Full timers how do you do it

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by mannish, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. mannish

    mannish Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    I did two 3 setters this weekend late night and afternoon. It wore me out. I do not see how you guys do this almost night after night without bad drugs.
    I used to do it a lot more when I was younger but not full time.

    If I had to it again tonight I would need some energy although adrenaline does help at the time
  2. Dexter.Sinister

    Dexter.Sinister Still breathing Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    South Florida

    It was hard when I was more adaptable and more or less off the list now except for runs of two weeks or less. Unless enhanced, but that is both unwise and unsustainable. Some nights, I listen to my heart and choose life.
  3. DGTCrazy

    DGTCrazy Moderator de Emporio Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2010
    Petaluma, CA
    Well.....keeping physically fit is probably the best way to keep in "playing" shape. It's especially true for my voice. It's like anything in life....if you want it bad enough...and love what you're doing....you don't really notice how hard it is.
  4. paulscape

    paulscape Member

    Jun 22, 2007
    red dog saloon
    I had to do 2 three setters last summer - the 1st an outdoor gig in the HOT sun, second later that night. I held off alcohol until the night. It wasn't hardplaying but waiting around between gigs and hauling gear across the city. We don't want to be double booked again! 1 gig a week or every 2 weeks is good. Not really bothered how long or how many sets - I could play all night! I travel with work all the time so if I was pro I'd get used to it.
  5. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    It's all I do. All I can do. Beats sitting behind a desk.
  6. CyberFerret

    CyberFerret Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    Darwin, Australia
    Heh, I just get worn out playing ONE gig every now and then...

    Which is why it is so perplexing why people on here tend to criticize certain artists who do 250+ shows a year touring the world. I'd say in a role reversal situation, most of them wouldn't handle the situation past a few days...
  7. xroads

    xroads Member

    Feb 22, 2005
    I am not a full-timer, but have played a lot of double/triple sets 5 days in a row during carnival season here in Europe. Key for me was to get enough sleep in between. It was pretty much sleeping until late afternoon, then heading off to the gig.
  8. DarrenTD

    DarrenTD Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    I did it by making a lot of sacrifices in other areas............
  9. gkinsingapore

    gkinsingapore Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    I'm 43, work Monday to Fri in an office job AND work Thur Fri Sat in a hotel gig thats 4 sets from 730-midnight AND get up and drop my daughter at school for 745am.

    At first it was tough but after about 3 weeks I hardened up.....
  10. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    New England
    The current economic climate has me not worrying much about how I keep up with the frantic pace, as my pace is currently less than frantic. One thing is that "three setters" are largely a thing of the past for me. I mostly work with acts that do a "show" (75 to 90 minutes) as part of a concert or at a festival. There are cuertainly survival techniques like learning how to power nap, and take care of yourself whilst travelling. The nap is king!

    My excuse is, I have no alternative. I am chronically unemployable outside of music. Good thing I have a nice girlfriend, too!
  11. The Kid

    The Kid Member

    Nov 26, 2008
  12. The Kid

    The Kid Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    This too!
  13. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    Monterey, CA
    You HAVE TO develop a different sleep cycle then normal folk ...
    Even on the off (non-gigging) nights ... this is crucial to your health.

    However, this can be difficult when necessary life things can only be done in the daytime...
    then 'napping' takes precedence ...

    Regulating sleep is the number one priority ...
    Then you'll be able to keep your sanity & health pretty much in tact.

    Sometimes I'll even do my Tai Chi practice when my lady & the animals are fast asleep ...
    That's after a gig ....
  14. andybaylor

    andybaylor Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    The sleep mask is your friend. The afternoon nap is crucial.
  15. jcarpenter

    jcarpenter Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Philadelphia Area
    +1 on rest/nap and exercise. Also reduce stress by simplifying your rig. I thought I would loose some tone by removing pedals and going to a 1x12 combo but I gained a better signal by using a smaller pedal board through a 1x12 Fender Concert. I can grab everything I need in one trip.

    I plug two power chords in first one from my small pedal board and one from my amp. Pull out my collapseable guitar stand from the back of the amp and set my guitar up. Plug one cable into the amp and the other in the guitar. 10 min set up. The break down is just as easy.

    The gigs I play have house sound or we hire a sound company so that fact that I don't have to haul a pa is big. That's what wears you out. If you can avoid the stress of worring about a pa and simplify your equipment. You will save a lot of energy and stress.

    If you do use a Pa I would go with a small powered system or even a those Bose towers if you can afford it.
  16. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do", right?


    a truth, in my life; i concur with most of what joe has said, here.

    it seems like i've had jet-lag, domestic-lag & gig-lag for my entire lifetime;
    i can't remember having a regular, regulated schedule, anymore.

    while i have project-oriented regimens
    --- gigs, tours, studio gigs, writing, mixing, films ---
    my life has been, well..... regularly irregular.

    as well:
    at almost 60yrs old, i still seem to need to "pull all-nighters"
    --- real ones ---
    in the studio,
    when hardcore deadlines are at hand.....
    usually 3-4 times per month, every month.

    on films, i almost always work in the studio at least 14-hr days, and the final approx. 2 weeks
    of every film-score usually requires considerably more time than that;
    the end of each project is a bit like writing music while running a marathon while organising a new database & playing a game of multi-dimensional chess.

    these are some of the more regular things i attempt to do, in order both to maintain my concentration & what little good-health/energy i have:

    1) short naps, if possible; if i'm too hyped-up to nap, i read something totally distracting for a few minutes, or meditate (see #8).
    2) quick walks, at some point during the day, if possible; best for me is about 2 miles, but..... if there isn't time, i'll walk shorter distances.
    3) when simultaneously traveling hard (car/plane/train/etc), i always use stairs, not elevators etc: whenever possible.
    4) i try to EAT WELL, to eat fresh & unprocessed foods, focusing on the fresh fruits & veg, balanced meals; get enough protein. if i've really gotta go for days on end, i'll eat small amounts of natural/organic raw or dried/cured meats, daily.
    5) i either don't indulge (or, over-indulge) in intoxicants, except for
    6) espresso, espresso, espresso --- balanced with drinking water & occasionally healthy, non-fatty/low-sugar snacks. i drink a lot of espressi.
    7) i don't think about how fatigued i might actually be.
    8) i do regular, short meditations, or take "quiet-times"; 5-10 undistracted minutes can work for me.



  17. andybaylor

    andybaylor Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    This is great list. #2 and #4 hit home for me.

    I find myself in the best creative zone after a good walk.
  18. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    OKC, OK
    I've played 550+ 3-hr shows over the last almost 5 years, all while working a very stressful and demanding 8-5 corporate job.

    I've always been almost completely incapable of napping and have always had trouble sleeping, regardless of how tired I am. I average about 4-5 hours of sleep whether I gig or not, with an occasional blessed 8-hour night.

    I do it because I love it. When I don't love it anymore, I'll stop. It is what it is.
  19. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    Boston, MA
    Everything on David's list, but I don't do much travel and don't keep near the schedule he does (although we are about the same age), so these hit home most for me:

    In addition, I find regular exercise makes a big difference. When I'm not on a regular schedule of that, I feel it on the gig in a big way - it's like night and day. It's tough to make time for it, but you just gotta find the time.

  20. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Close to the burn zone
    Thanks for sharing that David.

    I would imagine that the fact that people are drawn to you and your skills
    can really help overcome such an irregular sleep schedule. Love goes a long ways.

    Couldn't do the extreme expresso thing tho

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