probably enough tips around to fill the Internet
stage, big gig, big equipment.
Small stage, small gig, small equipment.
Small gig, big amps, amps facing the wall.
Every gig - the vocals must be audible.
you sing, keep your face in the microphone. Every
time you look down at the guitar neck your vocal part
drops out of the mix.
a fight breaks out in the audience just keep on
playing, it's the traditional thing to do. Besides,
your axe could be considered a deadly weapon in a
court of law, or it could shield you from flying
wary if you get booked to do a "60s" or
"70s" night. You could end up playing to a
room full of pensioners, who WON'T appreciate your
rendition of 'Ace of Spades'.
some effective dynamics. Practice the art of flowing
from low volume to high volume and back to low
volume. Fill the quieter passages with acoustic
guitar or mandolin or piano or flute. It's an easy
way to sound more professional. Practice tempo
changes. Sometimes less is more, there are times when
one of the guitarists can simply stop playing for one
or two measures. This allows the audience focus to
shift towards another player or singer and adds a
hint of drama to your performance.
to make the most of any gig you play. Occasionally
the first set will be played to an empty club. This
is a good opportunity to try out your newest song for
the first time on stage.
up can sometimes take almost as long as your first
set, so it's a good idea to explore ways you can cut
the time down. Apart from anything else, it gives you
longer at the bar.
your van, car or whatever in a sensible way - if you
set up your speakers first, make sure they're
positioned so they come out of the van first, etc.
And make sure you've got enough juice to get to the
gig - and back again. Get your transport as close to
the stage as possible, the less far you have to lug
the heavy stuff, the less chance of suffering from a
hernia problem. Don't make things any harder for
care if you're off-loading your gear into a crowded
venue - punters don't take kindly to having
flightcases bounced off them, and you may find
yourself wasting a lot of time extracting your guitar
from where an aggrieved and injured punter has firmly
members of the band need to know what their
particular alloted tasks are - if you've got a
roadie, all well and good, just keep out of his way,
but most of us don't have such luxuries, and a bunch
of musos getting under each other's feet trying to
set up the same piece of gear can only delay matters.
Give everyone a job and let them get on with it.
yourselves with the order in which you set up the
gear. If you find it easiest to set up the drum kit
first and build everything round it, then go for that
method every time and lay out your leads and cables
at the front of the stage, preferably lined up with
the bit of gear each cable relates to - this always
You go into a club. The club has an in-house PA
system. Every time you get close to the microphone
you get a shock (tingling sensation).
Most electrical devices desire to be
connected to "earth" in order to work
properly. In the most basic sense, this means that it
needs to be plugged into an outlet, which is in turn
connected to the earth (just about any modern
outlet is connected to the ground, and is referred to
as "earthed"). As an electrical item
works, it often has build-ups of electricity, which
it doesn't need, so it sends the extra juice off into
the ground-no harm done.
systems work the exact same way. PA systems are
made up of various electrical items (Mixer, amps,
rack gear) plugged into electricity and also
need to be connected to ground to work properly. Now,
lets imagine for a second that the PA system is NOT
properly connected to the earth. (This could
happen for a variety of reasons; Many clubs are old
and sometimes have outdated and imperfect electrical
wiring, sometimes PA systems are not earthed on
purpose in an attempt to cure buzzing problems, etc.)
The PA will operate, and during its operation it
may save up excess power but doesn't have any place
to put it. This electricity is just building up in
the PA and wants desperately to find it's way to the
you into the equation. You are holding an electric
guitar. That electric guitar is plugged into an
amplifier. That amplifier is plugged into the
electrical outlet. If the outlet you have selected to
plug your amp into happens to actually be connected
properly to earth, then your guitar is now properly
earthed and, because you are touching the metal
strings, YOU are also properly earthed. So, when you
move close to the microphone, the stored up
electricity in the PA sees you as a free ticket the
ground. The electricity travels through the mic cable
to the metal microphone and into your face in an
attempt to get to the ground. At which point you get
good idea to get into the habit of testing a mic (if
you have to) by tapping it with the back of your
right hand whilst holding your guitar strings. If
there is a problem with the mic, then your hand will
be knocked away as opposed to if you grab hold of it.
Use your right hand (because it's the one
furthest from your heart), just in case.