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Worst Practice Ever?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by JD1995, Mar 12, 2013.


  1. JD1995

    JD1995

    Jun 18, 2011
    Just got in from my worst practice to date. It was a complete shambles on my part. It felt as though i'd never played bass before in my life. First off i was borrowing a bass and the machineheads were completely shot so the bass kept going out of tune forcing me to retune after each song (tuning by ear isn't really my strong point anyway). Then as a result of this i couldn't lock in with any of my bandmates so the bass stood out like a sore thumb and killed every song. Finally we were practicing a cover we are planning to do at a big gig on Firday (payphone by maroon 5), but it sounds awful every time we play it and nobody seems to want to listen to me when i say it is nowhere near gig worthy and will just make our band sound terible.

    I was just wondering whether anyone else had any other experiences like this?
    How did you bounce back?
    What is your worst practice experiences?
     
  2. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    My worst practices always seem to be followed by my best performances.

    Sometimes youre just on an off day, and youve got to work those bugs out of the system.
     
  3. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    This!
     
  4. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    WI
    Why were you borrowing a bass?

    Blue
     
  5. Mtnman

    Mtnman

    Jun 5, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    ^^^^ Couldn't agree more, but I'll add; I always worry when we have a great practice before a gig.
     
  6. Yup. In rehearsal as in life. As the wise man said, "This is why we rehearse."

    Shake it off and move on.

    RE "Payphone": Express your concerns to the band again, but if you're outvoted, get in there and do YOUR part to make it the best it can be. On a team, that's the best you can do.

    Good luck, you'll be fine.
     
  7. Payphone is a TERRIBLE song to try to do with a live band. Maroon 5's really gone the poppy over-synthed route with their new music. Not as live-capable as their older stuff, for sure.
     
  8. viper4000

    viper4000

    Aug 17, 2010
    Charlotte
    I've had my best gigs merely hours/minutes after my worst practices.
     
  9. Bassdirty

    Bassdirty

    Jul 23, 2010
    CT



    My experince exactly..don't know why, but its the law of the land around here.:meh:
     
  10. Well, my absolute worst practice experience was a month or two ago.

    Anyone who is familiar with my posts in the BM forum know that the band I play in, and am music director for, can be a nightmare. Constant changes in personnel, lots of amateur-esque behavior, constant power struggles, etc.....

    We have always wanted a keyboard player. Even more so after the steel guitar player was asked to leave when our ears started oozing blood while he played. So, one Sunday, the BL decided to invite a keyboard player to audition, it was somebody he knew and had respect for. In addition to that, the BL also invited another guitarist to come down and "sit in" (this guy is replacing our old rhythm player tonight). So imagine this; drums, bass, four guitars, keyboard, and singer all playing at the same time. Total destruction. Now I have to try to put some order to this, the "sit ins" have no idea what we are playing or what to play, one of the guitarists (the lead player) has only been there a couple weeks, the singer can't be heard at all over 3 blaring guitars and one lead player who looks like he's about to cry, and because all of the guitars are fighting for sonic space it just gets louder, and louder, and LOUDER, and LOUDER. And it's bad enough when you get one guitar noodling between songs.......now imagine four of them. Finally, the drummer gets overwhealmed and has to put on his earmuffs because he might go deaf. Eventually I just put my bass in it's stand and walk to the bathroom to hide for a few minutes. The drummer finally stops playing as well, and goes out and gets in his car. A complete and utter waste of 3 hours of my time.

    To top it all off, the BL asks the keyboard player outside if he wants to join the band, and he says "No. Your drummer is okay. Your bassist is okay. Your singer is marginal. The rest of you really suck. So, no.".

    After this, the other regular band members basically call out the BL and tell him that if he ever pulls a stunt like that again, inviting people down to play without clearing it with us first, and allowing them to destroy our valuable practice time, at a place we PAY for, then he might be a solo act.

    It was by far the worst practice I can ever imagine. There were other things that went poorly, too. Those are just the high points.
     
  11. bassinplace

    bassinplace

    Dec 1, 2008
    Yep, I've experienced this too. Just keep sheddin' it. Persistence pays off. You should also have a bass that's in working order. :bassist:
     
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    My question, too. I don't know how well I'd do on a crappy borrowed bass - maybe OK, but the quirks could throw me off. Anyway, shake it off, practice the song, and bring your own bass to the gig.
     
  13. Zoomie

    Zoomie

    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    I have never had a practice that bad, but I had a horrific audition experience where I flat peed the bed.

    First let me start by saying that this was entirely my fault as I broke all of my own rules.

    I was anxious to get back in the game after not picking up a bass for 7 years. I jumped when I was only about 50% of my former self.

    Got my audition list. Explained that I needed a week to ensure I was rock solid.

