Musician's Tips Index  
Home page

American Musical Supply - your musical gear source your purchase helps keep our content free

Click for more Tips and How-To articles for musicians and performers
Pitch In!
Lend a hand to help your band
(page 2)

(Continued from page 1)

  1. Thank your helper(s). When you do get help, or even if you just get an offer and don't need help, thank the person for offering. Too often, we might assume that the other person knows you appreciate the gesture. But say it anyway. A little thanks goes a long ways. Hopefully it'll result in your getting help at the next show, too.

  2. An occasional bribe doesn't hurt. Once in awhile, we'll enlist the help of a friend or two to shoot band photos. It's a shame to perform and not get some record of the gig: video, audio recording, or photos. I'll provide a pair of digital cameras with freshly charged batteries and clean memory cards. All my helpers have to do is shoot. If I know of some particularly rowdy songs, I highlight them and provide a copy of the set list. I check in with the photographers during the breaks, and can change batteries or answer camera questions as necessary. Afterwards, I offer to treat my helper to breakfast (or dinner before the show). If we have a pair of photographer helpers, one of the other band members takes care of that person. I also give photographer credit if we use a photo on the web site.

  3. Band meeting. If you're bandmates are extremely self-centered, or very young in age, you may have to spell it out for them. You need help. You don't want the situation to fester so badly that you quit or find another band. So let them know that you're frustrated and/or so exhausted from doing all this extra work that the time has come to quit being proud and get some help.

  4. Don't expect miracles. You've asked politely, you've had a band meeting, and still you're the last one at the venue after the show. Ask again next time. Maybe you have to word it differently. &show;Joe, can I borrow you for a moment?" will get Joe over there in a hurry. But if he's flirting with the cocktail waitress, you may have to be more subtle. "Hey Joe, you're tall. Can you give me a quick hand with these lights?". Now you've given Joe a stroke (he's tall), and he won't want to appear lazy in front of his future conquest. He'll be an extra good helper in front of his newfound audience.

  5. Help wanted. One of the members of my current band suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. He's gone from physical therapy to pills, to naturopathy to weekly injections of drug therapy. His situation got so bad that he was going to leave the band. He graciously offered to stay until the band could find a replacement. After literally two years of looking, we couldn't find a suitable replacement and were thinking about disbanding until he decided to stay on. The reason: the band chipped in to help him with his load-in, setup, take down, and load-out. They figure that the extra effort will keep him from getting exhausted, and they know that if he is too tired after a gig that his family will ask him to step down. It's worth it to the band to keep him (but we do have to remind him not to help the others so much).

  6. Bag it! One reason you may not have enough time to set up or load out is because you're not packing logically and efficiently. If your cables are a jumbled mess that requires untangling every time, try putting each cable into it's own zip-lock style freezer bag. These bags are extra-tough, and will keep cables separate but still easily identifiable. Another bonus: if you bag them, you don't need cable ties. You also won't need to label the bag, since they are made of clear plastic, allowing you to see what's inside. The real reason comes after you tear down: you can put any cable into any bag of the appropriate size without having to dig around to find the correctly labeled bag for a particular cable.

    Continued on next page >>

    More musician's tips and tricks »»

    Copyright © 1996-2018
    Trademarks and copyrights used herein are the property of their respective holders.