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Gig Pitfalls To Avoid

Avoid Pitfalls At Gigs, Sound Checks, And with Music Gear Setup


Page updated 3/1/2016

Gig Pitfalls To Avoid | Setup At Gigs | Sound Check Tips

Learn important things "not to do" when performing at band gigs and shows.


Equipment Setup For Gigs

  • Get to the venue early enough to setup your band equipment.
  • Take into account travel time to the venue, time to unload equipment, moving your equipment, sound check time, and setup time.
  • It's a good idea to know whether you venue has a stage or does the venue need to move tables for your equipment setup.
  • Get a time from the venue to show up and setup.
  • Get a show start time from the venue and how long they expect you to play the gig.
  • Avoid having loose wires in your exposed stage area.  Duct tape or cover wires to avoid tripping over them.  Be careful not to have cords being pulled out of amps while you are playing the show.  Please make sure that the venue is ok with you using duct tape on their flooring.

Get Gig Directions Ahead Of Time

  • Get proper directions to the gig.  If your unfamiliar with the venue leave early enough to allow for finding the venue, equipment setup, and sound checks.
  • Try Mapquest for directions to the gig.
  • Use a personal GPS Navigation Device to easily find your gig. 
  • When playing festivals or regattas, make sure you have the proper entry passes and clearances to enter the venue.  Get this information ahead of time from the booking agency for the venue. 
  • It's a great idea to get directions or instruction on where to park for larger venues and arenas.  The venue may need to give you a parking pass to get entry.  Remember, band equipment can be very heavy to carry to the stage area, so you need to park near the stage of the venue.

Sound Check Tips For Gigs

  • Have you allotted enough time for a proper sound check.
  • Avoid ear piercing treble, rumbling bass, and feedback.
  • Remember, your band may be great, but if your PA Sound is sub par this will hurt your show attendance.  In order to get booked at the venue again you'll want good sound from your PA and a reliable sound technician.
  • Get an experienced sound tech to run your PA.  This makes a big difference as inexperienced sound tech's can literally ruin your show no matter how well you play.  The sound that you hear on stage is not what the crowd hears during a concert. 
  • Read this Article on Sound Checks

Gig Tips For Bands

  • Avoid taking very long breaks and intermissions.  People tend to leave during long breaks and you want to keep people in their seats. 
  • It is better to be known as the band who plays 2 or 3 hour sets than the band who takes too many breaks.
  • No In Fighting on Stage - Everyone makes mistakes at a show once in a while.  Talk to you band mates after the show if something is bothering you about the gig.
  • Don't look at a band mate if he makes a mistake during a song.  The crowd may not even notice, so keep upbeat, and keep on playing. 
  • Do not stop the song if someone makes a mistake.  That is unprofessional behavior.
  • Promote your show and get people to the show.  The club owner will notice when a show is promoted well and book your band again.
  • Tune your instruments before sound check and during each break.  Try purchasing a Guitar Tuner for shows.
  • Have a backup guitar in case you break a string or bring extra strings. 
  • Backup Amp - While this may be tough if your in a startup band, eventually may be a good idea to have a backup.
  • Have Extra Cords, Duct Tape, Flash Light, Tuner, Picks, etc.
  • Learn How To Negotiate A Gig
  • Take a Gig Checklist