    Received a call 48 hours later that said I had to audition that night. I should have bowed out right there but didn't.

    Arrived at the audition. Pro guitar player with legimate and well documented credentials. Was an absolute ass. First thing out of his mouth was "we're recording you to see if you really have the skills." The guy rattled me bad.

    Jumped in to the first song. The drummer just played whatever he wanted versus even attempting to play the cover vaguely as written. This screwed up all my sonic cues and made it impossible to maintain the integrety of the song via the original bass line. Thank you screamo death metal drummer !

    This just crushed my confidence. Three songs in I knew that I was toast.

    Went home. Cried on my wifes shoulder. Woke up the next morning and swore on all that is Fender, that I would never allow myself to be put in that position again.

    Worked on my timing with my knew hottie girlfriend named Metronome until I was sick of it. THen I worked on my timing some more. I ignored playing fluff and was a 1 5 7 root note riding zealot.

    Received three more calls for auditions. I went and kicked them all square in the cash and prizes. Played bass lines exactly as written and was tighter than 10 toes in a sock. No witty fills. No slap tard action. No yank and gank. Did just my job.

    Passed on two offers. Took the third as everyone in the group is awesome. I clicked with everybody imediately and it felt like home to me.

    In my case, I put the cart before the horse. In spite of knowing that I would have been absolutely miserable working with the guitar player, I still shudder at how bad I sucked.

    Shake it off brother. Servicable equipment is a must. Bass must stay in tune for at least a set depending on how ham fisted you play.

    Woodshed it. Focus solely on groove and timing until you know the material as well as the song writers.

    Show up, be prepared, be confident, be tighter than ten toes in a sock with the drummer. If you want the gig, it will be yours.
     
  14. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    SW WA, USA
    Don't have a bad "practice" story, but I have a horrible "audition" story that should make you feel better:

    I was a college student auditioning for a local community band. The audition was nothing prepared, all sightreading. This wasn't my preference, but I was an ok sightreader so wasn't too worried.

    It was my turn. I sat behind the screen. There was music on the stand. I looked it over, paying special attention to initial time and key signatures, waited for the person to say "begin," and did.

    I was immediately interrupted with, "No, begin halfway down the page at the 6th line." Annoying, but ok. I took a second to orient myself, and the voice from wherever said, "Begin now or your audition is over." I jumped in.

    It didn't take too many notes to realize that I was in the wrong key. I was in the initial key. There was a key change in line 4. I never saw it. I kept going, with my sweetest tone, most excellent phrasing, perfect articulation. But I knew I was doomed.

    My fault completely. Yeah, you can argue that the whole thing was a setup, and I would wholeheartedly agree. But I failed.

    What made it much, much worse is that my summer job involved recording concerts for this same community band. I noted with dismay that I, the college student with the Real Tuba, was passed over in favor of two high school students with plastic Sousaphones. The kids weren't very good, either.

    But apparently they knew which key to play in. :bawl:

    It's been over twenty years. I'm still not over it.
     
  15. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Me too! If practice goes real well who knows how the gig is going to turn out?
    You'd think because we're well rehearsed it'd go well, but thats not always the case.
    Seems to be a common experience.
     
  16. JD1995

    JD1995

    Jun 18, 2011
    Sheer laziness i suppose...needless to say i shall not be making that mistake again.
     
  17. funnyfingers

    funnyfingers

    Nov 27, 2005
    The other day I forgot the main riff to a song in practice, so I just pretended to play while they were playing. I just couldn't remember it even though I had been playing it just fine for 3 practices in a row, lol.
     
  18. JD1995

    JD1995

    Jun 18, 2011
    I know, try telling my bandmates that. I have raised the issue with them several times but they just seem too set in their ways and say things like 'it'll be alright on the night' and 'It's improving' when it wont, and it isn't. I suppose i'll just have to grit my teeth and let the audience tell them the same thing at the gig...
     
  19. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Almost every practice with a band I just quit. People shouting out chords, structure that changes every rehearsal. Out of tune singer and amateur, loud, concert keyboard player with wandering left hand who won't listen. Thinks every song should have robbed time Stubborn people. Guitar player misses half the rehearsals and then tells the whole band they are using the wrong chords and structure so we have to go back over it all again. Took over a year to get 3, 45 minute sets prepared.

    In contrast, I play with two other groups...charts put everyone literally on the same page. Volume is never a problem, and the keyboard player in the one group stays out of the bass sonic real estate. We learn five songs in one night and then everyone goes home and sheds for the next rehearsal. Half the time I never have to shed either because the chart gives me everything I need in terms of harmonic structure.
     
  20. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    I don't worry much about bad rehearsals unless nobody comes prepared. Then there's grounds for worrying as well as lamenting the wasted time. Borrowed bass? Get over it.
     

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