Top Ten Do’s and Don’ts When It Comes To Gigging

Screeeaaaammm for me Long Beach!!!!

As both a purveyor and listener of music I sometimes find myself amused by the entire live gig atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong, I still love seeing and playing live music, I just wanted to put together a list for musicians in bands to read. Call it a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to playing in a band from both the perspective of audience member and/or bandmate:

  1. During soundcheck please say something into the mic besides “check one-two.”
  2. When applying the master volume to your amp on stage or in rehearsal try to do it while all the other instruments are playing so you get a real level. Your amp will always sound loud when you just hear it by itself.
  3. Same goes for singers. Of course you can hear yourself in the monitors during the “check one-two” phase of soundcheck. There aren’t two guitars of wailing feedback exploiting your eardrums.
  4. I know most musicians have their “go to” riff/beat when it comes warming up/soundchecking, do your bandmates a favor and try and come up with something new.
  5. Avoid dead air space between songs. Nothing is more awkward than the silence of a room when a band is between songs. Tell a joke. Tell a story. Promote your band name/next gig/album. Get a loop pedal so you can throw feedback on for two minutes and call it a segway into the next song. Tell the audience to fuck off. Anything. Please. The silence is killing us all!
  6. Ain’t nothing wrong with throwing a little theatrical Allman Brothers ending on to one of your songs.
  7. The Wearing Of Your Own Bands T-Shirt Controversy: This one goes way back.  Is it cool to wear your own bands t-shirt while onstage? Some side with yes, you are helping to promote the band and more than likely you think the artwork is cool, so why not? Some say no, it’s self aggrandizing and kinda cheesy. I think if you make a cool band t-shirt then you should wear it everywhere you go.
  8. I cannot stress this one enough: if you are a band that has their own soundperson then you can skip this part. If not, then please have a close friend of the band, someone who knows your music and sound, either speak to the soundperson or let you all know how the sound is “out there.” There being the audience. Trust me, it never sounds the same onstage as it does in the room. You need a reliable confidant to give you a signal if you need to turn anything up/down. The drunk guy in the audience always thinks it sounds awesome.
  9. Always, always, always, be friendly with the soundperson. They hold the magic keys to your gig. It also doesn’t hurt to be friendly to the club staff.
  10. Just because you are a singer that doesn’t mean you don’t have to help with the loading/unloading of gear. And no, carrying your mic case doesn’t count.

One Comment

  1. If you ever make it to Kyoto, Japan – go to Sanjo River, right at Sanjo Keihan Station in downtown Kyoto. Oh, the number of college garage bands that need to read this post is a lot. Nice work!


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