Returning to gigging... how are your experiences?

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I did my comeback gig on July 4 for a small party, with two sets and light volume. It took a few songs to get back into the groove with live players, but we all locked-in quickly. I didn't break a sweat and wasn't tired or sore, and it was an afternoon gig so I wasn't up late.

However, last night I had my first normal gig since March, 2020 - three high-energy sets, loudish volume, and playing 'til midnight - and the experience was a bit different. I expended a lot more energy, and was a bit surprised that I wasn't very tired by the second set. But by the start of third set at 11:15, I was yawning, and getting fatigued. Granted, I haven't been practicing like I should have in order to get my stamina back up, but it was also a lot later than I've stayed up in the last 18 months. So I'm a little drowsy and my muscles a bit sore this morning, which was rarely the case when I was playing regularly.

But it really felt great to play, and I look forward to more of a regular schedule in the months ahead with several gigs already on the books. :)
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I did my 3rd gig of the year last night...at a micro brewery that we play at a lot here in town. It was their Christmas in July party. Standard Swing and Jump Blues band. Mostly with brushes. Guitar, bass, trumpet and sax

Temp was good...78ºF...nice light breeze. Lots of people outside.

point of view right after set up
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perfect spot for views, temperature and sound. My gnome hat at the ready for the Christmas tunes
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our guitar players 66 Gibson 330(?) and my 55 Ludwig...lots of mojo there!!! The bass is "new" as a late 70's model, brand unknown
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we also play their regular Christmas show in Dec
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I’ve only had 12 gigs so far this spring/summer. Definitely a slower pace than usual, but they do seem a bit more tiring than I remember them being before the pandemic. I’ve found myself constantly double-guessing myself, repeatedly asking, “Did I forget anything?”

The thing I’m really grateful for is the mutual appreciation that everybody has to be doing music again! There is such a sense of awe and wonderment among all my fellow musicians that is palpable before, during, and after the gigs—like little kids on Christmas morning! I hope that everyone here is experiencing that same joy!
 

KEEF

Senior Member
I've found myself struggling a little- 3 gigs back now but first indoor bar gig this weekend. Kept well away from everyone but still felt a bit sketchy. Playing wise did ok but the 2am finish really hit me the next day!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I was fortunate enough to have a very steady gig playing drums at a church that was livestreaming services during the pandemic. That allowed me to keep in fighting trim. I also managed several practices and three livestream concerts with my two bands over the last eighteen months, all done in observance of best guidance at the time (and we have had zero problems amongst all of us).

Having said that, the three-hour sets are still draining and it's become harder to sit down and play off the cuff. My hands start off with the dumb and keep it for a few songs, it seems. So I've begun to bring along a practice pad to warm up on before we start.

One positive change I decided on this year was stopping drinking, at least for the rest of the year. During the pandemic, trapped inside, it became very easy to go from my home office fifteen steps to the fridge for a beer. Too easy, in fact. I've lost fifteen pounds and my bandmates tell me my timing has never been better.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Did my first gig since Jan 2020 on Saturday just gone. Easy wedding gig just knackered afterwards.

Really not a gig I wanted to do as I lost my mom on Tuesday but I'd already been paid for it so the show went on. Just hid away at the back and got on with it. The rest of the guys were cool. Drumming is unbelievably calming and therapeutic, just not the way I'd like to find out.

My tea and biscuit post gig ritual was ruined when I discovered the milk had gone off so I just went to bed for a 9 hour nap.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Over the last two weeks I've been playing the local jams and even started rehearsals with a new band. In between that, I go to Guitar Center to play on their Roland V drums kit. I've been vaccinated with both Pfizer shots in May - now two months since 2nd shot - and I'm back to 10-15 miles cycling a day.

I'm 55 yo and consider myself in great shape. My body was sore the morning after playing Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down A Dream". Did it slow me down? I've played the song several times with the new band as well as the local jam and the soreness is gone.

All that said, no one is wearing a mask in the bars down here. Or practices. And I'm sick with Covid symptoms - dry cough, body soreness, throat soreness, slight fever. Been like that for over a week. With healthcare premiums at $700/month, I can't afford to get tested at every whim.

Oh and even when I'm sick, cycling still seems to bring me out of it. And it's 90+ degrees Fahrenheit down here in humid Mobile. Maybe recovery from a virus that attacks the lungs is boosted by fresh oxygen?

Anyways, I'm playing again, and this time none of that playalong crap. It's real people this time. Nothing better!
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I've been playing decent gigs. Restaurants, bars, parties, festivals. Audiences are appreciative. Reminds me of how it used to be before covid.
 

moodman

Well-known member
I've only played at jam sessions (and band practices) but felt comfortable and could play like I wanted to.
My next booked gig is in Sept, I'll see how my endurance is, performing at the gig level.
 
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moodman

Well-known member
Did my first gig since Jan 2020 on Saturday just gone. Easy wedding gig just knackered afterwards.

Really not a gig I wanted to do as I lost my mom on Tuesday but I'd already been paid for it so the show went on. Just hid away at the back and got on with it. The rest of the guys were cool. Drumming is unbelievably calming and therapeutic, just not the way I'd like to find out.

My tea and biscuit post gig ritual was ruined when I discovered the milk had gone off so I just went to bed for a 9 hour nap.
I'm sorry for your loss, and good to soldier on and play, I have always felt that performing is therapeutic.
 

Capital D

Member
My band played our first show since the world fell apart last Friday. We had a great crowd and played an "alright" couple of sets, but we had a great time.

I was exhausted afterward. My singing voice isn't what it was before either. I kind of neglected to keep practicing vocals... 😬
 

Neal Pert

Well-known member
I've only done one gig, per se. I've decided I wasn't enjoying my old route of playing lots of jazz gigs so I joined two bands playing all-original music. We're doing a ton of rehearsing and making demos on my Zoom LiveTrak L-12, which is a better tool than I'd anticipated when I bought it during the pandemic. Wish I'd gone for the L-20 and I may still do that one day.

I've got to pull together a new band for some jazz gigs I've booked for the fall. I want to record some demos for that, too

Basically, my whole focus is on newness and getting out of ruts I've made since living where I do. I'm not super-driven to get out and do what I used to do, tbh.
 

Frank

Gold Member
I have only had 1 gig recently. It was when it was still cold, it was outdoors, and it was essentially empty.

I practiced leading up to it, but I felt the stamina challenge by the end of it.

We only have 2 more the entire rest of the summer. We kind of blew it. When the gigs started getting booked, we weren't aggressive grabbing dates, and the dates were all scarfed up pretty quickly. It will take us some time to get back into any regular groove.
 
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