Warmoth.com darrenriley.com Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups

Warmoth.com darrenriley.com Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups Guitar Pickups

Warmoth.com darrenriley.com Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups Guitar Pickups

Join Strat-Talk Today

Cover Band 101

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by JPGR, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. JPGR

    JPGR Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    28
    18
    Apr 28, 2017
    Massachusetts
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a longtime player who's finally getting out of the apartment and playing in a band setting. I'm the rhythm guitarist and only one in my group that hasn't played bars, pubs, parties, etc. I'll take lead on a few tunes (American Girl, Come Together).

    Long story short, I don't want to look like a total newb in front of my bandmates or sound guy when we start playing out next year. We practice using the Jamhub machine, so we haven't had a chance to mic our amps and mess around with the mix.

    Any advice on what kinds of questions I should be prepared to answer? Here's my gear:

    1. Classic Player 60s Strat
    2. Ibanez TSA15 Combo amplifier (I usually leave the TS engaged with drive all the way down as my base tone)
    3. Joyo Vintage Overdrive (for solo boosts or distortion)


    To start, I don't know if most of you bring your amps to gigs or use the backline gear provided.

    Thanks very much!
     

  2. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 21, 2014
    Santa Maria, CA
    Its been a long time since I played out live but I cannot recall any of the places we played that had a backline of any sort; we had to haul in/out everything we used.
    That being said, your amp may have a hard time being heard in a band setting without being mic'ed.
     
    amstratnut and JPGR like this.

  3. Hendrixlvr

    Hendrixlvr Strat-Talker

    Age:
    44
    343
    Jul 8, 2016
    Mississauga
    Same...we had to haul in our P.A., mics, lights, etc plus all our own personal ‘backline’....we did play one bar that had a house P.A. but it was so horrible and inadequate that we used our own anyway....of course the bars we used to play had duct tape holding the doors together....:confused:
     
    Thrup'ny Bit and JPGR like this.

  4. Vjerilood

    Vjerilood Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    52
    686
    Jul 30, 2017
    USA
    Provided?
     
    cappei likes this.

  5. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 13, 2011
    Music City TN
    Even if/when backline is provided, I want my own amp.

    You need to have a real dress rehearsal where all the capabilities and shortcomings of your gear can be sorted out.

    Scout the gigs for what the stage situation may be.
    Lights ?
    House sound ? House soundman ?
    Load in, load out, stairs, elevator, security ?
    Don't expect anything to go in your favour.
    Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

    If the house provides any equipment/services expect it to come off the top of your take to cover any/all "rentals".
     
    JPGR likes this.

  6. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Certified Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    May 21, 2010
    In my own little world
    I think we may have played the same bars. :D We definitely always hauled all our own equipment.
     
    JPGR likes this.

  7. hornpiper

    hornpiper Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 23, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I can understand your concern, but if you were my kid, seriously, I would tell you not to over worry or fret about it much. Try to keep it simple in your mind, look at the gig as a rehearsal, except you'll all be facing forward playing for people, and probably playing a little louder. On "stage", usually the bass player is next to, or closest to the drummer, on his hi-hat side, be he left or right handed so that they can see each other. Front person in the middle, usually in front of the drummer. The rest of you whatever works best. You say you have a sound guy, so if he knows his stuff, he should have any necessary micing covered. When it gets closer to the gig just ask him if he has mics for the guitar amps if needed, or if you need to bring your own. All you'll need is your guitar, amp, and pedals if you use them. If you sing, bring your mic and stand, unless they're supplied by the band. Make sure you have a spare guitar cable, strings, picks, etc..It's always been a pet peeve of mine over the years, if a bass player, or other guitarist's cord dies, and I have to loan them my extra one. I've thought, what happens if I didn't have mine? If you sing have a spare mic cable too. I sing a lot, so I even have a spare mic with me, because they too, eventually die, like everything else. You said the other guitar player is experienced, ask him/her what amp he/she usually gigs with, and if they do, or usually don't mic their amp.
    If their amp is significantly more wattage than yours, you might have to consider, getting or borrowing a bigger amp? Don't worry too much, every one of us have had their first gig, you'll be just fine, and probably kick ass. If you're just a typical bar band, it's pretty basic. Remember to always face forward as much as possible, try to look like you enjoy being there, and don't stand sideways and look at the band, or worse yet, turn your back to the audience. That's another little pet peeve of mine, when I see inexperienced bands, or some of their band members doing that kind of stuff.
     
