Last week we covered formation and foundation of a band. This week is all about the equipment.

Your band is now up and running. You're beginning to churn out the tunes like a well oiled machine.

Perhaps you have even attempted one or two original pieces. It's decision time!

Do you stay as a fun band, playing for self satisfaction only? Or do you take the next step up and see what you can make out if this?

For those squarely in the latter, your first task will be to pick up some serious equipment and get used to using it.

This is a crucial time in your bands life. Some serious group decisions will need to be made. Have a band meeting to discuss the matter of equipment.

Make sure everyone has a voice. Most importantly, remember that solid equipment is the most important thing after the talent of the band.

The equipment you go for will depend on the type of music you play. Do your research thoroughly!

Guitar Tips recommends guitarists look at Ibanez, a Marshall stack, and Digitech or Boss multi effects racks. Make sure you are careful with your choice of PA equipment.

"One of the most important aspects of your overall sound is your PA equipment. Simply put, it is a set of speakers (large ones, small ones, foldback ones) and a sound mixer to plug it all into. My personal recommendation is to have all players go through their usual amp equipment but turned down slightly. Then plug everyone into the PA equipment and have someone mix the sound for you from their position. " - Chris Elmore; owner of Guitar Tips Online.

You should also think about running everyone through the PA system after running them through their own equipment. This will create a good overall sound.

The rumor that PA systems are only for vocalists is not true. Get everyone plugged into the PA system and make sure that you have someone in the know at the mixing unit.

Their job is to ensure that all band members are in the right place and at the right level in the overall sound. Here are some general tips for producing a clear sound:

  • Lead Guitarist: Must be loud during his lead breaks.

  • Bass Guitar: Always follow the drummer's bass drum

  • Rhythm Guitar: Not be too loud

  • Drummer: Ensure that a foldback amplifier and speakers are placed next to them so they can hear the band in front of them

  • Vocalist: Always the most important. Must be clearly heard above everyone else

  • Keep all volumes on your guitars slightly lower as it prevents feedback from amps.

Remember that you must be confident and familiar with your equipment before you try a live gig.

Try performing in front of friends and/or family first. Once you are comfortable with your performance, it's time to try your hand at a live gig in front of the ever-demanding public eye!


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