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10 Observations & lessons after first gig.


EuroAussie

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So we finally did our first gig at a small expat pub here in Prague. Attended by a whole 15, but appreciative souls. We played 21 covers and generally had a blast, even though we screwed up a couple tracks but I guess that can be expected at a first gig. I played both my SWD and Furch OM.

 

Here a few intersting observations post gig that I thought would be fun to share:

 

(1) Soundcheck is really important. Its so crucial to get a feel for the venue as we could not believe how much echo was at this place, and pretty quicksmart we had to change the settings on the amp and preamp.

 

(2) Cables, cables cables. When you're stuck in a small corner all the cables suddenly get in the way and pile up right next to you like a snake pit. Very annoying.

 

(3) You are going to get dings on your guitar. I just took a small chip off my SWD's headstock after hitting my partners stool. Get used to it.

 

(4) Any 'cheat notes' you prepare in advance will be forgotten and you will basically just 'roll with it'

 

(5) It can be dark in some places. Hence it was a really good last minute idea to bring Mr Brighty Bright with me, an lcd lamp which without i would not be able to see my Aura settings at all !

 

(6) A mikestand 'beer glass' holder is a great idea.

 

(7) Its the songs you think you know the best are the ones you are most likely to screw up. The two songs we never ever got wrong we totally screwed up last nite when i went into chorus and my partner in verse. We figured that we probably concetred too much on the harder tracks and took these for granted. Good lesson.

 

(8) Its OK to screw up a song as long as you have fun with it and the audience will have fun with it too and forgive you.

 

(9) After two hours of playing we could have played for another hour ... if only we had the material.

 

(10) Have fun out there and really enjoy the moment !

 

Anyone else can relate to these little ... observations ?

 

Tomorrow (saturday) we have a much bigger gig and this was a great warm up. I should have video from that gig which i look forward to sharing with you, in the meantime here's a few pics from last nite.

 

http://www.reverbnation.com/taylorprague#!/page_object/page_object_photos/artist_1008341?sel_photo_id=3579819

 

cheers,

Mark

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Congrats on the first gig Mark.

 

Good observations and I agree with them all, especially the beer glass holder. A recently had a pint of London Pride go walkies down the back of my amp - no damage luckily.

 

Looking forward to some video and good luck with the next one.

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Congratulations on the first performance. You ask for response :

 

# 1 – Sound-check is there for a reason. Try out all extremes within your show - highs, lows, sensitives, wilds, difficults.

Remember acoustics can change when an audience pack the room.

 

# 2 – Keep the wires as straight and simple as possible. Don't get lassoed up there.

 

# 3 – Good idea not to bring too fragile instruments. You're right, get used to what Buc called 'proud battle scares'.

 

# 4 – Sure thing. Go with the flow, but don't loose track. Maybe try and keep a few guide-marks.

 

# 5 – You need light ? – Get rid of the stand in front of you. It's for 'mothers-boys'.

 

# 6 – Is it, , , find a small sacred spot on the stage-floor – f.x. against the end of an amp – and keep your glas-ware there.

 

# 7 – As beginners you must concentrate in every bar of every song. (Later you can spend time planing your holidays while delivering – a good sign it's time to stop). The situation is extraordinary and there's probably loose monkeys within the gig here and there.

 

# 8 – Don't fall to pieces when making minor errors, but Laurel goin' to verse, Hardy goin' to chorus isn't the way forward. It's okay to make a mistake or 2, , , then again is it ?

Support each other, but drive yourselves hard.

 

# 9 – You guys got the right spirit - it's heard on your home-recordings too. Have a little box with extras in the back of your minds and allow yourself to play them freer.

 

# 10 – Yep ! (and then there's all the rest)

 

You found the right name. . . Good luck tonite !

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Thank you very much for the cool feedback !

 

BTW: Em7 is one of my favourite chords ..

 

Congratulations on the first performance. You ask for response :

 

# 1 – Sound-check is there for a reason. Try out all extremes within your show - highs, lows, sensitives, wilds, difficults.

Remember acoustics can change when an audience pack the room.

 

# 2 – Keep the wires as straight and simple as possible. Don't get lassoed up there.

 

# 3 – Good idea not to bring too fragile instruments. You're right, get used to what Buc called 'proud battle scares'.

 

# 4 – Sure thing. Go with the flow, but don't loose track. Maybe try and keep a few guide-marks.

 

# 5 – You need light ? – Get rid of the stand in front of you. It's for 'mothers-boys'.

 

# 6 – Is it, , , find a small sacred spot on the stage-floor – f.x. against the end of an amp – and keep your glas-ware there.

 

# 7 – As beginners you must concentrate in every bar of every song. (Later you can spend time planing your holidays while delivering – a good sign it's time to stop). The situation is extraordinary and there's probably a loose monkeys within the gig here and there.

 

# 8 – Don't fall to pieces when making minor errors, but Laurel goin' to verse, Hardy goin' to chorus isn't the way forward. It's okay to make a mistake or 2, , , then again is it ?

Support each other, but drive yourselves hard.

 

# 9 – You guys got the right spirit - it's heard on your home-recordings too. Have a little box with extras in the back of your minds and allow yourself to play them freer.

 

# 10 – Yep ! (and then there's all the rest)

 

You found the right name. . . Good luck tonite !

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(2) Cables, cables cables. When you're stuck in a small corner all the cables suddenly get in the way and pile up right next to you like a snake pit. Very annoying.

