How much instrument-switching is too much at gigs?


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xFilth
01-05-2010, 09:01 AM
Hello!

My band's first real gig (80's-90's theme party = cover-songs) is coming up in about 2 weeks, and we've just decided on our final setlist, order, etc

Now, the thing is with this band, that we don't have a strict guitarist/bassist... Myself and the other guitarist (You might know him as Våd Hamster around here) are playing bass alternately on our covers (No, we won't elect one person as bassist or guitarist - We both love playing both guitar and bass, and we're not just guitarists playing guitar on a bass:))

So, take a look at our setlist and tell me if you think there's too much switching between us... Tbh, we should be able to do it pretty fast, and our vocalist can probably fill the gap with talking/joking, but Im wondering if this will break our "flow", if we do it too much? (general feedback on the setlist is welcome as well :) )

Setlist ( (M) means I play guitar - (L) means he does) :

Beverly hills 90210 theme rearrange (M)
Blur - Song 2 (M)
Muse - Stockholm Syndrome (L)
Dizzy mizz lizzy - Glory (L)
Red hot - Give it away (M)
Porcupine Tree - Shallow (M)
Nirvana - Smells like teen (M)
Metallica - Enter Sandman (L)
Alice in Chains -Them Bones (L)
Motorhead - Ace of spades (M)
Rush - Interlude = YYZ/MalNar (M)
SOAD - Toxicity (L)
Muse - Supermassive (L)
Audioslave - Cochise (L)
Dizzy Mizz Lizzy - Rotator (L)
DAD - Everything glows (M+solo by C)
Alien Ant Farm - Smooth criminal (M)
Pantera - Cowboys from hell (M)
Kashmir - Jamie Fame Flame (L)
Red hot - Suck my kiss (L)
Franz Ferdinand - Take me out (L)
Pearl Jam - Even Flow (L)
Pulp Fiction rearrange- Misirlou (M)
Dizzy Mizz Lizzy - Waterline (M)
Spice girls - wannabe rearrange (L)
Encore: Muse - Hysteria (L)

Any thoughts/comments are appreciated

beatreebor
01-05-2010, 09:16 AM
fat too much switching for such a long set list. people will get bored, adjust the setlist so you play all your songs on guitar then the songs on bass.

rednightmare
01-05-2010, 09:21 AM
+1 to beatreebor

beatreebor
01-05-2010, 09:22 AM
a thank you.

Douglas Furs
01-05-2010, 09:23 AM
I agree and to be honest the set is way to long anyway. What does it time in at, 90 minutes?

For a first real gig 90 minutes is an eternity especially when you're only playing covers.

Necrotise
01-05-2010, 09:24 AM
Franz Ferdinand - Take me out isnt an 80's/90's song as far as i know its 00's. And i think it looks a bit odd and possibly unprofessional that you keep switching. IMO you should just make your mind up and stick to one instrument or the other, if all else fails flip a coin fgs.

xFilth
01-05-2010, 09:24 AM
Yeah, I figured its might be a tad much switching - we might have to revise the order (or maybe just try it like this and use our experiences to make a better decision next time... dunno)

Any others?


About the time... That's how long were hired to play (to elaborate: this is a party at our old highschool - there will be different places with different music - the live-stage were playing at - a disco-place and some other shit. So people can leave and join as they will - they arent nailed to benches), so yeah :) We just gotta play music people know... And Im aware that a lot of our music isnt 80/90's-music - but we just figured theres too much good recent party-music to let it go

thedamon
01-05-2010, 09:36 AM
I would at least go four numbers before switching back. Switching slows the flow of your set. Try breaking it into quarters or even a third to limit the times that you switch instruments.

jfbrown42
01-05-2010, 10:05 AM
I'd break it up into 2 or 3 sets and do the switches between sets.

Myshadow46_2
01-05-2010, 10:18 AM
Who is C?

If you can switch quickly then there isn't a problem. If you can't switch quickly then you're both cack handed friggers.

There shouldn't be a problem.

xFilth
01-05-2010, 10:22 AM
Who is C?

