Best improvisation during a gig..

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by B-Note Cowboy, Jun 25, 2001.

  1. B-Note Cowboy

    B-Note Cowboy Guest

    Jun 13, 2001
    Tulsa, OK
    So.... what was the biggest hurdle that you successfully overcame during a gig?

    Last week, we were playing at a cancer benefit and due to weather delays and a bunch of variety show junk acts before us, we started about 2 hours later than scheduled.

    Due to the compressed schedule, our soundcheck was basically nonexistant. While setting up the equipment, our guitar player started playing "Stormy Monday" and then I joined in as my soundcheck. Next thing I know our drummer and rhythm guitar start up on it, and it is being sung. So I guess the show has started... Problem is that somewhere there was a wiring problem and our keyboardist (who is the main feature of about half of our songlist) can't get any sound at all. Just a horrible buzzing sound... through our gear.

    After the first song, we still didn't know what was wrong, but found that it sounded OK if he ran his keybaord through my bass amp instead of the main head. Fine, except I have only one IN port on my amp! So... I plugged into the main head and we played another song. It was overloading the moniters, but sounded fine on the main speakers to the audience. Problem now... the moniters are really breaking up with the singers, two guitars and my bass running through them.

    Soo.... now I plug into the stage soundsystem that the variety show dorks have been using all night and it sounds fine to the audience but now I CAN'T HEAR MY DAMNED BASS. I play by ear, so this was a huge problem for me, potentially. I can hear all the other things from our moniters, but had to mainly play the rest of the show by (get this...) vibration through my feet from the speakers I was running through. Holy cow, that took some getting used to... but I knew the songs well enough that I knew I was in the right signature chord on them all. I do a lot of improv on my walking bass parts, so that was kind of scary, but once I got used to it, it wasn't as bad as it sounds.

    From all accounts, we projected a great sound despite all these problems but what a collosal pain in the butt this was!!

    It never would have happened if we had taken more time to set up and get a soundcheck, but we only had 40 minutes as it was, due to the weather delays, before city ordinances dictated that live music outdoor shows shut down at midnight.

    So what is the moral of this story? I don't really know, but it was definately one of those things that makes you think on your feet.
  2. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    The "Sir Duke" thing while warming up for a 2nd set. It just kept on going. I'm very proud of our horn section. I throw in recognizable tunes to make sure nobody screwed with things between sets. We've done Sanford and Son, Barney Miller, Roadhouse Blues. Sir Duke was the most impressive.
  3. David-Adler


    Feb 28, 2001
    Bonn, Germany
    I can still remember when one of our guitarists hat a broken string. So I started jamming around in a minor, my guitarist joined in, the drummer joined, too. And it was a great jam... many thought it was a instrumental track...

    It even has a name now: Giant.

  4. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    An hour before the gig the guys called me and decided to throw in a song that they used to play before I was in the band, so luckily I had a copy of it and listened to it on the way to the gig (outdoor gig) and wrote the changes down in my trusty notebook. I allways lay my notebook on top of my amp, so when it came time to play it I put on the proper page and really there where 2 complex portions of the song so when I new it was coming up I turned to look and check as to avoid a trainwreck and just as I turned yep good old mother nature broke it off in my butt and the wind blew and turned my page. First thought = OH ^&$# as i start to sweat and wanting to cry knowing what was about to happen, well I pulled one from out of nowhere and played it perfectly , that was too sweet. Moral of the story .02 cent paper clip was worth about a hundred bux at that point.