#1
This thread came to mind over something said in another thread but after so many years of playing I have become somewhat numb to knuckleheaded musicians who have no sense of what I will call "Band Etiquette". You would think that anyone in a band would feel a certain amount of compassion for fellow band mates, but I long ago stopped expecting it. Here are a few of the things I would like my fellow musicians to understand.

1. If you are a singer buy your own microphone and cable (several). This should be
#1 with a bullet.

2. Just because you don't own the PA system doesn't mean you shouldn't help move and set it up before (and especially after) a gig. In most cases the PA was purchased, upgraded and maintained by someone in the band and that person doesn't make any more money from the gig than anyone else. Help as much as possible. Volunteer to take care of certain aspects of setting up and tearing down the system. Learn to appreciate the guy who put up the money and bought it for the bands use to begin with.

3. If you didn't buy the monitor system, stop bitching about it. It wasn't purchased specifically with you in mind and if you have something better that can be used, bring it to the next gig or go buy your own monitor.


4. If the place you are playing has limited room to set up, work it out with the rest of the band. You really can work without that extra speaker cabinet or the other two guitars you planned on using. If you are the drummer you can play without that second kick drum and can get by with only one floor tom. Believe it or not, I've seen it done.

5. If you didn't personally book the job, deal with the club owner, manager or agent who got the band the job, don't become Rodney Dangerfield and start criticizing the place over the microphone. Dispite what you think Mr. Comedian the staff won't think it's funny and the guy who has to go get paid at the end of the night won't appreciate it either.

These are a few of my Band Etiquette thoughts. Got any to add?
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jun 19, 2015,
#2
Quote by Rickholly74
3. If you are a singer buy your own microphone and cable (several). This should be #1.

I definitely agree with this one, and I'm going to take it a step further and say that isn't just a rule for the singer.

I play guitar and do a bit of backing vocals. It's up to me to buy all my guitar kit, including my mic & cables etc.

However, the drummer's bass drum mic needed replacing recently. That got bought out of band funds. If his mic comes from that, why doesn't mine?
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
Last edited by GaryBillington at Jun 20, 2015,
#3
Gary I'm with you. If it's my drum kit, I buy the microphones or go without. If my microphone breaks I'm sure no one will offer to chip in and buy a new one nor would I expect them to. Good one. I moved that to #1 on my list.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jun 19, 2015,
#4
Most band "etiquette" boils down to "be polite, don't be a lazy f*ck, and don't waste the band's money on shit you should be paying for".
#5
Also, does "band etiquette" include keeping my hands off the singer's hot daughter?
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#6
If you are the drummer you can play without that second kick drum and can get by with only one floor tom. Believe it or not, I've seen it done.


What if you're playing metal or hardcore and don't have a double bass pedal?
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#7
Yea point number 1 irks me. each member has to buy all our own gear, yet our singer hasn't bought 1 piece of her equipment.

Having said that though, the band did collectively buy the equipment with gig money, but all we bought was the pa and mics and cables and stands.
Last edited by esky15 at Jul 6, 2015,
#8
I might add some more later, but here's some of my thoughts:

1. With the set up/set down of the PA, it depends on the gig. For covers gigs where I'm always taking a fee to provide the PA, I don't mind if the other guys help or not. For originals, it's appreciated.

2. However on a multi-set bill, if you aren't playing last, it's a good idea for everyone to help everyone else get their stuff off stage quickly to make way for the next band. You can hang out with your mates after.

3. For singers and mics, usually whoever owns the PA will also own their own mics. Most of the singers I've worked with do own their own mics, but sometimes it's simply easier to use mine so that we all end up using the same brand/model of mic - easier for me to mix.

4. Be nice to eachother, respect eachother's opinions and listen.

5. Don't be overprotective of your parts, if a bandmember wants to try out some changes to it, try it out and everyone decide whether it's better or not.

6. Don't confirm a gig as booked until every person in your band has agreed to it.

7. Don't badmouth anyone else in the music scene, be it bands, venues, promoters, managers etc. It'll just make you look bad and hurt your band. If you don't want to work with them, don't work with them.

