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  • Bad performance....question

    We've all had bad nights performing, right? I had one last night - missed a few cues, blew too many notes, and just generally wasn't "on". I even played over a vamp cutoff once, which is a cardinal sin in theater work. All in all, it just seemed that my concentration wasn't there. To be fair, many of the miscues grew out of timing issues from on-stage, but it's our job to cover those up so that the audience doesn't see them....even when the singer comes in and puts his down beat on the "and" of 2.

    At the end of the show, I feel like I should be fired from the gig. I'm speaking with the director and talking about how to prepare for the challenges we're facing from stage, and a local music teacher comes over and tells us that this was the "best pit orchestra she had ever heard in this town".

    My initial response:


    Here's the question: How do you guys respond when this happens? When you've had a good night, dealing with the audience is easy....but when you feel like you put on a performance that was walk-out material, how do you respond to a compliment? I honestly didn't know what to say, because I felt like running away and hiding from anyone and everyone who had seen the show, and was simply not expecting anyone to see it as worthy of any sort of praise.......


    (Site Admin Note: This thread was originally in HCPP, and was moved here with permission from the OP. New posts start on page 4 of the thread. - Phil )
    Last edited by SteinbergerHack; 02-25-2017, 12:38 PM.
    "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

  • #2
    If you're a good musician, you are always your own worst critic.
    Originally posted by RobRoy
    There is an "honest grit" to his lying.
    _____________
    I'd get up
    If I knew I fell

    Comment


    • #3
      Grace.
      Rightly are the simple so called.

      Comment


      • #4
        I create some large distraction, such as setting the green room on fire, pouring beer on the guitar player, etc.

        Comment


        • Phil O'Keefe
          Phil O'Keefe commented
          Editing a comment
          Lemme guess - you play punk, right?

        • Zig al-din
          Zig al-din commented
          Editing a comment
          Lounge jazz!

      • #5
        Originally posted by -Ed Phobes- View Post
        If you're a good musician, you are always your own worst critic.
        Truth. The choreographer told us that all of the things we were fretting over were simply not big enough issues to be noticeable from the audience. Probably true, but that doesn't mean that we will be satisfied....

        Originally posted by Chaunch View Post
        Grace.
        You are 100% correct, and I have trouble with this one. I am biased towards perfectionism and don't hide my emotions well, so I have a very hard time being cordial while I am internally kicking myself squarely in the tailbone. I need to develop a "canned response" that I don't have to think about.....
        "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by Zig al-din View Post
          I create some large distraction, such as setting the green room on fire, pouring beer on the guitar player, etc.


          Nice! Since I am the guitar player (and ukelele, and banjo, etc....), I would welcome someone pouring beer in my direction. micro-brew IPAs are strongly preferred....
          "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

          Comment


          • arcadesonfire
            arcadesonfire commented
            Editing a comment
            Microbrew IPAs?? Careful Steinberger, you sound like an urban hipster.

          • SteinbergerHack
            SteinbergerHack commented
            Editing a comment
            ARGH!!!!! Don't insult me like that!



            C'mon, you know that Wisconsin has some great local beers. Why would I drink Bud Light when I can get something from New Glarus or a Louie's Demise?
            Last edited by SteinbergerHack; 02-25-2017, 12:49 PM.

        • #7
          Perfection is the enemy of good enough.

          BTW, you're as bad as I am in this regard.

          Comment


          • #8
            Sounds like pretty much every show I've ever played. It's hard to trust other people when we're so darn self critical, but I've been learning to do it. We're allowed to screw up, and we're allowed to trust that other people didn't notice. Hard to accept, but Chaunch said the key word.
            My band!:
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            my stage stuff:
            fender jimmie vaughan strat, korg dt-10, ts-9, keeley rat, thoroughly modded big muff, 4ms tremulus lune, eventide timefactor running stereo to a traynor bassmaster (w hotplate) and a fender HRD. Everything ('cept the TimeFactor and dt-10) is modded, with much help from folks at Harmony Central. Thanks everybody!

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            • #9
              The audience isn't composed of musicians. That makes a difference right there. Last weekend I played bass instead of guitar and thought my playing was a notch up from sucky, in part because bass is not my primary instrument. But nobody came up to me after worship and said ''Wow, you really stank this morning!'' Even the Music Director told us we did a good job. I was like, ''Were you in the same room with me? I was awful.'' In the end you deal with it and vow to do better next time.
              Last edited by DeepEnd; 02-25-2017, 12:47 PM.
              Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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              Comment


              • AlamoJoe
                AlamoJoe commented
                Editing a comment
                Well i would hope no one would come up to you in a church and slam you. I mean it's church after all. I mean I could see people getting irate if you were playing "How great Thou Art" and lurched into "Kick Out The Jams" mid chorus or something.

