy" of the TDPRI community behind you. Channel our positive "best wishes" and we're ALL there with you.
BTW....a stool might be a little more comfortable than a saddle.....just sayin'. ;)
 

posttoastie

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Kandinskyesque

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Thanks everyone.
I didn't expect the responses I've had.
Just back from the hospital and this cheered me up just for starters.
In the relatively short time I've been hanging around in this wonderful corner of cyberspace, every day surpasses the previous day's good feeling I have about here.
Eager to get up in the morning and practice now.
There's some real nuggets of wisdom in the responses.

The gig is for a good cause plus the guy that's asked me to play is a very good friend, we met at a Maths lecture while both studying engineering in 1984 and ended up playing in the same band in '94 and co-running a studio before record label politics turned it pear shaped in 2002. It will be good to reconnect musically with him again albeit it's just me playing and him organising.

I'll definitely give this place a mention somewhere in my set.
 

aging_rocker

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May 8, 2019
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Aotearoa
You'll be fine once you start the show. The anticipation is far worse than the reality, IMHO.

I hadn't played in front of an audience for decades when a couple of friends persuaded me to play bass for them at a one-off low-key winery-type affair, and I was pretty unsure of myself beforehand, despite some good jams and rehearsals.

Two minutes in and all the jitters had gone away and I enjoyed myself.
 

zippofan

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Pennsylvania
I hear you, this past Sunday I rehearsed with the band I played with for years, mid-1980's through the early 2000's. We were all starting and raising families then, busy with other things though we all played with other bands and saw each other at different gigs. I played with a few other bands up until around 2010 and then hung up my sticks and "retired" from gigging drums 3-4 times a month. We're getting together again as a band to do a memorial/benefit because our bass player died in March of cancer at 58, and his son was going to play his bass.

This same band got together for a different benefit almost 8 years ago and we sounded good then, but I hadn't picked up sticks much since that gig. My drums are set up, but I really enjoy just playing my guitar in the basement for fun. After we rehearsed the first song Sunday I felt like I did 35 years ago, even though my health isn't that great now but that is my own darn fault. It helps that both guitarists have continually gigged with other bands the entire time, they are great players and they're brothers so they have like a telepathy between them. The lead guitarist's son is also playing bass so it's generational too.

I really hope you enjoy the gig! I know the 'zone' and go there with this band, there is nothing like that feeling :cool:
 

playforfun

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I get that way before most shows. It is a confidence thing with me. I’m the singer and the one who is supposed to talk to the crowd. Here’s what we do. We hit the stage and do three songs before saying anything then I tell them the name of the band and how glad we are to be playing for them and anything else I wanna say cause halfway through that first song I’m having a blast. By the end of three songs I feel like i own the stage. I never understood how anyone could not be nervous before a gig. I think they fake it like me till the fun starts. I have no doubt you will do great !!
 

Milspec

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Playing a gig is just like falling off a bicycle....you never forget the pain.

I just remember that it is all for fun and that my job is to help others have a good time singing, dancing, etc. It isn't brain surgery, it doesn't have to be perfect. The key is for the performer to have fun as it becomes contagious and the audience will feed off of it. Just don't take yourself too seriously, have fun with it and any errors will not even be noticed nor cared about.

I remember attending one of the final performances of Frank Sinatra. He struggled to remember song lyrics and sometimes just got lost on songs, but nobody cared about any of that, he handled it with humor and the audience was loving the performance.

The key is to not let any errors throw you or get angry about it. Nobody will care, just have fun.
 

Kandinskyesque

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Go have fun. Sing your a$$ off. And end with this one:

That might go down well.
The gig's in a post WWII (in)famous housing scheme/project on the outskirts of Glasgow called Castlemilk. A place built during the slum clearances that provided the residents with indoor toilets.
As the Scots poet Tom Leonard put it; "A place where the men are men and so are half the women".
That said, I've always found the folks there good people.
I even presented a show on their community radio station back in 2001, where I would talk in between songs in either Billy Connolly's or Sean Connery's voice.
We called the slot "Sean and Billy's Favourite Punk Songs".
 

El Tele Lobo

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Record yourself (use your phone if you don't have a camera. It will give you honest feedback. You probably look and sound better than you think. And if, in any ways, you don't, you will see/hear what you need to work on. If it's truly terrible, I suppose you can bail on the gig. But I suspect your fears are unfounded after having such a long history performing. Good luck.
 




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