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"Oopses" on stage or while performing

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(@minotaur)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1092
Topic starter  

I know someone is going to think this is really trivial and even bordering on trollish, but it's just a curiosity on a slow news day...

What do you do if you feel a sneeze or a cough coming on (or it happens) and you are performing: singing, playing (especially lead or a solo)? I mean, that's got to be one of the worst things, besides breaking a string or some other on-stage disaster.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 5468
 

Sneezing I just don't sneeze. A cough, I turn from the mic when the vocals have a break.


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(@minotaur)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1092
Topic starter  

Thanks Nick. :)

I thought of this because as I was driving to work this morning I was going over in my mind my practicing (I'm reluctant to use the word "playing"), and I had a sneeze come on. Wham! association! I know... weird.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


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(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1437
 

I've often wondered the same thing. I guess I could see controlling a cough, but for me not to sneeze without using my fingers to squeeze my nose shut, I'd have to make some funny looking faces and it doesn't always work.

Bass player for Undercover


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

it just does not happen. there is some secret universe law that prevents it. I have seen so many concerts and shows and never ever once did I see a player sneeze. maybe the concentration of a player overpowers the natural impulse. what could explain it better.??

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

I relax, turn away from the mic, cover my mouth if possible and sneeze. The audience will allow you to be human.

As far as any "oopses" on stage are concerned, whether it is a sneeze or a poor note choice (a/k/a/ wrong note) I try to cover it up or at least minimize it. Most wrong notes are a half step away from a good note. If you correct quick enough, it's a grace note, if not, do it again next verse or chorus, and do it like you mean it.

If it is a train wreck, I'll make a joke about it on the microphone. I'd rather have them laugh with me than at me. Oops! is actually appropriate. Or, the classic, "Sorry, I got my finger stuck under the G string" followed by a "dirty" laugh. Or whatever comes to mind.

If you relax, smile and don't get up tight, you will be surprised at how lenient the audience can be.

As long as they like you, and you don't screw up often, don't worry about it.

I've never broken a guitar string on stage. Perhaps because I change them often. But if I do, I have spares in my case.

I also bring spare reeds and two wind synthesizers and an extra "emergency" sound module.

The show must go on.

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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(@minotaur)
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Joined: 13 years ago
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Topic starter  

Pretty good guys!

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


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 Noff
(@noff)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 102
 

I've often wondered the same thing. I guess I could see controlling a cough, but for me not to sneeze without using my fingers to squeeze my nose shut, I'd have to make some funny looking faces and it doesn't always work.

If you do sneeze while holding your nose the pressure can be very bad for your ears (remember ear+nose+throat are all connected). Definitely something you want to avoid!


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(@rahul)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2764
 

Sneezing ?

You can sneeze right there in the mic. The crowd's gonna wake up maybe.


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(@blueline)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1705
 

I think what is worse (and probably occurs more often) is when the lead singer forgets lyrics to a song. As a former "front man", I can attest to that. It's especially bad when the entire audience knows every word of the song. Come with me back to 1983... (cue fade in music)

My band just opened up the show with Iron Maiden -The Number of the Beast and we nail it. The crowd applauds and we roll into our next song. War Pigs- Black Sabbath. (intro to the song....)..."Generals gathered in their masses....just like witches at black masses....uh...uh...um...um...Total and complete brain meltdown.

So what did I do? I stepped up to the front of the stage and screamed "Scr^%* this...you guys don't want to hear that song do ya?" And cued the band to move to next tune! (I think it was JP- Victim of Changes) .

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

Sneezing ?

You can sneeze right there in the mic. The crowd's gonna wake up maybe.

must be so nice to share a mic with you, Rahul. :P

I rarely sing, but have had a fair share of "issues" while soloing. graceful recovery (if possible) is everything. not so much for the audience, but for myself, as it minimizes the time to get back into the tune. like Nick, I will wait for some space to cough or sneeze (more often for me). or I might work my way to a root or fifth (something safe) hold or repeatedly pulloff and hammer during the sneeze.

if you are the type to play memorized solos, then I recommend you learn to slip out of the rote and into same-style improv when/if necessary. that can save your bacon, as it gives you a route to recovery when you lose the thread for any reason.

+1 on audiences are understanding. have never had a problem there.

-=tension & release=-


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(@leear)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 394
 

I must say when playing guitar i can play and turn and cough and usually not miss a note... however i do miss notes during solos and if i miss it as someone above stated if i'm quick enough i'll bend up the string and make it work. However if it's a mistake and you and the world knows its a mistake then i MAKE IT BIG AN NOTICEABLE... Loud Strong and Wrong is my theory if you going to mess up, MESS UP!!! Then joke about it let them know you screwed up and they understand you are human.

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location


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(@rahul)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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... then i MAKE IT BIG AN NOTICEABLE... Loud Strong and Wrong is my theory if you going to mess up, MESS UP!!! Then joke about it let them know you screwed up and they understand you are human.

My point exactly. 'Sneezing' or anything. If you are goofing up badly, just do it in front. Atleast you won't fall off the stage trying hidin' those silly things. 8)


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(@almann1979)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1283
 

well ive been holding this story back through embaressment, but here goes.
2 months ago we played a gig in what was basically a bingo hall, and we were the "bingo break entertainment". So the hall was full of pensioners and nice middle aged woman.
when we started i didnt feel well, but i didnt think anything of it. However, into the 3rd song of our 1st set i felt sick, i thought "lets play until the end of the song, and ill pop to the toilet", but my stomach wouldnt let me.
There and then i threw up on stage. I have never been so humiliated in my life. I obviously immediately apologised and volunteered to clean up the mess but i couldnt, as i could not stop being sick. One hour later, I was still ill and fainted, and the landlord called an ambulance. My blood pressure on arrival at hospital was 99 over 48, with a temp of 39 degress, turns out it was food poisoning, and i left hospital 16 hours later.

the best part of the whole story was the rest of the band played on without me!!! in fact i heard them when i laying on the toilet floor thinking "there should be a guitar solo there"

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

Great story Almann :D

This is not related to the band or player making mistakes, but about 10 years ago my band was playing a gig in a small club. We were right next to the lady's room. While we were playing we saw water flow under the bathroom door out into the stage area. It was coming close to our gear with all those wires! The club owner (also the bartender) kept running in and out like there was something horrible going on in there. We just kept playing our set and kept an eye on the water which seemed to have stopped it's advance for the moment.

Our band was also next to the entrance to the club's kitchen. Suddenly this plumber comes out of the kitchen dragging this large probably 8" diameter plastic tubing. He walks right through the band dragging this tubing and goes into the lady's room. Then he goes out into the kitchen and turns on this large portable pump. Man, this thing was super-loud, we couldn't even hear ourselves. So we stop playing. The owner goes, "No, No, keep playing!". We told him we couldn't hear ourselves but he insisted we keep playing. It was ridiculous, all you could hear was this pump, and you could see all this nasty stuff getting sucked through the white plastic tubing.

So we kept playing. About 15 minutes later the plumber is finished and once again drags the tubing right through the band while we are playing.

It was one of those things you had to be there, but I look back now and laugh, it was hilarious. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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