8. Usually one person in a band will take the lead with organising and promoting gigs. If you aren't this person, ask if you can help out in any way.

9. Practice quiet so everyone can hear eachother's parts. If you are getting drowned out, ask if the offending instrument can turn down, rather than instigating amp wars.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#9
Alan, some good ones. Especially like number 6 and 9.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#10
Oh also of the topic of band expenses, firstly you have to decide whether the band should have a central 'band kitty'. These are not appropriate in cover bands, where the pay is usually divided equally at the end of the night, or where one person is the "band" and the other members are session musicians. In the latter the session guys get paid a 'wage'.

The only situation where the band expenses are used for gear are when you are touring overseas and you NEED to hire some. That's it. For all other personal expenses, you pay for it personally.

Band expenses include the following:

- Insurance
- Advertising
- Recording

These are the types of things that are the expenses of your band. If we were to consider the "drum mic" example above, this is a personal expense, unless each person in the band agreed to buy the mic, they each own the mic equally, and it is sold when the band breaks up or a member who leaves takes their value of the mic with them.

If this sounds like a crappy situation because it will lead to potential arguments and there will be no money for recording/advertising etc, that's because it is a crappy situation. Don't do it
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
Last edited by AlanHB at Jul 1, 2015,
#11
Alan, I'm with you on a band fund. I have never found this to be successful but I have seen it cause immense friction in a band. As an example I decided many years ago that I would own the PA system so I was not influenced in either my choice of equipment or trying to talk anyone else into "contributing" to the PA cost. I just made it clear that if you want to rely on my PA I would appreciate that you don't abuse it and help move it.

The problem with a band fund occurs when someone leaves the band (through their own design or the bands decision). I know it should be "we're all in this together so let's get along" but when it come to money issues my experience is a band fund just leads to problems.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jul 2, 2015,
#12
Yeah I also own a PA. I never wanted to co-own it with anyone, so just paid for it myself and charge the banda fee for use of it. The fee is proportionate to the total amount the band is paid, and always ends up cheaper than hiring it from someone else, so everyone ends up happy.

The band kitty can work, but it's something that needs to be discussed between the members, and used for the limited purposes that you have agreed to.

When someone leaves they get thwir share of the kitty, but as you've pointed, things get really messy when the 'band' buys gear.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#13
As far as band etiquette goes for my band, we usually talk the most about how we present ourselves when we're playing live, doing an interview, interacting with other bands, or even just practicing somewhere where people can hear.

1. Even if the other bands on the bill are a bunch of tools, we will at least be nice to their faces.

2. All of us have to approve before we commit to something like a gig or group recording.

3. Showing up late to anything without giving notice is highly frowned upon.

4. Having a beer before the set is fine. Being trashed is not. If you want to get trashed do it after the show and do it somewhere else so you're not drunkenly yelling things at the other bands or trying to communicate with the organizer/owner.

5. Thank anybody you know who shows up to see you, and be polite to anyone new who talks to you afterwards.

6. Dress like you're in a band when playing live, especially for anyone who isn't behind the drumset. This is actually part of a bigger discussion we've been having on our image and how we should present ourselves. Most of it is kind of unspoken and common sense, like we won't go onstage wearing cargo shorts, anything weird and gimmicky, fedoras or other stupid hats.

7. Don't make terrible jokes/try to be funny between songs onstage. This one came up one time and was mainly directed at me actually. But in general we usually try to go over the things we might say between songs, at what points we'll talk for a little, and when it's ok to talk for a little longer, rather than improvising that completely.
Last edited by ironmanben at Jul 2, 2015,
#14
^^^ Good points dude!

