Broken instrument stories?

Broken instrument stories?

I read in the Washington Post this morning about various mishaps that have happened to instruments during performances and how this is much more common than people think (unfortunately I couldn’t find a digital copy to link to). They made mention of a neck of a theorbo that recently broke off at a local early music concert as well as a harp that was mended with duct tape so a show could be finished. I was glad that had never happened to me but then remembered opening my guitar case the day before a wedding job and finding my bridge had completely split right at the saddle. It was Saturday afternoon and I needed it for Sunday so I fashioned a new bridge out of a scrap of walnut and glued it on. Short story it worked and its still in place.

Re: Broken instrument stories?

During a Hungarian folk music concert, a guy was slapping on an ütőgardon (hit-cello) and following one particularly vigorous slap his instrument just folded in two (quite a feat, as ütőgardons are usually built to double as a boat paddle). This not only woke up half of the audience, but ensured their continuous attention until the end of the gig - they all hoped something similar would happen again.

Another case - the band I played in went abroad on a long string of concerts, and during one of the first gigs, which admittedly took place in high mountains, our clarinet player blew the first note and his instrument broke in two (axially). For the rest of the trip the clarinet player perfected his coffee-making skills.

Re: Broken instrument stories?

Mishaps for Vulcan Arse Flute players go without saying.

Re: Broken instrument stories?

I seem to recall Llig had a good tale relating to his fiddle and another band member (drummer?) but I guess we’ll have to wait a little for the detail !

Re: Broken instrument stories?

I showed up just before a gig. Opened my guitar case and found the glue at the block at the neck of my 6 string guitar had given way, causing the neck to pull skyward. Fortunately I had a 12string guitar I use as a change of pace and played the whole time later with it.

Re: Broken instrument stories?

My old apartment was built on a hill. We lived upstairs, where you first had to walk down one flight in the hill before walking up another flight to get to the apartment.

I dropped an el-cheapo Silvetta 20-button anglo down the first 18 concrete steps, where it landed on the concrete landing and rolled end over end until coming to rest in a puddle against the base of the second set of stairs. Picked it up and it was right as rain, minus some red paint. Try doing that with a violin!

Re: Broken instrument stories?

I was at my regular session and my guitar strap slipped off the nut at the bottom. It swung down like a pendulum and hit a chair. Half the back blew off the guitar. I got it fixed, under warranty because I had other glue problems with it. Then I sold it (purchaser knew the history) and upgraded.

Re: Broken instrument stories?

In a festival we were organising years ago, the stage was facing south-west, and it was brightly sunny and very hot. The box player of one of the french groups, started playing, and all of a sudden, his box made all kinds of metallic noises, but no more music : the wax holding the reeds had become very soft, due to the heat, and the reeds actually fell off the reedblock… we opened the box, spent some time finding where the reeds had to be put back, put the box in a fridge for a few minutes, put a sunshade on the stage…. and the concert started just in time… the box player was quite cool about it !

Re: Broken instrument stories?

I was playing a gig at a posh hotel. I handed my fiddle over to my friend to hold and it was a case of I thought she had got it and she thought I had got it and the fiddle fell to the floor between us. Fortunately it bounced on the plush hotel carpet and suffered nothing more than a dislodged soundpost.