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Advice for first gig.....

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
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533
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Burgess Hill, West Sussex
I have my first ever Saxophone gig on Sunday evening at a very nice pub. Luckily for me it is as part of an ensemble so I will have lots of experience backing me up. On the other hand, I don't want to let any of them down in any way, especially my teacher who is a pro musician. I am feeling the pressure and I'm acutely aware I've not yet reached my first sax playing anniversary so I have yet to experience any of the things that can go wrong. Teach keeps telling me he wouldn't have invited me if I couldn't do it but that's easy for him to say.....

I have a final rehearsal tonight - but with an extra 3 days myself to work on everything. It's not too serious. A mix of classical pieces, film themes and some Christmas songs. Sounds odd but fits together really well.

I have plenty of reeds (sorted in order of favour). I have the sheet music on my ipad, in the set list order, with a pedal page turner thingy and will ensure It is fully charged. I will also take the scores on paper, just in case. I do have a spare sax to take. It's only an hour and 15 mins set so hardly a marathon but what else should I be thinking about?

There must be things the experienced guys here do - or did before they were so experienced.

Any advice really gratefully received.

Thank You!
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
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2,601
Locality
West Midlands
I have my first ever Saxophone gig on Sunday evening at a very nice pub. Luckily for me it is as part of an ensemble so I will have lots of experience backing me up. On the other hand, I don't want to let any of them down in any way, especially my teacher who is a pro musician. I am feeling the pressure and I'm acutely aware I've not yet reached my first sax playing anniversary so I have yet to experience any of the things that can go wrong. Teach keeps telling me he wouldn't have invited me if I couldn't do it but that's easy for him to say.....

I have a final rehearsal tonight - but with an extra 3 days myself to work on everything. It's not too serious. A mix of classical pieces, film themes and some Christmas songs. Sounds odd but fits together really well.

I have plenty of reeds (sorted in order of favour). I have the sheet music on my ipad, in the set list order, with a pedal page turner thingy and will ensure It is fully charged. I will also take the scores on paper, just in case. I do have a spare sax to take. It's only an hour and 15 mins set so hardly a marathon but what else should I be thinking about?

There must be things the experienced guys here do - or did before they were so experienced.

Any advice really gratefully received.

Thank You!


The main thing is enjoy the experience,you seem to have everything prepared,hope all goes ok.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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15,183
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Burnley bb9 9dn
Practice, Soak your reeds. Remember to take your instruments and any music and equipment. Get there early enough to set up and check out the venue. Then chill and stop worrying. I like to have a drink before the performance. I find the mix of adrenalin and little alcohol works for me. Visit the lieu before you go on and because your mouth may be dry, take some water with you, A bottle won't spill. As soon as the performance starts, relax into it and don't forget to enjoy it. Performing is the best fun you can have and is addiictive.
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
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533
Locality
Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Thank you both. A small tipple beforehand should steady the nerves. I don't drink normally so it will have to be small or I'll watch the music float before my eyes!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Thank you both. A small tipple beforehand should steady the nerves. I don't drink normally so it will have to be small or I'll watch the music float before my eyes!

This is a very bad and dangerous habit to get into. Do it sober, or don't do it.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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It might sound weird, but leaving behind your mouthpiece or your sling is fairly common.
Here is the actual check list.

- sax
- sling and mouthpiece
- parts
- music stand
- clothes

That's it.
 

BigMartin

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Manchester, UK
This is a very bad and dangerous habit to get into. Do it sober, or don't do it.
I agree with that.

I you have a suitable pocket in your gig clothes, put your second-best reed in it. Then you won't have to dash off stage if No 1 meets with an accident (which it's more likely to if you're nervous).
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
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533
Locality
Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Thanks again all. I could imagine forgetting my saxholder as it doesn't go in the case. Mental note....