Just in relation to:

5. Thank people - also thank the people who put on the gig, bar manager, bar staff, promoter, sound guy etc.

7. Doing stuff between songs - depends on the gig, some lend themselves more to talking than others. That said, we mark on our setlists where we talk between songs and those that we don't and go straight into the next one. If you watch your favourite bands, they'll tend to talk at the same places, say the same things - it's part of the
performance.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#15
Good stuff. I forgot about the "elephant in the room", the "getting wasted on a gig" syndrome. This is absolutely something I am real sensitive about. I don't practice and work hard at booking gigs to "party". I try to present the band in the best way possible and if you have anyone in the band who can't control their consumption of alternate substances, it can be the boat anchor that drags the band down and causes you to lose gigs. It probably has to do with the fact that years ago I was as guilty as anyone. I have been in too many bands that looked at a gig as an opportunity to party and the idea of actually playing well was an afterthought. I don't care if anyone else wants to work in that kind of band. Just not me.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#16
^ I quit drinking about 15 years ago now, but....

About 20 years ago the band I was in was booked at an all day event. We were scheduled to be on at about 2pm, so I turned up an hour early to have a couple of drinks to warm myself up. The day ran late & the schedule changed, we didn't go on till 5pm when I was completely hammered.

Needless to say I completely screwed the gig up, stumbled around the stage too far from my amp & unplugged myself (probably a good thing by then) and even fell over whilst playing.

The band broke up that night.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#17
Gary, I'm with you. I am sensitive about it now because I was the party animal many years ago and actually ended up being an alcoholic. I even ended up in the hospital for a week long drying out session. That's why I almost hate to bring it up because it's a little hypocritical of me to criticize something I was really guilty of myself but age and experience thankfully led to the conclusion that drinking wasn't good for the musician in me. It's an occupational hazard for musicians who regularly play clubs. In many of the clubs I play you still get that one drink free per set and I can't do just one so I don't do any and haven't for about 25 years.

About 20 years ago I was in a band that had a dream gig (for a club band). We worked for an owner who had three successful clubs all within about 30 miles of each other. He booked us to play every Friday and Saturday at one of his clubs for a full year in advance rotating monthly with two other similar bands moving from one club to another. We even got to set up a day in advance at each club and leave our gear set up on stage all month long. We did this for just over six months and it was great. We were having problems with our bass player partying a little to much and becoming obnoxious to the patrons. One night he told someone who was leaving to "F**k off" (He did it loudly enough that the club manager, the band and almost everyone else in the place heard it). We were fired the next day. I still work with one of the band members and while drinking happens after a gig, we generally don't do it during the time we are playing.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jul 6, 2015,
#18
The only people I ever had a jam with were total idiots. Never played live or anything. If I were to make up band etiquette from those couple of experiences:

1. Do NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT call in a half hour jam session just from the intro riff of ''Seven Nation Army'' by White Stripes. Or any riff for that matter.

2. Do not put your stinking cigarette between the strings on my headstock if you choose to play MY guitar for a while. Smoke your stinking cigarette before even thinking about touching my guitar.

3. Do not bring any ideas to jam on acid or other drugs just because the rules that hang on the door say the word drugs... For obvious reasons...

4. Don't ask me to turn down the gain whilst also implying in an insulting way it's hard for guitarists to play without gain.

5. Do not suggest to play a song I don't like and then don't rehearse it. I was the only one who knew the song even though I was the only one disliking it...
#19
^^^ Wow bad experience dude. Try jamming with some other people, it couldn't go worse.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#20
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ Wow bad experience dude. Try jamming with some other people, it couldn't go worse.

I wish there were other people I know. Everyone I know/knew quit their instrument or is a 24/7 junkie still playing their instrument.

Well perhaps not all junkies are bad at playing. Might give it a shot.
#21
Quote by liampje


4. Don't ask me to turn down the gain whilst also implying in an insulting way it's hard for guitarists to play without gain.


well let's be honest though
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#22
Quote by Hail
well let's be honest though


For me it's no problem. He implied every guitarist is an idiot that jams the gain to 10 and never leaves that channel of the amp while he ofcourse was the superiour, superb drummer that didn't even accentuate the first and third beat even if you told him to do so.
#23
Quote by liampje
I wish there were other people I know. Everyone I know/knew quit their instrument or is a 24/7 junkie still playing their instrument.

Well perhaps not all junkies are bad at playing. Might give it a shot.


Nah junkies suck dude. Jam with people you don't know.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#25
I'm not familiar with your local area, but find wherever musicians ad bands put up ads trying to find members and go from there.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud