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Anyone ever just forget how to play a song...


Sandman

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...right after you hear the drummer count it in on stage?

 

My band did a show last night and i totally blew the whole first verse of the first song, i literally don't think i hit a single right note.

 

The problem was though that after we soundchecked the other band messed around with the house PA and suddenly whe we went up there and my moniter wasn't working. I couldn't hear the vocals at all and my mind was on that instead of the music. Oh well, i'll rock'em next time.

I lost some time once. It's always in the last place you look for it.
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Yes.

 

Sad to say, I even still bring my music stand, and sometimes, if I am flustered by something, like you said... the monitor not working... I can look at the lead sheet and still forgot how the tune goes.

 

But then, when all is well, and the mood is great, and everything is going to plan, I usually remember everything, and actually play my best.

 

I do have a standing pact with my band: "If you guys are playing and I am not, it means that I have totally forgotten what I am supposed to play, and I WILL join you, at some point, so just keep on going!" My band gets along really well, and we are all completely tolerant of one another's flubs.

 

The one thing I really dislike is playing wrong notes, so the moment I realize I am on the wrong track, I will stop, and then get my head together and join again asap. :rolleyes:

 

Now, if it's a song with a strong bass intro. I'll laugh, stop the band, and ask how it goes and then we restart. The audience usually gets a kick out of that. ;)

 

All of us saying a collective "ooops" and laughing on stage usually helps the situation a great deal. :D We are a rockin' oldies band, so our audience is usually in a fun and playful mood from the start. Oldies music is just darn fun, and people who come to listen are in a good frame of mind.

 

Fortunately, this doesn't happen a lot!

 

Hope that helped! :wave: ... Connie Z

"Change comes from within." - Jeremy Cohen

 

The definition of LUCK: When Preparation meets Opportunity!

 

http://www.cybergumbo.com

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Most of the time I only learn the chords to the song and then make my own lines since I play in a band that plays music that I do not listen to (not saying that I wouldn't I just haven't had time within the period that I've had to learn the songs). I think learning like this limits your tendency to forget what to play, but I still forget where a change is supposed to be.

We must accept the consequences of being ourselves-Sojourn of Arjuna

 

Music at www.moporoco.com/nick

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LOL...I do this all the time. The result is it has made me much better at "relearning" tunes than memorizing them.

 

I do quite a few gigs which are heavy on the sight reading, and this is no problem, as thigs are quite charted and we all have music stands. But, yes, I do frequently forget how tunes go. Fortunately, the memory usually returns within the first couple of measures. But, I might not play it "exactly" as I had played it before (or, for that matter, with a lot of regards for creating a note-perfect rendition of a prviously recorded work. In fact, I have develop[ed a bot of a reputation for never playing the same thing ONCE...)

 

There is something I try to pass on to my students in regard to all of this. My memory is rather selective...and it seems as though I might have limited file space where to add new data. I often cannot remember my phone number. If I don't memorize a tune, how do I cover it? The ability to learn a tune quickly is, IMHO, a much greater and more useful skill than the ability to memorize a part. (tho both have their purposes and places). My ability to learn, or re-learn, a part very, very quickly (often on the bandstand) has certainly aided my demand as a sideman. A thorough and working knowledge of theory, harmony, rhythm and syncopations, and chord progression makes it quite possible to learn just about any tune very quickly...often on an initial listen. Which makes forgetting tunes not so much of a problem.

 

Max

...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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I wanted to throw something else in on top of what Mr. Valentino said. Ear training is also a great thing. If you you spend a little time working on recognizing intervals, and chord types by ear, you should notice a huge improvement in your ability to learn something on the spot. I found a free download for ear training testing a little while back. The link that I used is no good anymore but if you search for a freeware program called GNU Solfege or just Solfege you will probably find it. You can chart your progress for ear recognition. You'd be suprised at how quickly you gain really good relative pitch just by testing.

We must accept the consequences of being ourselves-Sojourn of Arjuna

 

Music at www.moporoco.com/nick

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I've lost specific parts to songs; I'll be playing along and realize that (A) the next section is aboput to start, and (B) I'm absolutely clueless about what that section is.

