Top Five Most Embarrasing Moments in Piano Performance

There will always be moments when you perform music professionally, moments when you just wish you could find a hole to bury your head into. Here’s a list of my own personal top five. .

5) This happened many many years ago when I first started performing solo piano in a hotel. A customer came up to me and requested for Beethoven’s ‘Fur Elise’. Shit.. I totally forgotten how the 2nd movement of that song goes. Deciding not to take the risk, I replied to her politely, ‘Sorry, I never heard of that song before……’

4) I was performing with my double bassist the other day in a three piece jazz band. We were jamming on Elvis’ ‘Crazy thing called love’ , but due to the lack of a drummer, our attacks sounded a little too empty, so I decided on the spot to try out some jamie cullum piano hitting stunt. But what I didn’t expect , was for the piano lid to fall down and nearly chop off my fingers….. and my bassist just kept laughing… darn….

3) I was jamming with a bassist in a gig a few years back, where he was doing some nice pedal tone on a song and experimenting with some cool bass notes to spice up a song that would otherwise sound simple and boring. But halfway in the song, I just couldn’t resist the urge to ask him, ‘Are you playing the song in G key or C key??’… he just stared at me……

2) A few years ago , one of the hotel managers actually took the time to sit down and listen to my piano playing for a whole 1 hour set. During my break time, he came up to me and asked, ‘Wow, how many years have you been playing the piano?’ I smiled and replied,’ Ever since I was a little kid, you need years of practise to be good at this thing.’ and he said to me, ‘Well, you better stop whatever you are doing, your playing is too damn noisy…’

1) Me and my bandmates were getting ready behind the stage curtain for a big performance. The MC introduced us to the audience, and pave the way for us with a loud, ‘Its shoooowtime….!!!!!’. The curtains open, and we were to start our performance with a big bang. Two words suddenly came to my mind, ‘instrument cable………’

If you have any encounters like this, please share with us by dropping a comment. It will surely help brighten up our day….. 🙂

You can also read up on this article on the Top Five Funny Questions in Piano Playing

12 Comments

  • RobyRoby58

    Reply Reply May 11, 2007

    many years ago, I was performing with my rock band in a Theatre.
    On the stage there were a small hole and in the middle of one of my solos, the leg of my stool went in the hole,
    exhibiting myself in a double reverse dive !!!
    It was my best dive in the life !! :-)))

  • rewsnat

    Reply Reply May 11, 2007

    ahha…. I can imagine the sudden unexpected glissando passage in your solo…:>

  • bena

    Reply Reply May 11, 2007

    OH man, the 2nd one is sooo embarassing!! -_-”
    and also, i dont understand the 1st one, what do you mean by “instrument cable”?

  • rewsnat

    Reply Reply May 11, 2007

    instrument cable is the cable that connects your instrument, like a guitar or a keyboard, to a system that amplifies your sound to the audience, may it be just an amplifier, or a PA system.

  • Semmy

    Reply Reply May 12, 2007

    This is not my experienced, but i saw myself and i LOL to die…
    it almost the same ecperience with no 1…
    tha band started to play, rock band…and at the middle of the song, the guitar player started to show his improvisation, when he steped forward … he loose his guitar sound, because the cable was too short …

  • rewsnat

    Reply Reply May 12, 2007

    hahha…. this is why most of the experience guitarist will tie use the instrument cable to tie a knob around the guitar strap before going into the guitar.

  • rewsnat

    Reply Reply May 12, 2007

    oooh, this reminds me of another funny story. My friend was playing in a band performance one time, and in the middle of a guitar solo section, the electricity in the building suddenly went out. The whole band started to panic… but the guitarist was still soloing…………

    ps. for those of you who don’t already know, an electric guitar won’t produce much sound without a guitar amp, which is turned on of course…..

  • Pete

    Reply Reply May 22, 2007

    I was performing with trumpeter Alan Vizzutti (sideman w/ Chick Corea)way back in 1980 or so. He sent his piano score a week before he arrived and I practiced hard. He showed up a couple of hours before the show and when we rehearsed with the 20 piece band he told me that I had the part all wrong. I locked myself in a practice room and redid everything. At the performance, I had the score pages taped end to end and lying across the piano so I wouldn’t have to flip pages. The third movement (the part I messed up) starts with a fast piano intro, then the whole group comes in. Just as we finished up the second movement, I was sweating bullets and began the intro. I looked up in time to see the score slide off the piano onto the floor out of reach. The conductor and two horn players dove for it. I kept playing and suddenly realized that with my intense practice for an hour or so, I had actually memorized the part and played it correctly! I nearly passed out there for a moment, but got a standing ovation at the end (especially from the ensemble).

  • rewsnat

    Reply Reply May 22, 2007

    the piano score has always been a troublesome thing for pianists…

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