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  • Screwing Up

    How do you guys handle your screw ups? Obviously you just don't mess up. But on those rare occasions, do you just play through like it never happened? Or do you acknowledge it?

    Before I began with my serious band and began playing shows with some regularity, the fear of messing up used to make me so nervous that I would screw up even more, always accentuated by some angry facial expression.

    Those days of those kinds of nerves are past, but I still can't "just play through" as they say. Every mistake is always highlighted by a grin. If I get way off, skipping sections and having to backtrack to fix it, I say something about it with a chuckle. This used to happen a couple times per set. Now it's more like once or twice per set. But people seem to enjoy my self-deprecating humor, and when I bring up my mistakes in conversation, they say they add to the show, so I'll stick with it.

    This is kind of a lame thread, but it's a thread, right? So how about you guys?
    <div class="signaturecontainer">Free prog-related metal from Michigan.<br />
    <br />
    <a href="http://www.silentlapse.com" target="_blank">http://www.silentlapse.com</a></div>

  • #2

    you just plow through. nobody notices the things that bother us about our playing.   if your properly rehearsed and know your material inside and out - which you should before you do it out -- most **** ups are minor and as i said -- nobody notices or gives a ****. in the event i really screw something up I make a joke of it and move on 

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    • #3
      The "master the material before playing it out" is certainly noble. But for me to go from zero to sixty songs bare minimum while trying to record an album for a band that gets my top priority, it's not happening. With a gig on the books, at least there's an excuse to devote time to playing this stuff at all.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">Free prog-related metal from Michigan.<br />
      <br />
      <a href="http://www.silentlapse.com" target="_blank">http://www.silentlapse.com</a></div>

      Comment


      • Graeca
        Graeca commented
        Editing a comment

        Most of the time I plow on through, unless it's an obviously out of tune string, at which point I stop, make a little production of finding the off-string - "There that sucker is...oughtta send it back to the factory...danged thing was in tune when I bought it!". We all laugh and I get into the song.

        Too many entertainers take themselves much too seriously, and get all flustered when an "Ooooopsi!" happens...they forget that humor is part of the best shows. If you handle an Ooooopsie with humor, the audience will laugh with you, but if you get flustered, the laughter, if any, will be at you.


    • #4
      Yep, the average listener doesn't hear your hiccups. My fear of making mistakes has kept me from playing lead guitar parts for years and though I may never have that "it" that a great guitar slinger does I'm adequate enough and enjoy playing electric so much more than acoustic that I've overcome those fears.

      Comment


      • Potts
        Potts commented
        Editing a comment

        jcpatte2 wrote:
        Yep, the average listener doesn't hear your hiccups. My fear of making mistakes has kept me from playing lead guitar parts for years and though I may never have that "it" that a great guitar slinger does I'm adequate enough and enjoy playing electric so much more than acoustic that I've overcome those fears.

         

        You have to get the two note thing  happening on the acoustic. A lot of times people approach the acoustic like the electric and that's exactly what it sounds like. An electric player on an acoustic. Learn a couple of bluegrass and country licks from youtube and you'll be off and running. Check out some of my vids on my page too and feel free to grab some licks. I fake it pretty well

         


    • #5

      Smiling's my favorite for this. Just smile and get back on track. I used to really lose it when screwups happened, but now I just laugh.

      Ah, maturity...

      Brian V.

      "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell

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      • joshmac
        joshmac commented
        Editing a comment

        When it happens I usually just plow through, or if it's bad enough and I notice that people notice, I use humour


    • #6

      Usually (almost always) I just soldier on and recover my composure as quickly as possible.

      A couple of months ago, I was playing third with a husband/wife duo. As we played, something sounded dreadfully wrong. I focussed on me just in case but remained baffled. After the song, I said something, we investigated, and it turned out that....

      The husband had been using his guitar in drop D. He passed it to his wife without re-tuning. Every time she played any chord that included the low E string, it would be a tone too low. 

      In this case, we actually should have bailed and figured it out but we didn't know enough to make the call until it was all over. 

      Hi Mom!

      Comment


      • Bob Dey
        Bob Dey commented
        Editing a comment

        Try not to draw attention to mistakes, but don't worry about them either. The ability to laugh at yourself is important in this venture IMO, so laugh along with others if your screw up is really noticed. Even if you're fantastic some people will think you suck, so don't be afraid to suck once in a while!

        Heck, I hit wrong notes one purpose sometimes. And I'm not afraid to make up lyrics on the spot if necessary.

         


    • #7
      To be complete honest and not trying to be arrogant: Don't screw up!
      Practice the song so any mistake will be minor ones, That no one notice.

      I will Often practice songs hundreds of times before performance. This habit will not only make you know the songs, but also:
      - make you a better musician
      - leave you to be able to communicate without your audience
      - impact your stage presence, autority and confidence
      - make you be able to earn more as your perceived as a pro musician

      Comment


      • pogo97
        pogo97 commented
        Editing a comment

        Bajazz wrote:
        To be complete honest and not trying to be arrogant: Don't screw up!
        Practice the song so any mistake will be minor ones, That no one notice.

        I will Often practice songs hundreds of times before performance. This habit will not only make you know the songs, but also:
        - make you a better musician
        - leave you to be able to communicate without your audience
        - impact your stage presence, autority and confidence
        - make you be able to earn more as your perceived as a pro musician

        Yes, to a point. But...

        I saw John Kay & Steppenwolf a few years ago and there was a backing track malfunction (!!!) which was in control of the keyboardist. Kay gave him THE LOOK big-time. No question they'd played that song (Born to be Wild) a few times before and this was just one of those things. As a result of Kay's actions, I remember the glitch much better than the rest of the concert.

        Years before that, I saw George Jones. At the time he had a novelty hit that involved a line delivered in his bass range. The sound guy failed to bump up his volume (actually, I suspect he did bump the volume but only FOH, not monitors) and George had a minor hissy fit. I remember that far better than the rest of the concert.

        I don't think we'd call these guys non-pros.

        So...

        Make mistakes impossible and then, when they happen anyway, be smooth about it.


        Wikipedia:

        ...During some of his concert performances, [James] Brown danced in front of his band with his back to the audience as he slid across the floor, flashing hand signals and splaying his pulsating fingers to the beat of the music. Although audiences thought Brown's dance routine was part of his act, this practice was actually his way of pointing to the offending member of his troupe who played or sang the wrong note or committed some other infraction. Brown used his splayed fingers and hand signals to alert the offending person of the fine that person must pay to him for breaking his rules.

         


      • Potts
        Potts commented
        Editing a comment

        Bajazz wrote:
        To be complete honest and not trying to be arrogant: Don't screw up!
        Practice the song so any mistake will be minor ones, That no one notice.

        I will Often practice songs hundreds of times before performance. This habit will not only make you know the songs, but also:
        - make you a better musician
        - leave you to be able to communicate without your audience
        - impact your stage presence, autority and confidence
        - make you be able to earn more as your perceived as a pro musician

         

        100's of times? No way man. If a band were to do that they'd never get out of the basement. Put it this way...Have you ever screwed up a song that you've done 100's of times? Mistakes will happen and over-rehearsing is a waste of time. I've done 3am by Matchbox at every gig for 10 years or however long its been out. I screwed it up last night. Just because one has something nailed does not guarentee that the performace of the song will always be flawless.


    • #8

      Here's an example of how a great band handles a HUGE mistake in two different ways. This was way harder than it happening later in a song. They handle the musical part perfectly but stare down Sid McGinnis for what appears to be ever.


       

       

      <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.justdarrell.com" target="_blank">Just Darrell Web Site</a></div>

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