If you can switch quickly then there isn't a problem. If you can't switch quickly then you're both cack handed friggers.

There shouldn't be a problem.

C is the singer/rhythm guitarist, who also needs his 15 seconds of instrumental fame ;)

SomeoneYouKnew
01-05-2010, 11:10 AM
There is absolutely nothing wrong with one switch during the course of a set.
Two switches is pushing it, but still okay.

More than two switches in a set is completely over the line.

Gurgle!Argh!
01-05-2010, 01:02 PM
i think there is nothing wrong with this amount of switching. i mean, it takes about 10 seconds to switch over. and looks really awesome too.

people who think this is a problem are all insane.

Mike1109
01-05-2010, 01:36 PM
I think 2-3 switches at the most is enough, and even that is pushing it. If you and your friend keep switching between guitar and bass every 3 songs it's gonna look pretty amateur. My first thought would be: "look at these idiots who can't settle on which one will play bass"

SomeoneYouKnew
01-05-2010, 01:49 PM
i think there is nothing wrong with this amount of switching. i mean, it takes about 10 seconds to switch over. and looks really awesome too.

people who think this is a problem are all insane.Nah, you're just trolling.


Voiced your opinion about the topic? Fine.
Gave a reason for your opinion? Even better.
Making ad hominem remarks to discredit others' opinions? Shut your pie-hole. :peace:

Black Star
01-05-2010, 01:53 PM
I'd say maybe two switches.

kumamilesbear
01-05-2010, 03:03 PM
IMO you should just make your mind up and stick to one instrument or the other, if all else fails flip a coin fgs.
I can't really agree with this. In my band it's the same thing, except we play mostly originals. We DO organize our set so we switch no more than three times a set, usually only once or twice.

To answer the original question: it's far too much switching. Re-organize and simplify.

Afterhours
01-05-2010, 03:47 PM
I'd break it up into 2 or 3 sets and do the switches between sets.

^
This................

LastN00b
01-05-2010, 05:40 PM
I would just order the songs in such a way so that there's a bunch with you on guitar followed by a bunch with him, instead of switching off all the time.

I_Pwn
01-05-2010, 06:36 PM
I would say stick to one instrument. Stopping a set to change instruments is one of the most annoying things to watch in my opinion.

Babbs
01-05-2010, 06:48 PM
my band switches a lot, mostly between guitar/keys/drums, and as long as you can do it fast, it's not really a problem. just have someone designated to talk during the switches, or fill them with little instrumental passages (as long as they're interesting).

Gurgle!Argh!
01-06-2010, 11:02 AM
Nah, you're just trolling.


Voiced your opinion about the topic? Fine.
Gave a reason for your opinion? Even better.
Making ad hominem remarks to discredit others' opinions? Shut your pie-hole. :peace:

there's nothing trolling about it! i don't make the rules. i'm sorry to have to condemn you all to this, but it is the only explanation. if you go to gigs/play gigs regularly, you cannot be rational and fail to think that this is an acceptable amount of swapping.

it is the rules. sorry.

SomeoneYouKnew
01-06-2010, 11:48 AM
there's nothing trolling about it!people who think this is a problem are all insane.If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...



The point is, if you had any confidence in your own opinion, you'd just let it speak for itself rather that attacking others. Instead, you troll.

Gurgle!Argh!
01-06-2010, 02:43 PM
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...



The point is, if you had any confidence in your own opinion, you'd just let it speak for itself rather that attacking others. Instead, you troll.

trolling means i'm looking for a rise out of people. that is clearly not the case. humour is fun. you should try it some time. sure beats pomposity. comments in jest are what intelligent and interesting people do. it makes conversation a little lighter and more enjoyable.

oh, and fyi, my comment wasn't an ad hominem. it was a tenuous conclusion for the sake of humour. position x is insane, therefore anyone who holds it is insane. an ad hominem would involve me claiming that the position were insane because some people who hold it are insane.

