Inconsideration

Woolwich

Silver Member
I was going to post this under the "Why Must It Be So Loud" thread but there's enough differences in the story to warrant me venting off steam in a whole new thread.

Over the weekend my band played a gig at a Rock pub, we agreed on a time to arrive which would give us ample time to soundcheck, and everyone also knew that myself and our bass player/PA Man would arrive a half hour earlier than everyone else. The reasons were three fold, first of all it would mean that the drums and various parts of the PA and power supplies would be in place when everyone turned up which would be efficient and smooth out the set up. Secondly I (like many people) like the luxury of setting up with no one in the way and I'm happy to arrive early to get this benefit. Thirdly, the drum kit unavoidably takes up a certain amount of stage space and I like to get myself set up comfortably without finding that my stool is too close to the back wall or that a guitarist has propped his spare guitar in a space that one of my stands really NEEDS to be.

So phase one went well, the first guitarist arrived, walked straight on stage and plonked his guitar cases down. I pointed out that the pub was totally empty and it would be a good idea to load his gear in front of the stage and then fetch bits on as and when required so he wasn't tripping over himself (& bear in mind that I was fully set up so whatever he did wouldn't affect me anyway). He agreed and started putting his gear out of the way. The second guitarist came in, I suggested the same and he pretty much didn't pay any attention and within minutes the stage was awash with various gear.
We then started to assemble the bits of PA that the bass player couldn't fit in his car, I stood for several minutes waiting to place someone else's monitor for them but couldn't as he had a huge bag of cables on the floor where the monitor needed to be. This bag is ALWAYS full as it holds mainly spares. This is great forward thinking but does not aid set up!
Eventually it all fell into place and we started sound check. Sound checking one of the guitarists took an age because he had a new pedal that was linked to his mic. Our bass player had to balance his vocal levels with the pedal on and off, then he had to eq out a horrendous feedback whistle. This took an age. The levels for the other guitarist and the singer were done quickly and painlessly. It was at this point that steam started to erupt from my ears. Everyone knew that the last time we'd tried to mic my bass drum up we were unable to get a good sound out of it. So we'd decided to try again but our bass player now had an eq unit that had been gathering dust so thought he could make my drum work. I sat behind the kit, he asked me to start hitting the drum.......and one guitarist broke into a high volume solo, the other started picking chords with a spacey effects pedal turned on. Then between them they started riffing. I'd sat through about twenty minutes of to be honest non essential faffing on to get a vocal effect working, the moment I started trying to get a,lets be honest,important bit of sound checking done, things descended into a monkeys tea party!
My requests to turn down/stop fell on deaf ears! I think it was only when they saw that our bass player was having to contort to reach the desk while trying to keep his ear in front of a PA speaker and was REALLY struggling that they finally called it a day. After less than 5 minutes we had a drum sound that worked a treat, partly because our bass player has a decent grip on what he's doing, partly because I was able to shoulder a guitarist out of the way so that I could adjust the resonant head slightly to take off a bit of the "boom".

The gig went well, really well in fact, and all the hassle was forgotten almost as soon as it happened but like I said earlier, I wanted a little vent because that moment when the guitarists went ego tripping after I had helped everyone else to set up and it was time to sort my bass drum sound out really really really annoyed me at the time.

Rant over.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I feel your pain. Frustrating to have to work around selfish people. And if the show goes well they're completely unaware of what they've done.

I always find spare guitars on stands blocking my setup, or blocking access to the kit, so I have to climb, stretch, contort around a guitar to get to my drums. Played a ridiculously small stage today - really hard to get on and off stage. Had to negotiate a bass, a guitar, 2 foldbacks and 2 mic stands all within inches of each other and my kit.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
What do you expect from guitarists? The only reason lead singers don't do this is because they don't need anything besides a mic, and they don't riff all over sound checks because they need to save their voices.

Seriously, bass and drums are the labor, guitar and especially lead singers are management. I enforce respect for myself by having dead accurate time and being professional, but....even so, there are limits.

I used to wonder why successful groups like the Beatles, etc. broke up. Now I don't wonder as much.
 

FreDrummer

Silver Member
Call it overkill, but we generally show up four hours before the gig to set up. FIRST thing that goes down on stage is my drum rug, and we position it until everyone agrees it is in a "workable" spot for setting up the rest of the gear on stage (mind you, I'll also set up my bass w/pedal and stool to make sure I have enough room off the back wall). Now, here's the thing about my drum rug...it is larger than necessary to solely hold the kit from sliding about (about 4x6'), but the value is it marks out my real estate! i.e. Everyone knows to keep that space clear.
 
S

savage8190

Guest
What? Self absorbed guitar players? Unheard of... lol Seriously, this is one of the biggest reasons I started to hate playing guitar. Dealing with ass hat guitar players all the time sucks.

