Anybody Ever Play Blind?
Outdoor show. My rig setup is our on stage bass. My guitar signal split, one going to DI the other to my rig. The other instruments and vocals went thru these fantastic, crystal-clear powered monitors so everything on stage went out and nothing came back from the board.
Well guess what. My power amp's fan stopped and it was a hot day. So suddenly we lost the bass on stage. Not wanting to interrupt the show with sending a signal from the board and setting up monitors and all that in the middle of our second to last set we all played thru. It was one of the most bizarre playing experiences of my life and lasted like two hours.
There's no way without being well rehearsed the drummer could have made it so well. And I've played with some bands that we wouldn't have been able to pull that off.
Anyways I can't be the only one. I would like to hear of another's experience of this. It was quite comical.
Well, I play with my eyes closed, so it is sort of playing blind.
As for deaf, no. That would be terrifying! I am glad it worked out well for you!
IMO interestingly it helps right hand technique as it forces one to play by feel rather than by hearing.
First verse of soul to squeeze, I hear drums vocals and the faint clanging of my strings. Oh and the break down we have in Shining Star which is a bass solo and some long harmonious vocals. It sounded ****ed on stage! Haha
I play a lot ampless.
I've had my IEMs lose signal many times. It's a little weird, but you have to trust yourself.
Been there, done that! I've had gear die about three or four times over my career. On at least a couple of those times, I had no foldback whatsoever. It's pretty surreal!
First big outdoor show I played I was still running through a Bass POD/Power Amp rig and had to cut my signal horribly to make the board happy. Didn't end up getting enough of Me in the monitors and side fills until halfway through our set I went over to the sound guy and chatted with him face to face.
I spent that first half of the set bent over the monitor, straining to hear me in them and the backwash from the PA while thumbing the sound guy after every song or every chance I had a break in the music. This was the same sound team that left our lead guitarist completely out of the mix for our first song :/
Technically, I guess it would playing deaf not blind but yes it has happened to me. In the early 80s I had a 70s era SVT. One night in the first set, I suddenly had trouble hearing my bass. I made it through 3 more sets not being able to hear myself. The next day, I opened the head and found an internal fuse which was soldered in place had blown. I ended up wiring in an inline fuse holder so I could replace it as needed.
Nowadays I carry a little class D in my gigbag just in case.
And a spare bass.
And a screwdriver.
And a capo (guitarists, you know...)
Oh yeah, once in a while.
Festival stages are notorious for this.
Sometimes the bass gear is all setup on stage right, and I am usually stage left.
good thing I have a 35 foot cable!
I plug in, get my sound, take my place on stage, the lights go down, and I don't hear much of me at all. Mostly a lot of mush from the monitors.
I just make sure I am hitting all my cues with the drummer, and let my muscle memory take over. Make sure I can sing along with my fingers, and it usually is fine.
It happened once when my amp cut out due to low voltage from a generator. The PA was unaffected. It is very weird, but the show must go on I suppose.
I carry headphones which I can plug into my Zoom B3. I haven't had to use them yet, but I would if I couldn't hear myself.
Oh yeah, I've had that happen a few times. The last time was a Fri/Sat gig. My rig worked great on Friday night. Got done, powered it down, covered it up, and headed home. Get to the venue Saturday night, uncover it, power it up, go to do a quick line check-NO SOUND! Tried everything I could think of. Replaced cords, tried different inputs and outputs. FOH was getting signal, so I knew it wasn't the amp. Turns out, my almost new, at that time, Mesa 410 cab had decided to quit. Had to play a full, 4-hour show with no bass on stage. That's why I am having a new cab built and I ALWAYS carry 2 basses...
I had a GK MBE112 die on me in Owensboro, KY in 1992 (I think) at the IBMA convention, first song into a Showcase in front of the bigwigs. The soundcrew got bass into the monitors a couple songs later. It was unnerving and it screwed me up badly (my fault for being freaked-out by the unexpected curveball). Oh well. It happens... dammit...
Being relatively new to playing ampless/IEM, I'm not fully adjusted and have had to pop one or both buds out to get my bearings, just giving me a taste of that inability to hear myself. Last week was the worst. We were opening for another band, so their stage, and for various reasons we were left with almost no time for a sound check. I was having problems with my IEMs that turned out to be that the antenna on my receiver had come loose and ultimately fell off inside the rack. We had to go, so the buds came out and I was straining to hear myself through FOH. I could hear/feel from around A and lower, but above that, I couldn't hear myself at all. It is a hateful and surrealistic feeling.
To add to the surreal feeling, the drummer in the other band uses an electronic kit...so, while I was looking at what appeared to be a regular black Pearl kit, with the exception of a "bap, bap, bap" sound, the drums I needed to hear were in the same muffled sound I was struggling to hear myself in (from the backside of the mains).
The upside...I couldn't hear any mistakes I might have made :hmm:
I'm planning to run an amp on stage from here out.
That is exactly why I don't like IEM monitors.
Was filling in at a church with an in-ear only system. Everything sounded great during the rehearsal. But in the middle of the first song....I couldn't hear anything except the wash back from the FOH subs, the acoustic drums (Luckily, that's what saved me), and one background vocalist that was standing somewhat close to me.
Even worse than not hearing myself, the sound engineer realized that something was wrong and frantically tried to fix it. In the middle of the last song, my sound came back--but at about 5 times my tolerable volume. The system had a limiter, but it failed. My ears were ringing for days.
I must have done ok, because I did get compliments on my playing, and got asked back after that.
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