Blind In 1 Ear
01-06-2010, 02:52 PM
i second having longer runs with either on guitar or bass. it does kind of change the pace of the show when you stop to switch or tune up or whatever. honestly, if it were me, i wouldnt care that much. but most people would be like "wtf are they doing? just pick one" i suggest in the future you should have one of you just play bass only. i know you both like to play both. i find bass a lot of fun too. but im better at guitar. whoever is better at bass, play the bass. whoever is better at guitar, play guitar.

ext1jdh
01-06-2010, 02:54 PM
...back on topic....

I recently played in a show where I ended up swapping between vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass and mandolin. It was an enormous pain, not to mention untangling the cables at the end of the show. You're better off keeping to one instrument, then swapping to the second later, only if you have to.

Peaceful Rocker
01-06-2010, 03:26 PM
I don't see the problem in switching as much as you want aslong as the music sounds good..

i mean, do either of you actually enjoy playing bass? One of you is going to wind up being the bassist most likely, you guys have to figure it out

GoodCharloteSux
01-06-2010, 04:32 PM
make teh set list so you guys only switch once as in take all the L on one side of a piece a paper and the M's on the other side and then lump the songs as much together as possible

xFilth
01-06-2010, 04:50 PM
Thanks for all the great input! Keep it coming :)

I don't see the problem in switching as much as you want aslong as the music sounds good..

i mean, do either of you actually enjoy playing bass? One of you is going to wind up being the bassist most likely, you guys have to figure it out

Yeah, we both love playing the bass and guitar alternately, and we are pretty much equally skilled, or at least we compliment each other well!

SomeoneYouKnew
01-06-2010, 05:47 PM
humour is fun. you should try it some time.Yeah, sounds like a great idea.
Lemme know if you ever decide to start posting some. :peace:

Gurgle!Argh!
01-07-2010, 06:43 AM
Yeah, sounds like a great idea.
Lemme know if you ever decide to start posting some. :peace:

http://lolcat.com/pics/seewhatyoudidthereidid.jpg

gald
01-07-2010, 12:33 PM
I'm inclined to both agree and disagree with people saying not too switch too much.

I've seen plently of touring bands who swap instruments constantly during thier set. For example, The Dearhunter uses six members and throughout the course of thier set the only two people who never swap intruments are the drummer and bassist (though for one song they both played hand percussion instruments.)

There are two pianos in the band, and both of those guys also play guitar on some tracks, there's a guy who uses a synth/sampler who also plays a raised kick drum with mallets and guitar. Some songs the main guitarist changes to acoustic, sometimes the singer plays and acoustic etc etc.

The reason it works is they never break flow, most of thier songs have little jams and interludes between them so the crowd isn't distraced by all the changes. Other times they change during breaks while someone is talking to the crowd.

Now if you're just stopping every few songs and there's nothing going on (either someone interacting with the crowd or jamming) even if it only takes 30 secons to change and get settled it's going to be distracting and break up the flow of your set.

QuantumMechanix
01-07-2010, 12:42 PM
there's no reason to switch THAT much. Maybe once or twice, but there's no reason you couldn't rearrange the setlist so you don't have to constantly be switching

slaptasticdave
01-07-2010, 10:46 PM
I've seen plently of touring bands who swap instruments constantly during thier set.

Touring bands generally having guitar techs who bring the guitars to them on stage. I saw Wilco last summer and Jeff Tweedy and Nels Cline switched guitars nearly every song. The techs have the guitars tuned and ready ready to go, all they have to do is plug back in.

That's why it works for the touring bands.

In regards to TS, concentrate your switches so you're doing it as infrequently as possible. Also you're going to want to designate a full-time bassist in the future, your sound will be far more consistent and the other members will lock in together better.

Zycho
01-08-2010, 01:48 AM
If you guys can do it without really messing with the flow I say go for it.

Gurgle!Argh!
01-08-2010, 06:36 AM
Also you're going to want to designate a full-time bassist in the future, your sound will be far more consistent and the other members will lock in together better.

if the rest of the world followed the advice on these forums, it would be a dull place.