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First Gig!!!!!

Posted by Chris Cooper on Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hi Y'all,

Last night, Tuesday 13th January 2009, I Played my first ever gig with a Banjo!!! I played at the Bulkington Bluegrass Club, near Coventry, England. I played right through the whole set with the multi-award winning Down County Boys!

I returned home from work, to hear the news from my Dad, that the Banjo Picker in his band had pulled out of a gig due to illness. I was offered the opportunity to step in and help out on Banjo the same evening. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands, even though I was ridiculously nervous, probably due to my "crash and burn"  the last time I went to a jam.

The gig went incredibly well, my nerves soon disipated and I hardly played a note wrong all night. The highlights for me were "goldrush" which we kicked the night off with, "The Old Home Place", "Roll In my Sweet Baby's Arms" and "Foggy Mountain Breakdown", to be completely honest these were the only numbers in the bands repertoire, that I was familiar with, and for the rest of the night I just backed up........... after I' worked out the chord proggression! Often in key's which I am also not used to using.

I was particually pleased with my back-up, because this was the first time I have had the opportunity to make use of the new techniques I have learnt. I just tried to stay as tastefull as I could, quiet ,with a few punchy licks here and there, and just kept a good strong off-beat vamp whilst the Mandolin was taking a break.

All the members of the band were very complimentary about my playing, along with several respected musicians who were in the audience. I was especially pleased about a couple of compliments I recieved with regard to the drive I add to my playing, as this is something that I try hard to acheive. Most of all I shattered my nerves, so i'll be able to go into my next jam/gig with a much stronger level of confidence, but most of all I learnt an immence amount, Band dynamics, Timing with a band, Back-up, etc etc etc. I don't think I fully understand just how much I have learnt just yet.

Happy Pickin' Y'all.


9 comments on “First Gig!!!!!”

gkuchan Says:
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 @1:22:13 PM


TopCat Says:
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 @1:37:28 PM

I think that you must need to change that "novice" to "purty good", Chris!

Banjov1 Says:
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 @3:06:25 PM

Sounds Great Chris! Congrats!

I've got my first non church gig this weekend, but I've been playing witht these guys for a while. I can't imagine just stepping right up into a substitute role like you described.

dgill Says:
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 @4:23:28 PM

  That is great Chris.  Glad to hear and feel your excitement about your accomplishments.  I envey you and hope to see the days that I can join in to even the most common jam with a group of people.  It seems to me that is a ways off in  my case.  I will keep trying and it will come.  Keep pickin and good luck in the future on your next gigs.

fixdent Says:
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 @4:36:11 PM

Man, that would be an evening to cherrish.  Congratulations.

muntjac Says:
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 @11:25:05 PM

Great Chris sounds like you had a ball.

Guy Says:
Thursday, January 15, 2009 @2:29:46 AM

Well done Chris! Scary stuff eh?

Chris Cooper Says:
Thursday, January 15, 2009 @9:01:34 AM

WOW!! Thanks folks, I wasn't expecting a response like that!!

Indeed it was terrifying, I felt phisically ill before we started, but as I said my I soon felt better. I had a great night, I loved every min of it!! 

Once again thank you all for your comments and your on-going support.

Happy Pickin'

JasonL Says:
Monday, January 19, 2009 @2:21:03 AM

That's fantastic Chris - you sound like you are still on a rush! Well done!

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