#1
My band got a new bassist yesterday. He's great and miles ahead of our now ex bassist. We only have one small issue, but not about him.

April 14th we have a show. We have 9 songs prepared, and our bassist mostly knows how to play 2 of them right now since he had to audition partly by playing them. At this moment, we aren't sure whether we'll be able to get him in well enough to play the show with us. We have all of our songs planned and our plans were to, during the beginning of practices, go through a few songs with him so he can learn them, and then we run our set in full like we have been.

Hypothetically, if he could somehow perfectly learn all of our songs in less than 2 weeks, should we spend our practices going through the songs with him and then the rest of us run our set, or grind the songs hardcore into his brain and fingers and then run the set with him? It would take quite a bit of time, I'm sure of this. Without him, yes, it would mean that we have no bass for our show, but at our last 2 shows our bassist either played really quietly compared to the rest of us or really badly, so with some tweaking of tone, we would be fine enough at our show bassless.

So, what do you think that my band should do?
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#3
I would do the second option. He needs to know those songs, and hopefully the rest of the band knows the set well enough that they could stand a different approach to practice.

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#4
If he can't learn them, then you should'nt do the gig. But at practice you should do a mix of both drilling the songs into him and running the set. If at all possible have some sort of audible or written (tabs or sheet music, whichever you can all agree on) for him to follow and learn on his own time.
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#5
you have like three weeks, thats quite a bit of time to learn new songs. depends how long you can practice with him.
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#6
Quote by sonny bb
If he can't learn them, then you should'nt do the gig. But at practice you should do a mix of both drilling the songs into him and running the set. If at all possible have some sort of audible or written (tabs or sheet music, whichever you can all agree on) for him to follow and learn on his own time.

The other guitarist and I have written up tabs for 4 songs so far and almost have the rest done. 2 of the songs are covers but they're easy (Misery Business and Dragula). We're gonna grind the songs into his head and run chunks of the set until we can do the whole thing well. We're confident in him, but the task seemed daunting at first.
Quote by willT08
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How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#7
If he's as good as you say and you trust him then I say go for it. It's not a super daunting task I assume since you got him 2 weeks before a show. Whats the worst that could happen? He plays a less than stellar first show and then picks up the songs in time for the next one and the one after that and so on.
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"Stop shooting me!!!GAHHHH!!!"
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(>0_0)><(0_0< HA!!!
<(*~*)>
#8
He should be able to learn 7 bass songs in 2 weeks.
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#10
Quote by scguitarking927
you should really take the few hours to tab out all of his parts for him so he can learn them on his own. Practice really isn't a place to be learning.

We are tabbing things out for him and we have rough recordings of the songs. By learning at practice, I mean us play the songs and he gets a feel for playing them with us, and gets everything down.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#11
For an experienced musician, two and a half weeks is plenty of time to get 7 songs down.

Rather than tab them out for him, I'd see if you can have one of you get together with him and walk him through them. Two or three a session should be pretty easy (at least!) and that leaves you time for a full dress rehearsal or two.

Accept the idea of him playing slightly simplified bass parts if that's wha tit requires for him to get them all down.

If he's willing to work, and he's any good, it shouldn't be a problem.
#12
One of the days this week I'm gonna hang out with him for a while and teach him the songs, to make sure he can get all of the rhythms down. If we can get him through 2-3 songs per practice, then we'll be set.

He's definitely got what it takes in our opinion.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#13
I take it that you guys have a few days a week to practice- if you can tab the songs out and have him learn on his own time it shouldn't be a problem for him. Have him work in chunks- a few songs here, then a few songs there, etc. so he's not overwhelmed with 9 tabs in front of him.
#14
Definitely have him learn all the songs.

That number of songs for that time isn't too hard. I've had to learn two 45 minute sets in a week before (granted it was easy stuff, but still had to get the structures and stuff in my head!).

If he's up for it it'd be beneficial.
I don't think any show (if you're doing stuff that tends to have bass) can do without bass. You need something to fill out the low end a bit!

I think it'd be best just to put a bit of extra time into getting the set nailed. Be it teaching him the songs, organising extra practices or whatever, going on stage with only part of a band never works out well!
#15
Well my first thought would be that you shouldn't have booked a gig without a bass player, or that the previous bass player should have agreed to play all booked shows before leaving.

However as it appears this is not an option, I'll go with those who say 2 weeks is plenty of time to learn 7 songs. I've done the whole "learn 30 songs in a week" thing a number of times, it's not too hard if you have access to recordings and practice them every night. So I'd just push that angle. The gig won't be perfect, but it'll definately get the bassist up to speed.
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#16
While replacing a band member with that amount of time until the show may have been less-than-ideal, I think that if you give him the songs and tell him to practice as often as possible, and if he's as good as you say, it should be fine.
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#17
I can say the same as Alan and Punk_Ninja, more than once I've had to learn whole sets of 30-35 songs in a week, and it wasn't easy, but it was completely doable... 7 songs in a couple of weeks should be ok, you guys won't be super tight, due to lack of practice, but you won't be thin and bassless
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#18
We've got plenty of time and it's Spring Break the week before so we'll be cramming practices. He's already got tabs for 5 of the 6 originals that he needs to learn, the 2 covers he'll be fine, and the last original is just a guitar duet that he won't need to worry about. He's already doing better than our old bassist did, so I'm not worried.

I also talked to him and he said he would kick up the practicing even more so he would be ready in time for the gig. The rest of the band has agreed with me that we'll get him to learn all of the songs and then run the set.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#19
^^^ The gig should be fine. In the future I wouldn't bother with the tabs though - better to just do chord sheets (or just give recordings) and let the bassist learn them from those. That way the bassist will have a bit of freedom with his parts and you can be confident he knows what notes are on his instrument.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#20
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ The gig should be fine. In the future I wouldn't bother with the tabs though - better to just do chord sheets (or just give recordings) and let the bassist learn them from those. That way the bassist will have a bit of freedom with his parts and you can be confident he knows what notes are on his instrument.

Yeah that sounds good. We sent him tabs for 2 songs for him to learn for an audition and he did all of the rhythms by listening to recordings. He's good at getting his parts down by ear fortunately. After this we'll let him make his own parts as much as he wants.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#21
Thankfully it's a bass. I'm not trying to dump on bass players, but you can more easily get by with a low quality bass performance than other instruments.

If he can play with the basic chord progressions, he can get by. Just don't mix him too much out front in case he screws up or gets lost. Bass frequencies kinda get lost in the mix unless it is the only backing instrument during a guitar solo or you guys are doing Tool covers.

As long as he knows the modular structure of every song, then he should be able to fill in the blanks.

Besides... Nothing inspires drive and determination quite like the fear of impending failure and public embarrassment!
#22
Quote by cheapr2keepr
Besides... Nothing inspires drive and determination quite like the fear of impending failure and public embarrassment!

Ohhhh yes. We know that feeling very well He said he's working his butt off and he really wants to play the show. He's got a good work and practice ethic it seems.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#23
and no matter what goes down, or whether he makes it (which, lets be honest, he should. he plays bass), the work etho is all you want.

i suck ass at guitar compared to others, but my etho is imo top, and thats why i get pulled into intense fusion bands.
#24
Quote by Spaztikko
and no matter what goes down, or whether he makes it (which, lets be honest, he should. he plays bass), the work etho is all you want.

i suck ass at guitar compared to others, but my etho is imo top, and thats why i get pulled into intense fusion bands.


I can relate to that... I'm not a top-notch bass player, or the greatest player around, but often people ask me to play because I am very easy to work with, thanks to my work ethics: commited, on time for rehearsals and gigs, etc...
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#25
And if I'm not mistaken, the former bass player's work ethic was mostly why he was kicked out, correct?-
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I ran out of chicken nuggets.

When will this misery end.
#26
Quote by chriscobonham
And if I'm not mistaken, the former bass player's work ethic was mostly why he was kicked out, correct?-

Correct good sir.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#27
Be sure to record/post on youtube/share some footage from the show!
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My prayers are with you and your balls TS


Quote by jetfuel495
I ran out of chicken nuggets.

When will this misery end.
#28
Quote by chriscobonham
Be sure to record/post on youtube/share some footage from the show!

Will do bro! This time we'll actually have footage and not forget about it all like our last show.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#29
I did a couple of last minute gigs last year temping on bass, where I've had to pick up sets in a single practice - I also got asked to do these by being eager and quick to pick the songs up, rather than from being technically proficient or doing a particularly creative job with them, so I also agree about the work ethic side of what you need in a group.

It is a bit daunting, but obviously it's a good challenge to be put on the spot like that and you obviously have the motivation to learn them.

It's also important to remember that most people who go to a show won't really notice if the bass player makes mistakes, because at a live show there's not as much definition in the low end, you just hear low noise. I didn't think of that at the time, and got needlessly stressed out over it.

Make sure you express your gratitude to the guy for being a trooper and being awesome for jumping into a gig like that beforehand AND afterwards, even if he isn't perfect.
#30
Quote by BrianApocalypse
I did a couple of last minute gigs last year temping on bass, where I've had to pick up sets in a single practice - I also got asked to do these by being eager and quick to pick the songs up, rather than from being technically proficient or doing a particularly creative job with them, so I also agree about the work ethic side of what you need in a group.

It is a bit daunting, but obviously it's a good challenge to be put on the spot like that and you obviously have the motivation to learn them.

It's also important to remember that most people who go to a show won't really notice if the bass player makes mistakes, because at a live show there's not as much definition in the low end, you just hear low noise. I didn't think of that at the time, and got needlessly stressed out over it.

Make sure you express your gratitude to the guy for being a trooper and being awesome for jumping into a gig like that beforehand AND afterwards, even if he isn't perfect.

Oh I will. I think it's really great of him to take up the challenge honestly. I keep telling him how awesome he is because of his work ethic.
Even though he has the basic tabs for about 5 songs now, at his audition he knew 2 songs (and we only gave him 2 beforehand) and at our last practice (sunday) he picked up how to play 5 other songs. He only has 1 left. Sure he needs to work on them but it's going to be great, I feel.
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Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#32
Quote by You Ruined It
If he can't get it perfectly down just tell him to turn his amp down by a couple notches

Don't worry in case that does happen we are keeping that idea in mind
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day