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In 30 years, this is my first time ever needing a sub


TrickyBoy

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We have a rather important gig coming up in June and our drummer can't make it. We decided as a band (drummer agreeing) that we needed to get a sub and do the gig. We found a really good drummer to fill in. The guy has done fill in work for other bands in the past, but we're kind of weird in that we do quite a few "original" arrangements, medleys, etc. My idea for preparation was as follows:

 

1. Put together our basic setlist for the show in the next couple of weeks and get it to the sub. My estimate is that 75% of the songs are ones he has done before and we do pretty much as recorded.

 

2. Make recordings of the medleys for him to listen to.

 

3. Try to get him to sit in one rehearsal in the middle of may to get a feel for how we play, have him spit some time with our drummer. Than one or two with him playing right before the show.

 

4. We have one 6-song medley that's pretty involved. I'm thinking we're better off leaving that one out for this show.

 

Am I missing anything???

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The band used a sub for the first time in March. Our bassist was called out of town for work about a week before our gig. I called a bassist friend of the band and we only had a few days to prep for the gig. This is what I did.

 

Many of our songs we re-arrange and stick in medleys. Some are very involved too. But we have alot of video of the band so I took the best stuff I could find and ripped the audio to CD. He got two cds filled with most of our stuff monday night.

 

wednesday & thursday we played through everything he knew/we knew and what I gave him. He also wrote charts for most of the stuff.

 

Saturday we gigged and it went fine. We played most of medleys.

 

:thu:

 

You are in a better situation cuz you have more time.

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lol...I thought you meant sub-woofer...glad to hear that's not the case!

 

We've used sub-stitutes before and you get through just fine...especially if you trust the sub and can get a practice in with him in advance.

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We use subs a few time a year. I was the member who first proposed it since my day job required 20% travel and sometimes that included weekends. So a few years back I created a rehearsal site for subs and included mp3 recordings from our most recent gigs. Four years later we've used subs for keys, guitarist, drummers and backup singers with little or no bruises. Last year I replaced my keyboard sub who was a much better fit for the band (style). After filling in for 3 shows over the summer pretty flawlessly it was a painless tranisition when I was scheduled for emergency surgery last October and a long recovery to follow. We gig 6-9 times per month so we slid him right in with just one rehearsal. He fits so well that we're going to keep him on when I return full-part time in the summer. If we had to 'Craiglist a replacement, we probably would have had to cancel; the rest of 2009 (17 shows). It's alot of extra work however it really does keep the train moving.

 

If it is a one off gig (he's not filling in two to three shows back to back) then I'd stick with the safest stuff. No sense in putting him or the show in jeporady if it's goin to take time and energy learning a complex set piece. Take it from me... we have 9-10 multiple song medleys we choose from and we try to limit the easiest ones when we're gigging with a sub. Even thrown in a few extra one off's that we normally don't play.

 

BTW... we just replaced our drummer of 18 months with our sub. It was an easy transition because he already knew 80% of the material and the way we played it.

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I agree with Grant about leaving out the most complex stuff. You don't want a trainwreck! The 1st and only time we used a sub we did some of our medleys but the most involved ones we held off on. Yes we resurrected songs that are beat to death: Wrong Way, Mustang Sally, Some kind of wonderful, Small Things, The Middle... but we got through the night. :thu:

 

Our bassist has been going out of town alot lately for work so if we need to we will use this bassist again. He is a great player and a nice guy.

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