Mediocrity-the great humbler

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Peace Cee, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Peace Cee

    Peace Cee

    Feb 9, 2011
    Quickly: Our lead guitarist and vocalist is injured. I had to find a sub as not to cancel a gig. I hired a solo/singer songwriter type who actually plays mostly covers, alone on stage. We practiced two times, and I took notes. Well, on stage we played "okay" and even had some "moments". However, we were off at times, and he would play songs that we hadn't practiced. So, I had to "use my ears", watch his hands, and BS my way through songs. People and the venue owner were okay with it. I am very particular, and I am lucky enough to play with some tight bands. It has been a long time since I had to fly without a net, and not in a "jazz" way.
    Question: Has anyone had the low self-steem moment of not being part of a "perfect" performance. Did you beat yourself up, or can you move on? I replay the moments for days afterwards, even though people say, "you guys sounded good!"
  2. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    Sometimes I've stewed about it, but then again that performance was "back there" and I can't do anything about it other than learn from it and move on.

    Of course I try to maintain that same viewpoint during the gig. "Okay I f'd up that last change.... here comes another one... 2 - 3 .... NAILED IT!" and keep rolling.
  3. ToP fan

    ToP fan Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Waterloo, Ontario
    Yup in fact last Saturday's gig was exactly as you describe - felt good until last 2 songs when I felt that the wheels fell off. Of course the crowd thought everything was great and actually told us it was the best we've ever played. Never ceases to amaze what we hear versus the audience.

    I used to beat myself up about this but now chalk it up to experience hope we actually do get better. :bassist:

  4. sirpug


    May 8, 2008
    Everett Wa
    This says it all. Our "worst" shows always seem to get the most compliments.
  5. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    A front starts playing songs not rehearsed as a band and I get PO'd really really fast. The very few times that has happened to me I just set my bass in the stand and go order a beer. After they are done with their "solo" tune I return to the stage. That usually puts a stop to going off the approved set list.

    No gig is perfect but good is always better than mediocre. Once the show is over you can't undo it, but you can always (individually or collectively) work on the rough spots so the next show is better. Beating yourself or band mates up for a so-so show won't fix anything.
  6. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Yeah - we were doing a gig at a large club and when it came time for the bass solo all of a sudden my hand cramped so badly I stumbled around like a drunk down the stairs. I felt HORRIBLE the rest of the gig, and it still bothers me sometimes. It's made me practice that solo almost daily since then (it's been a year), but I still have trouble with it. Oh well.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I do fill-in gigs all the time. What you described is a way of life for me! Ha! But I really really enjoy those shows. It's actually refreshing after years of playing perfectly polished music that I had so memorized I could concentrate more on the girl in the short skirt than on my bass and still be OK. Boring! It's nice to get my adrenaline up and have to focus to get the job done. It's rewarding with a few bumps. It's magical on nights when the band is hot and tight even though I just met them a couple of hours ago! Those are good nights!
  8. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    The nice thing about "clams" on live gigs is that they're over in a NY minute.......unless it's been recorded. Then you have to listen to it forever. So like the live gig, erase the recording and move on. No matter how good and how tight you are the next screw up is just around the corner. :D
  9. JaamE

    JaamE Owner of the GK Angry Bird amp

    Apr 13, 2011
    Olympia, WA
    Our singer never likes to listen to or watch any recordings, i listen to all but the very worst ones because even though we may have messed up i still had fun and i still feel like a rock star.
  10. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    In the past I beat myself up more about messed up playing than I do nowadays. Not that I don't care, but just that I don't wanna feel bad anymore. That is, I'm 62, and it's my goal in life from here on to feel good and enjoy it while I can. Who knows what will happen in the next minute? I might be dead. So, unnecessary trouble and sobbing can get out of my way.

    The best thing is, I am now out of bands who are anal. Nowadays, in any one of my three bands, when someone messes up we look at each other and laugh. If it can't be that way then I don't wanna play anymore.
  11. intheory


    Nov 17, 2009
    SW Florida
    It can really suck to be part of a musical train wreck. Honestly I think I've been involved in so many in my playing history that the embarrassment quickly fades at this point. ;). Play on!!