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Lead guitarist loud on stage

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by maxoges, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. maxoges


    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    We had i gig last week on a small stage. I had to turn the in house bass amp all the way up to even hear myself over the lead guitar. Is this a common problem?

    It might be because I never dealt with a solidstate ampeg combo before. My hartke 3500 overpowers most guitar amps on stage :D
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    If a guitar player isn't playing too loud, check his vital signs...

    ...He might be dead! :D
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Guitar wars! A common theme here at TB. The guitar player(s) is always loud enough to diminish the Bass's tone.
    I always ask the guitar players in my band if the bass line is O.K. They never really comment on it. They just want something under them, in key, so they can go off. Once they get past the 12th fret, it's hard to reel them back in.
  4. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Oh great.... volume wars

    Some one in the band wins, but the audience loses.

    Way to go guys, sacrifice the mix so that you are loudest. Winner gets tinnitus, so do the second and third runner up.

    If you want the guitar player to turn down, the rhythm section needs to turn down. If the guitar player can't hear the beat or feel the groove, what do they have to wank on?
    Unless the guy is a true wanker, he doesn't need to hear anything as long as he hears himself. If so, he doesn't need a band.
  5. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I remember a soundman once said something to me that has always stuck. He was talking about guitarists that need to turn up loud, or bring in two cabs for small clubs. They would say, "I need to hear myself", where he replied, "If you need to hear yourself, it's too late, because it's already been played".
  6. A common metric I hear is that the bass amp should by 4x the power of a guitar amp. Those low freq's need more juice. Maybe you are simply under powered....or your guitarist needs to turn down to compensate.
  7. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Q) How do you make a guitar player turn down?
    A) Put a chart in front of him.

  8. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I agree. When an individual is too loud, they're usually not listening. It also gets tiresome to remind an individual that this is a band and not a machine for their use only.
    Being a volume whore is a common lament sure, and it takes away from what may be a productive learning experience whether a gig or rehearsal.

    We just get sick of repeating ourselves. and, it's a hassle to train new personnel. It also helps to remind the newbies here that they're not alone.
  9. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    The band only has so many decibals to work with and usually the guitar(s) hog most of them. You can do a lot of damage with a 50 watt guitar amp. I like music fairly loud but want to hear all the instruments and the vocals. Maybe guitar players should play through a subwoofer 'cause it's just as good as a bass, and play with one of those big ass Dorito looking guitar picks 'cause it's just as good as a drumset.
  10. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    The mix is most important. If he/she is too stupid to realize that then you have a major problem.
  11. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I recently had the same problem with a band that I fill in for occasionally. I was playing through a vintage SVT head, an SVT810 + a Hartke 410 cabinet (not my rig, we were playing a benefit and a bass player from another band that played before us offered to let me use his rig to save me the hassle of setting mine up). So, volume should not have been a problem for me, right?? Well, it worked in theory. Whenever I have played with these guys before, they have been loud (2 guitarists and a drummer) on stage, but this night it was unbelievable. I had that SVT cranked up pretty high, and I still had to stand within 4 feet of the cabs or I couldn't hear myself. Ridiculous.

    Granted, I still made my $100 for playing for them, so I shouldn't complain. Thank God I don't have to put up with this crap in my own band, though. :rolleyes:
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    In the original post you said you were using a house amp. That's a much different issue than when you are using your own amp (which might have been loud enough).

    Using a house amp can be a blessing or curse. I've played gigs where the contract requested an SVT and the supplied amp was a little Peavey combo. If the gig is local I will usually try contacting the sound man if I'm not familiar with the house backline. I'd just as soon use the house amp as long as it's up to snuff (which in my personal experience it is more often than not).
  13. slackdaddy


    Mar 1, 2004
    Athens, GA
    Endorsing Artist: David Eden Amplifiers / Rob Wave Custom basses
    The amp I use rarely can compete with the guitar amps so I always make sure I get plent of Bass in my monitor. I usually have them push it as far as it will go without farting out or breaking up. I play with guitarist who are VERY conscientious of their volume. With some of the tube amps you want to open them up for the tone. The guys I play with will often face their amps backwards or occasionally lay them on their back pointing staright up. That way, you still get the full tone from the tubes without blowing everyone away. This works surprisingly well. Soundman doesn't have to wrestle with the sound too much either.
  14. maxoges


    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    The guitarist told the singer yesterday that he's going to study in another town 397 miles away for least 6 months. He's leaving in one month. He hasn't bothered to tell me or the drummer himself.

    How about that?
  15. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    There's plenty of other guitarists.
  16. maxoges


    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Well I've played with him for two years and sort of made friends with this guy. It's a hassle to start trying out guitarists again. :help:
  17. maxoges


    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    The greatest blessing is that I didn't have to break my back carrying my 4X12 cab. Next time i'll just bring the Hartke head.
    I thought about calling the sound guy. I just didn't get around to do it... Next time... Next time
  18. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    i had a huge row because i threw a fit about the volume of the gp's (yes, we have 2!) after i said it a 1000000 times already. 'turn that GODD**N thing down!!!', 'stay out of eachothers freqrange!!', 'why don't you come here and LISTEN!!' and all that. the total sound was just awful.

    we are generally the underpowered member so they just think we're not getting enough 'shine' and we're just the bassplayers right? while it's often the bassman who listens to the mix the most.

    for once i'd like to get some ultra-mega-millionwatt amp to blow em all away, just once.
  19. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I've found more than one house rig to be whatever pile of crap someone forgot at the bar some time in the distant past. It seems the bar owners seldom pay attention to matcjing a backline in anyway that makes sense. the soundguys usually know it, but there isn't much they can do about it.