Your first experience playing music with others?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by haggardfan1, Jul 31, 2020 at 5:50 PM.

  1. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

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    I was thinking about this last night for some reason.

    I was a high school kid, living in Starks, LA. The youth leader at church played guitar and sang, and his brothers who lived nearby played drums and bass. We all got together and actually played a couple of gatherings, but mostly just for fun. I remember I had some kind of Jaguar copy electric thing, and a Sears amp. The rig sounded awful and my playing was probably even worse, but it was fun!

    My dad and I had played guitars together and sung harmony way before this, but it was my first time playing in a "band", and I was hooked. There's safety in numbers IMO, and to this day I am uncomfortable playing acoustic and singing alone in front of people.

    What was your first ensemble experience with music?
     
  2. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    We were led by Phil who was the only one of us who played an instrument. Phil's two brothers were both session musicians a couple of hundred miles away in London. Phil proudly showed me a copy of "Music to varnish owls by" which his eldest brother had released, it was not the sort of jazz that I listened to as a 15 year old. Phil played piano, or when he had the opportunity my Dad's Yamaha Electone 600 (?) 2 manual organ. I had a vaguely Telecaster shaped electric guitar, whilst both Dave and Roy bought basses. Most songs were written by Phil, they were simple repetitive chord structures designed so that he could improvise at length over the top of them. Needless to say we never gigged.
     
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  3. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

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    I was about 14 so '82 or 83. I had a red Fender Bullet and a Champ II. It was a great rig and I miss the amp. We played as a trio at a house party.
    The romantics, Tommy Tutone...current stuff at the time. I had to choose between girls that night and it ended well. I was hooked.
     
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  4. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

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    I had gotten into a band and we played on a girl's carport for a little private party. Her dad paid us each $5. This was in 1967. For perspective that is $38.59 in 2020 dollars.
     
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  5. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Meister

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    My best friend and I both got guitars and learned how to play Smoke on the Water in A on one string. Boy, my parents must have hated that song because it's all I played for a month.
     
  6. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    nice thread topic ! My early history which includes opening for the Doors !

    I was playing some guitar early on, 12 or 13,( an old Stella) I was not playing with others. My brother bought me a Melody Maker Gibson and a small amp , boy was that a big day !

    I met two friends in school ( Westport Ct) another guitar player and a drummer. We all talked about maybe forming a band and next thing you know we got called to play a small party. That was it, we played , made $5 each, mostly songs from the Ventures catalog, no singing. We got tons of gigs from local places, The Women's Club, The Y , for dances etc. Oddly enough we only knew two kinds of songs, fast and slow.

    Not long after, here comes the Beatles , at one of the next dances we had all sorts of requests for Beatles songs, so, we had 1 mic, we knew the chords and words to a few, so we sang them, as crappy as singers we were. Nobody cared the dance floor was filled . Soon after we went singer shopping. Found a crazy kid who could sing House of the Rising Son. He looked the part, long hair, jeans dirty unpressed shirt, , the other 3 of us looked like we were in Guy Lombardo's band. Thin ties ,dark pants, sport jacket...UGGH ! But we were real busy for a while before we all went different ways.

    After that 1st band band ended, I joined band #2 and became the lead player in a basically ALL English Music band. Stones, Kinks, Who, Beatles..etc...We made some local noise and were pretty popular.

    My drummer pal from Band 1 took off to school in Florida somewhere. .

    My Guitar playing pal from Band #1 was Tim Breen , who went on to be a well know Jazz player, Vegas, USA tours etc..He was really quite good way back when we all started out together. Sadly Tim passed many years back.

    Band #2 was interesting as well, while we played around the region with good success, the gem from that band was my Bass Player friend Chip Jackson, VERY well known for his craft. Chip toured the world with many of the greatest Jazz artists under the son . That was is career, still is.

    Me, I just worked 9 -5 everyday for the next many decades. I turned down many road offers along the way . BUt, those I play with and have played with , are fascinated as to how I am familiar with so much music, especially from the 60's and 70's, multiple genres. Chip Jackson and I did a show together last year and we laughed about this as he had the same questions from so many artists he worked with over his career. " When did you learn that song" ? well, back in 1965 !

