September 30, 2015
Even if your organizational skill matches your amazing musical skill, there eventually will be a gig that was predestined to humble you. We’ve all been there looking frantically through a gig bag hoping that the “one” thing that is desperately needed will magically appear, that another musician will have it in their bag or a music store is right next door. Either way, you either have to make do, succumb to failure or forever owe someone for saving the night.
There is a simple way to avoid the stress, have a great show and sometimes be the one that is owed the favor. Be prepared. Not just a motto for the Boy Scouts it is a mark of a truly professional musician.
Preparation starts with a healthy dose of mild paranoia tempered by a “what can go wrong that I can fix” mentality. Hurricanes, sinkholes or falling ceilings are not in your purview. Bad cables, blown amps and broken strings are.
So let’s keep it real, or in better words, let’s keep it portable. Portable can vary depending on strength of back and transportation. Regardless, there are some items that are must haves for every professional.
I know what you are thinking, “how can I pack all that?” The list is long, but except for the cables, most of the essentials take up little space. Finding a good quality bag and using the travel size of the toiletry items makes transporting all this easier. Organizing small items in zip lock bags and labeling them with your always handy sharpie keeps them close at hand. Winding gaffers tape on your drink bottle keeps tape handy and saves weight.
Also you can organize an extra small bag if you often play gigs that have backline and you don’t need to bring the big bag out. Being prepared you can have the small bag packed with essentials like picks, strings, toiletries and tools etc. This also gives you a backup to your backup in the back of the car.
If you drive to most of your gigs have a small, affordable amp head that can be stored in your ride. Heck, you never know when you or someone else may need it.
November 06, 2023
One of the most misunderstood things in mixing is bass – whether it’s getting the low end right in general, letting the bass guitar cut through without overpowering everything else, or just making the bass interesting and cool. It can be tricky to get it right, but there are plenty of tried-and-true tricks for getting there quickly. Let’s go over a few of those.
October 30, 2023
Some of the great guitar-playing artists were self-taught – which means a great many of them use weird tunings. That’s probably no coincidence – using alternate tunings is a great way to come up with a unique sound. So, let’s look at a few of the most common uncommon tunings you could try with your guitar – or your bass.
October 23, 2023
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