Going to start gigging soon! Any advice?

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by nikolazjalic, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. nikolazjalic

    nikolazjalic SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys, my band and I have been working on material for a while now and we're almost done our first EP. Our goal is to get everything down and be gigging locally by Christmas time. Unfortunately, none of us have played shows before so we don't know what it's going to be like. I've already tried searching around the forum and haven't been able to find the answers to my questions. I've already read the thread "Don'ts of Live Performance" but is there any other advice that I should know about live performance? How does one go about finding gigs and how long are your sets when you first start? Are there any must have pieces of gear besides a tuner, distortion pedal and noise gate? Do you get paid at all in the start and how do you go about doing sound checks? All and any advice would help but these are the main questions we have been wondering. Thanks a lot !
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    You find gigs by talking to local venues, other local bands, local show promoters, and even at local music stores. Your best bet is going to be talking to other local bands. Go to shows locally and support your scene and it'll support you back.

    Sets are typically 20 to 45 minutes when you're just starting out. Get ready to be put on the very beginning or very end of shows, as you're going to have to prove yourselves before you get the good time slots. Be willing to to shorten and extend your set as needed.

    It's always good to pack some extra stuff in the event something breaks or goes missing. Extra strings, adjustment tools, power cables, batteries, etc. The basics.

    Be prepared not to get paid anything. You're going to have to build up a respectable reputation before venues and promoters will pay you to play. Maybe $20 here and there, but most local venues rely on bands playing for free or next to it. Playing music is a hobby, not a job, so don't expect to get paid.

    Also, as a new band your "sound checks" will pretty much consist of you rushing on stage, setting up as fast as you can, and then given a minute or two just to make sure your amp is working. It helps to have a friend in the audience who knows your sound to signal to you to adjust levels.

    Play your butt off, promote out the wazoo, and in a couple months things will get better. Pay your dues.
     
  3. kamello

    kamello DESU METARU!

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    the soundcheck depends exclusively on the venue, yesterday I had the luck to do a Soundcheck of 5 minutes so we settled up and EQ'ued everything right, but other times I hadn't the oportunity to even see if the volume is right and I have to regulate it In-between songs, so be prepared for everything basicly :D,

    check the venue a few days before so you know how much volume you are going to need, prepare your presets at home with the same volume (do it fast so your neighbors don't kill you :lol: )

    put picks everywhere, between strings, in your pockets, in your sockets, etc.

    bring allen keys, strings, a screwdriver, more picks, check your tuning everytime you can before the gig

    if you were told to just play ...I dunno, 5 songs, prepare a sixth one just in case ;)

    speak about every detail with the owner of the venue, so you don't have problems later (money, time, and gear wise)

    be in the venue early and ask the guys from other bands if they need help with something

    read the ''don'ts of live performance'' again
    and most importanly, have fun :)

    that's all I can help you, I just started gigging about 5 months ago
     
  4. natspotats

    natspotats SS.org Regular

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    rock your ass off even if no one is into it!
     
  5. Blasphemer

    Blasphemer Bird Law expert

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    This. We've gotten more comments about our live show, even though we usually have about 6-12 people watching. People in other bands say they cant believe our live show, even though there was nobody there. I dont care if were playing for 2 or 2000 people, were going to give 100% every time, and that really shows.

    Also, yeah, don't expect money. It should be a huge surprise when you get paid, to be honest. You'll also get kicked around a little bit by other, bigger bands, but don't let it get you down. It's just like hazing in a frat, or whatever; everybody gets theirs before they're really accepted.

    Good luck! :hbang:
     
  6. kamello

    kamello DESU METARU!

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    ^ happened to me yesterday, stupid 50-years-old-mainstream-acoustic-rock-dinousaurs....

    that makes me think a bit....forget everything I said, just play the next songs :D
    -Dust in the wind
    -Wish you were Here
    -Hotel California
    -Here comes the Sun
    -Tears in Heaven
    -????
    -PROFIT!!
     
  7. Leuchty

    Leuchty Previously CYBERSYN

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    Warm up.



    Warm up.



    Warm up.

    Look like you're enjoying the show, interact with the crowd, tune as much as possible, know your songs inside and out.

    Warm up.
     
  8. VILARIKA

    VILARIKA SS.org Regular

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    Pay the promoter, set up quick, perform to the best of your capabilities, thank people for coming and introduce the next band coming up (plz remember the band's name), pack away gear quickly, socialize, network, etc.
     
  9. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I would never ever pay to be put on a show. It's one thing to play for free, which is 100% fine, another to play at a loss. I'd much rather forfeit presales. I don't feel it's the band's job to compensate the promoter outside of bringing people into the show. :2c:
     
  10. VILARIKA

    VILARIKA SS.org Regular

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    Sorry, that's what I was trying to say.
     
  11. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Which brings up the point, just because you're in a new band on the scene and you have to pay your dues doesn't mean you need to take unwarranted crap from other bands, promoters, or venue owners.

    If you think you're being taken advantage of, being given the run around, or feel you're being put in a compromising situation, just walk. There will always be more shows.
     
