Time for a solo at gig, and you totally choked. Tell us about it.

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by BryanMatthews, May 22, 2011.

  1. BryanMatthews

    BryanMatthews Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Planet Claire
    Who hasnt had the situation where people are watching and your time to solo arrives, and you lose everything. No sense of timing, technique goes to the wall , phrasing goes to hell and all those things that are so easy when you are practicing become impossible.

    Tell us about when it happened to YOU.
  2. JustJim

    JustJim Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Boston area
    Happened to me this afternoon in fact! Played the intro lead to Soul Man, sounded sweet, band was hoppin.... went to play the same lead at the modulation from E to F, and nothing, nada, couldn't find anything near the right note! Luckily the other guitar player caught on quick and filled in.

  3. GCDEF

    GCDEF Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    The worst that happened to me was somehow I got the neck of the guitar tangled between my mic stand and mic cable, and by the time I got it out, the guitar was out of tune and the moment had passed. I don't remember ever choking though.
  4. partytrain

    partytrain Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Further south than I'd like.
    Broke the E string, on a trem, so every thing was out of whack, tried to tap the solo and use the trem bar to keep the notes somewhat in tune.....yeah, right.
  5. doublee

    doublee Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    The Hudson Valley
    Happened a few years ago with regularity, I wasnt prepared and I thought I was despite a long lay off, I didnt put in the hard time, now I am putting in the hard time on guitar...it was too humiliating, not awful but I wasnt able to seize the groove, but lets face it thats awful, if you cant do that youre worthless in the universe, and should play by yourself for 10 more years before you re -appear...or at least thats how i feel about it. Harsh I know...
  6. BBSuggs

    BBSuggs Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Ft Worth, TX
    Corporate Cover Band . . . .

    We recently added Long Cool Woman to our sets. I nail the opening riff routinely at home and practice, but have some kind of mental/physical block live. I mean bad too. The first live effort was a fumble, but we held onto the tune. The second live effort was a blunder too, and I begged off the tune. Geesh . . . . Totally embarrassing.

    It'll come together, eventually.
  7. Brooks

    Brooks Member

    Aug 13, 2004
    North Cacolaki
    years ago at the attic in greenville nc (big stage, big room); solo section came up, so i hit my solo boost footswitch and jumped from the stage to one of the 2 giant bass bins infront of the stage, and hit the first big bend in a heroic guitar pose... but my guitar cable fell out, and all the club was filled with a super deafening "GHHHHHHTTTTTDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"...
  8. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

    Dec 16, 2010
    Encinitas, SoCal
    Yeah - it really sucks. Just my last gig I had turned off my guitar volume at the end of the previous song. So, the next song starts with a lead and I couldn't figure out the problem. It was not a big deal - no one missed it but the band, but you feel stupid whenever it was something YOU did - like step on your cord or turn your volume knob off. I fugured it out by the next guitar solo break.

    I started one previous gig in the bright sunlight and I had been standing there for minutes not realzing my pedal board had come unplugged (I couldn't see the LEDs) - we started the first song and I had nothing - after 30 seconds I just plugged straight in the amp so that was how I played the gig. - But as soon as I figured that out I stepped on my chord, and didn't have to time to wrap it around my strap. so I just plugged it in the guitar, and 30 seconds later I stepped on it again.

    That was how I started the gig - fortunately, no one who mattered was there. That was the perfect learning gig for me. Now my last gig where we had 100 friends just to watch us - I had very few and no noticable technical screwups and lots of hard solos came off as well as I can play them. Its a great feeling when a hard gig goes right.
  9. epluribus

    epluribus Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Couple years ago I'm playing a nice little finger roll, singing in a duet--no backing. Fingers start losing the feel of the strings. Lifted the day before in the gym, the over-trained right hand goes into full sewing-machine mode. You can see it shaking like a leaf in the vid. Longest three-minute song in history. Goofiest part...the song sounded just fine. Tone schmone... :)


