Any guitar tips for outdoor gigs?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by TheRockDoc, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. TheRockDoc

    TheRockDoc Member

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    pretty self explanatory- never did an outdoor gig... don't want my guitars to go b~o~i~n~g in the middle of anything...:hide

    anything i might want to take into account? It will start around 6:00 pm and it will likely be hot and humid...

    thanks- gig is Monday
     
  2. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Biggest thing, for me, is humidity, which makes the neck sticky. A little baby powder on your hands can help, as will FingerEase spray on the neck and fretboard.

    Other than that, voltage can be a problem... if you have too many electrical devices overloading a circuit -- or too long of an extension cord -- the voltage can drop, making your amp sound overly distorted and generally crappy. Try to plug different things into different circuits, making certain, of course, of course, that you're properly grounded. Electrocution ain't pretty... ;)
     
  3. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    Humidity can be tough on a guitar...so can the heat. At least you will be out of the hottest sun of the day.

    You'll probably find that you tune more than ususal...at least I do/did. Otherwise, it's generally not much different than playing indoors. As for the difference in environment...I've found that folks either love it or they don't. I personally think it's more psychological than anything...except for the tuning bit in the heat.

    Good luck! :)

    P.S

    Agree 100% with Dave on the power situation. Generators can make for interesting happenings.
     
  4. richey88

    richey88 Member

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    My PRS hates the humidity. Told me so at the last show......tuning issues galore. The old Strat.......other than the strings feeling rusty no complaints.
     
  5. lifeinsong

    lifeinsong Member

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    If you're using a digital tuner, make sure you place it in a shaded area so you can read the display.
     
  6. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Since you're in my neck of the woods - do not forget bug spray and your shades!

    A fan (the kind that blows on you, no, wait, that still came out wrong, oh, you know what I mean) is a cool accessory.

    Be prepared for RAIN - bring tarps or plastic trashbags you can quickly cover amps with (even under shelters, rain can blow in sideways).

    As hot as it is here, keep some water or gatorade with you if not imbibing in some other cool refreshing drink.

    And for your guitar - if the gig is near the beach, wipe it down well afterwards - I had a strat we played in Nags Head with, right on top of a dune near the ocean. Put it in the case. Next time I took it out, all the screws and such had started to rust! That salt air can be bad for stuff (keep your case closed to so it doesn't get sand and crap in it).

    Good Luck,
    Steve
     
  7. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    Be prepared for your tone to suck. We are all so used to the way our amps sound reflecting off walls and other items in small or large rooms that it's very unnatural sounding outside. I hate the way my guitar sounds outside, but just look past it and have a good time anyway. Don't dwell on it. No amount of tweaking is going to totally fix it, so just play!
     
  8. jeffwith1f

    jeffwith1f Member

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    +1 to above.
    out of doors even a loud amp seems to have the sound just sucked out of it as it bounces off nothing. Try not to overcompensate. stand close to your amp, or whatever you need to hear to play in time and keep eye contact up with other band members
     
  9. dosmun

    dosmun Member

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    Enjoy the fresh non smokey air!! Have fun.
     
  10. TheRockDoc

    TheRockDoc Member

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    Fortunately, we have a very nice PA, and actually I kind of expected the general guitar sound to be so-so. I recently acquired an old Boss AC2 (acoustic simulator) and that has worked out very well instead of having a couple of acoustics bouncing in between electrics.

    From the other posts, I guess I should just be aware of humidity...:BITCH more than anything else...

    'tread lightly' says the guitar player to his self :)
     
  11. Knuckles

    Knuckles Member

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    My rule for outdoor gigs has always been related to the payment. If it doesn't pay (benefit, or "for exposure") then I get to play as loud as I want.
     
  12. JDandCoke

    JDandCoke Member

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    be prepared for the sound to suck.

    especially if its a festival and you aren't using your own engineer.
    often they run tight ships. change over time for bands is fast.

    just do the best with what you're given.

    +1 to everything above too.

    also give your guitars as much time to climatise as you can before you play. (this applies indoors too though)
    eg if you have your guitar inside in the cool. then let it warm up before you take it straight out into the head and play.
     
  13. loudstuff

    loudstuff Member

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    Kind of silly, but bring an extra shirt! You'll want to change into that after sweating through your set.
     
  14. JDandCoke

    JDandCoke Member

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    i do that for every gig.

    and spare shoes.
    and a towel.
     
  15. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, your whole pedalboard in the shade might be a good idea, you'll not be able to tell what's going on.

    Sweat? What's that? LOL Bring some extra underwear in case you get scared or lucky.:roll
     
  16. doublescale1

    doublescale1 FSR Tele Silver Supporting Member

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    Be careful with bug spray and your guitar finish - some of the ones with high DEET levels can mess w/the finish.
     
  17. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    All good advice but be sure you know that if you have a guitar finished in nitro bug spray will screw up the finish so don't get the guitar in contact with any area that you have sprayed.
     
  18. mrbungel

    mrbungel Member

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  19. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    Sound can be a problem. The sound on a stage played outside is much different than it is indoors. To my ear it sounds better, but because nothing reflects off of anything it can sometimes be hard to hear say your rhythm guitarist playing on the opposite end of the stage.
     
  20. TwoTubMan

    TwoTubMan Member

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    Take pity on the crowd. Don't wear shorts.

    :eek:
     

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