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Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by 7 Dying Trees, Nov 9, 2007.
Robert Fripp approves of this
If you start in the wrong key, don't continue to play. Stop, reevaluate, drop in.
Had my induction to my guitar diploma course yesterday, was all cool and stuff and we had to play in front of everyone today, just something you felt like playing. Could team up, could do some cool collabs, was all groovy. Jumped in a group with this French dude who plays guitar (~2 years more experience than me, super cool fella) and a drummer, again a cool laid-back guy. We decided we'd just throw something simple together and let me and the French dude improvise over it, just a simple 4/4 beat, E5, G5, A5, B5, nothing fancy.
So, we play a trial run through, SUPER awesome. Neither of us are particularly practiced in the improv department but we both shred through pretty damn tastily, we play the same kind of music but pretty damn different styles, it was hella fun to watch this guy shred his stuff. Couple of awesome ideas flying around, dynamics advice, liaison with the drummer to make sure we all felt the vibe and when this thing needed to end, we were all pumped as shit to get on stage and do this shit. Only snag was, my guitar (26.5" scale) was in D standard, whereas the other dude was playing in E. So I thought, no biggie, I'll just shift my fretboard visualisations up two frets and it'll all be groovy.
Yeah, usually my guitar is in Eb standard due to my band's tuning, I put it in D the night before because I was jamming some Mastodon. So I brain farted and shifted my mind up one fret, not two, and got ready to play the first note of my solo - E - on the eighth fret of the fifth string, instead of the ninth. You can kind of guess the rest.
Jumped up on stage, pulled the hairband out of my hair, classic metal hair flick, plug guitar in, obligatory nod at drummer, horns up and kick off. Chords ring out like nobody's business, drummer settles into a sweet groove and my partner kicks out some SWEET stuff, unlike anything I'd heard in our "rehearsal", he killed it. Chord progression rolls around again, I swagger out to the front of stage, pickslide, swing into my first note.
Wrong note. The wrongest of wrong. I stood there, dumbfounded, and quickly scrambled through some kind of bollocks diminished scale to find out where I was, my mind went blank and eventually managed to pull off some shitty Brent Hinds impersonation legato playing around the vague tonic center of E way too far up the fretboard to be comfortable. I flushed the colour of beetroot the moment I left the stage, never again.
Moral of the story: If you're playing in a different tuning to normal, make sure you either tune normally or CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK yourself. Don't end up like me, because now I have to spend the next year of my life trying to prove to the rest of my peers that I'm not a complete dunce with an axe.
worst thing a soundguy ever did to one of our gigs.
My bands other guitarist was having terrible technical problems all show. We finally thought we sorted it out and we get half way through our 4th song. His sound goes again totally.
After about 20 seconds with the song still playing minus his guitar now, the sound guy gets up on stage with us randomly during the song. Looks at the other guitarist and mimes and mouths "you have no sound..... just air guitar" and then scurried back to his mixing desk post at the back of the room. He basically wanted the guy to pretend to play the rest of the song because his guitar had gone down and he didnt know what to do to remedy the situation hahahaha
Yeah just gonna share some of mine.
Don't get so drunk you fight an ATM machine because you pressed $20 and expected $50. Also don't get so drunk when people make you mad that you try to attack them with your buttcrack.
Don't borrow people's gear and then pour water all over yourself while playing said gear. You think the owner won't notice? GUESS AGAIN.
Don't get into the habit of climbing on top of people's bass/guitar rigs. Just don't. This is probably the worst thing I've ever seen because while in theory this can be awesome, in practice it looks awkward and really lame. When you get stuck on top of an 8x10 cabinet and don't know how to get down, and still have to play a song, you look like a fvcking idiot. Not to mention the fact that you could seriously injure yourself and/or others.
Demanding a moshpit, circlepit, wall of death, etc.
Mostly from wacthing other bands:
The guy on vocals: know when you are in focus; .... back to the drumkit and drink some water doing the guitar solo, don't try to steal focus from the guitarist 15 seconds of fame by doing retarded air guitar! Oh and if your band has 2 minute long instrumental passages you should propably have thought about before hand what you are going to do meanwhile .. I sometimes can't stop laughing at uncomftible singers who don't understand that they are actually NOT in focus.
About the no ....ing playing before the first song; I always do a little CHUG just to make sure that my amp is on, my cable is in etc. This have saved me one time were I had forgotten to turn the amp from standby to on!
