Showtime: Getting Started, Part 1

Showtime: Getting Started, Part 1

April 20, 2018

Your moment of truth has arrived. You did your homework and mastered your instrument. You know the material. You walk into the gig looking healthy and professional. So far, you have conveyed to the band that you know what you're doing. That's the good news. The bad news is you can blow it all in spite of your hard work if you don't conduct yourself like a pro. But what does that entail? What are the basic expectations demanded of the whole band, and what pitfalls can make you tarnish the solid first impression you've made? In this article, we'll explore the things you need to know at showtime.

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Professionalism: Getting Started Series

Professionalism: Getting Started

April 13, 2018 3 Comments

Knowing how to handle yourself on the job and understanding what people's expectations of you will be are just as important as the quality of your performance. If you have a good reputation, it will open doors for you. Bands often hire based upon two criteria other than musicianship: your experience, and your demeanor. Until you gain experience, all you have to work with is your demeanor. How professional do you come across, on the phone and on the bandstand?  Are you familiar with the business of music in general? Band leaders and managers also want to see how much you know about the local scene, because until you understand it they can't trust you'll know how to draw consistently and perform up to standards. A big part of that is how well you know and follow the basic rules of paid performance.

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Musicianship: Getting Started

Musicianship: Getting Started

April 10, 2018 3 Comments

Whether you are starting out on your career path as a musician, or you just want to take your band (or yourself) to the next level and play some shows, knowing the basics which are expected on every gig is crucial. Of course, you will need to be a good player too. But the players who get the first call are the ones who understand the job at hand. In this series, we will explore the basic expectations demanded of a professional musician.

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Are Tube Amps Worth It?

Are Tube Amps Worth It?

April 05, 2018 14 Comments

Despite their awesome tones, many musicians shy away from using tube amplifiers, instead opting for solid state alternatives. And that’s not a bad thing- solid state amps can sound great too, and it’s all a matter of preference at the end of the day. There are many perceived downsides to tube amplifiers that make potential users hesitant to make the jump. However, these are not necessarily the deal breakers that many make them out to be.

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Four Gig Items You Should Always Have a Backup For

Four Gig Items You Should Always Have a Backup For

March 23, 2018 15 Comments

No matter how well you take care of your gear, anything can happen at a gig. As any professional roadie will tell you, it’s a full time job making sure that every performance goes off without a hitch. But for those of us who haven’t hit the big time yet, dealing with an equipment malfunction or mishap can be a real showstopper. A great insurance policy for any gig is coming prepared with backup gear.

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Five Tips for Downsizing Your Guitar Rig

Five Tips for Downsizing Your Guitar Rig

March 16, 2018 11 Comments

If you’ve been a musician for some time, it’s likely that you’ve had to downsize your guitar or bass rig for one reason or another. It could be that your band’s tour van was tight on space, or you decided to start using public transportation to get to the gig, or you simply didn’t want to lift a heavy amp anymore. Whatever the reason, switching from a big rig to a smaller one isn’t always easy. While some musicians may revel in their quicker, easier load-ins and saving on chiropractic bills, others may find themselves reluctant to ditch their big rigs. And it’s completely understandable - if you’re going from a head and cabinet setup to a practice amp, for instance, you will notice a difference in sound, just by virtue of having less speakers behind you onstage. But with proper planning, downsizing your rig just may end up working out for the better.

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Six Tips to Help Your Fly Date Go Smoothly

Six Tips to Help Your Fly Date Go Smoothly

March 09, 2018

If you’ve been booked for an out of town gig that you need to fly to, there are special considerations that need to be made. With gigs in town, or even in neighboring cities, it’s as simple as loading up your gear in your car and driving to the venue. Fly dates are a different beast - you have to book a flight, arrange transport to and from the airport, choose a hotel near the gig if necessary, and of course, figure out your equipment situation.

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Guitar Tuner Accuracy- How Accurate is Enough?

Guitar Tuner Accuracy- How Accurate is Enough?

March 01, 2018 6 Comments

When choosing the right tuner for your electric guitar or bass, there are many factors to consider. If it’s for onstage use, the tuner should have a clear enough readout, be rugged in construction, and have the ability to mute your signal while tuning. Looking for the ultimate in portability? Handheld and clip on tuners, are your best choice here. Whichever tuning route you go, a tuner’s accuracy is often a component you will want to consider. While just about any tuner can get you in tune, there are certain instances where having a more accurate tuner is required.

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Jack of All Trades: Build a Modular Pedalboard

Jack of All Trades: Build a Modular Pedalboard Part 3

February 27, 2018 1 Comment

In this last article of the series, we'll put the finishing touches on our modular pedalboard and bring everything together into a finished project. 

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Build a Modular Pedalboard

Jack of All Trades: Build a Modular Pedalboard Part 2

February 23, 2018

In the first part of this series we discovered how to design a modular pedalboard that can be adapted to different gigs on the fly by swapping specialty pedals on separate modules. Now let's put that design into action in building our new pedalboard!

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Jack of All Trades: Build a Modular Pedalboard

Jack of All Trades: Build a Modular Pedalboard Part 1

February 20, 2018

In light of the rapidly growing popularity of boutique guitar pedals, more and more players are finding themselves confronted by the challenge of moving and setting up all those different pedals. Gigging musicians have an even more difficult challenge of addressing a wide variety of venues and styles in an age when almost every gig is a one-nighter. 

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Warning Signs That You Are Overpowering Your Bass Guitar Cabinet

Warning Signs That You Are Overpowering Your Bass Guitar Cabinet

October 03, 2017 14 Comments

Even if you’ve matched your bass head and cab properly impedance wise and set your amp for clean sound, sending simply too much power to your bass cab can result in blown speakers. This often happens when you are using a rig you are unfamiliar with, as we tend to know the limitations of our own equipment and have chosen that setup for a reason. Borrowing another bassist’s amp or using a backline rig only to blow it up is definitely not a great feeling.

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