The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Played a stag & doe on Friday night. Kind of a quiet crowd, but we got lots of good comments, free beer and food, and a couple of solid bookings out of the deal, so it was generally a good night - except....

Our guitarist/singer, while he's pretty good, has always had a bit of a confidence problem regarding lyrics. It took a long time to convince him not to have a lyric book in front of him on stage - we finally got it moved back to a shady spot near the drummer where he can give it a look between songs. I also made it up into a legal-size binder with the lyrics spread over 2 pages so he can see it from some distance away. ( I take care of this because I have the equipment at work to print large pages.)

As usual on the night before the gig, I checked all my equipment, tested the PA, and got everything else ready to take to the gig, including reviewing the lyric book for proper song order, etc. Then off to the gig the next day -

Setup went fine, first song goes fine - and then the singer flips to the next page in the book and freezes. He looks at me and mouths " It's the wrong song!" He flips a few more pages, and they're all the wrong songs! In fact, it appears to be an old practice book from my other ( former) band! I'm completely baffled - I put the book in my truck myself less than an hour earlier, and I was the one who took it out of the truck as well. We quickly called out another song that the singer could do without the book, but he was so rattled without his "security blanket", that he had a few stumbles. We got thru a few more tunes with others doing singing ( which we do anyway) and called an early break.

At the break, I eaxmined the book, and sure enough, it's an old book I haven't seen in months. I'm completely baffled.

I back out to my truck, but there didn't appear to be any other books in it..what the heck's going on? Then, I happened to reach under one of the rear seats - and there's the real book!

What had happened was that I had put the real book on the floor of the back seat, not knowing that the old book had been lurking under one of the front seats for months. During the trip to the gig, I had to floor the gas to get out into traffic ahead of some rocket-jockey who was trying to kill me. The old book slid out from under the front seat, and pushed the real book under the back seat. When I got to the gig, all I can see is one book on the floor, so that's what I grabbed.....

Anyway, the second set went much better, everybody loved us, and the singer had his "security blanket" back. Go Figure.....

Murphy always finds a way, doesn't he?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,492 Posts
Played a stag & doe on Friday night. Kind of a quiet crowd, but we got lots of good comments, free beer and food, and a couple of solid bookings out of the deal, so it was generally a good night - except....

Our guitarist/singer, while he's pretty good, has always had a bit of a confidence problem regarding lyrics. It took a long time to convince him not to have a lyric book in front of him on stage - we finally got it moved back to a shady spot near the drummer where he can give it a look between songs. I also made it up into a legal-size binder with the lyrics spread over 2 pages so he can see it from some distance away. ( I take care of this because I have the equipment at work to print large pages.)

As usual on the night before the gig, I checked all my equipment, tested the PA, and got everything else ready to take to the gig, including reviewing the lyric book for proper song order, etc. Then off to the gig the next day -

Setup went fine, first song goes fine - and then the singer flips to the next page in the book and freezes. He looks at me and mouths " It's the wrong song!" He flips a few more pages, and they're all the wrong songs! In fact, it appears to be an old practice book from my other ( former) band! I'm completely baffled - I put the book in my truck myself less than an hour earlier, and I was the one who took it out of the truck as well. We quickly called out another song that the singer could do without the book, but he was so rattled without his "security blanket", that he had a few stumbles. We got thru a few more tunes with others doing singing ( which we do anyway) and called an early break.

At the break, I eaxmined the book, and sure enough, it's an old book I haven't seen in months. I'm completely baffled.

I back out to my truck, but there didn't appear to be any other books in it..what the heck's going on? Then, I happened to reach under one of the rear seats - and there's the real book!

What had happened was that I had put the real book on the floor of the back seat, not knowing that the old book had been lurking under one of the front seats for months. During the trip to the gig, I had to floor the gas to get out into traffic ahead of some rocket-jockey who was trying to kill me. The old book slid out from under the front seat, and pushed the real book under the back seat. When I got to the gig, all I can see is one book on the floor, so that's what I grabbed.....

Anyway, the second set went much better, everybody loved us, and the singer had his "security blanket" back. Go Figure.....

Murphy always finds a way, doesn't he?


