Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Funny Live Gig Solutions That Worked


The road can be a funny place where you have to think on your feet (can I get an Amen?) I want to start a conversation here about odd/hilarious solutions for live gig problems. Here are a small sampling of my experiences:

1. The picture above is a creative fix for the lack of a boom stand. Just recently I was playing in a dance rehearsal room for a charity event benefiting the beautiful Dance Theater of Tennessee. It was a simple low-tech engagement and they had good sound equipment but they didn't have a boom stand (and why should a dance theater know a singer/piano player needs a boom stand instead of a straight stand?). A moment of panic and then an ingenious sound man (I wish I could remember his name) got duct tape and a sponge. Look closely at the picture and you'll see he simply tipped the straight stand over and used the duct tape to secure it with a sponge between it and the metal casing of the keyboard. It wasn't pretty but no one cared... and it worked!

2.  True story from my MTM Records days... The morning van that was supposed to carry my band to the airport after our gig in Phoenix never arrived. Panic set in... then my enterprising band leader conscripted a laundry truck that was picking up at the hotel that moment. For an autographed picture, he drove us to the airport. We had to sit in the back of the van with the bags of dirty laundry - and he had a couple more stops to make before the airport.. but we got there in time for the flight!

3. I used to have a recurring problem of dropping my guitar pick in the body of my guitar during performance. Duct tape to the rescue again... someone just secured several picks to my mic stand:) I just emptied my guitar after each performance so I didn't run out of picks!

4. Another story from my bus days... our band bus headlights went out late one night and as we were booked in another town, we didn't have time to go somewhere and get them fixed. My band leader used a guitar and... yes again... duct tape to make them work - don't ask me how:) Every band needs a MacGyver like this!

5. My band and I played an outdoor concert in Kansas during locust season. The bugs got between our fingers and strings when they were still so what we did was...we moved like rock stars having a very energetic performance- which went over like magic! I also made sure my mouth was open as minimally as possible:)

OK... now I'd love to from you... I KNOW there are some great stories out there, and we can collect them all for future use!



  • At May 15, 2011 at 1:50 PM , Blogger Perpetual Beginner said...

    Not quite an on-the-road solution, since it was a recital in my home town, but I do have vivid memories of having my accompanist's music blow under the piano mid-piece. I dove for the music, she kept going as best she could, and we never missed a beat. I always tell people that my first ever standing ovation was for singing on my hands and knees under a grand piano.

  • At May 16, 2011 at 11:29 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

    HAHAHA... good one, P.B.! Hey and I love your moniker... God help us if we ever stop learning:)

  • At May 16, 2011 at 11:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Funny stuff!
    This isn't a fix story...I was doing a Club gig...This intoxicated woman was dancing in front of the Stage. She reached out like she wuz gonna hug me...Tripped & fell into my mic stand. The mic hit me right in the kisser hard. I was instantly angry with tears in my eyes from pain! I brushed it off with "Anybody got a tube of Poly-Grip". Deep inside, I wanted to Backhand the drunk ;0)
    Phil Myrick

  • At May 16, 2011 at 11:34 PM , Anonymous Kim Rushing said...

    a few drummer fixes:

    tree branches for forgotten drum sticks !

    empty beer cases for drum stands (drummer got to gig and apparently
    someone stole his bag of stands off the sidewalk while he was loading up
    for the gig)!



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