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Live gig blunders

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jwarv
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:20 pm

Live gig blunders

Postby jwarv » Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:12 pm

Hi all,

Just had to share my brief, but embarrassing story of a man, his guitar and a poorly calibrated tuner.

I was all hyped and ready to play an outdoor gig. It was a cavalcade of artists, so my band only had two songs to worry about. We had practiced them a lot, were tight and ready to go. Being as it was an Autumn day in NY state, there was a slight nip in the air on an otherwise sunny day. But the guitar was in its case, in the shade. I had a half hour to be back stage and cued up, so I was constantly tuning. I noticed that, as I was tuning using a clip-on with it set to chromatic, each string was off by a step sharp. I assumed it was the cold air, so I brought everything back down to what it should be. Or so I thought.

With no time to warm up and my bass player's rig already on stage, I figured all was cool since he had just played a song with somebody else and it sounded fine and in tune. So, I relaxed and enjoyed the other acts that went on before me, tweaking my tuning now and then.

So, we get up there, start playing and... :shock: something's wrong. I look at him and ask "What key are you in?" He says, "Eb". I think, "me too". So, what was wrong. I did have a capo on since it's easier to play Eb as a D. But I moved the capo up one fret and we finally matched. So, after a quick joke to the audience, we went ahead with the song.

Then came the second blunder. The next song was in E major, but I, like a fool, took off the capo and the same mess ensued. What was I thinking? Brain fart. :roll: So, I quickly put it back on the first fret and we matched again.

Once I figured out the solution in each case we played the songs quite well. But stopping them midstream and starting up again always seemed like a mortal sin. But maybe a worse sin is playing through and sounding lousy all the way. Or worse than that, feeling defeated and leaving the stage without entertaining anyone.

In any case, I figured out what went wrong. Ironically, I joked just prior to going on stage how I would set my tuning to A-441. I didn't. But what I hadn't noticed was a little "b icon" next to it. I had never used or even known about that option. It had eluded me. Lesson learned. That being said, I'm going to use the "guitar" setting from now on.

Funny, a line in the chorus of the song we sang was "Keep it simple, stupid..." I should have followed my own advice.

So, what's your story? Don't be shy. You're among friends. Look at is as group therapy. I know I feel better already. :)

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jlouvar
Posts: 1087
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:56 pm
Location: California - USA

Re: Live gig blunders

Postby jlouvar » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:14 pm

Wow bummer. :(
BTW: It could have been much worse (trust me, lol), so don't lose sleep over it... We know a good horse by how fast it gets back up, not by how it fell. :wink:
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.

jwarv
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:20 pm

Re: Live gig blunders

Postby jwarv » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:42 am

jlouvar wrote:Wow bummer. :(
BTW: It could have been much worse (trust me, lol), so don't lose sleep over it... We know a good horse by how fast it gets back up, not by how it fell. :wink:


Thank you. I consoled myself with the same thought. It reminds me of an old Bible proverb. "The righteous one will fall seven times and he will get back up again..." Based on this I had 5 more chances to fix it. Glad it didn't come to that. :)

Jason

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jlouvar
Posts: 1087
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:56 pm
Location: California - USA

Re: Live gig blunders

Postby jlouvar » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:04 am

Proverbs 24:16. :wink:
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.

jwarv
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:20 pm

Re: Live gig blunders

Postby jwarv » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:11 am

jlouvar wrote:Proverbs 24:16. :wink:


Hey, you da man!

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jlouvar
Posts: 1087
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:56 pm
Location: California - USA

Re: Live gig blunders

Postby jlouvar » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:56 am

You're welcome. :D
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.

sir axeman
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:47 am

Re: Live gig blunders

Postby sir axeman » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:30 am

Live blunders? I could write a book on em!! But I console myself having seen all my heros mess up onstage anyway. If you play live to any degree YOU ABSOLUTELY WILL screw up on stage many times in your playing career! They do it...we do, everyone does. It's just part of playing live! Plus I've learned to laugh it off these days and not feel like wanting the ground to open up and swallow me whole. :o

jwarv
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:20 pm

Re: Live gig blunders

Postby jwarv » Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:02 am

Haha. True. YouTube has a good helping of examples too. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rtnpS1RKsCk


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