I think your singer might be surprised if he tried it without the safety net. Certainly I agree with not having a music stand or similar in front of him, but I understand how difficult it can be to remember 40 or 50 sets of lyrics. I use a few cheat sheets just to jog my memory, but the few times I have forgotton to put them at my feet, I've been surprised at how well I did.

For me there are generally two or three songs that just present a mental block. Those are the only ones I use sheets for now and all I need is the first couple of words to each verse to get things flowing.

Singers take almost as much flak from other musicians as drummers do.

I suggest everyone give it a try. Singing (especially while playing an instrument) is NOT easy. As with other instruments, a good lead man will make it look easy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, he's getting it, slowly - we had fun at the gig, especially doing some songs we didn't know well, with everybody singing a verse or two or prompting the guy doing the singing - the singer noticed that the crowd was enjoying it even if we blew a line or two here and there. I think it's just a confidence thing, he hasn't fronted a band before.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,492 Posts
Yeah, he's getting it, slowly - we had fun at the gig, especially doing some songs we didn't know well, with everybody singing a verse or two or prompting the guy doing the singing - the singer noticed that the crowd was enjoying it even if we blew a line or two here and there. I think it's just a confidence thing, he hasn't fronted a band before.
Right on man.

I often feel a bit like Ozzy up there. I need a fricking teleprompter for some tunes.


Sharon!!!!!!


Line??????



Like I said, there are some tunes for which I simply cannot remember lyrics.

I've developed a special language comprised of mumbling and gibberish to fill in the blanks.


Yasbo, slithy forks!

Zeeeba zaaabo foo narf!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
At lease he doesn't tape his lyric sheets on the monitors, and then complain that he can't hear himself. I get all kinds that tape paper set lists and cheat notes over the horn of the monitors and can't figure out why they can't hear any thing.

I've got lots of road stories, but I can't think of anything that is both funny and suitable for family viewing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
596 Posts
Man, I can sympathize. Players who don't sing have no idea. Remembering all the words is the single most challenging aspect for me. I sing roughly half of my bands stuff (drummer is the other lead voc), but I still have to remember the words to 30 or so songs any given time. I can often get a new guitar part down in a matter of minutes, but it takes time to cram all those words into my thick head and get them to stay there!

I could never really use lyrics sheets live. Too busy playing, stomping on pedals, etc to keep my eyes on the page, and when my eyes come off they can't go back and locate the right line on the sheet fast enough.

What I do is first learn the song really well by listening to it over and over, so that the melody and the structure are pretty well embedded in my brain. Then I can play back the song silently in my brain while I silently sing along using a printed lyric sheet. Then I take that sheet everywhere I go for a few days or however long it takes, and have little silent brain rehearsals on the train, at work, while my wife is yakking at me, etc. Works for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
I've never had much of a problem remembering lyrics...never used a book, cheat sheet or whatever.
if I did forget a few lyrics, I just make 'em up or mumble through em. as long as it's not the chorus or an important part, no one will notice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,220 Posts
This winter the Met was broadcasting some of their operas live to movie theatres around the world. This meant that the production was mic'd so you could hear things that a normal audience would never hear. In their broadcast on Tan Dun's new opera Placido Domingo kept forgetting lines and was prompted frequently throughout the opera. It's kinda nice sometimes to realize that one of the most successful singers on the planet can flub lines too.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,492 Posts
Ahhhh the music stand...the poor man's telepromter.

I can't recall the last gig I did without a music stand. I'ts enough to learn the tunes, now I have to memorize 'em too?

I keep clothes pegs in the gig bag for the outside gigs.

There are gigs where a music stand is quite apropos.

Playing in a rock band isn't one of them in my opinion.

I know that's not your milieu. Just clarifying.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,492 Posts
Ok to get back on topic


The weirdest thing I can remember happening on stage is the time in Sherbrooke, Que when I actually crapped myself in the middle of a ZZ Top number.


I had eaten some bad poutine (I think that's what caused it) and had been experiencing higher than normal activity in my digestive system.

We were in the middle of the second set and banging away at a ZZ Top tune ("Gimme all your lovin" I think) when I had the sudden urge to.....relieve some pressure. Instead of the expected pressure, what emerged was a more particulate offering. Fortunately it was of the M & M variety and I was able to "secure" the item by clenching.


