Playing At School


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06-13-2007, 12:29 PM
Firstly I have read Dutch Apples thread on setting up a gig, but this concert is completely different circumstances than he describes.

I'm currently in a 3 piece band (I'm also getting another band going this weekend) and we've been together for about 8 months but had a lot of singer troubles, writing song troubles and the departure of a couple of members, meaning we havn't played live.

Sadly, our bassist is moving back to america this summer, so we are planning on saying goodbye in the best way we can.

At our school (me and the bassist) we have a reasonably large assembly hall, and are planning on holding a mini concert there.

We asked our headteacher about it today and got the reply ''of course, i don't see any problem with that''

So we've got it free on the last day of school, after the school day finishes. We've agreed that for both of our convience, and theirs, we will be supervised by a couple of teachers, who we still have to ok it with but i am pretty confident (one of them used to play in a punk band and is signed to a record deal making synth music, the other is supportive and frequently asks about how the band is going)

The rest is down to us, I'm just asking for general tips and advice on it. The school has a PA and a couple of mics that we will use, along with the stage big enough for all of us to play on easily. I've chosen one of my friends with some experience to do lights, and another on to just check the mixer and help with sound.

If it means anything we're a pop-punk band, all of us 15, and we are planning on playing for about 45 minutes- all covers. There might be around 50-70 people there.

Have you got any advice for things to watch out for in setting up, and any advice for how to make the performance enjoyable?

Sorry that this was so long, I don't expect many people to read it all, bu it'd be appreciated.

06-13-2007, 12:35 PM
Make sure you use amps that are suitible for the size of the hall, or beg steal and borrow to get them.

Getting a good mix on stage and on the floor can be tricky. (We recently did a gig at the school with a full PA and foldback and it was still not all that great).

Also know your songs well enough that you dont have to stop. As long as its loud and you keep a good pace going people dont mind too much about accuracy etc.

06-13-2007, 12:43 PM
The three main things are to be in tune, in time, and in balance (volume wise). Tuning you can sort by making sure everyone's instruments are in tune before you go on. Timing is really down to practice, but don't drink a lot because it will screw up your timing (I don't drink anyway, and playing in school you probably won't either). To sort balance out, get in the hall before it's full of people, take a couple of friends, and sort out levels. I played in a battle of the bands with five or six bands on, so we didn't get a chance play during soundcheck, and it is really hard to get the right volumes for everyone without some tweaking.

Setlist-wise you've probably learned all your songs already, but I'd say open and close with something well known and fast paced, and put any slower songs in the middle of your set. That way you get people's attention, and then build up their excitement until your final song, so you create a memorable ending.

I think you should do down well playing punk, at said battle of the bands (which was in our school hall for 15-16 year olds, like yours), we did two songs. Fly Away, by Lenny Kravitz, was way more technical, I took a solo, and to me sounded better. But afterwards it turns out the the Alkaline Trio song we did went down way better with the crowd, and they really got jumping for that one. I think energetic power chords get people going.

Good luck with this :)

06-13-2007, 12:46 PM
tape cables to the ground. Dont wanna trip.

06-13-2007, 12:51 PM
Ah thanks a lot so far :)

06-14-2007, 03:28 AM
If you got anything from my article, make sure you remember to not change the line up.

It will also look more professional if you have one of the supervisors introduce each band. Share drum sets for less time, although you should make sure the drum set you use is actually worth playing on.

Leper Affinity
06-19-2007, 09:47 AM
although you should make sure the drum set you use is actually worth playing on.


My drummer has a $1,000 Pearl Pro drum kit with nice Sabian cymbals

We did a public gig and they asked us not to bring the kit or cymbals

The kit they provided was like a $300 or $400 starter kit with no padding in the bass drum, and my drummer had to hold back because he was afraid to break the cymbals they had set up. The high-hats locking mechanism didn't even work well.

I think the most important pieces of equipment for a show are a good drum kit, good PA, and good mics. You can adjust pretty poor amps and guitars/basses and still sound alright, but a completely dead or un-tuned drum kit, mics that feed back, and horrible FOH speakers + monitors = horrible gig.

06-19-2007, 04:12 PM
you should make sure the drum set you use is actually worth playing on.

Thats a big one. I played a really small gig once and I used someone elses drum set, and there were loads of problems with it. The cymbals were ok, but only because I brought mine. The drums themselves were horribly out of tune, werent taken care of, and they were ****ty to begin with. The I had to constantly tighten the stands so they didnt fall, and the tom mounts didnt hold up. There was nothing on the bass drum to dampen it, so It sounded like ****.

Definitely make sure your set is good.

And if you don't know the other drummer very well, don't let him play your set.

06-19-2007, 04:21 PM
Relax. Don't speed up because you're nervous. Enjoy it. Good luck! :)