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acoustic set etiquette??

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by HugheJapackage, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. So my band was just asked to play an acoustic set at a mall nearby and I was wondering what etiquette that entails. Do I bring a small amp and play? Does the whole group show? I've never done and acoustic show before so If you could share your experiences with them that would be great, thanks:hyper:
  2. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    If the set was truly acoustic, that'd mean bringing a double bass... (because acoustic basses are way too quiet)

    In most cases, bringing a small amp is ok. Depends on how loud you play, if guitars or keys are going through PA and such.
  3. nsmar4211


    Nov 11, 2007
    Better check with the mall and have them define acoustic!

    "acoustic" can mean no one electrified....... can mean bass player through smallllllll amp , guitar/vox through pa (drummer still on hand drums), etc.

    Get the venues idea of volume levels first!
  4. You need to sort this out before you go to play. This type of gig is a totally different dynamic.
  5. crijan

    crijan Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    Endorsing: JH Audio IEMs
    We do acoustic shows as acoustic/electric guitars, vocals, electric bass DI'd, and mic'd congas/percussion through a PA. It would have to be a super quiet atmosphere to get away with no amplification at all.
  6. RexNFX79


    Jan 12, 2009
    The guitar players should have acoustic guitars. At that point, you are doing an acoustic set in the eyes of most. No need to make any other major changes.
  7. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    If you're gonna have a bass you are going to have to amplify it somehow. Either a small combo amp or DI through a P.A. Even if you had a double bass you would still probably need to put a mic on it or something. It is practically impossible to go totally unamplified with any sort of bass and be heard at all. Even in an mall, just to overcome the ambient noise you're going to need some sort of electronic help. Most event planners understand this and will make allowances.

    Anymore "acoustic" or "unplugged" is more of a genre label (i.e., "quiet, mellow, vocals oriented, no drums") than the definition of "acoustic" in its pure sense (totally unamplified).
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Hey! I'm doing an acoustic thing this Friday! Thanks for starting this thread!
  9. They never really specified what they meant by acoustic so what we're probably going to do is have the 2 guitar players use acoustics micd into PA with me going di and mic di, maybe some bongos in the mix too.
  10. BigFetus


    Jun 12, 2009
    ask Pearl Jam :D
  11. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    "Acoustic" could mean "no electricity available."
  12. i know they have a PA at least because they played music over it all day.
  13. Revvv


    Oct 31, 2007
    Every acoustic set I have ever been a part of included my playing an electric bass through a small amp.
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    I would check the availability and also the mixer to see what it will support.

    I also suggest you let the mall manager or some representative help set your overall volume during sound check to avoid problems.

    Good luck.
  15. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    My band does allot of "Acoustic shows" all have electric, PA and amps and there is never a problem. You need to know how to do it tastefull. If its in a mall you will need to DI to the PA same with your guitars. I run my bass thru a crappy Behringer sans -amp rip off DI pedal (which is awsome) to a small 20w peavy amp for my monitor then to the board. I can add my tuner in the pedals output and i am all set. This rig kills tone wise and is easy- peasy :smug: I put a little of me in the PA and enough to hear myself on stage and its good.

    We run our mics and even use a drummer who mutes his drums with buckskin etc.We get compliments for our sound in the smallest of venues so a mall should be cake.
  16. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    I've done really acoustic gigs with no amplification or electricty available at all, but they were at medieval festivals. Find out what they have in terms of electricity, extension cords, PA, microphones etc, what you need to bring, and how loud you are expected to be. Amplifying the vocals is especially important if you're going to be playing for a while. It's a hell of a lot easier on vocalists' throats.
  17. Does acoustic = quieter?

    My band leader suggested that we do an acoustic set (first gig) if the organizer do not have enough budget to rent the equipments (big amps) for a non paying christmas celebration event hosting around 50-60 people. Is that possible? I thought for the same amount of audience, there's no difference in volume (hence no difference in amp requirement), no matter plugged in or acoustic.
  18. JT Bass

    JT Bass

    Jun 2, 2009
    I'd say acoustic def means quieter, and a different vibe as well. I usually figure that the gig will be more "background" music, instead of the band being the center of attention. We'll rearrange our songs too, the guitars will not be distorted, open chords vs bar chords, I play fretless, we take some songs to half time, slow 'em down, etc. Different vibe alltogether. But fun.

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