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Advice needed for playing at a wedding...

Meeotch

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
189
My buddy is the groom in a wedding of about 150-200 people, and he is a pretty talented drummer. He asked me if I would join him on guitar to cover a couple of rock songs (Rush and Tool). I said absolutely, and asked what his vision was (ie. does he know a bassist, singer, or keyboardist) but he said no, probably just drums and guitar.

So obviously with such a stripped down approach we are limited on performing faithful covers, but I'm looking for some advice on how to get us sounding good. The space is your typical medium-sized hotel banquet area, though I have not seen it in person yet. For the drums, my buddy mentioned he has a couple mics and a PA speaker (though I'm not sure that is even necessary). My real questions revolve around what gear I should choose for playing guitar:

1. I'm mostly a studio guitarist and it's been a while since I've played live. I have a great collection of tube amps and 4x12's that I could bring out, but it's not clear to me if a single 4x12 pointed at the center of the audience would be OK for public address in this situation?

2. I do not own any type of PA, but have started looking into products like the Line 6 Powercab 212 and possibly a modeler to go with it. With this approach, I could have the option of going direct (if the hotel has a PA) and/or using the Powercab in either speaker emulation mode or FRFR as my own little PA. Thoughts?
 

chrisjnyc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,417
My buddy is the groom in a wedding of about 150-200 people, and he is a pretty talented drummer. He asked me if I would join him on guitar to cover a couple of rock songs (Rush and Tool). I said absolutely, and asked what his vision was (ie. does he know a bassist, singer, or keyboardist) but he said no, probably just drums and guitar.

So obviously with such a stripped down approach we are limited on performing faithful covers, but I'm looking for some advice on how to get us sounding good. The space is your typical medium-sized hotel banquet area, though I have not seen it in person yet. For the drums, my buddy mentioned he has a couple mics and a PA speaker (though I'm not sure that is even necessary). My real questions revolve around what gear I should choose for playing guitar:

1. I'm mostly a studio guitarist and it's been a while since I've played live. I have a great collection of tube amps and 4x12's that I could bring out, but it's not clear to me if a single 4x12 pointed at the center of the audience would be OK for public address in this situation?

2. I do not own any type of PA, but have started looking into products like the Line 6 Powercab 212 and possibly a modeler to go with it. With this approach, I could have the option of going direct (if the hotel has a PA) and/or using the Powercab in either speaker emulation mode or FRFR as my own little PA. Thoughts?
I would think you would get more info by posting in the modeler forum...

The problem is going to be how loud you can go, and how big the space is. If everyone is ok with loud drums and guitar, I would just take your amp and 4x12. You could always get an attenuator if you need to bring down the overall guitar volume. If you plan to have vocals, and mic the drums, a modeler would be a good option, and also good way to keep the volume down.
 

Aaron Mayo

Member
Messages
2,196
If it were me: Acoustic drums, combo amp for guitar and your buddy’s pa for announcements. Keep it simple. As for sounding good, just play the best you can.

or you could do a stack with a 4x12 fully mic the drums, etc which might make you sound better. The bigger issue is the cross generational audience might be like, “wtf”?. Going “all out” might be fun for you guys and make it a night to remember. It could be the only time a tool song was played by a duo at a wedding.
 

Meeotch

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
189
Thanks for the input! Volume wise I am confident we can find a good balance without using any mics (provided the audience will tolerate a drummer playing his heart out). But I'm still unsure about just pointing a 4x12 at the audience? Guitar cabs are so directional/beamy that I am wondering if a PA speaker would be more appropriate? That is why I asked about the Line 6 Powercab, although I'd imagine any quality PA speaker could potentially work?