    Todays gig , this afternoon ,we are adding a few gems from Sister Hazel, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the Byrds !

    For me it all began with band #1 and band #2 from those early High School days.

    Side note: I grew up and lived lived in Westport Ct, our High School , Staples High, went on to be named " Rock and Roll High School " books and documentaries. A brief moment in time but being there at the right time was simply amazing, an experience, the beginning of a life long journey.


    Maybe down the road I'll mention Band #3, a trio, with Chip Jackson on Bass, we covered Hendrix, Cream etc...This band opened for the Doors , I think it was 1968. My daughter is still in awe, "You played a show with Jim Morrison and the Doors "? ..uhh..yeah, and Sly and the Family Stone, and many others as well. ! How about that. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020 at 8:39 AM
  7. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    My first real band was at age 17, early 2002. Had jammed with guys a few times before but that was when it started to take shape.

    Had my dad’s Samick SG copy to start out with, wrote all the songs while just referencing the singer’s lyric/poem book...pretty cool way to write actually. I’ve never done it that way since, but with my limited knowledge of theory I just went off inspiration by how the words made me feel and formed sounds and songs off that. Most were terrible, but I think a few ideas would hold up.

    Bought myself a Fender Cyclone and a Marshall Valvestate as my first gig rig. I was so proud. Had a blast especially at our first show. Not jaded at all, no drama, just all having fun and going for it.
     
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  8. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Meister

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    First time playing with a friend was a disaster, we both liked the same music, but I didn't like playing that music, plus I was pretty new and playing bass.

    Second time playing with others, was in my first band at 20. Everybody apart from me was already acquainted and I was a fill-in for bass. All the songs I had to learn were already written, and of course, they ALL started with bass on its own. I still remember the songs after almost 25 years, which is kind of cool, but I switched from bass to guitar years ago.

    The end to that story was, after a couple of gigs, I was told I was no longer necessary, and eventually the drummer kicked everybody else out of the band. Nobody knew why.
     
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  9. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I started playing acoustic guitar backup/accompaniment for my contest fiddler Dad at age 12.
    Boil The Cabbage in A, all three chords.
    The repertoire improved greatly with time.
    My folks made sure I had good instruments
    I started playing in garage bands at 14.
    That’s where the “real” playing started, for me.
    I started gigging at age 16.
    I just can’t quit!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020 at 6:34 PM
  10. ponce

    ponce Tele-Afflicted

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    I started playing guitar at 15 in 1995, had my dads SG copy with a Bigsby. Next year I was in a band with a couple of friends from the brass band of our towns voluntary firebrigade I was also a member of. There is a tradition in Croatia and Slovenia that almost every town and even village has a voluntary firefighter organization dating back to the 19th century. Some have brass bands, playing marches on parades, funerals, etc. Ours even had a section with electric instruments and we kind of inherited the instruments and tube amps from the previous generation. We shared a drum set with the orchestra we also played in. That firebrigade organized yearly masquerades and camp holidays for the adult and youth members and those were our first gigs. All in all, great time, something of a pathfinders club with enhanced activities.
     
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  11. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very first public performance must have been a school concert, playing the recorder, I must have been 8 or 9 years old.
    Very first performance playing rock music was at age 17, when I participated in a music-themed international youth camp in Denmark, sponsored by Lions Club. We rehearsed a performance that recreated the development of pop music, from early jazz and blues to rock'n'roll to modern pop - I played bass.
    While I always played bass in bands later on, I guess I didn't perform playing electric guitar in public until my mid-30s...
     
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  12. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very similar here in Austria - I played the clarinet in my local village marching band in my teens, definitely played some funerals, carnival parades, and the likes...
     
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  13. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Playing at the enlisted men's club at the Navy base. The other guitarist's mom sewed us all Jade Green vests. We were named the Jades.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I was a drummer in marching bands all through school days.... playing major city parades at times...people everywhere...

    then mainly played campfire acoustic for the next few decades or playing with a few guys at home... no thought to performing in front of crowds...

    these days I've been pensioned off and had more time to get into electric guitars. I ran a rock band and taught the young kids guitar at the local school for a few years where I mainly worked with the bass guitar kids, often playing shows with the kids when their bass player was away ill or at camp, etc...

    My first gig on bass was in front of the whole school/parents/teachers....another time was with them at the local town fair on the street stage.... both shows were at short notice and I had only one proper practice with them beforehand...

    what a blessing it was to play those shows with the kids.... and so glad I didn't mess it up for them...;)

    I played bass with a local trio for a few years, we practiced sets of songs to play a gig/party if we were asked, the one time we were going to play an outdoor show it got rained out.... I was bummed out for a month after that, I was so looking forward to that chance to play out again...

    then both those avenues ran their course and I'm back to playing at home..

    I find it hard to play at home here by myself these days... being part of something musical with others is much more fun...:)
     
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  15. ponce

    ponce Tele-Afflicted

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    All relics of the good old 'Kakanien'. ;)
     
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  16. Richie Cunningham

    Richie Cunningham Tele-Meister

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    This didn’t happen until I was well into my twenties. Two of my co-workers played guitar, and one of them also played bass, so we would hold events known as “Full Rig” in the office after hours. We would each bring in our 100W tube half-stacks or whatever we had, along with a couple of guitars, and we’d play for a few hours. Those were the only times I’ve really been able to connect with other people through music.
     
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  17. Slippery Jack

    Slippery Jack Tele-Meister

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    Mine happened to be with a few friends by accident. We did a version of the song Motorhead. We didn't have anyone on drums, and I sang and played guitar. When I say that I played the guitar, I mean I played half of the guitar. The neck half. I didn't know the words so someone was holding them up for me to read. Unfortunately, the person wasn't able to keep them still enough for me to read, so I had to hold them myself whilst someone else strummed the guitar. It gave an interesting effect, musically disastrous, but curiously fascinating in a morbid kind of way. A bit like being unable to turn one's gaze away from an unfolding disaster.

    It was taped on the day of Diana and Charles wedding, so we called it the wedding tapes. We called ourselves Mack the Hack and the Mentals.

    It was our only ever joint performance. Thankfully. The tape got played on a university radio station. Presumably, they must have had all of their records stolen.
     
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  18. stratokatsu

    stratokatsu TDPRI Member

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    My freshman year of college, along with 3 high school seniors, we just started jamming in the basement of the drummer's house. We worked up 8 songs and did a brief gig for pizza and Coke at the church youth group where one of the families went.

    That evolved into a second group. The guitar players and I all loved the folk music scene, so we created a folk group. I'm Jewish, Bob is Lutheran and Dan is Catholic, so we became known as "The Religious Picnic"... Along with Dan's little sister, who did a great job singing Peter, Paul & Mary songs, we were pretty good.

    We did the usual youth group circuit, again for pizza, burgers and soft drinks. One night, a father came up to us and said he had enjoyed us so much, he gave each of us $10. We thought we had hit the big time then.

    What was unfortunate and unplanned was, the next fall, Bob and Dan went off to different colleges out of town. End of group and total loss of fame that could have been... ;-)
     
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  19. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    I got my 1st guitar at 13. My friend who lived up the street was a drummer, and we spent countless hours practicing together. We were in a few bands over the first couple years... then hooked up with a singer and bass player from the other side of town that changed our lives/careers forever!

    The band had an instant style... and tremendous energy/goals. Within a month we put on our own gig, invited the right people and got picked up by a manager... next thing you know we were doing "local" opening shows for touring groups, and working the club circuit around the city. I was just 16 at that point. The group only lasted a year and a half, but the stage was set for me - I would forever be a musician! (so would my buddy the drummer... although we didn't work much together as time marched on)

    I'm now in my mid/late 50's, and aside from the circumstances of 2020.... I'm gigging/touring as much now as I was back in the 90's.
     
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  20. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

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    Hey, that's just about what I make for a gig now! :lol:
     
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