Playing A Gig Survival Guide

author: MattCox12345 date: 12/13/2012 category: the guide to
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Playing A Gig Survival Guide
What to do and what not to do at a gig and general tips and advice.

Checklist Of Gear/Tools:

1. Spare guitar and strap: You never know when your guitar will fail or when your strap will break. 2. Spare strings: See article "Top 10 Onstage Embarrassments". 3. Tuner: See article "Top 10 Onstage Embarrassments". 4. Batteries: The last thing you need before you start your solo is realising that your Wah doesn't have a battery. 5. Spare Picks: Unless you play with your fingers, bring at least 5 spares and put them in your pocket. Every guitarist's nightmare is dropping a pick. 6. Cables: This is the most important part. Bring a cable long enough to cover the stage, unless you want to sit next to your pedal board playing through a patch cable.

To Do List:

1. Turn your amp on about 5 minutes before the start: This lets the tubes warm up before you start your gig. 2. Tune EVERY guitar: Even if you think you'll never use your backup, tune it. You don't want to keep your audience and band waiting while you tune. 3. Check all gear and sound: Especially guitarists. check all amps, guitars and pedals during the soundcheck so you can make sure some pedals aren't louder than others, unless it's meant to be like that. Check some guitars don't have their volume down. And check that all amps are ON. 4. Take some water onstage: NOT ALCOHOL, Water. You'll never think you'll need it but you'll realise that onstage your mouth goes dry, for no apparent reason. 5. Write your setlist: Write it down on about 5 pages and put them all around the stage: On the side of your amps, on feedback speakers, on the floor beside your pedal board, etc. You need to know what to play next and you can't just run to the other side of the stage to check the list. Put them EVERYWHERE.


1. Drink lots of alcohol before going onstage. 2. Forget to say the name of your band or yourself between songs: Tell people who you are, get your name out there. 3. Think you can share gear: I've done this before and I'll never do it again. I was at a local music store before a gig that night. I needed strings and picks, but I thought I could just borrow from my rhythm guitarist because he always brings more than he ever needs. When I arrived he brought 1 pick and no spare strings. 4. Take alcohol/cigarettes onstage with you: Unless you're playing a huge stadium gig, don't take this stuff onstage. It looks bad if you're playing in a bar/club with a cigarette in your mouth. 5. 'Shred' during the soundcheck: The PA Engineer doesn't like it when you do this, play a few chords or some of your riffs. But don't play solos, they don't like it.
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