 

On the other hand, I won't stop playing when I'm lost; we bassists HAVE to be in on the down beat, so there's no way to not play and have it sound anything but wrong. On the other hand, if you keep playing, there's at least one chance in 12 that the note you play will be the right one.

 

When I'm called to sub with strange bands, I usually tell the leader that I WILL play some wrong notes, but they won't be hesitant notes; If I'm going to drive off a cliff, I'd rather downshift and floor it than leave skid marks because I wasn't sure I could do it...

Dave Martin

Java Jive Studio

Nashville, TN

www.javajivestudio.com

 

Cuppa Joe Records

www.cuppajoerecords.com

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Brain Farts are becoming more common as I age. I have no problem finding notes to play, but it bugs me when it takes a turnaround for me to remember a bass pattern I've been playing for several years.

 

Doh! :rolleyes:

1000 Upright Bass Links, Luthier Directory, Teacher Directory - http://www.gollihurmusic.com/links.cfm

 

[highlight] - Life is too short for bad tone - [/highlight]

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Dave: That's a very good and important point about "hesitant" notes.

 

Anything played, especially by the bassist, with even slightly tentative sounds just wrong.

 

I always point this out to students by showing them how their playing contains punctuations. With the rare occurance most bass lines don't end in metaphorical "question marks"...though I like your analogy to skid marks better!

 

In short...the wrong note played at the right time will not sound out (most of the time..this can lead us into a much deeper discussion of implied harmony.), but the right note at the wrong time will sound out of place.

 

Max

...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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Not me! I never, ever, ever forget song, I never play any wrong notes or lost the form or forgotten what key the bridge is in. I am also an attentive spouse, good to my mother and I can wear the same pants I wore the day I got out of the army. :P

 

Seriously, I won't SAY that it happens every day, but it happens and sometimes you are working for someone who is not at all happy about it. Just don't let the one song ruin the gig for you.

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Lately spacing out has been a specialty of mine . . . I don't know what it is, but I sometimes just can't remember parts to the song. Maybe it is the summer heat, or . . . Oh well . . .

 

Skout

Words of Inspiration:

 

Not everyone needs to be Jaco. Sometimes your band just needs a bass player, somebody to just play root notes - Dirk Lance

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Originally posted by Max Valentino:

I always point this out to students by showing them how their playing contains punctuations. With the rare occurance most bass lines don't end in metaphorical "question marks"...though I like your analogy to skid marks better!

Well, that's the way it feels; I'll play wrong notes just as loud and proud as I play the right ones...

Dave Martin

Java Jive Studio

Nashville, TN

www.javajivestudio.com

 

Cuppa Joe Records

www.cuppajoerecords.com

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Originally posted by Max Valentino:

I might not play it "exactly" as I had played it before (or, for that matter, with a lot of regards for creating a note-perfect rendition of a prviously recorded work. In fact, I have developed a bit of a reputation for never playing the same thing ONCE...)

LOL :D:D:D

"Change comes from within." - Jeremy Cohen

 

The definition of LUCK: When Preparation meets Opportunity!

 

http://www.cybergumbo.com

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i don't know if forget is the right word, but yeah. usually i chew on a note and then the rest of my ability to play it runs away screaming. and yes, it has happened on stage. wraub witnessed it.
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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Yes this has happened to me from time to time. I just play through it until I get my bearings back. The worst case I had of this was when I was about 14. I had been taking piano lessons for a year and it was time for a recital. I have always had a very difficult time reading music so ( to the dispair of my teacher)I would listen to recordings and pick out the music by ear and memorize it.So I'm to play this piece by Vivaldi and I've memorized it, no problem!

 

So picture this, me, a grand piano, and approx 150 people quietly sitting there watching. I sit down at the piano to play the first movement, put my hands on the keyboard, everyone quietly waiting...and my mind goes completely blank. I couldn't remember the first note!I sit there painfully aware of all the people watching me. I'm dying of embarassment made worse by the fact that the music is right in front of me and I can't read it. My teacher realizing my plight quietly sings the opening measures. I remember it at that point but by then I was so rattled that it was a disaster.

