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Anyone else have "off" days? Any ideas why?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Activ, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. Activ


    Feb 7, 2001
    Am I just losing it, or has anyone else suddenly forgotten part of a song that they usually have no problem with? This happened to me the other night. Actually, I just felt "off" during the whole gig! I made a couple mistakes during the very first song, and it seems like that just put me on edge and made me tighten up or something. I've played out many times before, and while I'm always a bit nervous for the first couple tunes, usually it wears off quickly. I just couldn't shake the nervousness the other night, though! The gig wasn't anything spectacular, so it wasn't that. I really am not sure why. I've had nights where I feel like I'm "in the zone" and everything seems to be working perfectly, and then the next gig I'm making stupid mistakes. The frustrating part is when I practice the songs during the week to make sure I know them, and then still goof during the gig.

    Another example: I like to improvise a bit and work up different licks to toss in here and there, instead of playing the song just like the recording all the time. OK, great. But, for me, there's a big difference between playing some cool lick alone in my house along with the CD player, versus live in front of people when the adrenaline's flowing, the band is playing the song too fast, and you can't hear yourself very well. Sometimes it's not a problem, but on those "off" nights, I'm hesitant to take any chances with any "extra" licks, especially if I made a mistake on a basic chord change!

    It probably doesn't help that our band only plays once every 1-2 months. We do it for fun and don't need the money or anything.

    Anyway, I kind of "rambled on" there. Can anyone else identify with anything I'm saying?
  2. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Yeah. I have bad days. Blow every line that I know by heart, or I can't play the riff if I know it...like the fingers won't work or something.

    I just shrug and keep moving.
  3. I had an off day a while ago. I almost quit playing bass it was so bad! But then I just set my bass aside the rest of that day, played it the next morning, and I was cured. :)
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    You can't peak every night.

    But as long as I do a competent job even when I stink, I don't sweat it.
  5. Or whats worse is when you have been singing and playign a song for over 6 months, step up to the mic and "*SSSIIIIIIIIGGHHHHHH*" just breathes through your head.... and your guitarist dives forward and sings it on his mic. The song finishes and he goes "&(*&^@*#@)!#@ happened?"

    We all have our off days. My drummer has many... :)


  6. I never have off days. Never

    I suck equally everyday :p
  7. yeah, I just had one of those gigs the other day. Part of it was that it had been a long day & was late & I knew I had to be up early the next day to go to work, so my energy level was low. I didn't get adequate warm-up time, so I hit the stage ice-cold. I probably had a beer or two too many while watching the opening bands and waiting my turn. The band was rushing, so keeping a good pocket was a constant battle. Then, to top it off, my recently broken up with ex-girlfriend showed up, so that bit of drama was layered on top of everything. But I didn't give up & let all that ruin the show; I just gritted my teeth and soldiered on, writing it off as "just one of those days."

    So naturally, after the show, everyone (bandmates included) is talking about how tight we all were, how my bass playing was "so f*****g phat man," best you've ever sounded, all that. And I'm wondering, "Are we talking about the same show here?" I guess it just demonstrates the subjectivity of music, how different people with different perspectives can interpret the same thing and come to wildly opposing conclusions.

    But I knew the truth, of course. ;)
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    We all have those nights.

    But I have them a lot more often at practice than I do at gigs.

    I seem to play my best in front of people, except for a very rare occasion. But I blow chunks in rehearsal pretty regularly.
  9. I have off days, too.

    Check this crap out, I was practicing, warming up with some simple scales that I've known for 8 years, when I draw a total blank. I was like ***?

    Anyway, I just went on to something else, came back five minutes later and played the scale like I normally do. Weird.
  10. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    What question am I answering? Oh yeah!

    No I never forget stuff.
  11. Often times if I stay rested and relaxed during the day I will have a good gig that evening, where everything just flows. If I've had to work all day than sometimes I struggle and make mistakes, or just go into vapor lock for a moment or two..."what song are we playing??":)

    The only time this theory doesn't hold up is when there are a lot of people there having a good time. Than, even if I'm burned out, I get enough of an adrenaline rush to overcome it.
  12. punkfunkfreak


    Dec 16, 2001
    oh my!

  13. Lazy


    May 30, 2001
    Vancouver BC
    I think for some people, playing bass is like lifting weights. If you do the same thing for too long, you burn out or you plateau. Then you work harder, take a break or try something fresh to get back on track! After all, you are sort of working out your hands, who's to say it's any different?
  14. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    everybody has off nights. i remember seeing rush in atlanta for grace under pressure, and geddy lee forgot the lyrics to part of limelight, a song he'd only performed something like 500 times by then. happens to the best of 'em.
  15. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I play live at least a couple times weekly and still have off days. I don't think it has anything to do with frequency of play.

    I sometimes have hard time clearing my mind of everything else going on.I put in 9-10 hours at the office, go home to dinner with a stressed out wife who has hung with two spazzed-out pre-schoolers all day (who are still spazzy when you get home) then have to run out and be Mr. Musician. Sometimes it is hard to get my head on right.

    Of course, you may have different things going on in your life, but you get the idea.

    I have found that if I am sight-reading something unfamiliar, I am fine. It is when I am playing something that I have played a zillion times and know that I goof up.

  16. Yeh. Loads of off days. We're not gigging so the offs come at rehersals. I reckon it's down to the pressure of rushing about over domestic things before I go to practice. Gotta paint the kids, bath the grass, mow the front door....you know....


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