Band Set Up Woes Again. Grrrr

Woolwich

Silver Member
I’ve spoken of something similiar in the distant past, and last night it was entirely my fault that it happened again. I’m being facetious because the only thing I did wrong was not get to the pub first for the first time in a long time.
So I pulled up to the pub for last night’s gig and both the bass player’s and guitarist’s cars where already there. The room we were playing in was long and rectangular with us setting up at the far end of the room. The load in was fine, a narrow room but enough space between the bar on one side and the tables on the other to carry our gear down to the performance area. So I got down to the back wall, the place where obviously a drummer would put their kit, only to find two guitar cases, flight cases, two PA speakers and various other items pushed against that wall. I pointed out that it would be a good idea to move everything because that’s where the kit would go, the guitarist agreed, then proceeded to keep on fetching stuff in :-/ So I took my bag, placed it on the floor roughly where the monitors would be and said “let’s move all of our gear past here and put it in place as we need it, that way the stage will be clear”. Not only did that not really happen but after finally managing to get my drumstool down I lost my patience after the guitarist spent 5 minutes attaching LED panels to two light stands and effecting a repair on one of the stands exactly where my hi hat and bass drum would go. I had to point out that I wasn’t being lazy, I literally couldn’t start setting up with him assembling stands on the stage where I needed to be. Eventually I managed, however my exit was slightly compromised by the positioning of a spare guitar on a stand in the gap which I was using to get in and out of the kit, a spare that could easily live in a case for the duration of a gig until needed.
Honestly I despair. We used to be a two guitar band and they were both the same, it’s not like he’s a selfish idiot, but something just seems to switch off in his head (as it did the other guitarist) when a load in happens.
I know what the answer is, turn up early, start being firm, literally move his gear if he puts it down to show by example, but I’m wondering if this is this peculiar to me, peculiar to guitarists or something many of you have to deal with?
 

KEEF

Senior Member
My guitarist is the same mate - only concerned with himself and no consideration for the fact that I have 3 times as much gear as him. Last gig he started his usual full volume noodling whilst I was still setting up with my head right by his amp. He got short shrift.......sometimes you just have to be blunt.
 

Channing

Member
Maybe I'm just really lucky but my bandmates don't do this kind of crap. They help me. Last show the lead singer carried more of my stuff than I did. They even have tried to learn how all my connectors and cymbal stands work so they can help me set up too. It could have something to do with the fact that I'm the only lady in the band and all of my bandmates are guys, they feel like they're supposed to help me.

I don't even know what I'd do in your situation. Maybe just keep calmly but firmly telling him that you need him to be more aware of your gear and your need for stage space?
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
“Maybe just keep calmly but firmly telling him that you need him to be more aware of your gear and your need for stage space?”

Got it in one Channing. I’m not a naturally confrontational person so along with getting in first to direct proceedings, firm and regular reminding is the route I’ll take, it’s just mind bending that this is something I need to continue to do.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I think I would have said, "Hey man, do you care if I move this temporarily while I get my stuff set up?" Then just move it yourself.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
geez. It's like you're in a band with people who don't care a whit about you or what you do. I hope the music is rewarding.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Our guitarist loves getting to gigs really early, and spreads out spare guitars on stands well into my space. So I sympathize.
I politely ask if he could put the guitars on the other side, at least until I’m setup. He usually does.

At the end of the night he leaves his expensive guitars balanced on the stands until everyone else has packed up around him, which is just as annoying.

Edit: to be fair, he does help carry everyone’s gear outside afterwards.
 

purist

Junior Member
I'm pretty lucky in my current band. All members are very considerate, helping me with both the load in and the load out. No complaints!
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
PorkPie Guy If it had been a guitar or two I agree that would have been a great approach.
However it was a ton of stuff, it was red hot, and I had my own ton of gear to carry in too.
cbphoto, all’s well elsewhere it’s just this one tendency he has during set up which is an aberration and genuinely confuses me. I don’t think he doesn’t care, I just think he doesn’t think. I’ve had my vent again and I’ll train him up at our next gig which is on a stage the size of a tabletop.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
On second thought, you could go the passive-aggressive route: mount a worthless 22" cymbal on a stand, perfectly horizontal, perch it up nice & high, then tip it over onto his gear and give him the "oops" look. Keep it up until he realizes he can't win the war.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
This sounds so familiar, especially leaving the guitars on the stands during setup and breakdown. That really, really irks me. How galactically inconsiderate, not to mention irresponsible in taking care of their own instrument no less! I can't say how many times I wanted to whoops accidentally on purpose make his neck hit the floor and hopefully break. (His guitar neck ha ha) Maybe that will teach them to keep delicate instruments out of harm's way when there is harm everywhere, duh. I don't mind stating that I have personal issues with most guitarists I've played with generally speaking. Oil and water. Historically, I just don't get along with them. I don't normally care for them as people, it's like they are all cut from the same cloth. This has been my experience.

