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Do Gutiarists Just Pretend To Set Up?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by MrYellow, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. MrYellow


    Dec 30, 2013
    I was once playing in a big band with a full saxophone section, 2 trumpets, a trombone, piano and not one but two rhythm guitarists (I understand it's not as uncommon as I'm making it sound like).

    On just about every practice session, I plug in, find the tonal sweet spot and then do some improv while I wait for the guitarists to set up. Despite this taking up to 15-20 minutes, the guitarists never asked me or the other members to play a note so they can figure out which volume works out, the result? completely inaudible guitar playing (shocking, I know :eek: ). But hey, at least the occasional 'twang' here and there sounds as it should, wrong. You see, these guys had Les Pauls (not the same ones, but it doesn't really matter), and for those of you who don't know, they tend to make a very high-gain, sloppy sound when put into a combo amp without turning down the volume, which just sounds horrible for rhythm.

    Long story short, I told the dudes about it, and they acknowledged and I've noticed improvements. Have you ever had your guitarist or really any band member who sets up weird?
  2. I played with a gp once whose idea of setting up was turning up until he was satisfied and then the rest of us having to turn up to match. You know its bad when the drummer asks you to turn down.

    Also, he was really bad about forgetting to check the volume on his effects so occasionally he'd kick on a distortion and it would be so loud that it would scare us and we would all inevitably mess up. But then he tried to fix his tube amp and made it worse, and he refuses to play through my solid state guitar amp, so now we just dont play anymore.
  3. BenWhoPlaysBass


    Jun 7, 2013
    Being a guitarist before I became a bassist, I always set up my amps/guitars the way they needed to be. That being said, being a bassist made things more difficult in terms of keeping the gui****s I used to play with reigned under control and not overpowering everyone else. A few shows I had to go over and chat with the guitarists to get their amps where they needed to be in the mix. There's nothing worse than playing against a tube amp (a cheap valveking no less) with a guy who won't turn down and uses no mids.
  4. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Unfortunately, I know way too many guitarists that aren't pretending to set up. If they put as much thought into their timing as they did staring at their pedal boards, tweaking their PRS's and tube rolling, the world would be a much better place.

    Don't even get me started on "sonic space"
  5. Slade N

    Slade N sunn #91 AZ Bands #?

    May 28, 2005
    portland, or
    most GPs ive played with, their idea of set up is turn up an tell the drummer to play harder and complain when they can hear the bass because "it messes them up"
  6. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Lighten up! It takes a long time to get it to sound that bad.
  7. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    hmmm. Our guitarist definitely is in the minority I guess. She takes quite a bit of time to set up, and it is like an engineering project. The good thing is that she does NOT take up group rehearsal time to do it. She is very economical and time-aware (nothing like a little OCD to keep things in wraps) When we show up, the monstrosity is already warm and on stand-by. Same thing with gigs. I don't know how she does it, but the result is definitely worth it...killer destructive sound! The scary thing is trouble shooting. I don't know how she figures out what went down, or which cord is bad...luckily it rarely happens though.

    Now, tearing down is another story....
  8. soitainly


    Aug 21, 2012
    It's hard for musicians to find great tone. It's even harder when you have to get a great tone that blends with other instruments. It really just takes lots of experience, practice, and an open mind. I've often found myself being the one in the band that listens to the whole mix, not just myself.

    The real problem is that for guitar you are competing with others for the same sonic space. The great tone you get alone isn't necessarily the one that will sound good with a band. Again, it takes experience to get this, and a good ear is something that must be developed.
  9. Bill G.

    Bill G.

    Dec 2, 2005
    Baton Rouge
    Oh, yeah! This is my biggest complaint about guitarists, but fortunately it's pretty rare in my bands. I can't stand it when a guitar is too bassy & makes my bass notes sound like total mud. :mad:
  10. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Most pretend to be guitarists!
  11. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    +1 Perfect response. Good musicians develop that ear and also learn how to play and set their rig to adapt it to the band sound as a whole. That's part of the process of becoming one.

    Just strapping on a guitar or a bass and plugging into an amp doesn't make anyone a musician. Sounds to me like many of you are playing with guitarists who aren't one.
  12. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    What gets on my nerves is the +/- 10db swing every time they change patches.
  13. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    Les Pauls don't sound very good together because the thick tones get muddy. A Les Paul mixed with a strat or tele works much better sonically.
  14. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Yet guitarists still insist on bringing their Les Pauls when they know there will already be one there? "Why should I have to play the Tele tonight?"

    There should also be a rule that guitarist are not allowed to use any Marshall amps..period, unless there's PA support for the bass or they're playing an arena. Both my guitarists get their best sounds through blackface Fender amps at rehearsal, yet insist on Marshall or Mesa mud despite the fact that the room is about the size of a large bathroom.
  15. Considering I haven't played enought gigs as a guitarist to know how everything works I think I did well at the last gig. I set up the guitar amp cab and pedals and the bass amp and cab by the time the drum set was set up. I have a versitile enough guitar where I don't have to worry about the pedals and amp but all I do is adjust a couple switches on the guitar and turn on a pedal that is versitile to get a good tone so everyone is happy.

    I do feel bad to be the last one ready so I try to be efficient and ready ahead of time.
  16. KeddyLee


    Nov 12, 2013
    I'm very lucky to play with a guitar player who has phenomenal tone. He actually gets upset at times because people always tell him how much they love his tone but never talk about his playing. He's joking but it's true. He's a great player with awesome tone and loves to "fill the voids". Never overlaps my tone and he wants to hear the bass.

    Got a good one I did!
  17. Unprofessional


    Mar 5, 2012
    Yes. Right after they ask me if they can borrow an instrument cable.
  18. I'm fortunate to play with a terrific GP. He has a couple of guitars he likes to use and plugs directly into a single 12 tube combo (Conrad Blues Jammer). No pedals and no volume issues.
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Mostly, yes.

    I HATE members who can't get their crap together to get up and set up in an efficient and timely fashion. I often have more than my own stuff, I may have PA to do as well. I really get frustrated when I've been setting up and the keys or guitarist are sitting at a table slouched down rather than setting up. Yeah, I know we don't go on for an hour, set up your damn gear and get business taken care of before you nap.

    I also have a guitarist who frequently forgets cords, and on occasion even a pick. I've taken to telling him I don't have any even when I do have spares in my gigbag. The same guitarist always wants to 'tune by ear' on stage rather than use a frickin' tuner. In practice last week I said "Take 10 bucks and go buy a clip on at GC, there's no excuse to not have a tuner." to which he said "oh. I do have one. It's at home". HE'S NEVER EVER BROUGHT IT OUT. Completely bush league.
  20. groundhog


    Jan 23, 2014
    A guitarist that wants to hear the bass? Did I read that right?