About lending gear our: At small gigs where I live (copenhagen) often one band takes care of the backline, i.e. everyone uses the same drumkit and cabs. Still people turn up without amps and try and borrow yours while they are setting up. I always try to make a quick judgement before agreeing: If the guy is a 18 old punk/ heavy kid then no ....ing way. People who play punk seems to be assholes and give shit about your gear = they don't borrow it in the first place
If the guy has a guitar more expensive than mine and seems to have actually paid for it himself then I fell I can trust him to not .... up my rig. But still; don't change my settings or I will kill you!
This should be in the back of everyone's mind when they play live!
I used to play in a local black metal band in high school. We were young and impressionable enough to wear corpse paint and spikes. KVLT. I, being so GRIM and FROSTBITTEN, used a growly metal voice to introduce the band / the couple of covers we did. One night, my guitar player asked me to speak to the sound guy through the mic and ask for more drums in the monitors. I totally forgot about my NECRO stage presence and spoke to the sound guy in, what was comparatively, a small, geeky sounding voice. Everyone laughed, including the band. We kind of gave up the black metal image near the end of the band, after realizing how silly it can be.
During that same show, I spat a mouthful of fake blood all over the front row.
In summary, don't do either of these things. Image < music.
I think this should go for headliners as well IMO. It's just respectful for bands to stay for each others sets. The last show I played, we headlined and due to shitty scheduling by the time we went on everyone had already gone home accept for a couple of the bands who were kind enough to stick around for our set.
all I have to say.
it's all in good fun, black metal is a fun genre to play.
Think I'd have to say my pet is too much dead time between songs. Buy a guitar that'll stay in tune already!
A big no-no is taking sugary drinks anywhere near the venue, let alone the stage. Propped my Monster up away from feet (don't judge me, I had very little sleep the night before) and someone decided that it was dangerous and was better suited to the floor (where my band's coats, guitar cases and spare gear was sitting).
Needless to say, we exit the stage after our set and we've got a sticky, sugary mess all over the guitar cases, spare cables and pedals. Nice.
Don't play entire songs on your sound check. Do a part, request stage monitoring from stage right to left, try another part, do a new request for monitoring. If you have some special instruments in parts try them out, then you're done. By playing three/four full songs you're wearing on the patience of the house tech and crew.
When playing black metal, write music that is so GRIM and FROSTBITTEN, that you don't need to wear make up to come across as GRIM and FROSTBITTEN!
promoters, dont let a wash out headliner on their farewell tour plug their Winnebago into the stage power outlet, causing power to the venue to go out, and blow up 3 different amps!
You know I saw this post and video months ago and was disgusted, but now seeing it again I just have to say something.
What kind of idiot doesn't realize he is about to puke? Most people have at least 10 seconds if not 30 before they actually puke. There is no excuse for what this idiot did.
What are the chances that he stayed around and cleaned it up? Or cleaned it up before the next band went on? What are the chances that any ruined gear(monitors, microphones) were payed for? I hope the owner of the ruined gear took this ....wit to small claims court.
To top it off, lets spit the remaining puke into the audience! That will surely win over your potential fans!
I know you are just the guitar player so its not your fault. Please don't take it as though I am bitching at you because I am not.
This is why I don't lend people gear...
Alright I am done ranting. Apologies everyone...
I hate it when we go on, and there is saliva all over the stage because the bands before us decide to spit all over the stage.
This really is so important. It's the main thing we focus on during pre-gig rehearsals (well, besides being able to play the songs themselves perfectly of course).
You build up atmosphere during each song -- that's what playing live is about: making the audience feel that something's happening and they're part of it -- and when the song ends and the band members are all just standing around (tuning, talking among each other, drinking, grinning sheepishly at the crowd), bam, that atmosphere gets thrown right out of the window.
If your singer has a natural showmanship and good stage banter that keeps the atmosphere intact, great. If (s)he doesn't (and most people don't), just make sure transitions from song to song are absolutely watertight and short. Practise them. Time them. Use pre-recorded samples to bridge the gap, if need be. And get a guitar that stays in tune, for christ's sake.
I guess the main thing is to see a concert not as a bunch of separate songs but as a single whole, like a play or a movie, with a single arc that builds up and intensifies -- unless it's interrupted.
I use a Loop Station in between songs with ambient sounds and whatever while everyone tunes, get's a drink of water, etc. Also use it for samples.
being from Lebanon, and seeing every act communicate in english with the audience, i want to say, speaking in the audience's language is far more convincing than a standard english, even if your songs are in english...