Help with practice sound

Gas Hed

Member
Messages
1,250
Hey folks - I'd appreciate any tips on my practice sound which is generating a LOT of frustration for me. I play guitar for a '90s rock cover band, pulling acoustic and electric out depending on the song. Problem is I can't hear the details of my playing and I end up hacking away to compensate. Here's my set up: I'm running my electric into a tube amp with a 1x12 speaker cabinet that I put on an adjustable tilt stand...I put an extreme tilt on the speaker so it is pointed right at my head. I'm running my acoustic through an effects board and then into a power speaker wedge and I tilt that wedge directly to my head as well. I'm constantly adjusting guitar volume knob when going from an intro where I'm obnoxiously loud to playing in the mix where I get lost. I just feel like all I'm doing is making noise vs. making music.

I'm thinking the problem is that our practice space is small. Room is about 10' x 20' and we've got acoustic drums, another guitar, bass, vocals on a PA. But I'd love to hear your opinions. It's times like this where I'd love to have in ear monitors!
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
29,507
My guess is all you need is to ask the others (guitar, bass… we don’t know what they’re using?) to turn down a touch and maybe put up some plexiglass around parts of the drum kit due to the small space. :dunno
 
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John_M

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,263
Short of turning down, passable in ear monitors are available on amazon for less than $20. They come with their own grievances especially if you sing.

And did you know Throwing Copper came from the band were shooting bb guns behind a club before the album came out, and the manager said "guys we gotta name this album" and Ed said "hey man we're just sitting here throwing copper".
 
Messages
1,346
Hey folks - I'd appreciate any tips on my practice sound which is generating a LOT of frustration for me. I play guitar for a '90s rock cover band, pulling acoustic and electric out depending on the song. Problem is I can't hear the details of my playing and I end up hacking away to compensate. Here's my set up: I'm running my electric into a tube amp with a 1x12 speaker cabinet that I put on an adjustable tilt stand...I put an extreme tilt on the speaker so it is pointed right at my head. I'm running my acoustic through an effects board and then into a power speaker wedge and I tilt that wedge directly to my head as well. I'm constantly adjusting guitar volume knob when going from an intro where I'm obnoxiously loud to playing in the mix where I get lost. I just feel like all I'm doing is making noise vs. making music.

I'm thinking the problem is that our practice space is small. Room is about 10' x 20' and we've got acoustic drums, another guitar, bass, vocals on a PA. But I'd love to hear your opinions. It's times like this where I'd love to have in ear monitors!
Do you have the problem with the electric or just the acoustic?

The problem with practice spaces is the acoustics of the room are going to suck for a few people. It's just the nature of positioning everything, and it turns into a war of people wanting to be louder and louder and louder to hear themselves over the other people in the room.

EQ your amps to the room so that they cut through in the right places. Do it while people are playing. If your amps don't have the right frequencies, buy an EQ pedal. Practice spaces have the tendancy to just overlap frequencies. So find the frequencies that everyone isn't fighting over.
 

Stokely

Member
Messages
1,854
I quit live music for almost two decades and when I came back it was with a literal "garage band"--we practiced in a garage deafening ourselves for the better part of a year. I couldn't hear anything resembling a detail in what I was singing or playing. the garage had sound treatment but it didn't matter--we were too damn loud and it was mainly due to a drummer who was unwilling (and unable) to dial it back.

So quite simply my advice is: save your hearing, and turn down. Or, as mentioned, use in-ear monitors, which will likely require more setup than many like to do for practice. Being in that room and others like it over the years is my biggest regret looking back. Once you lose hearing it ain't coming back.

My current band often practices without a drummer because he has two jobs--and it works very well. If you can get through songs (that he already knows, to be fair) at super low volumes then you *know* that song--you can't hide! I realize bands want at some point to crank up to "gig volume" (which for us is mostly meaningless since we don't use amps) and that's fine. What I recommend is to work through songs at low volume to get the transitions and song structure down. The drummer can hit a chair cushion or something, or use brushes for a bit more volume etc. See what harmonies are working, etc. Then crank it up when everyone is confident in what they are doing. I realize this is a very non-rock-and-roll methodology :D
 




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