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Outdoor gig tips

Posts: 382
3 months ago
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I'm playing outdoors for the first time this weekend, and am looking for any tips to be better prepared.

We have a sound tech who knows what he's doing, and are using wedge monitors, so that's all covered.

It's going to be warmer than I'm used to, so extra water and a towel to dry my hands are already on my list, but that's the whole list. What else do I need, or need to be ready for?
Posts: 2900
Sunglasses and umbrella, ( don't do a Rihanna and take an UMBER ELLA ELLA ELLA)
mr zee
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Posts: 1020
Most of my shows are outdoors, except in the winter. Living in Virginia, the summers get pretty hot and humid. I hate playing when it's humid. My fingers don't cooperate when they're wet.

I always have bottles of water, a hand towel on my stand, and a fan down on my pedals pointing up at me. Those things help. I'm the kind of person that once I start to sweat I can't stop until I take a shower. It sucks.

Bugs always show up at my outdoor shows. Avoid having sweet drinks around you and the bees will stay away. Seriously. When I drink wine at shows at wineries, bees are always buzzing around my head and hands. Mosquitoes are a pain during evening shows. I always have small spray bottle of Off in my bag. And sunglasses. Depending on how your stage is setup, you'll either be fine or battling the sun.

My worst gig was a Sunday afternoon gig, where it was 98 degrees with a heat index of 105. The humidity was around 95%. I actually stopped playing mid-song, because I was convinced I was having a heat stroke. I went flush, forgot everything, and couldn't stand up straight. I wasn't even drinking alcohol! I sat back on a stool until the song was done, and then told the band I had to take a break and cool off. Fortunately after the break, the sun began setting behind the building, casting a shadow and made it possible for me to finish the show.
Posts: 382
Mark - I'm outside of Raleigh, NC, here, so basically the same heat/humidity challenges. Thankfully it seems like fall is finally on the way (now that Florence is finally done raining on us).

To document for anyone else who checks the forum for this info:

Bug repellant - our guitarist had a bunch. Thankfully. We were up against a low hedge and the bugs were present.
Drinks - water only, which I'd have been doing even if it wasn't a church service. I'm not a big drinker anyway, and it always makes me feel warm.
Fan - drummer (playing a Cajón - we were not hauling a full drum kit from the church down the street to the park) had one, and I was close enough to enjoy the benefits. I will bring my own next time
Sunglasses - had them in my bag, but we didn't get the sun on us until the last song of the service so I didn't need them.

Things I added:
Sunscreen - didn't use it, but if we had been in the sun the whole time I would have wanted it.
Hard case - instead of the usual gig bag. Losing the pockets of the gig bag was a negative, but I figured the extra protection would be a good idea.

It wasn't too hot, but it was humid. The strings felt very sticky through the whole service. Drying my hands didn't help, nor did wiping down the strings.

For this scenario, if I do it again, I'll go over to the park the night before and spray the hedge with bug spray to knock down the bug population.

The electric guitar (US Strat) had to be tuned a few times through the practice and service, the acoustic guitar (a Martin) had to be tuned before each song, and my US Fender Jazz came out of the hard case in tune and stayed that way the whole time.
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Yup, my G&L stays in tune an entire show. Unless someone bumps a tuner, or I have to down-tune. But humidity and sunlight wreaks havoc on guitars. Poor bastards.
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I'm playing outdoors for the first time this weekend, and am looking for any tips to be better prepared

Take it easy on the beers the night before , eat a propper meal 3-4 hours before showtime ( no spicy stuff , your fellow band members will thank you )

Couple of drinks beforehand to take the edge off and during is fine with me , but also have some water at hand or a sports drink for rehydration

Be aware of any band members going into cardiac arrest !!!!

Happy to report that a guitarist/singer has made a great recovery following his heart attack at our last gig , which was outdoors BTW

Had a couple of beers with him last weekend up the pub and the band is back in rehearsals next month

Posts: 725
Yup, my G&L stays in tune an entire show

Yep as does my L2000, I'm trading in my back up Fender mex jazz for an SB-2 or LB100 tribute, these well made and engineered instruments are a steal

As for guitarist retuning all the time , our two definitely do it of only a breather between songs

Not Like the poor drummers and bassists holding it all together

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