I wasn't a naturally confrontational person most of my life. I finally realized how it never, not once, served me well, avoiding confrontations.

Confrontations are a piece of cake now and I am a lot happier and calmer inside because I use my power now instead of giving it away. I highly recommend confronting people when you have a right to do so. It's quite empowering. Claiming stage space is a perfect opportunity to practice confronting in an assertive way.

If things aren't going how I need to have them, the best trick I figured out to resolve things quickly and permanently....I get mad. It works like a charm ha ha. No one wants a mad person around. It's a really great tool and I don't have any problem using it if it's warranted. Like if a guitarist puts all his stuff where the drums go, get mad, freak out and make HIM move it. It won't happen again if you freak out effectively. Don't be nice about it. Call it out and even make them feel bad. They did earn it. It won't happen again. And you will get more consideration than you ever had previously.
 
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trickg

Silver Member
The next time that happens, set your stuff up in the remaining available space, even if it's in front of everyone else, and in some place that's completely wrong for where the drums should go. When they start giving you grief about it, simply state that you would have set up elsewhere if not for all of their crap all over the place, taking up space where the kit should go.

I also agree with cbphoto about the guitar stand. Guitarists are selfish, ego-centric prigs - the only way to really get through to them is to basically hit them over the head with a hammer in a way that is blatantly obvious. I don't condone purposefully damaging his gear, but again, pick up the extra guitar to get it out of your pathway, and place it someplace really non-obvious, like the opposite side of the stage from where they would normally stand, or even in the middle of the space the lead singer would typically occupy.

Being polite is a two way street, and they are violating their end of it, so with that in mind, you are not obligated to take the high road.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Do you need this gig for food?

No?

Walk out.

Problem solved-you don't get walked on and they get screwed out of a drummer. Let them *feel* the result of their behavior.

I can have more fun jamming alone in my basement, why should I waste time and gas money just to be abused?
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I'm lucky and don't suffer with this crap. We all work together especially during load in/out and small playing spaces.

Guitars stay in cases until soundcheck which is as it should be. We usually stick me in the middle and bass and guitar on either side and the singer infront of the kit.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Can't say I've ever experienced this with any of my bands. Part of it is the fact that I choose my bands carefully and try to avoid ones where the majority of people don't appear to have brain cells numbering above single digits. Another big reason is that I tend to arrive first, before anyone else, and throw down my drum rug like a bear marking his territory. I'm usually first to finish setting up and then I assist with sound, lighting, etc.

If their behavior towards a band mate is like this, how's the rest of their work ethic? If it's sloppy to match, maybe you could consider trading up.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
This is one of the uses of a drum rug - to mark your territory. Mine is trimmed to the exact size I need on stage, including my throne and all stands. Its a slight pentagon shape with a V around the throne in case I’m in a corner.

I place the carpet down first, and if it can’t lay down flat and bunches onto other people’s gear, that’s a message to them to make some space.
 

ottog1979

Senior Member
How are you going to communicate and collaborate on stage while playing if you can't even effectively communicate with each other while setting up? Bands are a collective give & take experience where you make audible art together. Holding such animosity and disdain without finding a way to communicate with bandmates isn't good for your overall goal. If you do your best to communicate and it falls on deaf ears, you're probably in the wrong spot. Just a thought...
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Always inspect your area on arrival.

If the gear of your bandmates is in this area when you arrive, not ask, tell them politely to move it while you load in.

This has happened to me in the past and I’ve lightheartedly joked many times with each band about throwing it all in the nearest skip if it’s not moved.

Try and make light of the situation. People then identify it with a positive.

Problem (hopefully) solved and sometimes people just don’t think about others. If they still don’t listen? Hey Presto! Throw it in the nearest skip, they can’t say you didn’t warn them.

It’s not worth taking it personally and falling out with bandmates over, or letting it eat you up inside where you’re still stewing over it in the days following. Might light of the situation and see if they respond positively.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It's odd, I can get along just fine onstage musically with anyone, if they are a great player. Even if they are personally abrasive. I give a ton of latitude to great players. I don't have to like them offstage to be in a band together with them. Which has been the case in virtually every band I've been in.
 
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