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Gaps between songs during gigs. Guitarist fiddling with Effects pedals/amp to get "the perfect tone"!


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Anyone got any solutions (except get a different guitar player!!) which should reduce the time taken to for our guitar player to change from being Gary Moore to Robin Trower in an instant?  Would something like a Line6 Helix LT offer him the solution of moving to one saved "profile" to another at the click of a button??? 

 

Currently the set is 8 long gaps punctuated by 8 short songs which I suspect tends to rather ruin it all for the audience.    

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Is the problem that he just needs different sounds for each song, or is it that he is aways making adjustments because a change of venue means the guitar sounds different due the room acoustics?

 

If it's the first a good programmable multi-effects unit should sort out the problem, although if he also relies on his amp as part of his sound, he'll need something that supports 4-cable wiring which may rule out some of the more affordable offerings.

 

If it's the second then unfortunately there is nothing he can do, other than to stop being quite so precious about his sound.

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Thanks BigRedX.   It's more to do with him wanting to sound like different guitarists on each song (and not realising that "The Excellent is The Enemy of The Good").   Mostly this is about the Effects pedals with a little tweaking of the amp (a Classic Marshall).   Being an old fart I don't really have experience of programmable multi effects pedals - but I guess a Helix of some description would fit the bill?

 

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Yep, that's what I said.  To be fair he did point out that we were a bunch of clueless amateurs, but even so it's no excuse.   I guess there are two issues, one is the time it takes to bugger about mid set and then the fact that he's so stressed out by the process he screws up the next song!

 

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In my old punk covers band the guitarist used to get all the right sounds/effects. He had this big TC Electronic multi-fx pedal and was pretty swift on the changes. We found that it was worth rehearsing like it’s a gig so he could get the swap over time down. 

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Oh I hate that!

One frontman guitarist I played with used to faff with his amp, or tune his guitar between songs, and not muted either but by asking the other guitarist for a note. It was embarrassing and completely disengaged the audience. I ended up filling in the gaps with jokes or comments with individuals in the crowd, just to keep the audience attention. He didn’t like it as we weren’t a “stand up” act. No, it was a joke though. 
I Left and took drummer and keys player with me. 
 

I’m sure it’s nerves with these people, but prepare and rehearse your “sound” beforehand please. 😡

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24 minutes ago, Pirellithecat said:

Yep, that's what I said.  To be fair he did point out that we were a bunch of clueless amateurs, but even so it's no excuse.   I guess there are two issues, one is the time it takes to bugger about mid set and then the fact that he's so stressed out by the process he screws up the next song!

 

 

I would politely offer that it's not the "clueless amateurs" making the band look unprofessional by facilitating such large gaps between songs.

That is to say, it is indeed him who is being a clueless amateur, regardless of his supposed knowledge of other guitarists tones, no-one in the audience cares.

 

Happy for you to say that it came from me :D 

Si

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3 minutes ago, Sibob said:

 

I would politely offer that it's not the "clueless amateurs" making the band look unprofessional by facilitating such large gaps between songs.

That is to say, it is indeed him who is being a clueless amateur, regardless of his supposed knowledge of other guitarists tones, no-one in the audience cares.

 

 

Nailed it!

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get a list of fosters takes ready about guitarists who aren't ready for the next song or any other anecdotes for the audience's amusement, even if it doesn't make any difference it'll fill the gap nicely, our singer launches into "I married a monster from outer space " during any technical issues

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You need to use rehearsals to weed this bad habit out of him. Devise your setlist with songs in clusters, where you go from one song into the next without a break between them. For example, start your set with three songs - bang bang bang one into the next. Then pause to talk to the crowd. Then another two songs - bang bang, etc. Rehearse the songs in those clusters and time your rehearsals. Know how long it takes to play your set, to the minute. If he can't change his tone enough by clicking on a pedal, adjusting his volume or tone or changing pickup, then he needs to find a tone which works for all of the songs in that cluster. Your audience came to hear music, not pregnant pauses, not tuning, not jokes or banter, especially not some lad faffing around with knobs and switches.

 

Never forget that a live show is a performance, not just playing songs. It starts the second you take to the stage and doesn't end until you leave it. Everything, what the audience sees and hears between those two points, is your band's performance.

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16 minutes ago, Doctor J said:

Never forget that a live show is a performance, not just playing songs. It starts the second you take to the stage and doesn't end until you leave it. Everything, what the audience sees and hears between those two points, is your band's performance.

 

As Johnny Ramone understood so well

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Remind him that the only person who cares about the difference in sound between songs is himself. It's letting the side down, it needs to stop. Everyone should have their gear sorted to quickly go from one song to another. What if you're running short on time and the singer rearranges the set? You need to be on it. Simplest way is to only have 2 or 3 "sounds" you use. I know it's easy for a bassist to say, personally I like to have mid scooped or mid boosted as my sounds and I might occasionally use an effect. Not quite the same for guitarists but they have to know that almost nobody else cares, and if they do care then they're an absolute trainspotter who's going to go up to ANY band and say "you played a Bb when on the original it's a Bm, also you're using the wrong gauge strings because Gary Moore used..." yawn. I find it mind boggling with the sheer number of options on my Helix that even go to cab configuration and distance of mic to cab... Its nice to have and it may make a difference with recording but switching these parameters while playing live in a busy pub or function? It will make zero difference whatsoever! Get a good core tone and play the darn thing! 

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Thanks everyone - I was starting to think it was just me .... being unreasonable!   But I can see I'm being too forgiving ........

 

So there's a cheap fix out there in the form of a

" zoom multi fix and program the patches in advance even a cheapie zoom g2.1 would do"  or equivalent?    I've told him to go and ask the bods in his local PMT already but I'll check this out just for fun.

 

It's like being a teacher at the kindergarten .........

 

 

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Our lot aren't this bad, but what REALLY gets my goat is checking that the patches are properly loaded by playing the riff to the next song - just before we play it. 

 

Now, I'm sure that our audience couldn't really give a hoot about what's coming next but having listened to some of the gig videos, it sounds like we're completely uncoordinated as the guitars start, then stop, and then the band starts. 

 

Widdling the riff inbetween tunes should be punishable by death IMHO.  

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You can divide most audiences into two categories:

A. People who nod appreciatively when a guitarist changes from his/her "Bridge of Signs" tone to his/her "Texas Flood" tone

B. People who get quickly bored/agitated when a guitarist prods hopefully at pedals and spins every knob on their instrument and amp in the vain hope of getting some subtly nuanced noise that in all honestly, only that particular guitarist can discern.

 

The ratio of these groups is currently 500/1 in favour of group B.

(Please note, this ratio is doubled in the case of bassists*)

 

I worked with a guitarist who used the oldest Korg MultiFX thing in the world. It was huge and clunky, but he'd studied it, knew it backwards, forwards and possibly even in braille and could get any noise most people would want or care about. He always asked for a setlist a day or two in advance, so he knew where he was with his settings, but that was a small price to pay for a seamless performance.

 

The day your punters notice you're fiddling about between songs is the day you need to have a word with the fiddler and make some pertinent "suggestions."

 

 

* citation needed

Edited by rushbo
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