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Author Topic: Going to see live bands  (Read 2871 times)

CommonCourtesy

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Going to see live bands
« on: November 02, 2014, 03:14:14 PM »
As we are all guitar players, (or bassists or other instruments for all I know) we love playing and sometimes performing, in bands.

So when we go see other people play, are we watching them as a musician or a punter? Are we watching the fingers to see if they're playing the correct notes, are our ears listening to their tone, are they in time, etc? Or are we just merely there to drink some alcohol and dance the night away?

I've found myself at recent gigs watching the guitar player and trying to nit-pick all their pitfalls, sometimes I will try to switch off and enjoy the music (if they're any good) but now I can't help but be watching and listening with a different perspective. Doesn't help that I teach too so I've grown used to critiquing guitarists and stuff.

I think live as well can people out front actually hear your mistakes?! I know I come off stage all the time saying to people I messed up but they always say "I didn't notice..." a polite way of saying ("I did but I won't offend you!")

38thBeatle

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2014, 11:07:03 PM »
I do go & see bands when I am not gigging- to suss the competition out, curiosity about sets/gear and I also try & learn if they are good and I am ashamed to say, pick holes if they are not that good. It is very hard to switch off and just watch/listen  as a punter.

I reckon though that a lot of the audience  would not notice the odd mistake- for sure I do but I don't think that a good proportion of people hear music in the same way as we musicians do.

I am also  interested in how the guitarist(s) use his/their gear and what sort of tone - I like to think it is professional interest. I normally end up chatting to them if they are any good to see if I can  gain from them and I have been known to tell a white lie to spare their feelings if I think they are lacking in some way. But often I am watching a good quality band with a decent set up and I usually enjoy seeing someone else  gigging.
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Ian Price

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 12:24:43 PM »

I reckon though that a lot of the audience  would not notice the odd mistake- for sure I do but I don't think that a good proportion of people hear music in the same way as we musicians do.

I am also  interested in how the guitarist(s) use his/their gear and what sort of tone - I like to think it is professional interest. I normally end up chatting to them if they are any good to see if I can  gain from them and I have been known to tell a white lie to spare their feelings if I think they are lacking in some way.

Agree with all of that!

On the first point - I played drunken guitar at a friends house (Xmas party) and managed to cobble together some sing slongs - Wonderwall etc. After that she labelled me as an excellent guitar player. My reaction to that was to blush and think "errr, not really". I then thought we're looking at it in very different ways - I know what 'excellent' looks and sounds like (to me at least), I don't htink they would be looking at it through the same lens.

On the second point - I was at a wedding where there was a funciton band who played a lot of floor filling classics. Normally I don't like that sort of stuff - this one was difefrent though. The guitarists tone was rather splended. He was playing through a Cornell amp, had some really nice pedals (but only a few) and a decent looking Strat - he played for the song too and didn't go all 'look at me'. At the end of their set I had a chat with him and praised him on his tone. He was genuinely pleased with me saying that and said he hardly ever gets anyone mentioning his tone. He knew I was a guitar player pretty soon after we struck up a conversation.
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AndyR

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2014, 02:51:39 PM »
I think we have to accept that we don't see and hear a gig through the same eyes and ears as most punters do. And when we do accept it, we are able to enjoy it a bit more like the average punter does, but never 100%. That's been my experience, anyway.

On the mistakes front, the punters notice if the "groove" is unexpectedly interrupted - if bass or drums mess up in some way. They notice if the singer stumbles over a lyric (but only the anoraks notice if you sing the same verse three times or make up your own lyrics on the spot!). They notice if you trip over your lead and fall flat on your @rse. But they don't tend to notice much else. For example, if you play the wrong fret for a few bars, they just think it sounds a bit funny but they assume you know what you're doing.

And... most guitar solos are just widdley-woo to the average punter. So a bunch of wrong notes, as long as you play them with conviction, will be just as good as the carefully contructed solo that you've spent MONTHS practicing and are guaranteed to mess up on the night!!

But the minute you've got guitarists in the audience. They'll come and tell you all sorts of stuff - some of it true, some of it not. "You weren't loud enough" from a guitarist is not to be trusted - check with non-guitarists. "You played that intro wrong - Jimi used to play it on the 5th fret" ... er, so what?

BUT, funnily enough, I found that the "big mistake" you made, the one you were most embarrassed about, the one you felt you had to tell this guitar-playing audience member about before he/she mentioned it - invariably, even another guitarist didn't notice it either.... either that, or he/she goes "oh, I thought you meant to play it like that..." :grin:
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CommonCourtesy

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2014, 03:31:34 PM »
I can relate to all the points above, the funniest thing is when you think you've played the worst gig ever, as in your playing was bad, several mistakes, out of time, tune, etc etc and the first person you speak to afterwards in the front watching says you're the most amazing guitarist in the world! Maybe if another guitarist was in the crowd they might not think so highly but more often than not they didn't even notice. Alot of the spectators I play in front are the other bands on the bill for the night, and they usually give nice comments, regardless of how well I played.

I've had the "you need to turn up" comment before, the soundman disagrees half the time though! The sound I'm hearing from the stage is always different from what you hear FOH in the pit. Everyone just says "it sounds great out here" to me!

