The most difficult musical challenge I've ever had was last night!

8Mile

Platinum Member
This was the hardest musical challenge I have ever faced. I got the call yesterday morning at 10:00 AM to do an emergency sub for a gig they were scheduled to play at 7:15 PM that night.

I had never played the songs or played with the band before. Four original progressive metal tunes (not exactly my comfort zone!), all pretty complex with odd times, unusual forms, etc. I would be playing along to backing tracks, something I had never done before live, either. I hurried together some quick charts and we had a couple hours to quickly rehearse. I don't own a pair of in-ears, so my drummer buddy Jim helped me out big time by driving over his pair to the rehearsal house. They kept falling out because I didn't realize how you're supposed to wear them, so I borrowed a skull cap from the guitarist to try to keep them in (which worked).

We would be the second of five bands playing and we were packed in like sardines waiting for our turn to set up. Needless to say, it was all stress, all the time. My main worry, besides not knowing the music AT ALL, was that the in-ears would fall out. With me being the only one who was getting the click, everything would completely fall apart if that was to happen. All the backing tracks would be out of sync, etc. But fortunately, that didn't happen.

We had some flubs, but we made it through and I was finally able to exhale for the first time all day. My head was buried in my charts the whole time, just hanging on for dear life. The guys in Theandric are great and super-talented, which made it all a little easier for me to get through. Despite the stress levels, hanging on for dear life, I had a blast. Great music will have that effect! An experience I will never forget.

 

BGDurham

Well-known member
This was the hardest musical challenge I have ever faced. I got the call yesterday morning at 10:00 AM to do an emergency sub for a gig they were scheduled to play at 7:15 PM that night.

I had never played the songs or played with the band before. Four original progressive metal tunes (not exactly my comfort zone!), all pretty complex with odd times, unusual forms, etc. I would be playing along to backing tracks, something I had never done before live, either. I hurried together some quick charts and we had a couple hours to quickly rehearse. I don't own a pair of in-ears, so my drummer buddy Jim helped me out big time by driving over his pair to the rehearsal house. They kept falling out because I didn't realize how you're supposed to wear them, so I borrowed a skull cap from the guitarist to try to keep them in (which worked).

We would be the second of five bands playing and we were packed in like sardines waiting for our turn to set up. Needless to say, it was all stress, all the time. My main worry, besides not knowing the music AT ALL, was that the in-ears would fall out. With me being the only one who was getting the click, everything would completely fall apart if that was to happen. All the backing tracks would be out of sync, etc. But fortunately, that didn't happen.

We had some flubs, but we made it through and I was finally able to exhale for the first time all day. My head was buried in my charts the whole time, just hanging on for dear life. The guys in Theandric are great and super-talented, which made it all a little easier for me to get through. Despite the stress levels, hanging on for dear life, I had a blast. Great music will have that effect! An experience I will never forget.

Nice job! Sounds like an exciting day!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Well done. I've always enjoyed such spur-of-the-moment scenarios. I've met quite a few of them, but one of my most memorable occurred when I was in my teens, over thirty years ago. I got a call to sit in on a Friday night with a country trio whose drummer had been detained by a family emergency. It was a multi-set gig that would last several hours. Half the material was original, and I knew nothing about it. Without drum charts or any substantive communication with regard to the structure of songs, we pulled it off just fine, driven by groove and instinct. At the end of the night, the vocalist/guitarist, who must have been fifty years older than I was at the time, wrote me a check and thanked me for my services. I left the venue feeling like a serious drummer, one who could function under any conditions. My confidence got a huge boost that night. It was a pivotal event in my drumming journey.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Wow. Sounded damn fine, with only 9 hours warning. !!!!
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Nice job! I decided to signup for the blues jam at the local bar tonight and was surprised how well it went. Playing someone else's drums, with their sticks, with people I've never met before, songs I haven't played before, in a bar I've never been in. Afterwards, the drummer for the house band came over and couldn't get a grin off his face. For having not practiced in over 3 months, I felt pretty good from that.

He wants me to show up next Monday and says I'll probably get asked to join a band.
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Done a few of these over the years. Seat of your pants stuff. Job well done mate :)
 

Icetech

Gold Member
I'm glad you took the challenge and beat it though :) I would have said no and regretted it
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
I thought you did a super job, Larry. Way better than I could have ever done..

I've done this only once before for someone. Like yourself, I made some quick charts and just went with it. Thankfully no video ever surfaced from it.
 
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