Essential Gigging Tips For Acoustic Guitarists


Pulling out an amazing acoustic guitar gig or live performance really requires a lot of preparation. It will greatly depend on your type of guitar, the tuning of your instrument, co-ordination with the sound engineer, your enthusiasm, and your energy during your performances. Below are tips to help you stand out during your acoustic guitar gig performances.


Get Ready For The Performance

First, ensure your choice of acoustic guitar is the best suited for your kind of performance. Do your sound checks before the gig starts. It’s advised to use new strings for your sound checks so that your sound engineer could have the clear picture on how to tune his instruments to guarantee that the performed songs sound fantastic. Also, ensure that your neck relief and the action are well adjusted to avoid string buzz or thin sounds during your performances. Have an emergency repair kit that is well equipped with repair tools and extra spares that include spare cables and batteries just in case.


Coordinate With The Sound Guy

Be nice and work closely with the guys behind the desk since they have the power to make or kill the show. However much they treat you like an amoeba just be polite to them during the gig. A good sound engineer will advise you on how to achieve your perfect sound during your sound checks. Communication with your sound man is key when it comes to having that amazing performance. Give him your opinions and suggestions politely but again respect his/her professional skills. In return, he will strive to set the correct stage volumes and work with you on the monitors to boost your performance.


Get An Electric Tuner

If possible have a floor tuner as it will assist you to easily mute your guitar when you plan to mumble between your songs. You could purchase it built into you effects unit or as a separate unit.


Work With The Monitors

It’s one thing to sing well through the mic and a different thing to hear how your voice will sound through the house systems. A good guitarist will thus take his/ her time during sound checks to listen to the stage monitors. Once satisfied the sound engineer can proceed to adjust the house speakers.In case the mixing board offers no way to equalize the stage monitors independently then having your own AER amp could be quite a life saver.


Use Proper Effects

Using well looping effects for your solo acoustic live performances will help you come up with that sonic atmosphere to flesh out your songs. However be careful not to overuse the effects as they might tend to imply that you lack the capacity to Wow the audience yourself.


Never Stop, Even If You Make A Mistake

During performances, making a mistake is normal. At times you find yourself flubbing a chord or even worse, forgetting a lyric but this should not put you off. The best thing to do is not stopping but you should rather try to cover up for your mistake without the audience realizing it. Even that means knowingly playing the wrong note again as if planned then do it but do not stop in the middle of a performance.


Final Thoughts ...

With the tips above, you should have the right foundations for a great show!



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What are some other good tips for acoustic guitarists?

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