Equipment Issues: Snap, Crackle, and Pop!

As we reviewed notes and annotated sheets of music during our last practice, Robert asked, “Do you have a hand-held recorder here?  We could record these and hear what we’ve done.”  The recorder was at home -- of course.  But I made a mental note:  “Bring recorder back to the Doghouse.”

Bring recorder.  Check.  Set it up.  Check.  Something other than handwritten notes would chronicle how we had reworked and refined each of the songs in the set. 

All that was needed for practice was a band.  Soon, Glenn and Sue arrived.  After 20 minutes of gabbing and snacking, the three of us started the practice.  Robert was running late.  He texted -- a 21st Century verb -- that he was having “bass problems.”  When he arrived, he had two gig bags slung over his shoulders.  He explained that his regular bass was making strange sounds and probably needed a new jack.  He had run back home to pick up another bass.

His explanation gave me relief, “Oh, good.  I thought that flatulent sound coming from my bass amp at the last practice meant it was on the verge of blowing up.”

We immediately started working on the songs in the set which awaited refining.  No warm up.  No recap of our last practices.  No easing in.  But in his rush to pick up another bass and to get to band practice, Robert left his annotated music behind.  My mind again flashed on relief, “Thank goodness we’re recording this.”

At times, however, a flatulent sound returned to the bass amp.  Any feelings of relief abated, “Oh, damn.  Maybe it is the amp after all.”  Robert fiddled with the plug.  The sound was right and then . . . .  Snap!  Crackle!  Pop!  Rice Krispies on steroids!  He fiddled with the plug and the jack again, and the sound was right.  But . . . .

Finally, Robert asked, “Do you have another cord?”  “Sure.  On that guitar stand.”  He substituted cords and . . . .  Problem solved!  No more supercharged Rice Krispies.  No more worries that my amp was failing.  No more thoughts of replacing the jack in his bass.  It was a low cost fix.

No longer hindered by equipment issues, we continued through the unrefined songs.  We then moved on to those that we had arranged at our last practice. 
As we wound down, a new item joined the gig check list:  Pack a couple of extra cords.

After 2-1/2 hours, we were ready to congratulate ourselves on how far we had come since the Capitol Bowl gig.  Each of us agreed that we were sounding more like a band.  Our work and efforts as a group were paying off.  That meant that we could sit, drink beer, eat cookies, and enjoy each other’s company before heading out into Sacramento summer late afternoon.  

Hey, we are becoming a band!

Leave a comment

Add comment