I'd love to hear people's experience using actual guitar cabs vs PA speakers for situations similar to mine, thanks!
 

edward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,037
So wait, let me see if I'm reading/understanding this correctly:

- no singer at all
- nor any other instruments, solely drums and guitar
- and you want to cover two songs, Rush and Tool
- you both are cobbling together random bits of gear because neither of you have what suits the room and purpose
- and all this at a wedding

You posted looking for advice in earnest. So may I say politely and honestly: is your buddy the groom considering what is good for the guests and the wedding celebration on the whole, or perhaps a bit focused on what he wants for himself? I know this is the gear page, but isn't there more to the equation here? This is my response, with respect, and genuinely hoping that it all works out for you guys! Feel free to ignore me if I'm thoroughly off base! :)

Edward
 

Meeotch

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
189
Edward, no offense taken and all good points. That is precisely why I asked about his vision with this type of performance. Indeed, this is mostly about him wanting to throw down some nasty drumming at his own wedding, and I'm just there to make it more than a drum solo :)
 

VaThump

Member
Messages
172
I play a lot of weddings. It's a very rare wedding crowd that wants to hear Rush and Tool, especially played as drums + guitar instrumentals. And it's a rare bride that wants the groom focused on his own self-indulgence. (Is he going to load PA and drums, soundcheck, play, then strike and load-out drums and PA after his wedding reception?)

My "B-" advice: If this is important to the bride, then the best route is to hire a wedding band and contract that the groom will sit in on one "special." And that special should be a song that's also important to the bride. This will involve an upcharge and probably some negotiation about whether the groom needs to bring his own snare and cymbals. (There may also be a deposit required beyond the upcharge.)

The smarter solution: Dude should quit borrowing trouble. Leave music to the contracted band or DJ, and focus instead on making sure his new bride has the time of her life at her reception.
 

Captngeetch

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,609
The drums will not need to be mic’d. If anything mic your cab and use a pair of powered speakers to disperse the guitar sound. You could also throw a vocal mic through them if need be. The drummer might need a monitor to hear you too. A 40-50w amp is more than enough going rhis route. Or bring the halfstack, mic it and angle it towards him so he can hear you and the PA will carry the guitar to the guest. Personally I think this is a bad idea all together. The crowd in this situation is gonna be pretty diverse across the age spectrum. Add the grandparents of the bride etc and it’s probably gonna go over like a lead fart. But I get his side too. I would think they will have a DJ too ? Perhaps get with him and see if you can work something out too.
 

Cedar

Member
Messages
1,221
So wait, let me see if I'm reading/understanding this correctly:

- no singer at all
- nor any other instruments, solely drums and guitar
- and you want to cover two songs, Rush and Tool
- you both are cobbling together random bits of gear because neither of you have what suits the room and purpose
- and all this at a wedding

You posted looking for advice in earnest. So may I say politely and honestly: is your buddy the groom considering what is good for the guests and the wedding celebration on the whole, or perhaps a bit focused on what he wants for himself? I know this is the gear page, but isn't there more to the equation here? This is my response, with respect, and genuinely hoping that it all works out for you guys! Feel free to ignore me if I'm thoroughly off base! :)

Edward
I'll be more blunt--it's a goofy, show-off idea and you should try to talk him out of it.
 

chrisjnyc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,417
Thanks for the input! Volume wise I am confident we can find a good balance without using any mics (provided the audience will tolerate a drummer playing his heart out). But I'm still unsure about just pointing a 4x12 at the audience? Guitar cabs are so directional/beamy that I am wondering if a PA speaker would be more appropriate? That is why I asked about the Line 6 Powercab, although I'd imagine any quality PA speaker could potentially work?

I'd love to hear people's experience using actual guitar cabs vs PA speakers for situations similar to mine, thanks!
Thats why you need to bring two 4x12 cabs :rockin

It's been a while since I played a 4x12, but if the room is really big it will be hard to hear the nuances without being close to the stage.

You didn't mention if the wedding is going to have a DJ and or band play. Maybe you can just use the gear that is being provided.
 
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Nebakanezer

World’s Okayest Guitar Player
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,220
Take an amp (smaller than a 4-12, maybe?) and place it behind the drummer and use a long cord or a wirleless to make sure that you can me heard but that the “spotlight” is on the drumming groom!!!!
 

sonhenry

Member
Messages
1,205
Hey, yeah. It's goofy. But its memorable so if you're going to do it go all in. Rent the gear you need and record some backing tracks and a click to play against (you're a studio guy right?). Make him look like a rock star and not a goofball. If his bride is cool with this then off you go.

