When I am not playing gigs, I like to go to live music events of different genres and different levels…after a while, tired of seeing the same things done wrong over and over I thought of writing this short post.
So there you go: 5 mistakes a live musician should never make!
1. Noodling Before/Between Tunes
Very unprofessional, it will make you look like you have been playing for less than a week. It usually also gives away the tune that you are about to play which ruins the surprise effect on the audience. Bad Bad Bad! Even tuning nowadays can be done without making a sound (no excuse to be out of tune ever!).
2. Long gaps between tunes
Oh lord…seen too many times (what are we doing next?). It is ok for a last minute change, but this is the reason why there are setlists!! Each member should have one printed big enough to be read with very little light. Even a last minute show with people you never played with should be as close to a real show as it gets. No setlist? Think of what tune to play next while you are still playing!
3. Being Late
It’s not ‘fashionably late’. It’s just late. And it is not good. You don’t need to be there six hours before a gig, but I find that half hour preceding the start is vital to make sure everybody knows what’s going on, to make last minute changes or to make a good setlist if you are playing a last minute function, and to check that all your gear works.
4. Not bringing spares
You need and extra guitar, extra strings, basic tools to fix a last minute gear problem. Nowadays even a dead amp can be replaced with a small multi-fx with speaker simulator, plugged into a PA…regardelss if you like the tone or not, it will get you to the end of the gig.
Because it is not fun to look at four guys staring at the floor for two hours, no matter how good you music is or great you are. Thank the crowd for coming to your gig, and the staff at the venue…they will remember.