And then I messed up the song....

mfranzdorf

Member
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932
Played a show this afternoon, a high school “Alternative Strings” class that plays a few songs before the orchestra concerts. I’m a school resource officer at the school and occasionally joins the kids on one song at their concert. Layla was the song, and I had been practicing a bit and was comfortable with it. BUT, I lost track of the verses and when we were supposed to continue on with the main riff repeating, I went back into another verse..... I of course realized immediately and picked it back up after a measure and we finished strong. Me being me though, it is really bugging me. I honestly feel like I let the kids down by jacking up the song.
I know live music can be tricky waters, and I’m far from seasoned at it but that doesn’t lessen the embarrassment level any.

I realize this is a dumb thing to beat myself up over but....I know, rock and roll, right?
 
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799
Without attempting to be dismissive -

Man if I had a dollar for every time I made the wrong change or landed on a wrong note while performing. People remember the energy and vibe long after the notes are gone. I’m sure you’re beating yourself up and you’re likely the only one remembering the mistake. That said, I get it. Unplanned moments stick with us. Keep performing though! I have way too many stories of not doing it right lol
 

mfranzdorf

Member
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932
Without attempting to be dismissive -

Man if I had a dollar for every time I made the wrong change or landed on a wrong note while performing. People remember the energy and vibe long after the notes are gone. I’m sure you’re beating yourself up and you’re likely the only one remembering the mistake. That said, I get it. Unplanned moments stick with us. Keep performing though! I have way too many stories of not doing it right lol
Thanks for that. This is just my fourth time playing for any kind of real audience and I’m still getting used to that feeling. It just bugs me because it was such a simple thing to get right and I dropped the ball.
It was also my responsibility to start the song off with that opening riff. I nailed it pretty good, so I’ll have that at least!
 

musicman10_1

Supporting Member
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2,825
Keep playing live and you'll quickly forget about that particular blunder; there will be many more and they'll be worse and even more embarrassing.

You should have been there when I tried to join the band for a few numbers at my wedding 25 years ago. Thanks to Jack Daniel I was rendered near a complete fool without any of the ability that I had possessed just the day before where the guitar was concerned. Oh boy! Horrifyingly memorable -
 
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799
Thanks for that. This is just my fourth time playing for any kind of real audience and I’m still getting used to that feeling. It just bugs me because it was such a simple thing to get right and I dropped the ball.
It was also my responsibility to start the song off with that opening riff. I nailed it pretty good, so I’ll have that at least!
That's the spirit my man!

I'll share mine with you (many years ago in a galaxy far far away). My high school rock band was pretty good - but not great. The type of band that did well around our hometown, battle of the bands legends etc. But when we got into Boston/NY/Providence/Philly we realized we had a lot to work. We were a middle slot in a telethon fundraising spot for public TV down in Boston. Playing a 1hr set.

We hit the stage and everyone was ready to go. I don't remember what song we were doing but I remember it was a drum/guitar intro. Drummer counts me in and I go to hit my first chord. Nothing. Nada. I'm just leaving the drummer with his a$$ out playing an opening riff that didn't make sense without the guitar. I looked a fool too, scrambling at my guitar controls trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with it.

Turned out I didn't plug my cable in to my old Boss multi-fx I was using at the time.

I was pretty torqued up for the rest of the set. Spotlight syndrome had kicked in hard. We finished up a pretty decent rest of it and the folks in the studio seemed to like what we brought. Got off the stage and talked with the content guy and he was really psyched on us. I was still upset at myself though.

All this time later I realized, after seeing hundreds of bands and playing hundreds (if not thousands) of dates, that likely myself and drummer were the only folks really frustrated that night. And, truth be told, that feeling dissipated in a couple days when we started booking more in the Boston area.

Keep at it man. I promise that the good outweighs the bad.
 

