Monday, January 17, 2011
Getting Ready For A Gig
This little tid bit will be called "Getting Ready For A Gig." Once you get yourself to the point where you are ready to play a show, with a band or solo, there are some things you need to do to be prepared. There is nothing that reeks rookie more than not being prepared. You want your show to go smooth. You need to have your energy focused on the performance, not worrying about having guitar or amp issues.
If you are a guitar player make sure you have a fresh set of strings on. You will, at some point, break a string while playing. Sometimes even if you put new ones on, one will still break. New strings make that happen alot less. If you have pedals that needs batteries, have good ones in them and ALWAYS carry back ups. Make sure your guitar cables are in working order and you have back ups. Have your self a tool box with some screw drivers, pliers, wire cutters, soldering gun with solder, a knife,allen wrenches, string winder and any other tools you might need. You can also keep your batteries and strings in there. If your guitar amp has fuses in it make sure you have back up fuses. Also its very good to carry your own multi plug/ extension cord to power all your stuff. You would be surprised how many places dont have that for you, they are not really required to have them. As a sound man I get asked so frequently " Hey man, where's the power?" and " Dude, you got a power strip?" If you are playing any stringed instrument, have a tuner!!! Make sure everyone in the band that needs one has one. When you are on stage use the tuner to tune. Kill the stage volume when you do tune. NEVER have the audience hear you tune if you can help it. That reeks of garage player when you do. These things apply to bass players too.
Drummers need to make sure they have plenty of sticks. I actually had a drummer (who will remain un-named) that "forgot" about his sticks at a gig we were playing in Myrtle Beach SC. It was 1 o clock in the morning and we were about to get started and he broke a stick and did not have any back ups. Where are you going to get drum sticks at 1 in the morning???!!!?? No where. Have a drum key to tune your drums. Have back up heads. Have any tools you will need to work on your drums. Have a drum rug. Thats another thing I get asked a million times as a sound man. Any time I am doing any city sound job, there is no rug to put the drums on (the rug stops them from sliding every where). We are not required and the city is not either, to supply it. Make sure you have one.
Singers........well........just be on time!!!!
I have left out what are considered "miscellaneous" instruments, like congas/keyboards/etc., because other than repeating what I have mentioned for the other instruments, I cant think of what else you would need. When you have to be at a gig know what time load in and sound check are. Be prepared and try and think ahead. Your first bunch of gigs will take you to school. You are going to have bad ones. Get them out of the way and "pay your dues." These things will help you be able to concentrate on your performance and not on your gear. Get to that gig, rock it out and kick some arse!!!