  12. MikeMonacoBrah

    MikeMonacoBrah SS.org Regular

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    check out other local bands facebook's and see if they are tagging any promoters or booking companies, and get in contact with them. you've got to do a bit of research, but it'll all be worth it when you find some good, honest people to book with. try and look for guys that don't make you sell pre-sale, it's not as hard as you think it might be, especially starting out you can lose A LOT of money by getting screwed into doing presale. and sets are gonna be anywhere from 20-40 minutes starting out.

    that's up to you to decide. I've seen a lot of bands that just use a noise gate and a tuner and they can get some fantastic tone. it's all up to you really and what you think your tone really needs. I like to use delays for my cleans, but that's just because the 6505+'s clean sounds aren't that great, I don't know what kind of head you've got so I'm not sure what to tell you.

    depends who you book with, my band's been playing 3-4 shows a month and not until last show did we get paid for the first time. we're more concerned about getting ourselves out there that we're not concerned about getting paid, we're just concerned about not losing money (aside from gas). and most of the time whoever's at the mixing board will do a sound check and tell you what needs to be turned up after asking certain people to play individually and normally the whole band for 30ish seconds. if no one's doing that, it's best to do around 30 seconds of a song and just see if you think anything should be turned up or down. also, having a friend listen and let you know what needs to go up or down is a good idea.

    as far as anything else you might need to know:

    -warm up before the show, this goes for everyone.
    -try to stay the whole show, make friends with some bands that you think are cool dudes and/or have a similar sound to you
    -always make sure to say goodbye and thank you to whoever booked the show, and whoever you met that you might be beneficial to you in the future
    -try to come off as professional on stage, but also come off as open enough for people to come up to you and talk after your set
    -try to make set up and break down time as short as you can. be as prepared as you can before hitting the stage, and try to practice breaking down and putting up your rig at home to cut back time. also if you're set up and you see someone else is still setting up, try to check your stuff really quickly and make sure it works, but then help out anyone who needs it. don't sit there playing your instrument and waiting for everyone else. the guys in your band will get annoyed, and so will the crowd.
    -you said you guys are coming out with an EP soon. when you have it physically (this goes for any other merch you might have) make sure your vocalist announces that you've got stuff for sale and where exactly the merch table is, sometimes people don't notice.
    -tell people you've got a facebook (if you don't have one, get one), print up a bunch of papers with the URL on it and hand them out to people who are interested.
    -always bring extra stuff: back up guitar, back up mic stand (believe it or not, some venues don't have one), back up picks, sticks (if you're a drummer), etc. prepare for the worst. I can't tell you how lame it is to have a string break and no back up guitar on you. it sucks, a lot.
    -if you're having a bad set (it happens, no matter how much you practice) try to keep a calm face and don't make it come off that you guys are off that night. (my band needs to work on this a bit). most of the time people will be hearing your stuff for the first time. they don't know exactly what it sounds like, so you're going to hear all the fuck ups, but chances are they aren't going to even notice. stay calm, no matter how bad you might think it gets.
    -you said you have an EP coming out that you might wanna sell at shows.
    -lastly, have fun. shows are fun, they're really awesome. you meet new people, hear new music, hang out and have a good time. enjoy it, it's rad :yesway:

    hope this helped, hope you have a ton of fun gigging, and I hope you make something out of it!
     
  13. signalgrey

    signalgrey Ambiente Savante

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    I cant stress this enough:

    Keep your rig simple. I promise you no one is going to give a shit if you have to change guitars for each song, or if you have a ridiculously elaborate set up. They will, on the other hand, give a shit if you spend 35 mins setting up and cut into the next bands time.

    Have your amp, have your board (just one power plug to get it going hopefully), have you guitars + spare. personally I have one guitar plus a spare. In another band I would have 2 guitars in two diff tunings and one spare that could be tuned quickly to whatever i need it for.

    Your spares. Some people on here have 35 different tunings and feel the need to bring a guitar for each on and then a spare. Dont do this. Its fine to have different tunings in a set, just dont be crazy about it, and organize your set to maximize as few guitar changes as possible, and if you do put them in natural spots where youd take a short breather and talk to the crowd.

    dont be a burden to others. There are bands i refuse to work with because its a shitty attitude and disrespectful.

    dont be a diva.

    dont think you are better than everyone else. If the other band sucks, shake their hand anyway, say "good show", buy em a beer, they may not suck for long.

    Talk to people face to face, learn names, get numbers, network, be amicable, dont leave after your set, get there early, be helpful, give your cd away to the other bands, trade merch etc.. ad nauseum.

    Be genuine. There is nothing more irritating than watching some putz sniff his own shit and tell you its perfume.

    all of this is common sense, yet so many bands have no fucking clue.
     
  14. nikolazjalic

    nikolazjalic SS.org Regular

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    Wow, thanks a lot for all the responses guys, they're greatly appreciated!
     
  15. oliviergus

    oliviergus Djentiver Gustafsson

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    If you're on a time limit its always good to use a timer/phone/whatever at the rehearsal to see how long your setlist is, imagine it playing live when you are interacting with the crowd and so on between songs to see if you're keeping the time.

    Otherwise, just slay the stage! Don't get too excited tho haha, I had a bad habit of doing that on my first shows. Got all shaky
     
  16. Diggy

    Diggy Banned

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    Buy the soundguy a drink. :yesway:
     
  17. Mordacain

    Mordacain 1-watt brigadier

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    Always a good idea for inspiring some goodwill, but keep it to one or two; a drunk soundguy is worse than a drunk drummer could ever be in my experience.
     
  18. Diggy

    Diggy Banned

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    lol.. thats why I said "a drink". "Buy him drinks".. no.. drunk soundguys.. ouch! :nono:
     
  19. goatLuke

    goatLuke ss.org Noob

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    i have such a hard time with this :scratch:
     
  20. Blasphemer

    Blasphemer Bird Law expert

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    Whats not to get?
     

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