Questions for "non professional" gigging bassists

I was curious what other bassists have experienced as they play “abroad”.

I gig a lot but i’m not a paid pro. I’ve had people offer to pay me but I usually turn it down because if they are paying me, then they can tell me what/how to play. If I do it for the fun of it then I can just catch a groove.

QUESTION: How often have you actually had to read script music on a gig?

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Oh yea, and feel free to ask your own questions

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I can’t possibly be the only one here.

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I’m definitely non professional (to say the least) but I haven’t gigged in a couple decades :slight_smile:

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There have been a number of people who have played but very few that do so currently. I think the list is @Gorch @Gio @JoshFossgreen and @muff. But muff hasn’t posted in a long time. There might be some new people I’ve missed though.

I am looking froward to see what comes up on this thread, though.

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@Gorch I’ve been watching posts and I think @b.s.excavations and @mmrunyan1 are gigging bassists.

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I certainly wouldn’t call myself a gigging bassist, nor a professional.
I have played guitar for many years, mandolin for a couple and bass for only a few months.
I do not earn money for playing.
I play in my churches praise band 2 to 3 times a month. That’s it.

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As for needing to read script music, it has happened a couple times when playing mandolin. I’m not very good at to say the least.

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I believe @JoshFossgreen has done cruise ship gigging, which I know requires playing off of printed music sheets. I know this just from chatting with Mark Smith at TalkingBass . net, who also has spent a few years playing on cruise ships. If I’m not mistaken, this is how Josh and Mark know each other.

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Hi @eric.kiser,
I am not a gigging bassist, I’ve only ever played live at a venue in Melbourne called the new capers in Hawthorn.
It was a thing that was run by billy Hyde drum clinic here in Melbourne called weekend warriors, whereby you attend an open mic type thing and just get up on stage and play with people you don’t know.
It is designed for people probably not dissimilar to a lot here who have learnt to play instruments but haven’t played with others in a live situation.
I actually played drums at this open mic event.
They then put people into bands based on skill levels etc,
And the bands then go away and put together set lists, rehearsals are done a couple of times a week over 6 to 8 weeks at which time the music director who attends every week gives direction and guidance.
It is a great experience and builds self confidence.
The zoom group lessons being organised on our forum will be a good opportunity to help and share knowledge.
The time zones may prove to be difficult, but @howard in Tokyo, @mac and @rory and myself all in Melbourne are on the same time zone which makes it easier.
Cheers Brian

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Josh has a couple videos on his utoob channel talking about cruise ship gigging. Video’d on a cruise ship, actually.
One of the things he says is that you should be able to read.

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I have my first gig post-shutdown on Tuesday!! Hooray! The work trickle is finally… well, trickling.
I won’t be reading any notation for this one.

The sight-reading gigs come at a more demanding level of playing. Most songwriters and band leaders don’t know how to read either, so they can’t write out their parts.
So, when I have a sight reading gig, it’s usually a more demanding, professional gig. The last time I was asked to read notation was a session for a composer (great material - he wrote the music for Grim Fandango, Hearthstone, and a bunch of other cool video games). Everything was notated and on upright.
I had another session for an album where most material was off of charts, but the songwriter had a cool bass line from a demo he wanted note for note. He printed it off Garage Band using their MIDI transcribe feature.

But these are, again, very few and far between.

Most common: Learn it by ear.
Next most common: Read a chord chart.
Rare: Read notation.

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That is my experience exactly. I’ve never had to read music. It’s always been "you do something here…"kind of thing and chord charts otherwise.

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That sounds interesting.

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Kind of an aside but there’s some excellent video game composers. I really like Jesper Kyd.

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Hey folks! Bringing this back, because the composer released the first tune from this session on Facebook. Thought it would be cool to bring this back with the final product.

I played upright into an old Ampeg B-15. Wrapped a bandana through the strings to dampen the naturally sweet and sustained sound on this particular instrument as they wanted something janky and old school style.

They asked me to do slap for the main verses. Same idea as on electric, but it’s upright.

Everything was written out, note for note. A few changes during the recording, but basically just read it down and connect to the drummer and the click!
It’s a facebook vid, so I hope it works?

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That was cool. They even added your name in the video.

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