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Bad performance....question


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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! :)

 

Just hit that same issue last night (Friday). Our 31st Anniversary gig at our home tavern and I pulled a major sinus/chest cold on Wednesday evening. I told the other bandmembers that I might not be able to sing much at the gig and they stepped right up with an assortment of tunes that they sang lead on, but had been taken out of rotation years (or decades) ago.

 

I found that I worked much harder than I normally do at a gig, really staying focused on playing and saving/limiting my voice to a few lead tunes and gentle backups (no Screaming Jay Hawkins or anything like that). We played one of our best gigs because we knew that we were on the edge of disaster on many levels. We all dug in and worked the tunes and it was a great night. I have so much respect for my bandmates, you have no idea.

 

Of course I have no voice at all today (well, I can grunt and wheeze, but I do that normally), but it was worth it. We owned the place.

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The job is to entertain. That's it.

That often happens through superior musician ship, but often doesn't.

If the people are happy, it's a win.

 

For some of us, it's not just a job.

 

In my case, my loyalty is to the music and I take my responsibility to deliver the music to the audience with integrity quite seriously.

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For some of us, it's not just a job.

 

In my case, my loyalty is to the music and I take my responsibility to deliver the music to the audience with integrity quite seriously.

!!!!!!!!

 

Found it! I knew there was I reason I've always respected you, even when we disagree. Now I understand.

 

 

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I was very critical of my bandmates when their alcohol consumption compromised their playing.

 

I don't play with people who have substance problems. I drink plenty of beer and wine myself, but not before a gig. I may have one beer during the last set of a 4-hour club gig if I'm not singing any leads, but even that is rare. NEVER before or during a corporate, symphonic, or theater show. I'm lucky in that I have the luxury of simply not taking gigs with people I don't want to work with - and drugs/alcohol impacting a performance is a non-starter for me.

 

People pay good money to come see us, and they deserve to be shown enough respect not to give them a shoddy, unprofessional show.

 

JMO. I know that some others feel differently and get away with it - I just don't want to be a part of it.

Edited by SteinbergerHack
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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.:bangheadonwall: 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.:facepalm:

 

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::barf:

 

 

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.......

 

I have a real problem dealing with compliments at the best of times. Dealing with them when I know I wasn't at my best is almost painful, but I try to remember that I shouldn't spoil a good night for the audience member by telling them how crappy I was. Apart from anything else, I've seen a drummer in a pub band receive a (well deserved) compliment, respond that he'd played poorly, and then had the venue owner (who overheard the conversation) try to use that chat as a reason to reduce the pay for the whole band. Yeah, I know most of us don't do it for the money, but still ...

 

Sorry you had a bad night by your standards. Just try to remember that your bad night may well be a lot better than some other guy's great night.

 

 

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The job is to entertain. That's it.

That often happens through superior musician ship, but often doesn't.

If the people are happy, it's a win.

 

Very true.

 

Somewhere I have a CD of one of my guitar heroes, Joe Pass playing some of the most unbelievably beautiful music for an audience that was being served dinner. In the background you can hear cutlery clattering against plates, people talking and chomping away on their steaks. That guy was a genius. As a musician I feel they should have been absolutely silent until the very end, and then built a shrine to him. But they didn't.

 

I've also seen a video of a T Rex gig where Bolan didn't even seem to be trying. He fluffed some of his own lyrics, and his (not stellar at the best of times) guitar playing was very sub-par. However, the crowd loved it.

 

As musicians we think of music very differently from the non-musical 'muggles'. In real life I'm a surprisingly placid and laid-back person, but I remember one day when I was in the sixth form at school attempting to literally punch another kid because he was talking through the guitar solo to 'While my guitar gently weeps'.

 

I know we all have bitter arguments here about politics, but we all share something of the musician madness that binds us together.