So, I walk up to the singer/bassist and lean in to tell him. (I just crapped myself).

He nods.........looks at me again (double take)with a puzzeled expression as if to say "did you just say what I think you said?"


I nod and smile.

I saw a look on his face like all the blood had drained from his head, followed by a laugh. He had great difficulty finishing the song.

I was able to exit the stage after the song and discard the item along with the undergarment, and resume playing.


That was pretty wierd I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,274 Posts
Ok to get back on topic


The weirdest thing I can remember happening on stage is the time in Sherbrooke, Que when I actually crapped myself in the middle of a ZZ Top number.


I had eaten some bad poutine (I think that's what caused it) and had been experiencing higher than normal activity in my digestive system.

We were in the middle of the second set and banging away at a ZZ Top tune ("Gimme all your lovin" I think) when I had the sudden urge to.....relieve some pressure. Instead of the expected pressure, what emerged was a more particulate offering. Fortunately it was of the M & M variety and I was able to "secure" the item by clenching.


So, I walk up to the singer/bassist and lean in to tell him. (I just crapped myself).

He nods.........looks at me again (double take)with a puzzeled expression as if to say "did you just say what I think you said?"


I nod and smile.

I saw a look on his face like all the blood had drained from his head, followed by a laugh. He had great difficulty finishing the song.

I was able to exit the stage after the song and discard the item along with the undergarment, and resume playing.


That was pretty wierd I think.
LOL. I can't believe you told that story. :bow:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,833 Posts
Ok to get back on topic


The weirdest thing I can remember happening on stage is the time in Sherbrooke, Que when I actually crapped myself in the middle of a ZZ Top number.


I had eaten some bad poutine (I think that's what caused it) and had been experiencing higher than normal activity in my digestive system.

We were in the middle of the second set and banging away at a ZZ Top tune ("Gimme all your lovin" I think) when I had the sudden urge to.....relieve some pressure. Instead of the expected pressure, what emerged was a more particulate offering. Fortunately it was of the M & M variety and I was able to "secure" the item by clenching.


So, I walk up to the singer/bassist and lean in to tell him. (I just crapped myself).

He nods.........looks at me again (double take)with a puzzeled expression as if to say "did you just say what I think you said?"


I nod and smile.

I saw a look on his face like all the blood had drained from his head, followed by a laugh. He had great difficulty finishing the song.

I was able to exit the stage after the song and discard the item along with the undergarment, and resume playing.


That was pretty wierd I think.
Great story, and thanks for "sharing". There is a word for that condition - a shart:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=shart
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
lol, great story milkman!

I can generally remember lyrics pretty well, however I can't sing and play worth a damn.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,492 Posts
True dat, but the pros, (Bowie, McCartney, etc) have teleprompters built into the staging, so I'll forgive most music stand sins.

Several years ago I got a call to play bass in an oldies/Elvis gig, (can you guess who, Milkman??), and I got 10 days and one rehearsal to learn about 75tunes. Damn straight I'm using a music stand!!!!!

Many times I've hidden the stand behind the FOH stack, but for the jazz gigs, I hide nothing. The singer has a lyric book in plain sight too.

I've seriously looked into this:

http://www.freehandsystems.com/

but the cost is still too high for me.

and I've heard of guys who have used pdf's or jpgs in a digital photo frame as their "sheet music".
A teleprompter is something I dream of having. It would definitely take away some stress.

For the shows I do with my band having a music stand on stage would not fit the image at all.

Generally speaking if I'm standing on stage, no music stand. If the gig is such that sitting is appropriate, a stand is fine.

Of course, that's just my personal choice.

I don't even like wedges on stage. I prefer to put them on the floor in front of the stage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
True dat, but the pros, (Bowie, McCartney, etc) have teleprompters built into the staging, so I'll forgive most music stand sins.
I'm sure some people use these for lyrical help, but every time I've seen them used their main purpose was to remind the performer what city they are in (so they dont say things like - 'we love you (wrong city name)'), and to provide the stage amanager a method of communicating with the performers.
 
L

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
There are gigs where a music stand is quite apropos.

Playing in a rock band isn't one of them in my opinion.
I remember when the Stoness played in Oshawa ('77?)
benefit for the blind. Keith's opening band had music
stands all over the stage.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top