Handling it when it goes wrong.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Paul Corrosion, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Sorry for the portrait video. BL's phone couldn't landscape.

    It's happened to all of us, I'm sure. That moment when you lose your place and the couple of seconds it takes to recover feel like an eternity. There's as many ways of approaching this situation as there are musicians with my prefered option being humour. I'm particularly proud of this example. :)

    After three and a half months off, we finally were allowed to hold a socially responsible show in the back garden of our BL. We'd all been so desperate to get back into it and decided to just dive back in, warts and all, for what was basically just a chance for us to reconnect, have fun and broadcast it over FB Live. So I'm ring rusty and my voice is out of condition. There's plenty of mistakes for you to laugh at if you watch the whole video but for those who want to get straight to the howler, the song starts at 23.45.

    It's "Don't Look Back In Anger", a song I know like the back of my hand and despite a couple of bum notes, it's going ok till I get ahead of the song at 25.12. That's pretty much where the wheels fell off - but the recovery at 25.34 makes up for it. And they said I'd never make it as a lead guitarist. ;-)
  2. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Sounded great Paul... I couldn't find anything wrong with your playing .. It was spot on... If there are any clams, just blame it on the drummer. ;)
  3. That's what I would normally do. However this drummer, Danny, was just sitting in for us and he did a brilliant job, so I'd have felt a bit guilty. Plus, it's not every day you have an actual Oscar winner drum for you. He worked on the SFX team for the movie "1917". :)
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  4. Sounded like a live gig, clams are part of it and if you can't laugh about them you'll have some pretty LONG gigs.

    Our first gig was on Father's Day and we started "Who Can It be Now" and if you would have given me a million $'s I would have not been able to figure out where we were and when to start singing, it happens. :D

    Thanks for sharing the gig clip!
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  5. I thought this one was a fairly good example of, "If you're going to cock it up, make sure you take everyone with you". :-D
  6. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    If (haha, I mean when) I mess up I just look at my amp and twist a knob. Doesn't everybody? Obviously that was my rig, not me.
  7. It makes a change from blaming the drummer. ;-)
  8. slagbass


    Apr 5, 2005
    I think I've gone through 4 stages as a performing bass player:
    Stage 1 - mistakes are met with widened eyes and a panicky feeling. Oh my god - we made a mistake!
    Stage 2 - mistakes are met with a shrug and a mental note to rehearse that part a bit more.
    Stage 3 - mistakes are cause for amusement among band mates. Smirks and giggles all around.
    Stage 4 - mistakes are almost looked forward to. "How are we going to get out of THIS one without stopping!".

    It took a long time to get there, but I'm comfortable at Stage 4.
  9. jshinal


    May 28, 2013
    Raleigh, NC
    We have hit the point where we know it can happen to any of us. We are always ready to catch a mistake and recover. It is a cool place to be. Bandmates don't leave you dangling.

    As a bassist, remember to "drive the bus," and lead the changes back into the groove. Hit those notes strong and they will follow.
    Paul Corrosion likes this.
  10. We're at Stage 5 now where our regular audience expects us to make regular, humorous attempts to actively put each other off. :-D
    slagbass likes this.
  11. Yeah, the whole performance wasn't bad. I think it's pretty clear for any one of us here to see that I know what I'm supposed to be doing, I'm just ring rusty. I'm really lucky with the rest of these guys, it's a fun band to be in - and when we're on top form, we're actually pretty good in between the pranks and dad gags. :)
  12. Now THAT is funny! :roflmao: At great risk to my sanity, I've gotta do this with my band.... :hyper: I think a measure of a different time sig here and there could be a good start. I might even let the drummie in on it, cued by a "meaningful glance.". Hehehe. ;)

    Paul Corrosion likes this.
  13. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    After the song's done, you're the only one who'll remember. No one in the audience will even notice.
    Just don't lose the one.
    Paul Corrosion likes this.
  14. I can't recommend the experience enough. Keeping the sense of fun makes it more interesting for everyone and has the added bonus of making the band a lot tighter as a whole. If you'll bear me the indulgence of a rather long reply, I'll share another example that requires a three part setup.
    Here in the UK, "The Chain" by Fleetwood Mac is synonymous with Formula One motor racing, of which I am a huge fan. Terrestrial TV coverage uses it as it's main theme music. It's pretty much culturally ingrained over here; it's difficult to hear the bass riff and not associate it with F1.
    This particular band, Doomsville, is the predecessor of the the band featured above. Still me and BL but with a different drummer and lead guitarist. One of the band's running gags was Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust", where we'd get to the "Ziggy plaaaayed..." stop and I would answer with something else Ziggy had played. Like tuba or accordion or Monopoly or "in goal for Chelsea" or "the part of Jean Valjean's loaf of bread in an off-Broadway production of Les Miserables" - to which BL then replies, "no he didn't, he played..." and we'd all come back in for the big "GUITAAAAR" finish.
    The last part of the setup brings it together. The gig in question was the night before my 50th birthday. I'd spent the best part of forty of those years watching Formula One on the TV, religiously catching every race wherever possible. This year, the British Grand Prix was actually being held on my birthday, so my family had bought me a ticket. I'd never been able to afford to go before, so this was a really big thing for me. Of course, the band know all this, so the night of the gig had been littered with references to my birthday and me going to the Grand Prix.
    So we get to Ziggy. By now, BL is pretty certain that whatever I come up with this time is going to be F1 related, so I didn't let him down. At the stop, I just play the riff. BL - and the rest of the band, BTW, laugh and are expecting me to go once through said riff and we repeat the usual end. Not this time. As BL steps back to the mic and starts his bit, I keep going - and without needing any encouragement, drummer and lead guitarist are right onto it. Love it when it all comes together like that. :)

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  15. You're not wrong, I'm always my own worst critic - as far as I'm aware, anyway. :)
  16. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    I used to beat myself up over clams until I realized I wasn't getting paid to be perfect (or paid at all).
    Paul Corrosion likes this.
  17. Wow, 3 lefties, what are the odds?!?
    Paul Corrosion likes this.
  18. LOL! Not good. BL uses the screen-side camera on his phone so we can see comments. Unfortunately it also shoots a mirror image. :)
    crankypants likes this.
  19. Yeah, I pretty much gave up on doing it for the money a long time ago. Strangely though, now that I'm really only doing it for the fun, the regular gigs have actually resulted in more income.. :)
  20. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Well done. Life is funny sometimes...
    Paul Corrosion likes this.