I am so sick of standing on cables. But there are only two remedies I can think of: a bigger stage (not going to happen) or a wireless system. I have seriously considered a wireless rig, but it seems kinda dumb to plug an acoustic guitar into a wireless system, into a DI box, into a PA. Seems to defeat the idea of "acoustic."

 

(3) You are going to get dings on your guitar. I just took a small chip off my SWD's headstock after hitting my partners stool. Get used to it.

Yep. I always played cheapo acoustics. Then when a steady gig showed up, I thought maybe I needed a "good" guitar; so I purchased a brand new J-200, went out and at my first gig with it, realized I spent most of my time worrying about dinging it - which is, of course, inevitable. I've gotten over it for the most part, but there are still a few "good" guitars I wont gig with.

 

(4) Any 'cheat notes' you prepare in advance will be forgotten and you will basically just 'roll with it'

So true. Funny how it seems.

 

(6) A mikestand 'beer glass' holder is a great idea.

I used to love those things, but I found it doesn't take much to wobble a stand enough to spill beverage everywhere. They're great for bottles; dangerous for pint glasses.

 

(8) Its OK to screw up a song as long as you have fun with it and the audience will have fun with it too and forgive you.

Too few musicians realize this. Folks in cafes/pubs are there to be entertained, not hear a recital. My band's audience likes when we mess up because we crack jokes about it, and people like to laugh.

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Good observations! Welcome to the performing acoustic players union!!! I think the two that jumped out at me were: the drink holder(a must-have item), and dings on your guitar. I always gig with my SongBird and she's gotten some battle scars. No matter how hard you try to keep from beating the hell out of your guitar, you're gonna get tagged time to time. The only time I gig with my SJ is performing solo. Everytime you gig you'll have a new list! After a while, you'll have it down where it's a piece of cake setting up. Makes you have a whole new appreciation for good "roadies" and "sound techs", huh?!!! BTW, congrats on your performance!

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Small observation from my very limited experience - be prepared, after you've left the stage, to have one or two folks come up to you to compliment you on your performance. It might help to have a few 'rehearsed' responses that are gracious and appreciative. To avoid stammering due to being tired, brain dead and having emptied all the pint glasses on all the mike stand holders.

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Small observation from my very limited experience - be prepared, after you've left the stage, to have one or two folks come up to you to compliment you on your performance. It might help to have a few 'rehearsed' responses that are gracious and appreciative. To avoid stammering due to being tired, brain dead and having emptied all the pint glasses on all the mike stand holders.

 

Indeed !

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It's sounds like you are off to a great start. Allow me to share a few things others shared with me when I was first starting.

 

1) Accept the fact that sometimes the sound is going to suck. The room changes when people come in, inexperienced sound men, poor equipment, etc. Get over it and play.

 

2) Don't look at your band mate when he makes a mistake. The majority of the audience will not even notice the mistake unless someone on stage calls attention to it. If you make a mistake, don't make a face or look around, just keep going.

 

3) Drinking is for the audience and for you when the show is done. An inebriated band plays bad, makes bad decisions, gets stiffed on their money, and loses gigs.

 

4) Looking like a musician is important, but not near as important as being one. Clothes do not make the man.

 

5) Be responsible. Be on time, have your material ready, be polite to the staff, start on time, don't take too long on breaks, quit when you are suppose to. The band that is dependable and easy to work with is the band they hire again.

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It's sounds like you are off to a great start. Allow me to share a few things others shared with me when I was first starting.

 

1) Accept the fact that sometimes the sound is going to suck. The room changes when people come in, inexperienced sound men, poor equipment, etc. Get over it and play.

 

2) Don't look at your band mate when he makes a mistake. The majority of the audience will not even notice the mistake unless someone on stage calls attention to it. If you make a mistake, don't make a face or look around, just keep going.

 

3) Drinking is for the audience and for you when the show is done. An inebriated band plays bad, makes bad decisions, gets stiffed on their money, and loses gigs.

 

4) Looking like a musician is important, but not near as important as being one. Clothes do not make the man.

 

5) Be responsible. Be on time, have your material ready, be polite to the staff, start on time, don't take too long on breaks, quit when you are suppose to. The band that is dependable and easy to work with is the band they hire again.

 

Excellent advice, particularly the bit about mistakes. I shall be forwarding this to my own playing partner who does tend to look at me quite a bit! [blink]

 

I do like a beer while I'm playing but no more than 1 or 2 pints throughout an evening. If I'm driving, 1 is fine. I agree, guitars and too much alcohol are not a good mixture - been there too.

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Excellent advice, particularly the bit about mistakes. I shall be forwarding this to my own playing partner who does tend to look at me quite a bit! [blink]

 

I do like a beer while I'm playing but no more than 1 or 2 pints throughout an evening. If I'm driving, 1 is fine. I agree, guitars and too much alcohol are not a good mixture - been there too.

 

 

Yes, great advice. Agree on the dont make faces after mistake. I didnt look at my my bandmate but i still made a cringe, which now looking back at the video was really not required ..

 

I should make an edit of the video and have something here soon from saturday nights show, which by the way was very cool.

 

cheers.

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...

(9) After two hours of playing we could have played for another hour ... if only we had the material.

...

 

Who needs more material? Just start again at the top of the set. After two hours, most have just walked in or are too wasted to know the difference? [sneaky]

 

Yup musicians are the last ones they consult with when carving up the real estate. I've never know a bass player yet who hasn't had to move 2 amps and crawl over half a drum kit to go to the bathroom.

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