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Like any other job, show up early and be ready to work. To paraphrase Woody Allen, "eighty percent [of success in] life is showing up." That's all I got.

edit -
Prepare to grow a LOT. Playing with others, especially if they're better than you are, is the best way to improve.
I find that's true in golf. When I'm with a really good player it ups my game. Forces me to concentrate.

I agree with being friendly, but I wouldn't bring beers or booze if you are thinking about making this a gigging opportunity.

You only get to make a first impression once.
I agree. It's better to observe the culture of the group early on. I would assume these guys already know each other and you're the only new guy. So it's good to get a feel for the group's dynamics, who's a leader, who's a follower, do they drink or smoke while working etc. then as you get comfortable do what seems acceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Jared, you will be fine. This is an exciting opportunity. Good suggestions above.

I remember when I was a gigging/session player bassist in SF, I was pretty busy and I'd get calls from really GOOD players. I never quite understood WHY I got those calls actually, lol....I mean I'd see other bands and for sure their bassist was, in my opinion, more accomplished than I.....but my attitude was always, long as the phone keeps ringing, I'll keep showing up.

I remember one time my own quintet was rehearsing, and we had a quite good pianist named Larry Halpern. I mentioned during a break that I had gotten a call to fill in on a gig from a pianist named Mark Little - who was (is ?) a very highly regarded/talented jazz player in SF, then later moved to Portland. At the time, in SF, Mark Little really was considered the creme de la creme of Bay Area piano players (along with Mark Levine, who lived across the street from me).

When I mentioned this, Larry (our pianist) literally spun around on the piano stool and exclaimed "what ? You took it ?"...LMFAO.....not exactly a slap on the back and a congrats :oops:... to which I replied "sure, why not ?"

Larry paused for a moment, and pondered...then replied "you'll be fine...just DO what you DO".

I understood what he was saying....again I didn't consider myself a great player and I knew I was going in to back up a really top-notch one...but I took his advice and just did what I did, what I knew. Yes, at times I was sweating it, particularly when I'd whisper to him when he was about to count the next one off:
"how we gonna end this tune ?"
...and his reply would be:
"just watch my left hand ".

(Whaaaa ???? 😫)

....but I hung in there.
Well enough, apparently, to be the regular sub bassist for that group of Mark's at that particular venue for the next 6 months.

Not saying THAT is what you are gonna be walking into Jared, it's probably not gonna be.
Just saying....do what you do....keep it in your zone, and it'll likely be a great and successful experience.
What an awesome story Jaye! That sounds awesome, and I figure as a bassist the phone never stops ringing haha. I had heard a few horror stories of people trying to experiment with new ideas, or try to do too much on these things. I definitely plan to lay it back as much as possible. Thanks!
 

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I had heard a few horror stories of people trying to experiment with new ideas, or try to do too much on these things. I definitely plan to lay it back as much as possible. Thanks!
Just like any situation at work, home, or in a group of people: you're the new guy and you have to work yourself into the group. Horror stories usually happen when someone tries to upset the existing dynamic and, or "take away" from the existing leader-type. We all function differently in groups and finding our place in the right clique is a lot of what it's about. You might also find it's not for you, but that's okay too. Have fun, show up as ready to play a couple of their tunes as you can, and have more fun. If beers is the norm I'm sure you'll be offered one in short order ?
 

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Happy for you. I’m sure you’re playing & interaction with the band will be just fine.
Gigs? Will this interfere with your work and lifestyle? The band needs you to show up. The wife needs some free time also.
Don’t dress like a homeless person for the interview. That’s also something to bring up. Attire at gigs.
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Thanks everyone! On time and decent dressed seems to be a great consensus and definitely something I need to consider! Especially clothing - hopefully I have something worthwhile.
 

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Please don't do the hat and shades thing... (unless it is sunny and you are playing outside).
 
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Yamaha 82ZII Tenor, Yamaha 481 Flute, Fender American Telecaster, Martin Acoustic
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We had a guy sit in with us once that started ripping into the fact that we were all playing modern horns. Always a cast of characters in the community band scene.
 

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What an awesome story Jaye! That sounds awesome, and I figure as a bassist the phone never stops ringing haha. I had heard a few horror stories of people trying to experiment with new ideas, or try to do too much on these things. I definitely plan to lay it back as much as possible. Thanks!
J-Moen, it's cool to hear some of the names from the Bay Area. I grew up in Walnut Creek with Marc Russo, Zac Johnson, Joan Cifarelli, Mike Rose, and a number of other A players. Like you, I left and moved to Seattle and it's not the same. If for anything else, we don't have a Marc Russo here.
 

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Please don't do the hat and shades thing... (unless it is sunny and you are playing outside).
And a suit & tie could be overkill. Neat & neutral, bussiness casual if it were me. No mentality uniform. If nothing else I like seeing a band all wearing black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Please don't do the hat and shades thing... (unless it is sunny and you are playing outside).
Haha don't own hats, other than some sports teams baseball caps - which I rarely if ever wear.

Thinking a nice polo and slacks - my work attire lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
bring some weed, but don't offer it to anybody else. If they call you back, ... you know they liked you.
It's Colorado, so 90% chance it's already involved. Sadly, I have a security clearance and can't touch the stuff.
 

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bring some weed, but don't offer it to anybody else. If they call you back, ... you know they liked you.
Funny thing there, the lead alto player of one of my bands was a retired FBI agent. A trumpet player in my earlier years was a policeman.

Yeah, bring some weed... Not always (ever?) a great idea. I worked with a guitar player in the Bay Area that was always stoned after the second break - got really loud too, so we fired him.
 

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It's Colorado, so 90% chance it's already involved. Sadly, I have a security clearance and can't touch the stuff.
That's sometimes the price of a decent-paying job. I, too, had a security clearance for 40+ years - it provided a lot of opportunities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Happy for you. I'm sure you're playing & interaction with the band will be just fine.
Gigs? Will this interfere with your work and lifestyle? The band needs you to show up. The wife needs some free time also.
Don't dress like a homeless person for the interview. That's also something to bring up. Attire at gigs.
Important note on the work and home - I've talked with the wife about it already and it should be feasible. Time is limited of course but my wife is supportive, of course I'd only be able to give a day or two a week. Family first, then work - music takes the back seat. hopefully it works with the group!
 

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That's great news Jared. :)

All the good advice has already been given, so just enjoy the experience and be openminded towards the group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
That's great news Jared. :)

All the good advice has already been given, so just enjoy the experience and be openminded towards the group.
Thanks very much Peter! I'll be certain to enjoy it!
 
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