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Bar gigs - how long does your band break for?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by drpepper, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. Fixed length? By feel? By rule?
  2. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    On average we play 4 hour gigs at bars, and we do about a 10 minute break every 10-12 songs.
  3. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    What's a break?

    No seriously. Ever since we got a dedicated singer, rather than everyone trading off, she's insisted on a fifteen minute break to rest her chords. Lame, if you ask me.
    Before that, no one sang enough to get tired and we played 'till we dropped.
  4. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    We usually go by feel but it roughly works out to be around 20 minutes.
  5. Yeah, 10 minutes sounds good to me. I think it should be on a clock. We just kind of break until everybody comes back. Breaks are way too long for me, but I'm the new guy.
  6. 15 minute break every hour
  7. Well that makes me feel better that it's not just us that does it that way.
  8. Warfender


    Oct 25, 2009
    +1, except the last hour is a full hour set.
  9. MrDOS

    MrDOS Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I bring a cheap "atomic" clock that auto synchronizes. We typically play 3 sets with about 20 minutes in-between. I have found that 3 sets (instead of 4) keeps people dancing (and drinking) a little better.
  10. shastaband

    shastaband Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    I did tons of club and hotel work on the road in the 1970s and 1980s, 6 nights a week, five sets a night. Our breaks were specified in the contract: every set started exactly on the hour, breaks were taken at 45 minutes past the hour for 15 minutes. This was pretty much standard for road work back then.
  11. N.F.A.


    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    Also in a 3 set per night band. We break by feel, always between sets, but never more than 10 minutes. We want as much playing time as possible.
  12. halfjackson


    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston, MA
    We shoot for 10-15 minute set breaks. Usually the more happening the gig is, the shorter the break we try to take. You don't want to loose your crowd, but sometimes they need a break just as much as the band does. As for when we take breaks, we go by a setlist but adjust to how the night is going.
  13. Normally a 45 minute set followed by a 15 minute break. Four sets total. If we have a really good crowd up and dancing we will stretch out the sets and take a shorter break.
  14. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Our sets are pretty much an hour long. Im ready for that break by then lol! If the energy is great we will shorten the break up, we dont have anything set in stone, but most times its around 20 minutes.
  15. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    We typically do three-hour gigs, usually divided into three sets, with 10 minutes or so in between.
  16. Ditto
  17. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    Normally, in bars, we play over a 4 hour period, and do (3) 1-hour long sets with 1/2 hour breaks in between.

    There are bars that hav a hired "DJ", and have their own schedule, sometimes wanting (3) 40 or 50 min sets with a specified time for the DJ.

    And then there are those places who have no real idea how it's going to break down..... those we play by ear, or consult the manager/owner......
  18. badstonebass


    Jun 7, 2006
    We do the same. In the past I have played in bands that did the 45/15 but it seems like you lose a lot more people.

    Doing the 60/30 seems to work a lot better. People hang longer and are more enthusiastic.
  19. amadeusex


    Aug 16, 2008
    Athens Greece
    (slightly off topic) ... i got a 6 nights/week gig for this season. We play from 12:00am till 06:00 non stop with a 20 minutes break somwhere in between (the band still plays though-we just rotate with the breaks)
  20. shaboda

    shaboda Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2002
    i have always done 3 sets per night. -- 2 breaks of 20 mins or so each - could be longer or shorter depending on the night or if something else is going on that night too, like raffles or something (yes, we play a moose club in our travels)
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    Primary TB Assistant

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