    BallisticSquid and JPGR like this.

  8. cappei

    cappei Strat-Talker

    Age:
    28
    169
    Jun 24, 2017
    Quillota, Valparaíso, Chile
    EQ according to what you like. It's a key way to help the sound guy.

    Be ready to not to soud 100%, if the roof it's to high you lose sound, if the crowd is to near, the sound get stomped.

    Get your gear ready, its a drag to have to depend on everybody else. (that means amps, mics, and all the thing you use. Unless you play with more bands and can share. Always find out about the back line, if it does exist, of course

    Get replacement stuff (strings, picks, cables, batteries for pedals in case the cable dies, YOUR OWN SOCKET CABLE!!! in case are not enought or near by sockets

    Don't hide in yourself. Just have fun, that's what people want to see.

    Don't be afraid in being the new guy, we all started somewhere, that doesn't mean you are gonna be a liability, you get your songs rehearsed, your gear ready, be on time, and sober. Thats the most PRO thing you can do.

    Don't mess around with your guitar, either in rehersal nor in stage.

    PUT A NAME TAG IN ALL YOUR GEAR!!!!!

    Don't put a new set of strings a few hours before the gig :D
     
    Hendrixlvr likes this.

  9. JPGR

    JPGR Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    28
    18
    Apr 28, 2017
    Massachusetts
    Thanks, everyone. This is really helpful and encouraging!

    Follow-up question: what have you found most effective to cut through the mix during a solo? There's so much competing information out there: boost pedals, EQ pedals, compressors as boosts, OD pedals with gain down, volume knob on your guitar, etc. Just curious what's worked for you veterans out there.
     
    amstratnut likes this.

  10. Teddy Watkins

    Teddy Watkins Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 25, 2009
    Florida
    Bring everything you personally need to make the noise you want to every gig. Worst case it stays loaded in the car. I usually brought a small backup amp just in case too. Two guitars if you are able.

    Mic your amp. Irregardless of what the other guitar player is doing. Guitar cabs are very directional and you can mix it in the PA just enough to offset that. It's going to sound better front of house as well as on stage and you have better volume control over both. It also allows you to pretty much use whatever wattage amp you want.

    You might need to adjust your normal eq to sit in the mix. What you like when you are just listening to your rig at home can get lost in a band wash. And it can be hard to tell it on stage. If people say they are having trouble hearing you it might not just be a turn up thing. Don't get frustrated if it takes you guys awhile to get dialed in. Lots of variables.

    Don't worry about screwing up because you are going to. Just accept it. Also accept that the crowd probably won't notice. Unless it is a big foul up your bandmates probably won't either. Chalk it up to growth and just keep playing and have fun with it.
     
    Thrup'ny Bit, JPGR and BallisticSquid like this.

  11. Teddy Watkins

    Teddy Watkins Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 25, 2009
    Florida
    Tube screamer. Gain set low, level set for a slight boost. The EQ of the pedal just shapes the frequencies right for me to focus the sound and punch through.
     
    JPGR and BallisticSquid like this.

  12. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    US
    First off, let me just say don't be afraid to ask questions. You'll look more like a "newb" if you don't. Your bandmates will understand...we all remember our first gig. Ask questions and be as prepared as you can be. Ask your bandmates about their first gigs...I'm sure they be more than happy to share their stories. Be flexible and accept that mistakes are going to happen on stage. The best way to prepare for that is to do dry runs of your sets before the gig and play through all of your mistakes. Dealing with mistakes on stage is itself a skill.

