Thursday, 26 May 2011


A fellow muso sent this to me and it is a little insight into the world of the gigging muso.
I laughed a lot and then cried, 'cos it happens ALL the time...  hope you enjoy it too.

When requesting a song from the band, just say "play my song", or "it goes something like this", then hum a few bars. We have a chip implanted in our heads with an unlimited database with the favourite tunes of every patron who ever walked into a bar, and all songs ever recorded, so feel free to be vague, we love the challenge.
If we do not remember exactly what tune you want, we're only kidding. Bands know every song ever recorded, so keep humming. Hum harder if need be… it helps jog the memory.
If a band tells you they don't know a song you want to hear, they either forgot that they know the tune or are just putting you on. Try singing a few words for the band. Any words.
If one member halfway knows part of a chorus, the rest of the band will instantly learn the entire song by osmosis. Knowing this, if the band still claims to not know your song, it helps to just keep requesting the same song every time there is a break per set, followed by the phrases, "AW COME ON!" and "YOU SUCK!" Exaggerated hand gestures expressing disapproval from the dance floor are a big help as well, such as thumbs down, or your middle finger. Put-downs are the best way to jog a band's memory. This instantly promotes you to the status of "Personal Friend Of The Band."
Entertainers are notorious fakers and jokesters and never really prepare for their shows. They simply walk on stage with no prior thought to what they will do once they arrive. An entertainer's job is SO easy, even a monkey could do it, so don't let them off the hook easily. Your request is all that matters.
If a metal band had played at the club a few weeks ago, the next band that follows will automatically know every metal tune the previous band ever played, even if the current band is a country or blues band. It's the law. Feel free to yell "AC DC or SLAYER!!" to a band that plays strictly originals or jazz for example. Conversely, Deadheads may yell for Grateful Dead tunes at a dance or metal band.

When an entertainer leans over to hear you better, grab his or her head in both hands and yell directly in their ear, whilst holding their head securely so they cannot pull away. This will be taken as an invitation to a friendly and playful game of tug of war between their head and your hands.
Don't give up! Hang on until the singer or guitar player submits. Drummers are often safe from this fun game since they usually sit in the back, protected by the guitar players.
Keyboard players are protected by their instrument, and only play the game when tricked into coming out from behind their keyboards. Though difficult to get them to play, it's not impossible, so keep trying. They are especially vulnerable during the break between songs.

The best time to discuss anything with the band in any meaningful way is at the middle of the song when all members are singing at the same time (such as a multi harmony part). Our hearing is so advanced that we can pick out your tiny voice from the megawatt wall of sound blasting all around us.
Musicians are expert lip readers too. If a musician does not reply to your question or comment during a tune, it's because they didn't get a good look at your mouth in order to read your lips.
Simply continue to scream your request and be sure to over emphasize the words with your lips. This helps immensely. Don't be fooled.
Singers have the innate ability to answer questions and sing at the same time while guitarists love the multi-skilling challenge of discussing your needs midway through complex solos. If the musicians do not answer your questions immediately, regardless of how stupid the question may seem, it's because they are purposely ignoring you. If this happens, immediately cop an attitude. We love this.

If you inform the band that you are a singer, the band will appreciate your help with the next few tunes, or however long you can remain standing on stage. Just pretend you're in a Karaoke bar. Simply feel free to walk up on stage and join in. By the way, the drunker you are the better you sound, and the louder you should sing.
If by chance you fall off stage, be sure to crawl back up and attempt to sing harmony. Keep in mind that nothing assists the band more than outrageous dancing, third and fourth part harmonies, or a tambourine played out of tempo. Try the cowbell. They love the challenge. The band always needs the help and will take this as a compliment.

Remember to allow enough time to make it from the stage to the bathroom in case of an emergency. On stage accidents are bad form. The band will carry on.

As a last resort, wait until the band takes a break and then get on stage and start playing their instruments. They love this. Even if you are ejected from the club, you can rest assured in the fact that you have successfully completed your audition. The band will call you immediately the following day to offer you a position.
See you at the next gig – The Band