Saturday, November 7, 2015

How to prepare your band for a live gig (a guide for dummies)

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's article! Today we're doing a small checklist for what to know and remember before playing live.
Obviously this small guide is aimed for the young musicians and emerging bands with little knowledge, just some small advice  to make things easier to the musicians and to the organizers!

1) Tune your instruments!: This may seem obvious but not all beginner musicians do it; they think the guitar is already in tune, or they can tune it by ear if they hear something wrong, or they can tune it between one song and the other using the tuning pedal.
If the string instruments are not in tune, everyone will notice it and the band will automatically sound cheesy.
Tune your guitar at the beginning, and please, please don't make everyone wait 3 minutes between the songs because your guitar can't hold the tuning so you have to retune it every song! :D

2) Share the backline: don't be a dick and agree with the other bands on who brings what, and don't be afraid to share your amplifier, or cabinet, or some part of your drumkit with the other bands.
This will ease the transport of the instrumentation to the location, will make you earn respect and will reduce stage changing times among the bands, which should be as short and smooth as possible, and instead sometimes it turns itself into a long ordeal with the audience that leaves the room.

3) Make a list of the instrumentation before going to the venue: this is linked with the previous point; everyone should have very clear what he's bringing to the venue (e.g. an amplifier, a guitar, 3 jacks, 2 stompboxes, etc...), especially the drummer, because things can "disappear" pretty easily, also because someone can put them into their bag mistaking them for his own stuff.
Having a checklist helps us in remembering everything better.

4) Use a Metronome: not all drummers are born with the perfect sense of tempo in their head, and especially while playing fast, complex songs like a death metal song, it's important for the whole band to rely on a perfectly consistent tempo.
Using a metronome on the ear of the drummer, and if the band is very organized, on the ears of all the other members, can REALLY improve a performance, giving it that tightness that makes the difference between an amateur and a pro.

5) alcohol does not help: don't believe the movie legends that getting on stage drunk will make you play smoother, it is not true! When playing is better to deal with shyness than to have your playing impaired by an alcohol intoxication!

Hope this helps!

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