Musicians know it: the stage is a danger zone! Whenever you’re on stage bad luck can strike at any moment. We’ve collected 13 misfortunes that have surely happened to some of you. Luckily, there are ways to avoid these events and we’re not talking about superstitions 🙂
1 – When your guitar / bass strap comes off
You’re in the middle of a solo, never before have you sounded so much like Angus and then all of a sudden, boom, your guitar drops to the floor: your strap has come off. You look like an idiot and your guitar is now surely out of tune, if not worse. Have you ever heard of Strap Locks?
2 – Which song is this?
The drummer count you in, 1-2-3-4, and every band member is ready to start on the 1. Zoned out by the size of the audience, and a little nervous, you strum the opening power chord with so much passion, but quickly realize it’s in the wrong key. You verify the set list, which is sitting on your amp behind you, but it’s too late, every eyeball in the audience is on you. Next time, think about buying a music stand!
3 – Warning: Tripping hazard!
You should never underestimate the dangers of the “cable salad”. A real trap for musicians’ feet, the cables that slither and tangle on the stage floor present a real danger that shouldn’t be taken lightly. To avoid any failed acrobatics we recommend these Velcro Cable Ties or some of the amazing Wireless Systems that we offer. Otherwise there are also Live Multicore Cables for the most cautious among us.
4 – Your wireless systems is useless without battery power
You and your band tend to play hour-long sets on stage, in the spirit of Bruce Springsteen. You always need to think of charging the batteries for your wireless transmitters, or you can buy one with a battery indicator. And it’s indispensable to have a few spare batteries on hand. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
5 – The classic: You break a string / puncture a drum skin
You play your guitar, bass or drum kit almost 365 days per year but it’s only on stage that a string or a skin fails you. A curse no doubt… it must be accepted and dealt with like a pro (watch animated GIF below). The audience is usually lenient towards these blows of faith, as long as you have replacement strings or skins.
6 – It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard…
Nothing is more annoying than a cable that crackles every time you move it or a mic that is blown or loses signal on stage. These events make you cringe like when you hear fingernails scratching a blackboard. A misfortunes never arrives alone, a short circuit from the said cable might even blow your amp. Generally, investing in good quality cables with save you lots of headaches. Buying a cable tester could also be a good idea 😉
7 – Blowin’ In The Wind
Sheet music doesn’t like the wind, neither do musicians who perform outdoors. Brother wind, the drummer’s fan or the overhead air conditioner can be a nightmare if there is sheet music around. Apart from using a music stand with clips to hold the pages down (and another person to change the pages for you) most musicians are turning towards digital tablets. They have even invented Bluetooth page turners, controlled by a foot switch!
8 – “Mom, I can’t talk right now”
Yes, you live in a world that is constantly connected, your smartphone is always at hand to check your notifications and the reply to your fans. But there are moments when it should be turned off, namely when it’s showtime. This could prevent cell phone interference to take over your amp or for you to receive a call from you mother in the middle of your set.
9 – Strange, everything’s hooked up properly…
It doesn’t make sense: everything worked amazingly in the rehearsal space and here, on stage, there’s no sound. You’re (almost) positive that you hooked it up properly, despite the utter darkness. If only your cables were marked by these coloured rings you’d be certain. Otherwise a flashlight could really help you out in this cave of a venue!
10 – Raise your glass (but please don’t spill it)
Shit happens : a glass was placed on the edge of your keyboard or on the ground right beside your pedalboard. One careless movement and it’s a catastrophe. Liquids and electronics don’t mix very well. But that’s not a reason to be dehydrated on stage. Luckily, Drink Holders exist. This little handy accessory can be attached to any mic or cymbal stand and could save you hundreds of euros in equipment repairs.
11 – Improvise, adapt, overcome
Not all microphone clamps and stands have the same threads. As a general rule, adapters are found directly on the mic stand, but not always. And who hasn’t struggled with an adapter that has been screwed on too tightly or been stuck clueless with two incompatible threads. Checking this out ahead of time will avoid these frustrating moments. In the worst case scenario you’ll have to go for the trusty stage tape method.
12 – * “lost my voice” *
After hours of giving your best at rehearsal you climb on stage fully warmed up and in tip-top shape. It’s not till the third song that your vocal chords raise the white flag and refuse to make even the slightest sound. “That’s all folks”. Prevention works better than healing in this case. You need to know your limits, pace yourself when rehearsing and avoid any throat irritants like cigarettes. If you are a serious singer you need to warm up your voice before performing or rehearsing. Also, essential oils exist which are blended especially for singers.
13 – Under the weather
The cancellation of outdoor concerts happens more than we think. It’s really nobody’s fault and there isn’t a way to prevent a storm from coming (yet). We could recommend buying an umbrella but make sure you don’t open it indoors, this is said to bring bad luck ?