screwed up my first gig

FrontierGibberish

Senior Member
I have never gigged with a band of my own - only played out at jam sessions. My first appearance live with an audience was at an open jam night. I signed up early - in fact I was there so early the host band's drummer "let me" help set up as he knew I was a newb. I asked him about the jam and how it worked and he filled me in. I had no idea I was being set up when he said he would be sure to get me on early- you know, before the crowd filled up - both the seats and their bellies with beer etc. The jam started at 9 and I kept waiting to get announced to play drums - I was to play Simple Man by Lynard Skynard. One drummer after another got called up to the stage - I was sure they forgot about me or overlooked me. At about 11:30 - with the house packed and fully loaded up - the drummer from the host band, grabbed the mic and announced, "PAGING MIKE THE VIRGIN - PAGING MIKE THE VIRGIN" - the crowd loved it - yeah I walked into this one. I make my way up on to the stage with sticks in hand and the guitar player asks me "We are doing When the Levee Breaks right?" - then he started laughing and said "just kidding man - lets go!". I sat down behind the very unfamiliar kit and proceeded to do a decent job covering my parts. There were a few hiccups but the crowd was on fire cheering the virgin on. I never looked up once - my head was down the whole time. As the band is trying to end the song something poked me - I looked up at the bass player and he smiles and says "ready to wrap it up?" - I was going to just keep playing that chorus over and over and over - anyhoo - finished strong, stood up, took a bow and left the stage. One last barb - "MIKE THE VIRGIN YOU LEFT YOUR STICKS"...
 

Daisy

Senior Member
My first gig was, like yours, just a short set. Eight numbers I think. I was so scared and tense I didn't have the nerve to do any of the fills etc in the songs, I just kept the beat going and that's all. I knew when a fill was coming up, and I was thinking"Do it, do it" and then thinking "Nooooo, I'm too scared !!"

At least you played the fills ! Good for you.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
Know what? Every gig I do there's something that I didn't play right, something that was less than perfect. Every. Single. Gig. It's never going to be 100% perfect and that's part of the joy of playing music.

But as you get better as a player the mistakes will be smaller and less noticeable. Always remember that there's just really no way that someone can get up inside your head as you're playing and see the "committee" who live in your head that's giving you the thumbs-up or thumbs-down as per your performance. So it's best to look like you're having a blast and put all that other crap out of your mind.

At the end of the night as you post-mortem your performance (and I hope you've recorded it) ask yourself "Was I listening? Was I empathetic to the song? Did I play in congruence with the situation?" And if you can answer those in a positive way then you're good.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
A little while ago I went to watch a Robbie Williams concert.

The start of Mr Bojangles he started singing part way through the intro, several bars early. He stopped, did nothing to give away that he had fluffed it, the band continued as though everything was according to plan and I would bet money that most of the audience didn't even pick up on the error (and I know for a fact that Mrs James did not spot it).

Catastrophic on stage disasters - short of your drum kit catching fire - are usually only visible to the audience if you grimace/swear/kill a band member.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
My first gig was, like yours, just a short set. Eight numbers I think. I was so scared and tense I didn't have the nerve to do any of the fills etc in the songs, I just kept the beat going and that's all. I knew when a fill was coming up, and I was thinking"Do it, do it" and then thinking "Nooooo, I'm too scared !!"

At least you played the fills ! Good for you.
Done the same myself when I've not been so well, or don't feel in the zone.

There's worse things to do ...
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Everyone make mistakes when they are learning. Most of us are learning all our musical lives. Remember, this doesn't just apply to drummers; your band mates no doubt had their own "learning opportunities" (aka mistakes).
 
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