Glad it had a happy ending!
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Sorry to hear all that but have to ask..... WHY are you playing with such people? I mean really, why not say something instead of letting a$$hats riff on for 20 minutes while you are getting a sound check.
They are inconsiderate. People like that do not know unless you let them have it.
Try it....it's very cathartic.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Easy. Do as we do. No noodling on stage, ever. That means sound check and gig. Its not professional and its a waste of time. Sound check is to get a band balance, and the gig is just that. An audience does not want to hear a guitarist tuning up or a drummer whacking drums and cymbals between songs.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
Take the two posts above, put them together, and there's your full answer in my opinion. Noodling is unprofessional in any situation, practice at home. Soundcheck is the worst time to do it.

If they don't respond to "I need silence from everyone else during sound check, please", follow it up with "Dude, shut the f-up!" I have no problem with the soundperson saying "OK, I need you and you off the stage."
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
There are two types of bands that I have found work. The first one is a group of friends where you can tell each other to shut up because your all friends and feelings tend to not get hurt as easily. The second is a group of professionals where you can tell each other to shut up because your all professionals and are there to do a job. Any other grouping of people does not work because everybody is afraid to say what they really think. It sounds like you find yourself in this situation and its nearly impossible to work with. Small squabbles become big problems and everybody is just bickering and unhappy. Next time just stand up and tell them to shut up. You will find out pretty quickly how solid your band is.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
There are two types of bands that I have found work. The first one is a group of friends where you can tell each other to shut up because your all friends and feelings tend to not get hurt as easily. The second is a group of professionals where you can tell each other to shut up because your all professionals and are there to do a job. Any other grouping of people does not work because everybody is afraid to say what they really think. It sounds like you find yourself in this situation and its nearly impossible to work with. Small squabbles become big problems and everybody is just bickering and unhappy. Next time just stand up and tell them to shut up. You will find out pretty quickly how solid your band is.
Very insightful observation, yes our band is one of "the third types" you've described. And it actually also clears up why it's always seemed to be me taking charge in rehearsals because no one else wanted to decide which song to practice next.
Oh well, let's see how this weekend goes. I'm perfectly okay but you're right, the cumulative effect of people messing on could easily lead to me publicly venting at some point.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
In the end I think you have to decide what kind of people you are willing to play with. A lack of receptiveness regarding the basics of professionalism and courtesy says a lot about just how good the band can get.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
When I hear stuff like this it makes me appreciate why I'm lucky enough to have good mates in my band.

We do sound check quickly, we know roughly what levels are and get a good backline sound, The Rumble is a good song to do that for. Then play something with some vocals on, do a quieter song and then a rockier song. Job's a guddun.

With getting a bass drum sound, get a Audix D6. Never had a problem with it and I use an unported head.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Depends on the situation I guess. For wedding or event gigs, we usually need to be checked and out before guests arrive for the ceremony, which could be six hours before the first set.
1) He told me to say that.

2) Seriously, around here, venues and bars get all pissy if you try and load in before the posted load-in time. Usually no more than an hour or two ahead of first band's start. Space is often at a premium and at best we're sometimes allowed to put our stuff in a back room if we're really early.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Depends on the situation I guess. For wedding or event gigs, we usually need to be checked and out before guests arrive for the ceremony, which could be six hours before the first set.
6 hours before your 1st set, no chance I'd do that unless I was VERY well paid. We arrive for half 6 if we start at 9 for a wedding and it takes us 45 mins to set up and sound check and we think 2 hours of standing around is too much.

We have been asked to rock up 5 hours before the start but that's a piss take as far as we're concerned and the adjusted fee puts them off or we don't take the booking. People expect the world but don't want to pay for it and seem to think we don't have a life, husband/wife etc
 

Highway Child

Senior Member
6 hours before your 1st set, no chance I'd do that unless I was VERY well paid. We arrive for half 6 if we start at 9 for a wedding and it takes us 45 mins to set up and sound check and we think 2 hours of standing around is too much.

We have been asked to rock up 5 hours before the start but that's a piss take as far as we're concerned and the adjusted fee puts them off or we don't take the booking. People expect the world but don't want to pay for it and seem to think we don't have a life, husband/wife etc
Yup to this. My band (8 piece) can load in and get checked in an hour or so and we'll charge substantially extra for early set-ups. Of course it's not always the clients fault, we find usually the problem is lazy / incompetent wedding coordinators at venues.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Yup to this. My band (8 piece) can load in and get checked in an hour or so and we'll charge substantially extra for early set-ups. Of course it's not always the clients fault, we find usually the problem is lazy / incompetent wedding coordinators at venues.
Wedding coordinators, you're on a nerve dude, the job title makes it sound like they actually do something. Best talk about this in January when it's quiet! :)

You can deal with wedding coordinators but nothing can prepare you for a Bridezilla!

Hour setup and soundcheck for an 8 piece, that's military precision!
 
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