The Other Backup Keyboard You Should Carry

Keyboardists are known for their obsession with having backup hardware available for a performance, and I’m no different. This past Sunday however, despite all of the usual precautions, I was caught off guard yet again.

Earlier this year I finally broke down and started using MainStage on a Macbook Pro. Before this I’d been dead set against anything other than gold ‘ole hardware-based keyboards and synthesizers. I’ve had a few hiccups along the way, but nothing serious. Yesterday was a little different.

Part of my ritual is to do a cold boot during setup, and so I fire it up, get to the password prompt, and then get promptly rejected. Three times. After carefully retyping the password slowly and watching the screen, I discover that when I press the ‘6’ key, nothing happens. Fabulous. This is obviously Not A Good Thing, as I have no other account on the machine with a password that doesn’t have a 6 in it.  The familiar stomach pang of “you’ve got a serious problem” begins to set in.

The solution was to drive home (25 mins), pick up a USB keyboard, drive back (another 25 mins) and then log in, leaving about three minutes to spare before performance time.

Result: I am now carrying a Bluetooth keyboard in my gig bag, along with a spare set of AA batteries. It’s smaller than the standard Apple USB keyboard, and more importantly, I won’t wind up at a performance without a backup keyboard of any kind again!

Related Articles:

  • Matt Owens

    You wouldn’t normally need a QWERTY keyboard. Strange. But at least you figured it out.

  • Scott Kantner

    You’re right Matt.  I’m clearly in “over reaction” mode right now!  The only place PC’s scare me is on the stage.