It's the goofy stuff that makes for great wedding memories, not those damn garter and cake cutting photos that 30 years from now no one gives a crap about when they're older, bald and have snarky teenagers dripping contempt. Make it count! People take this stuff too seriously...
 

meterman

Member
Messages
7,972
Having played a few weddings, they are the most stressful gig you can imagine and this sounds a bit like a recipe for disaster. Are you planning to rehearse first? Winging instrumental prog rock tunes at volume with drums/half stack will probably just drive most people outside. If you can't talk him out of it, I'd put your amp behind him to the side, forget micing anything. There will so much other stuff going on that day that KISS has never been more applicable and virtually nobody will care about the sound.

I had a musician friend that got married and really obsessed over the music for the ceremony. He wanted to play Led Zep's Thank You for the bride's walk down the aisle which was great, beautiful song. The bride wanted to fade it when she got to the altar and he insisted that she stand there for a minute or so while the whole thing played including the instrumental coda/reprise. Needless to say he lost that argument in about 3 seconds lol.

Best wedding advice I could give is, it's her day, and he has one job: don't fuc& it up.

 
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Jim Roseberry

Member
Messages
1,659
If you're going to play a wedding... and especially if you've not done so before, I'd have a meeting with the Bride/Groom and the wedding planner/staff.
I'd especially make sure the Bride is OK with said musical plans.
Don't leave anything to chance...
Make sure ALL details are covered.
 

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,115
I can't believe we are actually giving sound reinforcement adivce to this thread... I would go FULL ON GOOF and knock some sense into your friend the groom.
By full on I mean, 4x12 and full kit, no mic'ing no backing tracks, jump around and pretend you are in his based and plastered... people will probably be like WTF either way, but some might get a kick and think "aw that's sweet, little drummer boy gets his last breath of freedom"...
 

Meeotch

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
189
Haha awesome, I really appreciate all the feedback...whether you think it's a terrible idea or not. My own wedding was 10 people and in hindsight I would have loved to rock out for my family. A much larger crowd changes the atmosphere, so I appreciate the advice for further discussion and the need to iron out the kinks.

I'm in the camp that believes it's your wedding, shape it to your liking. Guests may walk outside for a cig break or bang their heads with a grin. Or laugh/frown and judge. Oh well. Either way they are guests. If the bride and groom are smiling then that's what counts. Now yes, the bride needs to be cool with everything...ideally excited. So I'll get with my buddy and we can talk more about these topics.

As for the gear, I guess I'm leaning towards no mics. Drum kit front and center. Amp and 412 off to the side and maybe pointing towards the drummer a bit. If there is a DJ or the hotel has a PA then we can probably incorporate that equipment, and potentially use a mic/monitor for the drummer to better hear me. I just wanted to get some initial opinions, and I'll report back if we move forward with the idea. Cheers!
 

soundchaser59

Thank You Great Spirit!
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,028
People take this stuff too seriously...
I'm guessing you're single?
it's a rare bride that wants the groom focused on his own self-indulgence. (Is he going to load PA and drums, soundcheck, play, then strike and load-out drums and PA after his wedding reception?)

The smarter solution: Dude should quit borrowing trouble. Leave music to the contracted band or DJ, and focus instead on making sure his new bride has the time of her life at her reception.
THIS! It's amazing that the question was even asked, or that we are offering ideas on how to pull it off. Apparently the nationwide shortage of common sense is much worse than I thought. Mind your training, OP, listen to what Master Obi VaThump Kenobi has told you, serve you well it will.
I'll be more blunt--it's a goofy, show-off idea and you should try to talk him out of it.
Or let us put it another way, as Cedar has stated here so succinctly......OP, this is a horrible idea. Knock some sense into that groom friend of yours before he makes a fool of himself in front or her and both families. You can thank us later.

Unbelievable........
 




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