Worst gig of my life? I think so.

JT1

Silver Member
Oh it was a beauty of disappointment. Well where to start first off i played 4 songs with a band that i had only practiced with for 2 hours oh dear. First song and the bass riff starts however i don't hear it start and when i do eventually hear it, i lock in to the wrong part of the riff as the start of the bar. When i came in i was in completely the wrong place and out of time.

We tried to play the Benny Hill theme but the guitarist missed the cue to come in and i sat playing a steady beat for about 3 minutes hoping they would join in, they didn't so i looked a fool.

Next thing, the guys kit was set up completely different to how i would have mine 4 piece and i'm used to a 5. He let me use his drums and that was great and i didn't change anything as i didn't want to mess with his setup, big mistake not only did i feel ridiculously uncomfortable but my stamina went very quickly as i was reaching further for cymbals and toms etc.

Then with my next band whom i've been with for about 5 years.
His snare stand was so weird that it wouldn't go in-between my pedal and my beaters were hitting off the stand when i played. Also the bass drum was rocking when i was hitting it, causing me to screw up a couple of times during a complex double bass pattern which sounded awful and i mean awful.

Then to top if off i forgot about a part in one of our songs and played completely the wrong groove.

It was our first gig with our new guitarist and he did really well but our singer sounded off in parts and i just wanted to cry i felt so disheartened.

I feel that it couldn't have gone any worse. I wanted to pack up and just go home and i almost did. Everyone said we sounded good or fine and that made me feel worse. Then one guy said you weren't at your best. immediately i felt better in fact i smiled, i dunno why but that is all i wanted to hear and he gave me some constructive criticism which i took on board.

However i feel i made so many mistakes that night and i felt like crap cause good drummers shouldn't make mistakes, does this make me a bad drummer? I feel the kit set up and my lack of time allowed to setup was a major factor in my playing that night. Also how on earth do you get round the first point that i mentioned?

Thanks for reading i had to vent my disappointment to get it off my chest =)
 

Thaard

Platinum Member
I know how you feel, but It isn't healthy to be so disappointed and disheartened by ones own drumming. I recommend you read the book Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner. Lot's of neat stuff, and It made me not only a better player but I let go off my ego, so that I wasnt angry 2 weeks after a bad gig.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Dude, every band, and every drummer, has an off night. I've had my share of mishaps and trainwrecks live, and while it feels horrible, you have to take them as learning, growing experiences.

I mean, I'm a huge Peart fan, and one of the things I admire about him (and Rush in general) is how he can play the same song seemingly flawlessly in live show after live show. But I've heard many clips from shows where the band takes a wrong turn somewhere and it trainwrecks. I can imagine he feels similarly to how we do when we have trainwrecks, but he's a pro, and he goes on and just nails the rest of the show.

Don't get down on yourself! You're doing this because you love to play, not because you want to be perfect (which none of us are). I guarantee, some time from now you'll be able to laugh at that show and say, "Oh yeah, that was bad, but I survived".
 

KnockOut86

Senior Member
Well you have learned first hand that it's almost never a good idea to put together one of those "yea we can play a few songs after practicing them together once" deals. I tried that once, it bombed, will never try it again.

As for your normal band, sounds like a lot of things were sort of out of your hands. The mix not allowing you to hear the rest of the band, a very different drum set, the rest of the band having an off night as well. Sometimes you have to have a really really bad night to appreciate the good ones. Learn your lessons and move on.

oh yea, happy holidays!!
 

arrowhen

Junior Member
No fires, fistfights, or chainsaw accidents (I *wish* I was kidding about that last one!) onstage? If this was your worst gig ever, you haven't been trying hard enough. ;)
 

K.Howden

Senior Member
However i feel i made so many mistakes that night and i felt like crap cause good drummers shouldn't make mistakes, does this make me a bad drummer?
Of course it doesn't! We all have to make mistakes in order to learn :) You'll make many more and you'll learn a whole lot more, same for ALL of us on here whether pro or not. The bottom line is, if you're not making mistakes you're not pushing yourself enough.

With the whole set-up issue, I've had horrendous gigs like that only for the owner of the kit to come up to afterwards and say "you know you could of moved stuff around right?". We're all in the same position as Drummers and having to share kits is inevitable at gigs and 99% of people are more than willing to oblige if you ask. Other than that insist on bringing your kit to gigs, that's what I do.

Hope you're well mate,

Kev
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Next thing, the guys kit was set up completely different to how i would have mine 4 piece and i'm used to a 5. He let me use his drums and that was great and i didn't change anything as i didn't want to mess with his setup, big mistake not only did i feel ridiculously uncomfortable but my stamina went very quickly as i was reaching further for cymbals and toms etc.



However i feel i made so many mistakes that night and i felt like crap cause good drummers shouldn't make mistakes, does this make me a bad drummer? I feel the kit set up and my lack of time allowed to setup was a major factor in my playing that night. Also how on earth do you get round the first point that i mentioned?

