Things you learn after quite a few years .. add yours

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  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 2412
    If you need to have the lyrics or chords in front of you, you're not ready to play the song in public.

    Lighting up all the green LEDs on your guitar tuner doesn't mean your guitar is in tune. 

    If you are playing more than a couple of songs, think about how they fit together musically. If they are all in the same key, or at the same tempo, you'll lose the audience's interest.

    Too little gain is never a problem. Too much gain is a very common problem and will mean your guitar sounds like mush.
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 2760
    I tell that to the London Symphony Orchestra every time I go and see them ;) 
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  • grappagreengrappagreen Frets: 1342
    Relax...
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  • borntohangborntohang Frets: 134
    If you can't think of anything useful to play then shut up and try to look intentional, or at the very least to not look like you forgot your homework. Musicians and crowd alike will marvel at your sense of taste and restraint: "Look at all the notes he isn't playing! I bet he's saving up for something good."

    Don't tickle the strings like you're scared of them; you can still play with dynamics, but your quiet parts should be deliberately soft instead of hesitant. If you want practice at maintaining consistent soft strokes then try setting up a very harsh noise gate and seeing how long you can run phrases without triggering it - bring the gate down as you go so you have to play quieter.

    In practical advice, never be the first or last one drinking in a group unless you can name all their partners - if you don't know something basic like that then you might not know them well enough to make a fool of yourself. Once you've slept on their sofa for a week and are godparent to their three children then feel free to throw up in the back of their car/amp/coat hood as much as you like!
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  • stickyfiddle said:
    ...
    I'm with Danny. It's about knowing what works for you and what doesn't. Getting bladdered (or even tipsy tbh) is obviously a bad move, but like any good pub pool player knows you probably perform better after 1 drink and not a drop more. 
    You can probably have a little more.
    Supportact said:
    ...
    That said I was in a band once where we had to impose a pre gig 2 pint limit as at least one of us tended to lose all motor skills after that point. In general though people just have to know their level. 
    Too much!
    Danny1969 said:
    When I was doing the Kate Bush tribute band I had no more than 2 beers or so before the gig and only one in the interval break. That music just demanded a lot of concentration as it was a lot of borrowed chords, key changes, extra bars here and there and other things that could throw you.  
    Far too much!


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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 9709
    I've learnt that you can get away with not being as good at playing guitar/piano and singing if you do them both at the same time
    Please note my communication is not very good, so please be patient with me
    soundcloud.com/thecolourbox-1
    youtube.com/@TheColourboxMusic
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 26942
    Lewy said:
    Less is more, the only folks who care about the number of notes you can play per-second are that knob from the blues jam who needs to learn to turn his amp down and the spotty kid at the back who can’t even play. The rest are here to hear the song, so serve the song not your ego.


    Counter point: used judicially, some flash can really enhance the audience's perception of what they are receiving as a piece of entertainment. People respond to ability too. If you decide that the ability to play fast is just for people who overdo it, you're placing an artificial constraint on yourself. Also, the discipline and practice it takes to be able to do it will benefit every other part of your playing.
    I agree with ‘used judiciously’ which is why I think you’ve missed the nuance of ‘serve the song’. If it requires something flashy then it’s absolutely beneficial to be there and a little flair in small doses, can win a crowd over. But when it’s all over the song and purely about ‘look at me’, then an interesting audience response was the one given by a non-musician friend whilst watching a local player recently: ‘he is actually just masturbating’.
    I agree that a little flash is no bad thing in the right context, often that's as simple as just a guitar raised in the air for a big moment, or a bit of interaction between guitars & singer during a solo, or whatever. 
    The Assumptions - UAE party band for all your rock & soul desires
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 26942
    @digitalkettle Spot on - exactly what I was thinking of :D
    The Assumptions - UAE party band for all your rock & soul desires
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 10401
    Some things I realized when playing larger stages 

    If you aren't playing roll the guitar right down. If you don't  then the guitar will start to resonate through the monitors  / PA and the soundman won't know straight away where it's coming from .... when I'm doing FOH  myself for bands this annoys me. If you aren't playing, roll your volume down especially if you play with a bit of gain. 

    Even if you can hear the drums from where you are just fine have a little bit of hi hat in the wedge if you aren't on ears. This will make sure you don't miss the count for the next song and will also help with staying bang in time. 

    If it's a festival and there's only been a quick line check and the sound is shit onstage then just smile, move around and make out everything is great anywhere. You aren't going to be able to sort out anything soundwise really so you may as well make it look good visually. Chances are the FOH sound out front is a lot better so just keep smiling and make the best of it. 