I don't think Colin was suggesting not being sober and I certainly wouldn't think of doing anything whilst anything but - least of all try to play sax. A quick sip of wine will do it. Just to make my fingers move rather than freeze in terror!
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
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1,917
This is a very bad and dangerous habit to get into. Do it sober, or don't do it.
As it's your first gig I would recommend you do what is right for you regarding drinking, personally on my first gig I had one pint as I was unsure what to expect..then a few more to celebrate at the end! normally now we are all well pissed before we even go on! Do consider your traveling arrangements before you do have a drink, my way of reckoning is if I'm driving one drink is one to many and never do it....

It might sound weird, but leaving behind your mouthpiece or your sling is fairly common.
Here is the actual check list.

- sax
- sling and mouthpiece
- parts
- music stand
- clothes

That's it.
Yes so very easily done....if you have a case with a strap like my Hiscox you can use the case strap to save the night if all else fails (mine's even been used as a dog lead at a gig!)
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
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3,668
Locality
Rugby UK
When you get there and have set everything up just as you want it, give your sax a good play. Theres nothing worse than trying to play a cold dry sax that has been standing in a draught! Make sure your reed has had a good "moisten" before you start to play, as has been already pointed out, your mouth will be as dry as the bottom of a budgies cage!
If you make a mistake you can do one of several things, first, shoot a glance at the guy next to you and roll your eyes in disgust! Second, ignore it. The only person who will realise a mistake has been made is you! Everyone else will be concentrating so hard on their own mistakes. Thirdly, good luck and most of all HAVE FUN!
 

BigMartin

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3,962
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Manchester, UK
normally now we are all well pissed before we even go on!
I think that's the danger Kev was talking about.

I'ts your own skills and preparation that will get you through, not mind-altering substances (even if only taken in a low dose). If you do have a drink and it goes well, it's all too easy to convince yourself it was the drink that did it, and then...
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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Minster On Sea
I take spares of everything: sling, mouthpiece, reeds, sax, microphone, leads, etc.

Paranoid? Moi?

Just all the things I've had fail on me at gigs.
 

Merryfisher

Member
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Locality
Hampshire
Thank you both. A small tipple beforehand should steady the nerves. I don't drink normally so it will have to be small or I'll watch the music float before my eyes!
avoid the grog at all costs - the first sense affected is your hearing, followed by your perception of what you are hearing and how you subsequently respond to it. save it till after i say!
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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avoid the grog at all costs - the first sense affected is your hearing, followed by your perception of what you are hearing and how you subsequently respond to it. save it till after i say!

How can you tell the difference?
 

Sue

One prosecco, two prosecco, three prosecco - floor
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The Millenium Falcon
What they all said ^^^^^

Breathe, relax and enjoy it. Tension is your worst enemy imho.
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
533
Locality
Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Thank you all! I'll take your advice. Now all I have to do is pray, or flee the country.....
 

Jeanette

Organizress
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Cheshire UK
Good luck you will be fine, don't forget to report back:)

Jx
 

TimboSax

Deputy junior apprentice 2nd class
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Cambridgeshire
  • Don't drink unless you drink when you practice.
  • You'll maybe be nervous and tense for the first 5 seconds. Get through that alive and then you will be able to relax slightly
  • If you know your stuff and can play it at home, then you'll be fine. If you don't know your stuff, then practice until you do. Then you'll be fine.
  • You're part of a group, and so if you mess something up, or stop playing for a bit, or you swallow your mouthpiece or something, don't worry. Chances are that no one in the audience will notice.
  • If something goes wrong, dive back in again. The show must go on etc. My daughter recently did her first local amdram stage show, and on the second night nearly decapitated an audience member with a small wooden bowl (a rather over enthusiastic dance routine in Oliver...don't ask). She carried on regardless, didn't panic, and all was well. This is unlikely to happen to you but, just in case, check the vicinity for small wooden bowls.
  • Be prepared for more live performances, because once you're through this one you'll want to do it again
 
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