Nebakanezer

Member
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2,952
Recovering from an error is a skill unto itself. You unintentionally demonstrated something valuable to those kids. That’s part and parcel of your job as an SRO, right? Give yourself a pat on the back.
Dave Schools from WideSpread Panic once said something like: we have the coolest fans! They don’t care if we mess up, they just wanna see how we recover from it!
I often refer back to that for inspiration on the human element and experience of music. I had a gig last Friday and me and the singer usually do some next day analysis, I told her her mess ups are way better than mine. She has a knack for what she might consider a mess up, I think of as a slight slir in phrasing. Me, I hit the wrong chords sometimes, not as graceful.
OP, point is: not only are you doing it, but you are also leaving/making/putting positive influences on the future generations!!! That is awesome!!!!!
 

RupertB

Supporting Member
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4,312
I beat myself up way too much about exactly this kind of stuff when I was in my teens & 20s.
Started writing my blunders & "should have played better" bits down in a notebook, using the page as a practice reference, then later tore out the page & threw it away; a literal "letting it go."

Eventually, you'll get old enough to call them "senior moments" & laugh about them.
 

the_unwise

Member
Messages
252
I played my first live gig for the first time in over a year last night and missed out on the first three songs of a seven song set - all because one of the pedal cables was dislodged by a fraction of an inch and I couldn't troubleshoot for the life of me (I've used this board for years and I've never had it happen - sound check was great, so it happened between then and the first song... don't ask me how, I have no clue.)

OM Flyer is correct, though. Once we troubleshooted while the singer did a solo piece, I was able to get back on my feet and I received some of the best feedback I've ever gotten post-show. The ability to get back up and recover is crucial, and people respect it and understand that things happen.

If it ever makes you feel better, there are videos on YT of the greats like Slash messing up his own song intros ;)
 

slider

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1,438
My sister was a classical musician in college, a flautist. From her I learned the term 'note perfect', as in every note played at a concert was perfect.
For me, at least, that is a SUPER rare event.
 

Calebz

Member
Messages
1,539
Don't let it get to you OP.

I played a show a few months ago. After 30 years of playing live, I finally became the only guitarist in a band, instead of rhythm only.

First show, we played the regular planned set, no problem. Get the go ahead for one more song. Play a cover I've known since the 80s.

Blew it. Blew changes, counted wrong coming in and out of solos. My drummer brought me back in, so it wasn't a train wreck, but damn - I've played that song a million times

No one noticed except the rest of my band.

The recovery was the most important part.
 

jblake

Member
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2,090
There is only one time that I’ve made a mistake that I’ve lost sleep over. About 12 years ago I got a trumpet gig playing Taps at military funerals due to the increase in those types of events and a lack of buglers. They later began using an electronic bugle that plays a recording, and now there is a foundation that provides a live bugler at no cost. I will still pick one up occasionally.

Despite my best attempt to be prepared, I just couldn’t get my lips working at one particular funeral on a cold, rainy February day. I got the first 5 or 6 notes out and then it was just the sound of flatulence for the longest 15 seconds of my life. I apologized profusely to the family and they were very understanding, but I still beat myself up for that one.
 

musicman10_1

Supporting Member
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2,825
Despite my best attempt to be prepared, I just couldn’t get my lips working at one particular funeral on a cold, rainy February day. I got the first 5 or 6 notes out and then it was just the sound of flatulence for the longest 15 seconds of my life. I apologized profusely to the family and they were very understanding, but I still beat myself up for that one.
Oh wow! I am trying not to laugh because of the event that you were performing at, but, . . .
 

mfranzdorf

Member
Messages
932
Thanks everybody, I actually had trouble sleeping over all this! ( ridiculous I know). However, after reflecting on the events of yesterday I think that what i said to the 16 year old band member when he came into the dressing room after the show will be remembered far longer than my minor mistake. I looked right at him and said the first thing that came into my mind... “ i can’t believe I f***ed that up!”. He REALLY didn’t expect that from his usually restrained SRO:rotflmao
He just laughed and said “ i think we all did”.
Good times.
 




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