    The most important thing is to have fun! If you look like you are having fun, your audience will have fun too...and that's what it's all about really.

    Over the past 3 years I've played 50+ gigs and only one of them had a house provided backline. I was nervous about it also since I had never dealt with a sound guy or plugging into house gear. He was a decent guy and knew what he was doing, so it went fine.

    Do you know for a fact that where you'll be playing will always have a house backline and sound guy? If so, you must be playing some really nice venues!

    I'll second what others have said...bring your own stuff "just in case". I have had mic cables go, guitar cables go, strings broken, PA speaker go. Have a plan "B". As far as vocal mics go...you probably don't want to be using a mic that who knows spit into it before. I've used mics that smelled like chewing tobacco...ew!!

    I bring a second guitar and have spares for all of our cables. Our PA has two speakers, so if one goes, one will do. If my amp were to go, my pedal board (GT-100) has amp simulators in it so I could plug direct into the PA.
     

  13. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    US
    The moral of the story...the answer to being heard in the mix isn't always about the volume.
     

  14. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    US
    This is very true. There is a flip side...if you totally nail something that even the Gods of Guitar Playing would be proud, the crowd may not notice either :). Just take the person satisfaction that you just nailed something and move on.
     
    JPGR likes this.

  15. Teddy Watkins

    Teddy Watkins Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 25, 2009
    Florida
    Oh yeah. Definitely be content with impressing yourself, lol. The gladiator style "Are you not entertained" doesn't go over well. Plus, the crowd can pat you on the back and tell you you sound great when you're thinking you're laying eggs up there left and right too.

    [​IMG]
     

  16. JPGR

    JPGR Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    28
    18
    Apr 28, 2017
    Massachusetts
    Haha! Thanks for the wise words.

     
    BallisticSquid likes this.

  17. nigelr

    nigelr Strat-O-Master

    854
    Aug 28, 2014
    Switzerland
    My advice would be use what you know, and that is your gear. I always take my own amp + backup, although if I know there is a backline there then I leave the spare amp at home. We also take our own PA + mixing desk because a good friend of ours does the sound. The venue we played on Saturday had everything, backline, PA + desk but we didn't touch any of it, everything we used was ours because then we know how we sound.

    Enjoy the gig, you'll probably make mistakes, we all do, and 99 times out of 100 only you will notice.

    Last thing to say, if you're playing in a bar most people there are not there for you, they might listen, but they might not. Get used to people talking all over your songs and carrying on like you're not there. Took me a while but now I'm ok with it. Maybe you can win some of them over.....
     

  18. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    US
    That's awesome...LOL!!!

    Yup. The times I've had folks yelling my name in the crowd or complementing me after a set were not the times that I was really "on". I would accept the complement gracefully, but think to myself "where were you last week when I was on fire!!" :). One of my best sets we were playing to the wait and bar staff at the end of the night. All part of the experience.
     

  19. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 1, 2009
    My house.
    I highly recommend an amp stand.

    It will enable you to aim the amp at your ears.

    Benefits:

    You will be able to hear yourself, even with the drummer and bassist bashing away. So, at least you will be able to have reasonable stage volume, even if the band doesnt. Most newbies crank their equipment. Thats not really necessary. You should mic your amp in almost every situation, which brings me to my next point.

    Using an amp stand will enable you to hear yourself as the audience hears you. If the amp is on the floor and aimed at the backs of your knees, you will be very likely to crank the treble on the amp, thereby making your tone unbearable to the audience.

    This is what works for me. Im sure others have their ways of doing things.

    Good luck, enjoy!
     
    BallisticSquid likes this.

  20. Vjerilood

    Vjerilood Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    52
    686
    Jul 30, 2017
    USA
    This. Good lord it just pisses me off and I just turn around and pay attention to my drink instead when bands who are ostensibly playing a gig look like they’re having a rehearsal. You gotta see yourself as a preacher with a message, you’re on loan from God and you got a fire in your belly and you just gotta testify. Yeah. Don’t play. Testify.
     
    nigelr likes this.