    You mentioned this the other day didn't you? (Good heavens, not yet another fun tech experience?) I was trying to figure out how the rest of the gig went. You're a good man. :)
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  10. mixwiz

    mixwiz Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Happened last week in a recording studio. Just had to lay a little slide down. Regular comp parts were done in 2 takes. Time to lay in a fairly simple harmony on the bridge and I couldn't for the life of me play it. Sitting in a huge studio facing the glass and screwed up about 9 takes in a row. The producer and tracking engineer were really polite but the silence was deafening. Haven't had that happen in 20 years. Yuk.
  11. sixstringslut

    sixstringslut Member

    Dec 22, 2005
    Happens to me all the time, realy. The hard part is recovering with a smile on your face.
    The Middle (Jimmy Eats World) solo. Bass player seems to play it different every time, I never know what to do other than humor it.
    BTW i have done the chord thing also. My p/u switch took crap on me yesterday(new defective CRL). It worked as long as I held it upward (Tele). I still finished the set but sounded horrid until I found out what was going on and the solution.
  12. maccampbells

    maccampbells Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    If you're not making mistakes you aren't trying hard enough.
  13. Tbone135

    Tbone135 Member

    Jun 15, 2007
    Nope, never happened in 26 years. I am the man.
  14. lhallam

    lhallam Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    My first classical gtr recital was a disaster. No band around to support me and professors and peers in the audience was daunting. Once your hands and legs start shaking while playing a classical, your target zone is almost impossible to hit.

    My next recital, I practiced in a pitch black room. Talk about prepared. I nailed it. I learned then that preparation builds confidence which is key.
  15. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Tampa Bay
    Don't really "choke" so to say, but I do hit an occaisional clam when stretching myself. One of our regular sound guys is a git player too and last gig his board is right in front of me stage right. I step up to hit the intro to a solo that skips a string between two notes and I hit the open string by mistake... plang! I heard him laugh out loud and I flicked him the bird! (all in good spirit)
  16. CyberFerret

    CyberFerret Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    Darwin, Australia
    Haha - happened to me at the first couple of blues jams I attended after taking a long (15 year) break from playing the guitar. I spent the few weeks before the first jam working on different scales and positions, but when I walked up on stage, I froze and went back to the same old pentatonic box, and even then, ended up playing only 2 basic licks over and over again as my brain just WOULD NOT think outside of that.

    It got better as I attended more jams, but it really highlighted to me how much more I needed to practice, and also how much more I had to learn about being a guitarist...
  17. Staticbuster

    Staticbuster Member

    Jan 24, 2010
    Carolina in my mind...
    HHmm, most recent worst for me was this one time we were doing a cover of a song I really dig alot by the band Dawes. I got to play the solo which starts low on the neck and in the middle jumps up to the upper end of the neck. When I made the transition to the upper register, my hand sort of slipped, and I got onto the G string when I shoulda been on the B. Took me a minute to figure it out. That sucked.
  18. Neer

    Neer Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    It only happened once...well, maybe twice. Stepped on my cable a long time ago and pulled it out of the jack on a Les Paul. It's OK, though, I saw Ry Cooder do the same thing with Little Village. Embarassking. Second time my metal fingerpick came off my finger while playing a National Tricone lap style and wedged in between the strings and I couldn't get it out or play around it. Total freakin' musical lockjaw.
  19. mtmartin71

    mtmartin71 Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Denver, CO
    My band plays Jump. I'm not a tapper and don't really play Eddie Van Halen's style very well although I seem to fake Panama much better but we dumped that one. Every time I just dread that solo. Some day I'm just going to sit there and piss myself off with that one all night until I learn it...or until I learn a better workaround because I'm just lost on that one.
  20. SteveO

    SteveO Member

    Dec 27, 2009
    Oh man, that was the song that just about did me in, too. I had the intro absolutely burned into my brain, but the first time we played it at the bar I absolutely blew it. The other guitar player laughed, motioned to us to stop, and joked a bit with the crowd while the drummer gave me a quick, quiet pep talk ("man, you nailed that f***er repeatedly at my place the other day, just pretend you're sitting on my couch!")

    The pep talk seemed to work, as the do-over went fine. For the next few weeks, before I started that song the drummer would yell out "COUCH!", and that was enough of a chuckle to loosen me up every time.

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