What truths have you learned in all your years playing and gigging?

A few of mine are:

1. "Talent" is just practice in disguise.
2. 98% of bands self destruct over a short period of time.
3. You will play your best onstage or off when you don't think, just do.
4. A portable, combo amp with a 10in. speaker goes a lot further in the mix than a Marshall stack...
 
1. "Talent" is just practice in disguise.
The talented ones don’t have to practice that much!

2. 98% of bands self destruct over a short period of time.
Most bands boil down to one or two members the rest are just fill ins.

3. You will play your best onstage or off when you don't think, just do.
I play better in front of a crowd.
4. A portable, combo amp with a 10in. speaker goes a lot further in the mix than a Marshall stack...
Nonsense, a Mesa kills all. Volumes is key. Better to have heavy weapons and not need it than to be buried and not have it.
 
1. Turn off all your pedals during soundcheck to keep the whiners off your back.
2. Try to stay quiet when others are belly-aching.
3. Learn your parts, show up for rehearsal, and help with load-in and load-out.
4. Dress and act like you care about the crowd.
5. The most important thing about the music is the production. Don’t drown out the vocals; pay attention to starts, stops, and dynamics.
6. You are not the most important person in the band.
 
1. If you don't drink you save money, play better, and drive home with impunity.
2. Amps must be played loud. If it's too loud - you have the wrong amp.
3. Light strings are easier and better.
4. Find a good luthier. Yes you can do it yourself, but he's way better than you can ever be.
5. Run your band like a business, but deal with your bandmates as friends.
6. Hire a roady to move your heavy gear. Just do it.
 
Hmm.

In addition to the aforementioned:

  • Don't noodle onstage between songs. Don't noodle during songs.
  • Less is more - in playing, volume, effects levels, gain...you name it.
  • Most musicians think that they have good time and don't need to practice with a metronome. Guess what...
  • Big pedalboards will go wrong
  • Everything else will go wrong as well
  • You cannot rely on the drummer being the anchor
  • Other instruments are just as prone to overplaying as guitarists
  • Some times you've got to take charge and make a musical statement
  • When soloing, create a motif and develop it - don't just get bored and try something totally new. Tell a story in the solo.
  • Please leave your pedals (mostly) alone.
 
Crowds will forgive errors and balls-ups if you style, and smile, it out. Look pissed off with yourself or band mates and they’ll pick up on it and be brought down by it too.

One band I was in would even point and laugh at the person (often me) who made the clanger, who would then take a bow. Made it a shared joke the audience was in on, rather than a calamity they were witnessing.
 
1.) something can and will go wrong - this is the gift of live music!
2.) always have a backup! You don't have time to diagnose a tube amp at a gig....use the backup!
3.) No one gives a crap as to what boutique amp or state of the art modeller you are using
4.) Someone will always ask you if that is a Les Paul (points to my Ibanez) "Yup! Sure is!" ;)
5.) Smile through the mistakes and no one is the wiser!
6.) Have fun because if you aren't then it is not worth it.
 
3. You will play your best onstage or off when you don't think, just do.
I came to the realization that it's kind of like driving. You want to get beyond looking over the hood focused on the roadway immediately in front of the car to the point where you're focusing further down the road 1-300 yds ahead. If you're thinking about the individual notes, you're not playing as well as if you're able to give your attention to where the song is going.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom