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Not bringing your A-game...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by oaklandthumb, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. oaklandthumb


    Nov 12, 2014
    Played a bar gig last night, and I didn't hit the way I am capable. Played with these guys plenty of times, wrote down a cheat sheet for one song out of 50, no train wrecks or anything, just careless mistakes and that weirdness where your discomfort on stage throws your technique for a loop.

    I've been playing 16 years, hold a music degree from a well known school and have played Hiromi and Feraud tunes in fusion combos, but a little rock gig made me feel like an amateur.

    Ive picked it apart, and found I could have fixed these things

    1. Played some of the tunes I knew but hadn't played recently to review a little better

    2. I was surrounded by TVS and may have zoned out (un-pro)

    On the plus side, I had fun and a bassist in the audience loved my tone. I just couldnt help driving home thinking "should I be doing this"?

    Reminds me of Lee Sklar driving to a gig saying "please don't suck". Sometimes it seems to me there is no amount of practice to avoid an off night.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  2. randyripoff


    Jul 12, 2008
    No matter who you are, no matter what you do, you're going to have the occasional off day. It happens, just move forward.
  3. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    It's easy to focus on the bad; I'm my worst critic, no matter what praise I may get from the band or the audience I will find something to be unhappy about. We should all try to focus on the good instead, there's more fun to be had that way. Learn from the small mistakes but enjoy the big picture.
    oaklandthumb likes this.
  4. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    We ALL have "off" nights.. even those of us who play out regularly.. even if it's that one song you mess up!

    I goof when I get in the moment... as in start listening to the band "playing" and forget that I'm actually playing with them !!
    It only happens on songs that I know real well, and don't really need to think about playing..
    There's that sudden, split-second "Oh crap! Where were we?? Deer-in-the-headlights" moment.. !! o_O
    I've learnt to drop out rather than play wrong notes, while I catch back up.. LOL !!

    Don't worry about it.. often, you (and maybe some in the band) are the only ones who notice... as long as your audience is blissfully unaware!
    It's live music.. mistakes happen in 4-5hr gig... when you're playing 50+ songs!
    BassCliff likes this.
  5. oaklandthumb


    Nov 12, 2014
    With Youtube its not hard to find many top playes in any scene today having a bad night. I think its just the feeling of being disconnected from something you've spent so many years perfecting. No matter how hard you practice, an off day could be around the corner. Unsettling.
  6. Art Araya

    Art Araya

    May 29, 2006
    Palm Coast, FL
    We all have off nights. Part of being a pro is doing everything possible to avoid those however. You want your band mates to bring their A game to a gig. When you go to a show you expect the performer to bring their A game...

    Perhaps you could have prepared more, made more notes, perhaps you should have ignored the TVs around you and locked in to the music. Stuff to learn from and improve for the next time.
    oaklandthumb likes this.
  7. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Yup, it happens to me more than I care to admit. If I deliberately try not to make mistakes then my playing sounds dry and lifeless. But if I'm having fun, enjoying the music, not even my bandmates will notice if I hit an "alternate" note or two, as long as you don't stuff up the groove. ;)

    It never hurts to review tunes you haven't played in a while but don't beat yourself up. You played many more notes right than you played wrong. Next time in that situation you'll nail it.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    s0c9, TheOxRocks, bass10bfb and 3 others like this.
  8. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    I feel inadequate all the time and yet, people think I play great.
    my standard is very high for myself.
  9. All those right notes that I don't get any credit for are my excuse for the odd wrong one.
    FretNoMore and bolophonic like this.
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Don't be afraid to be your own harshest critic. That's how you get better and how you learn. It's also good to remember that the audience doesn't hear the bad stuff nearly as much as the good stuff you do.
    Moosehead1966 and BassCliff like this.
  11. Don't worry we're bass playersp, nobody notices.
  12. I notice when I lay a clam. My band-mates notice. I'm glad their listening. ;)

  13. Blueinred


    Mar 12, 2009
    Greater Cincy
    Well, well. We're all human "beans" after all. No one is immune from missing "it" now and then. And then we all have those moments of magic where we play above our normal level. But it's like golf in that you're only as good as your last round. Hell, the pros might shoot 5 under one day and 5 over the next. I find that whenever I'm feeling underwhelmed with my playing at a gig that if I turn to focusing on a great groove and nothing fancy that I slide back into a comfort zone and can get over the "I don't have it, today" mentality. I was watching a video of Jaco playing at Montreaux in 1983 last night and he was throwing in these little fills during a sax solo and he played an ugly lick. His eyes got a little wide and then he laughed at himself and just nailed the lightning fast arpeggio ending. No one is immune!

    What's sad to me is that Notre Dame is outplaying my UK Wildcats right now. Go Cats!
  14. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
    That's how things are sometime. Forget about it and keep playing.
    smokescreens likes this.
  15. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    Everybody has a bad day. Don't worry about it. A couple of years ago, I was doing a gig and went completely blank on one song. The keyboard player covered for me and after the gig he told me that he was trying not to laugh because he knew that I was struggling with the song but he also knew that I could play the song in my sleep if I had too. It was just one of those things that happens to everyone. I once saw Paul Stanley struggling to play the intro to "I Want You". He couldn't figure it out and started playing several songs that start out with finger picking, "More Than A Feeling", "Stairway To Heaven" and so on. At first, he was smiling and laughing but then he seemed a little panicked. He finally figured it out.

    The important thing is that you know you screwed up, nobody else noticed and it probably won't happen again.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  16. You'll be all the more happier next time your hittin it. Especially if you have nutdogs penis.
  17. Could be worse man. Gotta look at the bright side.
  18. OEW3


    Nov 6, 2011
    As corny and new age as it may sound, if I meditate before the set, I have yet to make a noticeable mistake, and my head remains in the game the whole set. Just an idea that may work for you too.
  19. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Having an off night is disheartening, but it happens to everyone. Luckily, it's usually not as noticeable when the bass player makes a mistake. What throws me off is when the drummer screws up. I think that's much more noticeable than wrong or missed notes from me or the guitarist.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
    Killer Of Giants likes this.
  20. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I'm not.

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