Tell us your first live playing experience

It seems to me that this community loves these kind of topics (Show us your bass, straps, pets, profile pic …etc) So here is another one!

Tell us when you had the first opportunity to play with someone else in person and what did you take home from it!

Here is my story fresh from yesterday:

So yesterday I went to my very first opportunity to play with a bunch of musicians. It was in a dedicated studio in a building with several well made and equipped rooms to accomodate 5+ people at the same time in times of COVID

I got in touch with this group about 2 months ago deep into lock down through a website for posting and searching through announcements for musicians looking for musicians.

They told me that three of them (Vocalist, Acoustic Guitar and Electric guitar) were part of a larger band until last year but due to some conflicts they left. They have found a drummer just before the 2nd wave of COVID so they managed to play only twice all this time.

Last night was their first get together after a long break.

They informed me that about the 6 songs that they decided to start with from which 3 of them I managed to study thoroughly. Not nailing the whole bass lines as in their studio recording obviously but playing my little simplified interpretations.

So we started with the first song which was a super simple bass line and chord progression but from the first moment everything felt wrong! I really couldn’t tell where I was on the progression and it was sounding awful! In fact we had to cut off…

I asked immediately what key they were playing in and it was a whole tone lower! I did asked them what key they were playing all the songs and the guy convinced me that they were all as originals… So in this case he downloaded the first Chord chart he has found on the song back in the day (a couple of years ago) and rest of the band never noticed this difference.

In the end they kindly asked me to play one whole tone lower (which was easy enough with that bass line) and it went all smoothly afterwards.

What I took home:

  • Level of the bass amp is a big factor in a small room as it was making the trumpet on the drum kit resonate.
  • Even if I couldn’t study all of the pieces I should have at least prepared my own chord charts that I would be familiar to follow up needed (I was trying to get them on my phone in the spot without any reception in the room!)
  • I think the guy with the electric guitar had a hearing problem since he was almost always too loud and asked everyone else to be louder as well in a 5x5m sound isolated room which for me was absurd. I will bring ear plugs next time.

Sounds a bit nerve-wracking . . . I can imagine being nervous first time out.

But overall, did you have a good time, @Fahri ? . . . :slight_smile:

It will get better and better with each session you play!

Cheers and congrats,


I barely remember mine. I was six and was playing this huge (at the time) acoustic guitar that the teacher had taught me two chords on :slight_smile:

Wish I’d stuck with that!

Mostly joking but there was lots of live stuff like that in band in school for me. Guitar, then melodica, then recorder, then trumpet.

My first time playing bass live… hmm. I was 20. My (current!) bandmate wanted to busk in a coffee shop. He grabbed his guitar and I grabbed our bass player’s BB and bass amp - we all lived together so this was easy - and we went down and plugged in in a corner in the cafe. I just kind of figured things out on the fly. Thus began my love affair with Yamaha :slight_smile:

Hey, they didn’t kick us out…

I wish I had stuck with that too. Keyboards were fun and I still love synths but I really wish I had stayed active instead of taking a decades-long break, and the bass was a lot of fun even then.


It was an intense two hour session which I felt lost most of the time but when I was driving back home I had a big smile in my face…


Sounds like you learned a lot and had fun.


My first session with others was with a Snare Drum in a 20 person brass band when I was 7.
Do not remember much about it but it must have been fun because I progressed from Snare Drum to Cornet and then Eflat horn and was in the band for the next 15 years until I got married and moved out of town.


I was on a cruise with my family. The band the played in one of the bars on board each night was really good. I had talked to all the members between sets in the bar at some point or another during the week, and had been taking to the bass player quite a bit. I was really new to bass at the time. I think I had started B2B but prob wasn’t that far in. On the last night of the cruise I was right up front while they were playing an extended jam on ZZ Top LaGrange. Right as they went back into the main riff the bass player managed to put his bass over my shoulder before I even knew what was going on. I told him I didn’t know how to play the song (and he knew how new I was too bass and music)… he told me to just rock out on the open A string and play along and that I would be fine. Sure enough it worked. After one repetition I remembered to mute the other strings :grin: . I knew what I was doing was crap, the band knew it was crap, but man was it FUN! Some of the drunks on the boat even thought it was good and complemented me on being able to jump in on the spot! It wasn’t much, but it really gave me the itch to get better when I got home and helped me stick with the hobby.

Thank you to Ash the cruise line bass player that made it happen!


You guys have some great stories. Another nightmare from me –

Not my first, but one of my first. Years ago we played in a relatively popular bar in our town. We were all in our 20’s and it was the type of venue that would let basically anyone with an instrument plug in, and I remember nobody in the place knew how to work the sound that night so they just had some guy filling in on all the stage stuff. Anyway, as I said we were all 20-somethings and figured it’d be a really good idea to do a bunch of substances and drink adult beverages before going on. Plus it was basically a room full of people we knew, so the energy was great and people were buying us shots every three seconds. Our bassist got rip-roaring drunk and magic’d his way through, but one of our guitarists wasn’t so lucky and couldn’t finish the last two songs in the set. I had to put my finger in my ear to hear myself singing pretty much the whole time because all of our monitors were apparently set to “nope” except for the drunk guitarist (of course). It was just the worst thing ever but everyone watching us was also drunk enough to think we were good. Next band to come on (also friends of ours) was also very hammered and I think their singer was the one who we found in our drummer’s truck bed after several hours went by and we noticed he was missing.

We got invited back, so that’s something. Stories like these are the reasons I say I am the type of person who never should have touched a drug or drink in her life. :slight_smile:


The place I hung out most in college had what everyone called “bad bands night” and basically you just described the baseline expectation. It was super fun :slight_smile:

We never actually played that though. Most of our gigs were for things like people we knew’s weddings and such.

  • How long you guys been playing?
  • Well, we’ve been friends forever, but we realized last week that every one of us has a relative who plays an instrument so we all borrowed them and here we are!

SOOOoOOooo many bands like that through high school. And yeah – absolutely the best of times. :smiley:


This is what makes “Scott Pilgrim vs The World” the best movie of all time.