Thanks for reading i had to vent my disappointment to get it off my chest =)
I say, don't be so hard on yourself. Really.
It's just a gig. Nothing "bad" happened, so just learn from the things that weren't so cool, and think of ways to compensate when it happens again (and it will, playing on other drummers gear).
The people that said it sounded good probably didn't even have a clue anything was off, and the guy who said it wasn't your best KNOWS you can play better.

As for the set up, playing on less (or more) doesn't have to wreck you time (as in having a good time with your band).

This past year I got to play my kit on a total of about 3 shows (I have a set-up that isn't typical, and feels different than a "normal" kit because of sizes & placement).

We did a lot of festivals, and you get up there and basically go.
You have as much time as it takes for the guitar players to get their stuff ready....to top it off, the sound guy's (who knew us/me) at 2 of the shows asked me to tune a couple drums as I was getting ready myself!
You just have to put the other stuff aside and play your tunes.

You can't help faulty equipment, so things like that can throw you and it's not your fault (--just look like nothings wrong as it's happening and no one usually notices!).

One show the stool top was really loose (POS backline stool, no way to tighten it), and I was on a 3 foot platform...yeah, that was a great feeling haha!
I would have brought mine, but logistics, and carrying MORE stuff than necessary is tough on shows like that.

On another show, I had my large china cymbal blow over in the wind on top of me (no wind prior to set-up/playing either)!

It was literally laying on my shoulder & head (!!) until I could lean it back up with my shoulder. Had to keep playing the song...it was kinda funny, and I wish one of the guy's would have turned around to see it.

Not hearing something sometimes happens, and you can't help that, but the sooner you yell TO (not at) someone that you CAN'T hear, the better. Have them turn their amp, or do what it takes so you can hear and everything isn't a train wreck all night.
If they want to sound good, they'll accommodate you.

If it's bad placements on stuff, just play a bit simpler.
Leave a few things out and play for, or according to, the gear in front of you.

On our last show, we were playing with Stryper--and they didn't tell the venue they were bringing another band out with them.

Now there was 4 bands, not 3 that night.
The venue still wanted us to play the show, Stryper still wanted us to play the show, but there was a "little problem"....(guess who was "asked" to take "one for the team"?)

SO, after the clusterfrap of the stage was straightened out, I ended up NOT using my kit, but the giant monstrosity double bass kit (with 15 cymbal booms everywhere).
I was using 2 cymbals at the time.... AND there was NO WAY my 24" ride was ever fitting in the spot for the ride.
The hi hats were at least 6 inches higher than what I was used to as well. I couldn't adjust them because he used a rack, and everythingwas locked in place, so I couldn't move anything.
To some guy's, playing that kit would have been a dream.
It WAS nice, and it would have been something I would have dreamed up 25 years ago myself, but I knew it wasn't going to be smooth sailing (again haha!).
Oh well, it was a 45 minute set, & it wasn't worth it for me to make a stink and take up stage space etc...and look like an un-professinal jerk.

Fortunately, the drummer (Jeff, real nice guy, also plays with Trans Siberian Orchestra) left some cymbals up for myself & the other drummer to use.
Also, the venue was literally a mile from my house, so I was able to run home and grab a different ride.
I was reaching for toms and cymbals for that show, but you just do it.

In the end, we sounded good, people really dug us, and it was still fun (...and I used a cool ride I usually don't) and we got along great with the other bands--that was a bonus because it could have been a lot different.

And after it was done, I was actually glad I didn't use my kit, because it would have been a MAJOR PITFA to get my kit off the stage and out because of the huge crowd (of NEW people that hadn't seen us before too).

Long winded story, but crap always happens, and you just have to go with it and not worry about everything--and some things turn out better in the end too.

Good luck on future shows!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Great post Karl. Professionalism all the way.

JT1, one good thing about bad gigs...is you probably learned more from that one night, than in 5 good gigs. Just try to not repeat your mistakes.

It sounds like you could have been more aware at some times, and using others kits is always a challenge.

Don't hamstring yourself by thinking you're a bad drummer. That kind of thinking will only cripple you. It's all about improving. Start recording yourself. That's the fastest way I know of to improve.

I go to open mic jams alot and have seen people (not just drummers) not improve one iota in 6 years.
 
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sufc.loyal

Guest
Played in a pub in Leyton, London, E10, once, the band that was there let me use his drums, save taking mine, to which i was very greatfull for, so i just took my sticks.

I slightly set the drums differntly, more to my liking.

The floor was a wooden floor.

Played 1st song ok, but during the second song, the bass drum started to slide away from me, so much so, my right leg was at full stretch trying to play, in the end the lead guterist, had to stretch his right leg back to stop the bass drum from sliding, and his left leg forward to reach his mic. Looked like a loony wana be metalist.

