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Ever Have One Of Them Nights?


mineame

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I've never seen the guys that I play with not be able to finish a song with a busted string. Granted ... the guitar part suddenly gets simple and the tuning is suddenly a little suspect ... but never so bad that we can't limp the song across the finish line.


Although I don't play guitar - I suspect that anytime somebody claims that
can't
finish a tune - the reasons why are more in their head than the result of a broken string.

 

 

Not if you have a floating tremolo - the guitar will go so out of tune as to be unplayable. Yes, if you're playing a fixed-bridge guitar you should be able to finish the song - but if you're playing a Floyd Rose-equipped axe, a broken string is an absolute song-ender.

 

[FWIW, I have a Steinberger with a Trans-Trem that WILL stay in tune if a string breaks - you just have to lock the trem in the middle position and live without the bar for the rest of the song.....]

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Holy {censored}! We've all had tough gigs. But there is no bitching if you pop a string! {censored}, if that is all that happened, you are doing fine!!! If you play enough gigs, you are going to break a string in front of people eventually. I've seen the best in the business have tech probs on stage. Here's a short list as I can remember:

1) Pat Metheny didn't tuck his cord behind his strap, and stepped on the cord and pulled it out mid solo, bent down and plugged it in. Still played great.

2) Luther Allison break 3 strings in one set in different songs. He was jerkin those strings around so hard...played a stunning set.

3) Saw Steve Vai yank his trem out of the guitar pulling it stupid sharp. WeeeeeeeeeeeeeCLONK! and he's holding the whole floyd in his hand just looking at it like "Whoa". Didn't stop him. Had another guitar in his hands in seconds.

4) Saw B.B. King futz with his cord (this is back in his standing days in the 80's) as it was cutting out...futzed with it at the guitar, then the amp, then had a tech swap a cord, then it still crackled so then they swapped guitars. All over the course of 2 songs. And played a great gig.

5) Saw David Lee Roth's acoustic feed back so bad he couldn't play it. After starting the song like 4 times. It was during Ice Cream Man and had to get Eddie to come out and fake the intro on electric. Still a powerful rendition.

6) Saw Michael Brecker, Don Alias, Jeff Watts, James Genus, and Joey Calderazzo play a gig and at the first break, when Brecker was introducing the band, he thanked a local music store for providing the instruments at the last miniute because all of their instruments got re routed. You could see the fustration on their faces, but they played their asses off none the less on some INSANELY challenging music.

7) The last one that comes to mind is blues man Kenny Neal. This was at a club in the late 80's. He breaks a string in the middle of a solo, sustains a note in key, and grabs a string on top of the amp, and re strings it while he is singing the next verse. WHILE HE IS SINGING THE NEXT VERSE! And then plays the next solo, fiddling with the tuner as part of the solo. HOLY {censored}!!!


So, if you break a string, just switch guitars quick. No harm no foul. Bigger names have gone thru a lot worse. There's no crying in baseball.
:cry:

But I do have an issue with this idea that a different neck radius will screw your playing up. Are you serious? Are you playing really technically challenging music? I mean c'mon. YOu can't let that throw you off your game. Just concentrate a little harder and adapt. Sounds like it just threw your game off mentally.....


Can't come down on ya too hard tho, cuz we have all had bad nights. Happens to us all! Just gotta keep playing.....
:thu:



Yeah yeah... ok whatever coach :):lol::)

I have had it easy up on stage.

But honestly... game off or not, I am just the type of guy that has trouble picking up someone elses guitar. Always have.

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But I do have an issue with this idea that a different neck radius will screw your playing up.



A neck radius change by itself is a minor inconvenience, but there are a LOT of other things that can throw you off, or just make the backup guitar the wrong choice for a given song:

Weight
Action height
String gauge (try being used to playing .010-.046 with a high action and picking up something strung with .008s right on the frets...:eek:)
Scale length
Cutaway depth
Neck thickness (try going from a JEM to a Les Paul with a 50s neck:eek:)
Neck width
Trem/hardtail
Pickup config (Strats are great, but not when your gains are all set for overwound humbuckers)
Strap length (sharing a backup guitar is a pain in this respect - I, for one, simply cannot play a guitar that's down at my knees - but I've played with some other guys who liked it that way)

Agreed that these are no excuse for not plowing through and finishing the song, but they ARE very good reasons for each player to have their own backup instrument ready to go and set up for their personal use.

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yes, I usually have 4-5 guitars on stage and all have their own straps. And usually I can finish a song with a broken string.

 

 

 

+1

 

I play mostly LPs so i can fake it thru the end of a song.

 

Although once i broke a high E towards the end of a long solo, proceeded to solo without a high E, and then promtly broke the B string, so now i was an octave higher bass.

 

Not fun and the last time i used DR's

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I have all my trems blocked so I can dive only (stays in tune as well as a fixed bridge guitar that pops a string, if not better...). This makes it easier to go to drop D, and to restring the guitar in a pinch. If a string breaks, I unlock the nut, pull the string down 2 winds and put it back in the saddle (my trems only break strings at the saddle) and finish the night with it.

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Thanks 3shiftgtr...nice to know how the pros handle problems....like pros...

I heard stories of guys impressing audiences with how fast they could change a string....

I am surprised the pros even {censored} with changing cords, having techs running around on stage, changing strings while they sing....there are better ways to handle that kind of stuff...

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Thanks 3shiftgtr...nice to know how the pros handle problems....like pros...


I heard stories of guys impressing audiences with how fast they could change a string....


I am surprised the pros even {censored} with changing cords, having techs running around on stage, changing strings while they sing....there are better ways to handle that kind of stuff...

 

 

 

Yep, the pros handle it like pros... And us weekend warriors learn from our mistakes.... Just like the pros did at one time or another.

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Personally, I can change a string on a double-locking trem in under a minute. I had a rehearsal tape when I was in two-guitar band, lost a string in a verse, changed, tuned, and got back into action before the end of the next verse.

Live? Backup, always. Backup is fixed bridge, regardless of what #1 is, I try to pick something closeish in sound to #1.

I saw a show in the early 90s, local boobs. Busted a string in the second song... trainwreck... silence... 15 minute delay while Jimi Van Malmsteen changed the string and retuned his Strat. Set list edited to four songs, played to half a house. Uberfail.

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