    If the guy mixing FOH doesn't know your songs then give him visual clues you are taking a solo. Guitar in the air / foot on the monitor might seem a cliche but it's a good visual for FOH. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • ftumchftumch Frets: 681
    I think body adjusts after some time. My drummer is sort of functioning alcoholic, like 10 beers a day. But he takes a piss no more often than us.
    Isn't this a prerequisite for being a drummer?
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  • DannyPDannyP Frets: 1676
    Get phrasing ideas from trumpet and sax players, because those guys need to BREATHE.
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  • stufisherstufisher Frets: 845
    Breathing control. Even now I feel my grip on the neck can get tighter when I'm playing something new or unfamiliar so I consciously focus on my breathing.

    My posture/core loosens up ... my fingers work better and my grip eases ... I regain fluidity and feel better/learn better.

    Also, don't try and learn too much difficult stuff in one go e.g. a difficult solo or challenging chord shapes/changes. When I reach my learning limit I treat myself to playing familiar stuff or just free-form noodling so that I always end a sesh in a good mood.
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  • hollywoodroxhollywoodrox Frets: 4137
    I've learnt that you can get away with not being as good at playing guitar/piano and singing if you do them both at the same time
    Exceedingly useful information
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 26942
    I've learnt that you can get away with not being as good at playing guitar/piano and singing if you do them both at the same time
    Exceedingly useful information
    Yep. And as guitarists, let's be honest we're 10 a penny, so even if you're really good it's never as easy finding a band as it is for a good bassists or drummer. But if you're the guitarist who can sing harmonies, or help with arrangements, or planning logistics, or running the social media, or just the guy who has a big car who's happy to drive - all of that is value-add. 

    And as Eric Haugen said in last week's video; "You gotta be a good hang". I cannot stress this enough... 
    The Assumptions - UAE party band for all your rock & soul desires
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 3305
    If you're playing live, it's better to set up your fx at volume. That lovely reverb you set up at home may sound over the top or too cavernous when you get to a rehearsal room or gig venue.

    Play with other people as soon as you can hold a basic tune

    As has been said, rhythm is king.

    If you've an OK voice, practise singing backing vocals while playing. It can be currency in a band and so why do it with 5/6 people if it can be done with 4.
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 26564
    There are primarily two differences between professional-sounding and amateur-sounding players: consistent and controlled vibrato, and string muting.
    <space for hire>
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 26942
    There are primarily two differences between professional-sounding and amateur-sounding players: consistent and controlled vibrato, and string muting.
    For high gain stuff, I agree. 

    For the sort of thing I play (edge of breakup, soul, rhythm etc) it's all about timing and playing with a confident right hand all the time. And muting. What you play and don't play (which includes when you choose to stop every note) is massively important 
    The Assumptions - UAE party band for all your rock & soul desires
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 4770
    Less (played in time and in tune) is usually more.
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  • LebarqueLebarque Frets: 3832
    sev112 said:
    1 standard pattern and 2 rules gives you every scale and mode all over the neck
    What is this sorcery you speak of?
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 26942
    I just asked ChatGPT and honestly this ain’t a bad summary. 

    After being in a band for a long time, seasoned musicians often pick up various tricks and insights. Here are some:

    1. **Communication is Key:** Clear and open communication is vital within the band. Discuss expectations, goals, and potential issues regularly.

    2. **Adaptability:** Learn to adapt to different situations, whether it's adjusting to new venues, changing band dynamics, or dealing with unexpected challenges during a performance.

    3. **Versatility in Playing Styles:** Being versatile in playing different styles of music increases your band's marketability and opportunities for gigs.

    4. **Efficient Rehearsals:** Focus on efficient rehearsal techniques. Practice specific sections that need improvement, rather than running through the entire set repeatedly.

    5. **Stage Presence:** Develop a strong stage presence. Engage with the audience, and understand how to connect with them to enhance the overall live experience.

    6. **Tech Savvy:** Familiarize yourself with the technical aspects of sound equipment and instruments. Basic troubleshooting skills can be invaluable during live performances.

    7. **Professionalism:** Maintain a professional attitude in all aspects of your music career, from interacting with venue staff to handling business matters.

    8. **Songwriting Collaboration:** Collaborate on songwriting within the band. Understanding each other's creative process can lead to more cohesive and unique compositions.

    9. **Diversify Income Streams:** Explore various income streams related to music, such as teaching, session work, or producing. This can provide stability and support your passion.

    10. **Health and Well-being:** Prioritize your physical and mental well-being. Longevity in the music industry requires taking care of yourself to sustain a successful career.

    Remember, every band's journey is unique, and these tricks may vary based on individual experiences and musical genres. Adaptability and a continual love for learning contribute to a lasting and fulfilling music career.
    The Assumptions - UAE party band for all your rock & soul desires
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