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I don't play with people who have substance problems. I drink plenty of beer and wine myself, but not before a gig. I may have one beer during the last set of a 4-hour club gig if I'm not singing any leads, but even that is rare. NEVER before or during a corporate, symphonic, or theater show. I'm lucky in that I have the luxury of simply not taking gigs with people I don't want to work with - and drugs/alcohol impacting a performance is a non-starter for me.

 

People pay good money to come see us, and they deserve to be shown enough respect not to give them a shoddy, unprofessional show.

 

JMO. I know that some others feel differently and get away with it - I just don't want to be a part of it.

 

We learn from our mistakes. One night, in my early days, I thought I was being smart when I smuggled a bottle of Scotch into a tavern that sold only beer and wine. I put the whisky in a draft beer glass and started drinking it like beer during the set.

 

Fortunately (or unfortunately) the drink inhibited my nervous system before it melted my brain and I was aware enough to realize how much my ability to move my fingers and play the guitar had been compromised.

 

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Perhaps I need to learn to say:

 

"I'm glad to know that you enjoyed it. It was a challenging show for us, and I appreciate the opportunity to play for you tonight."

 

If I treat it a "stage line" to deliver on cue, maybe I can beat down my inner bad vibes and focus on a positive experience for everyone.

 

Thanks to all for the responses - great stuff!

 

this !! )

 

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We've all had it happen. It's all how you digest it afterwards.

 

At a particularly flawed gig, on my part, I was ready to hang myself in shame over many of the same mistakes, and more. We had a loyal following and some of the regular women came up to me after the show and were just beaming, saying they loved the show and how out-of-the-box my playing was that night. :facepalm::rolleyes2:. I said a bit too much and got down on myself and my playing, telling them they weren't musicians and didn't understand all of the technical mistakes I made. At that point, they got angry with me for putting down their "guy". After that, I learned to back off with the self criticism in front of fans. Be gracious with yourself and with the fans and they'll love you for it. Then after everyone has gone home, the band can have a sit down the next day and evaluate the performance, take in lessons learned, and promise the won't-dos-again.

 

Hehe, been there. Had some compliments from some women once and I was halfway through explaining how they were both right and wrong to praise me, as I had equal moments of brilliance and clumsiness, and they were like, "just say thanks. :D:0." To a certain extent we have to get over ourselves when relating with non-musicians, who mostly just want to be entertained and don't care that much how you snuck in that phrygian dominant lick or whatever. A lot of the time I think you make a better impression if you look like you're playing well than if you're actually playing well. :lol::0

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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....

 

 

 

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.....

 

I use those feelings to make sure I don't screw up again....at least not in the same place. :D

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I use those feelings to make sure I don't screw up again....at least not in the same place. :D

 

This! Played again last night, and I think I redeemed myself - MUCH better performance all around.

 

Thanks to all for the thoughtful responses - it's good to see the common ground in this group among the wide spectrum of political viewpoints.

 

:philthumb:

 

 

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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.:bangheadonwall: 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.:facepalm:

 

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::barf:

 

 

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.......

 

Same thing happened to me last night. I was still plotting lighting cues 10 mins before the show opened, and editing blind after it started. Made a balls of 3 or 4 cues. The production manager came up to me afterwards telling me it was great, and I was going wtf? That was as sloppy as it gets. He looked at me like I had 2 heads.

 

Got up this morning and went and rigged another show. Today was a 12 hour day. Yesterday was a 20 hour day.

 

Looking forward to a few beers maybe Thursday or Friday night once this 8 day week is wrapped up.

 

To answer your question, I think you need to take is as it comes. Nights you think you're on fire, and someone gives you a 'meh', aren't really any different from nights when you've had a disaster, and someone thinks you did great. File under 'done' and get on to the next show.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31928641[/ATTACH]

Yep I had my share of looking for a rock to craw under afterwards. This last weekend my guitar just went dead after fading out during the last song where I was supposed build up the crescendo...I thought it was the amp's rectifier tube but it was a bad connection in my pedal board. With 15 stomps that's 45 connections counting the AC plugs chained together.

Edited by LARRY L
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