In my blog entry My First Time, I brought up how I got to play live for the first time -- a thing called Build-A-Band, put on by the NW Rockstar League. Well, I did it a second time a couple weeks after that blog post and just did it again last night for my third time. VERY fun!
I have to say, it's interesting going through various emotions, excitement, nervousness, etc. I'm not a super skilled guitar technician like some people around here are, but I'm improving. I think the biggest reason for my recent improvement is getting ready to play at Build-A-Band! I know there is going to be a bunch of talented musicians (as well as some fully formed bands) and want to do the best I can to entertain the people there and make it fun for the other musicians.
One thing that I've found is needing to know more material. If you only knew one song you could do Build-A-Band. But if someone else has already signed up to do it, you're SOL. So for me I've had a few songs ready to go (not including acoustic stuff -- which now that I think of it, could also be performed there). But I have this need to learn more materials. More songs. And to get better at the songs I already know.
I'm writing this down as a word of advice -- playing live will help your playing like nothing else can! I've had to being more and more confident (and competent) with the songs I know. Because then I feel more comfortable and can actually look at the audience for a bit, smile, move around a little bit instead of just standing like a statue, etc.
Anyway, last night was awesome. I had 5 very close friends come and they were able to see me play 5 songs over the course of the evening. I got to try out my new PRS SE Soapbar II (which did well -- but the volume levels of the amp should have been increased).
Well, after the 2nd time of playing, I joined the NW Rockstar League. The league is accepting applications until the end of February and then the season starts. The "Commissioner" announced last night that he had a bass player lined up for my band but didn't say anything other than that. I'm looking forward to it.
Basically each band agrees to learn at least 10 songs. The league sets up venues where 4 bands each play a 10 song set during the night. Over the course of the season there's some sort of "grading" process to see who's improving, doing better, etc. and then sometime during the summer there's a kind of "battle of the bands" where winners will be decided and some trophies/prizes given out.
There's a kids league and an adult league. I'm pretty stoked to be part of it and look forward to playing a more predictable set with predictable people.
Should be a lot of fun -- and I don't have to do the legwork of setting up venues and that sort of thing.
Oh yeah, if you or anyone you know lives in the Seattle area, have them check out the league. More people is better!