 

Childhood Trauma....I'm recovering

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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Sure. There are some unison riffs in the Allman Brothers "Elizabeth Reed" that I've blanked on ("I know the notes are somewhere around here"). Sometimes I can't think how a song starts, but soon as we do I'm all over it. Fortunately not too often.

 

Worse has been remembering lyrics. One gig last year I had three songs where I sang the first verse twice because I couldn't remember the following verse. These were songs I'd sung many many times.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally posted by basshappi:

Yes this has happened to me from time to time. I just play through it until I get my bearings back. The worst case I had of this was when I was about 14. I had been taking piano lessons for a year and it was time for a recital. I have always had a very difficult time reading music so ( to the dispair of my teacher)I would listen to recordings and pick out the music by ear and memorize it.So I'm to play this piece by Vivaldi and I've memorized it, no problem!

 

So picture this, me, a grand piano, and approx 150 people quietly sitting there watching. I sit down at the piano to play the first movement, put my hands on the keyboard, everyone quietly waiting...and my mind goes completely blank. I couldn't remember the first note!I sit there painfully aware of all the people watching me. I'm dying of embarassment made worse by the fact that the music is right in front of me and I can't read it. My teacher realizing my plight quietly sings the opening measures. I remember it at that point but by then I was so rattled that it was a disaster.

 

Childhood Trauma....I'm recovering

Oooo - that hurts.

 

Takes me back to the lowpoint of my music career when I blew my entrance audition to Curtis. I absolutely slammed my "prep" recital in Cincinnati - played a major concerto, a Bach Suite and a Sonata all from memory ... Then flew to Philly for the audition. I was sitting in a room with the school's cello faculty assembled ... got halfway through the Prelude to Bach C Minor Suite ... and could not for the life of me remember the next bar. I was only a little consoled to realize that none of the faculty could remember the next bar either.

 

(And no, I didn't get in - slunk back to Cincinnati, and finished out the year as a music student before deciding I oughta get a degree other than music). :(:(

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Oh yeah, still space out openings. (Too many drugs as a youth, I think :)

 

In fact, this past Friday, I don't know where my head was at (maybe on all the gals on the dance floor, as it was a helluva turnout after the 4th of July fireworks show), but we started some Stones song, I forgot the key, and hit a very solid wrong starting note! Got back into it on the second or third measure, but sheesh! Took my right hand, while the band was looking at me, smacked my left hand, and continued on (naughty, naughty hand!)

 

The worst was while I was in the house band for a cable TV show, showcasing up and coming talent. Two rehearsals on Thursdays, two filmings on Saturday. I had my stuff charted out, and while in front of the audience and cameras, I blanked. Stopped, false started, blanked again. Someone hummed the tune, false started, blanked again. Went on for about 5 minutes (when does the screaming in your head stop?). Finally did the best I could, and about the middle of the song, remembered how it should have gone. Not one of my best works :)

 

I think at that time, I wished real bad I could read music, as my Nashville number chart I made didn't help for squat!

 

And life goes on...

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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I very, very rarely blank on a part; usually it's just execution errors.

 

I find that the more I think about stuff while I'm playing, what the next section is, what chord change is coming up, how the out section goes... etc.. the more likely I am to make an error of some sort. If I just let my hands and subconscious work and not try to intervene, 99 times out of 100 the right notes happen. I'd guess this partially comes out of practicing the songs that I perform a lot. Unless I'm sight reading a part, I like to not have to think about what I'm playing on stage at all. I like to be able to devote my attention to listening to the band, reacting to what the other players are doing, and basically just making sure everything sounds 'right'. I guess it's kinda hard to explain.

 

My end point being: practice more, know your part so you don't have to think about it. It helps, it really does. :)

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I've fluffed on stage, just smile it away. Who's hurt? Silly pride...no-one has ever died on stage due to missing a certain section of a song, or whole song.

 

People like to see other people mess up. Especially people who try to entertain people.

 

Cup :freak:

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