And I'm always being a nosey so-and-so with the other guitarists' gear, checking out their amps, guitars and pedals. As mentioned before they know I play too and we have a good conversation on equipment. 9/10 they're usually happy to chat about it all cos there's no one else in the venue to talk to it about in such detail!
« Last Edit: December 25, 2014, 02:46:48 PM by CommonCourtesy »

Alex

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2014, 07:43:38 PM »
I do look a lot at the guitar players and dissect their playing, their sound, their stage antics. For me that is where my fun is!  :shocked: Yes, a bit weird maybe... but hey we're all guitar maniacs anyway.

Worst concert: Incubus (my wife likes the band). Mike Einziger is a boring guitarist, his tone sucks, his guitar (a Music Man model, but a really weird looking one) is so ugly dogs would bark at it and he has the charm of a water-logged corpse on stage.

Best concert: Joe Holmes with Ozzy Osbourne. Awesome, clear and crisp tone, great playing and a stage presence that rivals that of other much more famous guitarists.
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gwEm

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2014, 09:25:31 AM »
i obviously go to quite a few gigs, but they tend to be 'big' name bands rather than small pub/club gigs of the type I usually play.

with the big shows, you are quite far away from the guitarists anyway, so its hard to be too judgmental, also its ridiculously loud. i tend to take in the whole theatre of the thing.

on the occasions i do see a smaller band, i do generally check out their gear and such like pretty closely. its funny, but i've never judged another guitarist in that situation on technical merit. i generally try to judge their material in a more artistic way. of course, cover bands would be different in that case to musicians playing originals.

i do hear bum notes very easily from other musicians, but since i play a load of them myself, i'm not hard on them about it ;)

and i would certainly agree that i take comments from people with a big pinch of salt. its nice to be called a good player, but i know where i'm aiming for, and i'm still along way off!! i can widdly-woo with the best of them though ;)

guitarists do indeed advise you to make the guitar sound louder, generally i prefer to sit nicely in the mix and not be too loud, except during a solo. i ask other musicians for advice on that, but not guitarists.. they always seem to want it louder.

edit: finally it is good to talk to other guitarists after shows to compare notes and ideas. i have offered what i felt was constructive advice in the past, but i'm no jimi hendrix myself and know what its like to be starting out so i would never do anything to dent someone elses confidence. generally people go out to see a great show, and i don't your average punter cares about a few wrong notes, and even if they are heard, they are quickly forgotten.

i hate receiving  too much lavish praise myself after a show, i think the best compliment you can get or give to another musician is 'good job!'
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 09:35:56 AM by gwEm »
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CommonCourtesy

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2014, 01:03:59 PM »
I will say this was primarily about originals bands as I rarely get to see cover bands at the moment as I'm more on the originals scene. But some covers bands I have seen have been awful. The guitarist's tone is terrible, out of tune and the drummer is nearly always out of time. You can tell which bands do this full-time and which ones do it on the weekends, but if you're good enough and play well sometimes you can't.

Then there's that classic debate of "do you play what's on the record or you do your own thing with the guitar lines..." Personally I'd play what's on the recording but its nice sometimes to have your own take on things, maybe on breaks and quiet parts, but not solos or main riffs. The ones that shred endlessly and needlessly on classic iconic solos annoy me, just play the tune!

Telerocker

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2014, 09:33:23 AM »
I think YT helps more than attending a gig.
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MrBump

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2014, 09:08:07 AM »
The nature of the music I like means that I tend to go and watch good musicians.  To be totally honest, I nearly always get to a point in a gig where I'm itching to get home and play!  Maybe I'm getting better at that as I get older.  In my twenties I was terrible for getting the "guitar itch" halfway through a gig.
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Archlute

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2014, 06:07:21 AM »
Having been a performing classical guitarist and instructor gave me very critical eyes and ears. Having been a gigging guitarist gave me patience and empathy. I'm certain I'll never be able to attend live performances as I did "pre-musician", however, as much as I may watch and listen critically, I feel that I now do that in the best sense - enjoying the performance effort and seeking to learn any new technique, trick, fingering, sound, rig setup, etc.

When good players make a mistake I no longer gloat, as much as I am thankful for thier humanity, and may even feel a little pain for them, knowing just how that feels when I've whiffed a note, missed an intro or played a badly intonated bend (although, I have less sympathy on that last point - work on that cr@p!).

CommonCourtesy

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2015, 02:16:39 PM »
So I played a show last night, and for the first time ever a guitarist (playing in the band after us coincidently) came up to me and said I had a great guitar tone! It was probably down to the fact we were using the same head (6505+) but it was nice to be complimented for once.

I still think it sounded a bit cr@p on stage but everyone out front was saying it was great. And also the sound man actually told me to TURN UP as well, instead of the usual "turn down" lol.

JJretroTONEGOD

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2015, 12:44:53 PM »
I only really go to see my mates bands thesedays to show support, but rarely go to a random night out. There are far more terrible musicians than there have ever been out there, and the good ones are gigging less, that's something I've observed in the last 5 years.

_tom_

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2015, 07:13:57 PM »
I don't really go to see any local bands live, mostly because they aren't any good haha.

bucketshred

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Re: Going to see live bands
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2015, 11:50:20 AM »
I don't really go to see any local bands live, mostly because they aren't any good haha.

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