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I played lead guitar in an R & B band that featured a singer who doubled on keys. The show centered around his instrument and we were there to fill out the sound, though we had our solos and moments to shine. I remember the performance at a place in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, a small, dimly lit venue that catered to what, for lack of a better term, would be the "hipster" crowd. Types who defined themselves by the things they read, studied, and most importantly, listened to. Now this keyboard player had a double-tiered set up; the base was a Fender Rhodes (the more portable model) with a Nord Lead set on top by means of a short stand. The thing that I remember most, the moment that stands out in my mind and the reason I am writing about this is what happened in the first few minutes of the very first tune. I tend to get really into the music, I close my eyes and play. I happened to have my eyes shut, grooving the lead line for a Meters tune when suddenly something seems amiss.

At first I am fairly certain that I am having an aural hallucination or my ears and brain have decided to stop decoding input correctly. A rising din, no cacophony of noise is rapidly increasing in volume and filling the room with what I later labeled as the "sounds of the end of the world". What had happened was every keyboard players nightmare. Apparently the Rhodes had toppled over, spilling the Nord upside-down and therefore pressing ALL of the keys at once. The synthesizer had been preset to an organ lead, which was like a Bach-esque nightmare of noise. Luckily, we were all professionals. Making eye contact without stopping the song, the rest of the band vamped on the verse chords while the keyboardist picked up his instrument and set it up again, this time with a bit more stability. We waited until he was ready and in unison as a group dove into the chorus. The crowed cheered our recovery and by the end of the set, it had been completely forgotten.

What is the point of this story? Well, I believe that there is a certain magic that exists when one is standing on a stage that keeps mistakes in the background while simultaneously highlighting successes. This is something that not every player knows and sometimes they may be discouraged or let things like the situation above unsettle them into a poor performance. We here at Matt Burk Music Studio can help coach students and prepare them for the hurdles encountered in live performances, whether it is for piano, guitar, drums, bass, or voice we can steel your nerves for any sticky situation! Matt Burk Music Studio: Learn, Create, Perform!