              • DeepEnd
                DeepEnd commented
                Editing a comment
                Naturally I wasn't expecting pitchforks but maybe ''damning with faint praise.'' Seriously, the point is that nobody complained or told me how bad it was. The point is that we're often our worst critics and, for most of us, a bad performance isn't the end of the world.

            • #10
              All we can do is the best we can at the time and put it out there with no expectations.

              Of course there are some other things we can to, such as staying sober and keeping our instruments up, but sometimes we just have what we see as a bad night.

              One thing I've noticed is that we try to achieve a certain level of performance and, when we fall short, we dwell on the difference between what we are trying to do and what we actually achieve.

              The audience, on the other hand, only sees what we did - which we tend to overlook at the time.

              I recorded an album with a working band about 30 years ago and, for a long time, I was dissapointed with my contribution. I had played the songs much better during some of the live shows and just couldn't get to the same place in the studio.

              When I listen to that album now I can accept and appreciate it for what it is rather than what it isn't.

              As -Ed Phobes- stated, we musicians are our own worst critic - and I wouldn't have it any other way. We don't get to hear our own music the way others do but, unlike Beethoven, we still get to hear it.
              As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
              from the deepest hell to the highest states.

              It is up to you which one you choose to explore
              .

              Comment


              • #11
                Originally posted by onelife View Post
                Of course there are some other things we can to, such as staying sober and keeping our instruments up,
                Well, that's a given from my perspective. This is just professionalism, IMO, and a basic expectation in the circles I play in.

                One thing I've noticed is that we try to achieve a certain level of performance and, when we fall short, we dwell on the difference between what we are trying to do and what we actually achieve.

                The audience, on the other hand, only sees what we did - which we tend to overlook at the time.
                Thanks for this - you put it in perspective in a way I hadn't thought of.
                "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

                Comment


                • #12
                  Originally posted by onelife View Post

                  The audience, on the other hand, only sees what we did - which we tend to overlook at the time.
                  Let them keep their enjoyment of the performance (which is real), don't try to convince them it wasn't good. Appreciate their kind words and live to gig another day.
                  Originally posted by RobRoy
                  There is an "honest grit" to his lying.
                  _____________
                  I'd get up
                  If I knew I fell

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Shrug it off and keep going. I don't know what else to do. I'm playing tonight and I'm fighting sinus issues.

                    I'm medicated and dopey and wish I could stay home, but I can't. I see one of those "bad performing" night's in my future.

                    Soldier on!
                    tRump is NOT great, nor will history EVER say he was.

                    Comment


                    • SteinbergerHack
                      SteinbergerHack commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Good luck with the show. Sometimes playing sick is a mixed blessing, with the playing giving you something to focus on besides feeling sick laying on the couch at home.....hope you get the better end of it tonight.

                  • #14
                    I try to say 'thank you', and 'I'm glad you enjoyed the show'. I don't EVER try to tell them they were wrong. Of course, if you've played enough shows, you've had a few of those. I've had shows where not only did *I* know I didn't have a good night, but the band heard it, too... and still compliments. And the more frequent, I wasn't happy, but the band had a great time and a good night. Sometimes it's harder to have a night where I feel GREAT about my playing, and the room is flat.

                    It's also an opportunity to learn what I should be working hard on practicing, and what I might be obsessing over needlessly...

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Originally posted by panhandler View Post
                      Shrug it off and keep going. I don't know what else to do. I'm playing tonight and I'm fighting sinus issues.

                      I'm medicated and dopey and wish I could stay home, but I can't. I see one of those "bad performing" night's in my future.

                      Soldier on!
                      Sometimes those gigs turn out much better than you expect them too.

                      Once when I had the flu, I endured a four hour drive in a van with occasional emergency stops along the way. The rest of the lads were kind enough to take me to the hotel so I could rest before the show.

                      I spent the entire gig at the back of the stage leaning on my amp and sipping on Perrier which was all I could keep down. My playing that night was minimalist - just putting in the bits that really needed to be there. At the end of the show the drummer complimented my playing and joked that I should get sick more often.


                      That being said, it's a drag gigging when the box of tissues on top of your amplifier is more important that the spare strings sitting next to it. I wish you all the best for tonight.
                      As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
                      from the deepest hell to the highest states.

                      It is up to you which one you choose to explore
                      .

                      Comment













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