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5 days, 5 gigs, 18 hours of playing

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by DigthemLows, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. DigthemLows

    DigthemLows Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    Sacramento CA
    Wasn't sure where to put this.....I've never had such a large amount of play time in such a short period....and well 23 years of playing in bands still probably hasn't given me enough callouses for this......any advice?

    Starts tonight with 4 one hour sets.......Bring on St. Patty's weekend!!!
  2. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    pace yourself, drink plenty of water,............. unless your under 30, than drink like a fish and have fun :bassist:
  3. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Moved to Band Management.
  4. Ender_rpm


    Apr 18, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    lighter gauge strings may help? Flats instead of rounds if you can deal with it. Though I find flats hurt my picking hand more than rounds hurt my fretting hand. I may just be an odd duck.

    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

    Nap whenever possible :)
  5. DigthemLows

    DigthemLows Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    Sacramento CA
    thanks, yeah, I'm 40 :) Hydrate will be for sure, I already play flats, love em!! ...... thinking I'll superglue my finger tips too......we'll see!!
  6. sowilson


    Jul 5, 2013
    hydrate, ice you hands after the gig, and warm up properly. Turn your amp up a little and lower you plucking pressure. I use to be in an trad/Irish group and St. Pat's was the only time of the year we made great money. Played all day, played all night. God Bless Irish Lawyers (and their wallets)
  7. Bufalo

    Bufalo Funk in the Trunk Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Harrisburg, PA
    Even as a fingerstyle player, I always keep a pocketful of picks for longer gigs. Hands almost inevitably cramp up and the pick can be a song-saver!
  8. I can deal with playing for long amounts of time, but my fingers suffer. I usually just wear a thin cotton or silk glove on my picking hand, and I also find that the glove offers less resistance when plucking to the string, and it's easier to play quickly with a 4 finger technique.
    It sounds stupid, but it works for me.
    And bring more than one glove... your hand might sweat. :D
  9. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Bring your lightest bass. Consider a new heavily padded strap if you don't have one already.
    Get plenty of sleep each night....resist the urge to ingest too much green beer and after hours partying.
    Bring a stool to sit on between songs if you have a talker frontman. Just a few seconds works wonders.
    Stretch between sets and/or move around...go outside if you can and get fresh air.
  10. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Boy do I know this feeling. Let me set the stage from where I'm coming from and drop some hints as to what works for me.
    My band is atypical. We operate on more of a theatre type schedule. Rehearse as a band max once per month until we're performing a serious show. Once show is on, though, it is insane.
    As most theatre people know, "Hell Week" is hardly descriptive of the one to two weeks leading up to show. Tech work, building the stage, rehearsing on it, blocking, etc. are all long processes that need to be done. Our "hell week" usually lasts about 2 weeks.
    For those two weeks, we are in the theatre from about 11am to 1 or 2am every day. Once the stage is built and tech crew is ready, the band shifts focus back to music and performance. We end up rehearsing for 4-5 hours each night for at least 4 nights before opening night, getting sound, blocking, lighting etc. all dialed in. We usually take the night before opening night off from music, to give us a slight rest (though we're usually putting finishing touches on other show elements).
    Then, we have show night. Thousands of people in the audience, and 2-ish hours of performance with a 15 minute break between acts. Show nights are Fri and Sat.

    Rinse and repeat several times a year, and some shows have multi-weekend runs. If that's the case, we usually have hell week, shows Fri/Sat, take Sun through Wed off, and get back at things Thursday again.

    The first week (hell week + first weekend of performance), we're normally in the range of 25+ hours in the span of 6 days just playing music, on top of all the theatre time.

    I know how you feel, OP.

    Things that work well for me:
    Tea - if you're a singer, Throat Coat herbal tea. If you're not, just green tea (something without caffine, preferrably not "decaf" though). This helps with hydration, and Thorat Coat is simply amazing for vox over the long hauls. If you're not a tea drinker, just do water.

    Stay away from coffee, energy drinks, sodas etc.

    Eat good food - don't pick up a meal from 7/11 because it's convenient. Don't eat a ton at one sitting (binge style), and eat healthy. No fried. Apples and nuts are great sources of energy.

    Rest when you can - even if it's only for 10 minutes. Even if you don't fall asleep, find a somewhat quiet place, sit comfortably or lie down, close your eyes and relax.

    Stretch! Take a break every couple of hours, go for a walk and do some stretches. Bend over and put your palms flat on the floor in front of your feet without bending your knees. Twist at the hip as far as you can. Roll your head around. Hold your arms straight up and do slow "wheels" with your extended arm. Pick your foot up and touch your butt with the flat of it. Things like that to keep blood flowing and moving.

    Keep clean - shower, hot water. Even after you're done with the cleaning part, stand in the hot water for a bit to relax.

    Have a realistic schedule and keep to it. Keep all of your stuff organized, even if it means an extra 30 minutes on teardown.

    Be social, and nice to everyone you meet. This is a good distraction from the "work" part, gives you a minute to change trains in your head and engage your audience a bit.

    Keep some cash on you - you never know.

    Wear comfortable, well fitted shoes, with good insoles. If you don't have them, buy them right now.

    Turn your damn phone off, or at least put it away and only check it once or twice a day.
  11. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC

    My advice: ROCK the house!
  12. DigthemLows

    DigthemLows Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    Sacramento CA
    it's really insane.....take in more over this weekend that the rest of the year combined, and that's with a festival or two and some good shows throughout..... the funny thing is, we're just background music.....we played a St. Patty's Beer Fest 2 weekends ago and there was 3000 people there.......maybe 10 people payed attention to the band.......thing is, they have asked the band back 4 years in a row.....and Love us!! .... it provides background to the parties, but it's not about the music.....our Mando player plays in a more traditional irish band and they're playing a bunch too, so he's playing about 40 hours of music this weekend....some of it on Tin whistle at least........fun stuff!!

    I'll be staying away from the Jamesons!!
  13. Stay sober, eat well, naps rule, and have fun.
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Rock it out and get as much rest as you can.

    We did a double header last weekend for the St Pattys Day parade in town and have another double header on the 17th.
  15. DigthemLows

    DigthemLows Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    Sacramento CA
    3 one hour sets with 15 min breaks between done.........was a blast, had a drunk older Irish woman beg to come up and sing Whiskey in the Jar with us.........she was a blast and got a lot of friends dancin.......asked to come back next year already!!

    3 hours tonight.......so far, just a little stiff shoulder......
  16. Vintagefiend

    Vintagefiend I don't care for 410 cabinets at all.

    Aug 6, 2013
    Columbia, MO
    Should be fine
  17. Zoa


    Dec 28, 2009
    *sympathy violin* Just be glad you're playing a strap-on, not an upright. :D
  18. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    Not to sound like a dick, but that's not all that long. That is only an average of 3.5 hours a day.
  19. DigthemLows

    DigthemLows Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    Sacramento CA
    not a dick at all............I'm just used to 1 hour, or 1.5 hour sets..........even when I was in a punk band on tour we'd only play 45 min sets every night for 2-3 weeks............not the same as back to back 4 hour sets........... but, it ended up easy.........last year it was 21 hours in 3 days.........so we booked it better this year..............and it was fun!!