Then in the 4th song the grub screw came out of the kick pedal, causing it to fall apart, so had to improvise by stamping my foot on the woodern floor, sort of got away with it.

Playing someones elses drums is like someone else shoes, they may do the trick, but they are not as comfortable as your own.
 

JT1

Silver Member
First off i just wanted to say thanks to everyone who took the time to post in this thread, i have read all of your comments and certainly enjoyed a coupe in particular =). I have started not to worry as much about it because it certainly isn't the first bad gig i've had and i'm sure it won't be the last, it just really got to me because more than one bad thing happened which doesn't happen very often i'm pleased to say. You said it Larry, i will learn from these mistakes and i already have, the biggest lesson is to not let it get me down and have fun no matter what! Anyways i'm feeling a lot more optimistic thanks to you lot, and i hope you had a great Christmas and have an even better new year! Thanks again, JT
 
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sufc.loyal

Guest
At the end of the day JT1, we do what we do because we enjoy it.

We love playing our drums, wheather practising indoors, or rehersals or playing live.

And that goes for all the mistakes or bad days we have when playing, so enjoy it all mistakes as well.







Leyton Orinet 1 Southend United 2. oh yer.
 

jim_gregory

Senior Member
My band mates are the type that thinks everything will be fine. Always. I'm the type that believes you have to MAKE everything fine. So I wind up knocking myself out making sure everything is fine. Frankly I'm sick of it. They take gigs when some mates cant be there, or no PA or sound guy and I have to provide and do it. Hell some of them use MY studio amps and I even have to provide cables for christ sakes. I have to sing parts I dont know. I bring the songbook and music stands and on and on.
I had some guy sit in on drums the other night and beat the living snot outa my pristine 97 sessions kit. Didnt care for that. Tonight I have to provide drums, PA, Bass and guitar amp, mikes etc. Thats after working all day and working tomorrow and playing tomorrow night. Tiring for an old guy.
Sorry..bitch bitch bitch.
Anyway to the OP, when things are comming apart I think it's best to try to settle down, switch to the basics and try to pull it back together. Simple and steady beats a mess.
I insist on a monitor and the bass amp has to me next to me. You have to be able to hear yourself and the bassist. Push worry and bad stuff out of your head, Smile and get on with it. I find Mt. Gay and coke to be a huge help. Just don't overdo.
 
I think we,ve all had nightmare gigs like that. Its as though they must happen to bring down to earth a little. I find its very easy to become complacent and just demand perfection from every performance.
Your only human like the rest of us and your not some sort of robotic drum machine.

I always find myself less comfortable playing someone elses setup, i,m just too used to my own way of having things and the feel of the kit.

I,ve also had the bass drum slip scenario too!!..i use a anti-slip mat with my kit and i can,t for the life of me thing why other drummers cannot see the importance in investing in one of these for live gigging.

At a gig quite recently i made the mistake of leaving the other lads double pedal on his kit, even though he said i could change it for my own...my god what a mistake!! it was an old DW pedal and it was cranked so tight and the beaters were set half way down the shaft!!..there was no throw or bounce, i was literally kicking the bass drum!

I think the moral here is, make sure your comfortable before the gig starts, ask the other lad if its ok to shift things around a little and if you do make a mistake just relax and play over it.

All the best bud.
Darren
 

JT1

Silver Member
I think we,ve all had nightmare gigs like that. Its as though they must happen to bring down to earth a little. I find its very easy to become complacent and just demand perfection from every performance.
Your only human like the rest of us and your not some sort of robotic drum machine.

I always find myself less comfortable playing someone elses setup, i,m just too used to my own way of having things and the feel of the kit.

I,ve also had the bass drum slip scenario too!!..i use a anti-slip mat with my kit and i can,t for the life of me thing why other drummers cannot see the importance in investing in one of these for live gigging.

At a gig quite recently i made the mistake of leaving the other lads double pedal on his kit, even though he said i could change it for my own...my god what a mistake!! it was an old DW pedal and it was cranked so tight and the beaters were set half way down the shaft!!..there was no throw or bounce, i was literally kicking the bass drum!

I think the moral here is, make sure your comfortable before the gig starts, ask the other lad if its ok to shift things around a little and if you do make a mistake just relax and play over it.

All the best bud.
Darren
Hey cheers for the words Darren, it's nice to see a fellow musician from Newcastle here on this forum. You don't work in the drum centre do you?

Take care man.
 
Hey cheers for the words Darren, it's nice to see a fellow musician from Newcastle here on this forum. You don't work in the drum centre do you?

Take care man.
Hi JT,
No i,m afraid i don,t. I do know most of the lads there though and i,m there fairly often. I,m an old friend of Ronnie Pearson (now deceased sadly) and his son Roy who used to own the shop.
Yeh its a small world!..i,m only in Benton too, not far from where you are.

Have a great christmas and all the best for the new year!

Darren
 
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