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Notes from Live Performances

Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,176Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
First Event 2018

I haven't been super active performance-wise, but there have been 3 this year that were note-worthy.
The first was a wrap-up party for a fitness challenge with a top prize of a trip to Hawaii!
I decided that myself (with guitar) and my pretty ukulele playing co-singer were to be called "The Don Hoes" :wink:

We played "Someone that I Used to Know", "Tiny Bubbles", "Can't Help Falling in Love", 3 Little Birds" etc
It went over very, very well, and had allot of comments to my wife along the lines of "Does he do that professionally?"... etc
No one said 'boo' to me, so I had no idea if they liked it or not lol

Gear:
- "Barely a PA system" (Stitched together amps)
- TC Helicon VoiceLive Play
- Larrivee Presentation acoustic
- Sennheiser E945

Long Story-Short:
Don't be afraid to experiment outside of your genre... you may very well surprise yourself!

The Take-Away:
- Always bring more cables and extension cords than you need!
- Don't use a bunch of crappy amps for a PA system lol
- Buy a proper PA system (Got a Fender Passport as a result of this)
- Bring my own WATER!!!!!

Comments

  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,176Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    edited July 16
    Second Event 2018:

    I attended a guitarist, singer, songwriter symposium (like I do every year)

    However, This one was in front of Gilby Clarke (GnR), Bumblefoot (GnR and Sons of Apollo) and Sean Kelly (Lee Aaron, Coney Hatch, Helix).

    I can honestly say, this was the first time I actually felt anxiety on a stage. To be honest, the only way it could have been worse would have been if it was in front of Edward Van Halen, George Lynch and Steve Vai! (or singers David Coverdale, Ray Gillen (RIP) and Geoff Tate)

    Once i got a semi-hold on my breathing... was I actually even breathing? I started a very difficult song "Wicked Sensation" by the Lynch Mob.... and of course the backing track was too low, so I kept losing reference rhythm as well as the groove, but I self-corrected very quickly each time. It literally felt like I was bailing the water out of a keel-hauled pirate ship in a desperate attempt to make it to land!

    Gear:
    - Mic was whatever was onstage, pretty sure it was an SM58
    - Guitar: ESP Skulls and Snakes
    - Amp: Some flavour of marshall

    Long story-short:
    I made it through the piece, even got some applause, and shoulder-clap "atta-boy's"... Even more importantly, I didn't die from it! As Ken always says, they didn't want me to fail, they wanted me to succeed!

    The takeaway:
    - Sometimes things aren't going to go your way, so you just need to lean into it and get 'er done!
    - I actually had Gilby Clarke be my amp tech to dial in that Wicked George Lynch tone!
    - Sometimes you're going to be forced to use equipment that you aren't used to, learn to be resilient and accepting of that.
    - If I'm feeling nervous, temporarily cop a sit on a stage stool to help settle me (Very important)
    - Don't be afraid to face your fears head on, no surrender... no retreat!
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,176Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    edited June 29
    Third Event 2018:

    Rodeo Week Kick off party
    For those of you that don't know, this is the kickoff to the Calgary Stampede, and each city surrounding Calgary-proper has one.

    Well the one I played was with a drummer I hadn't played with in about a year, and a bass player I hadn't played with in 27 years!!!
    The line up consisted of the original members of "Ground Zero", the band that formed here in Calgary right after the modest Euro-tour. The only difference was that I was now the lead vocalist, as well as the sole guitarist.
    ** Strangely, I felt very little nervousness with this one, and upon arrival set straight to work doing setup.

    We started with the Lynch Mob version of "Tie Your Mother Down", then into Dokken "Breakin the Chains", then I played VH "Eruption" leading into "Your Really Got Me"... we did a few more pieces then another band came on and I did backup vocals for them. Afterwards turned into a free-for-all jam to a medley of Hendrix, Neil Young and whatever else emerged lol

    Gear:
    - Soldano SLO amp
    - Kramer Baretta
    - Sennheiser E945
    - TC Helicon VoiceLive Play

    Long Story-short:
    The PA was grossly under-powered and I had to swallow the mic and push a lot harder than I like to, but thanks to KTVA training, I was able to weather the storm without any major difficulty or damage.

    The Takeaway:
    - Don't show up too close to show time and deny yourself a soundcheck
    - Don't block yourself off from the audience with a music stand (safety net in case you forget the words)
    - I think from now on, if I use the music stand, it'll be off to the side... if i forget the words, I'll just vowel-scat my way till I reconnect with the proper lyrics
    - Be more aware to keep my muzzle right on the mic, and not look down at my fretboard while I am singing. The Sennheiser E945 does not like that at all!
    - The PA volume and monitoring was so inadequate that I actually had to occasionally go on throat muscle-memory to hit a few notes, and hope that I remembered right! For the most part, remarkably, I actually did pretty good :neutral:
  • Klaus_TrappKlaus_Trapp Posts: 162.0 PRO
    Hi Phil, that sounds like you were having lots of fun. thanks for sharing this. my favorite part gotta be the one about your amp tech. i bet it sounded amazing when he was done dialing :)

    you said this:

    "Be more aware to keep my muzzle right on the mic"

    I have no experience singing with a mic on stage, but I started to sing for a band and I was wondering:

    how do you keep the mic from breaking your teeth? seriously, I keep hitting the mic with my teeth during practise (no visible damage so far thankfully), but I am getting worried that in a live scenario (people tripping over stuff, being in darkness or in blinding lights) it will just be a matter of time.

    i'd kind of like to avoid it, but don't know how. any tricks you can share?

    thank you. best regards, Klaus
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,176Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    @Klaus_Trapp , definitely!
    The simplest and cheapest solution is to get one of those foam windscreens that just slip over the mic grille.
    It will not only protect your choppers, but will also help you reduce your sibilants as well :-)
  • Klaus_TrappKlaus_Trapp Posts: 162.0 PRO
    hi @Furious_Phil, thanks so much for your answer! that sounds like a great plan. i tried using socks before (also because some shared practise spaces over here have really smelly and disgusting mics), but thought that wouldn't look that appealing in a live show ;) i never thought of using those windscreens. thanks for the tip!!! offtopic: is that guitar in your pic an esp kamikaze?
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,176Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Yes and no... it is actually a custom build to the exact specs from the late 80's, as is my Skulls & Snakes and Kamikaze :+1:
  • videoacevideoace Posts: 1,754Pro, 2.0 PRO
    It's kind of like using nunchucks in martial arts. After you smack yourself in the head a few times, you learn to adapt quickly. ha ha

    I do it all the time myself. Do you use a stand or handheld? I use a stand, and I try not to keep it stationary. I carry it with me when I sing so it does happen.

    You just have to learn how to gauge the distance between the hand that holds it, and how far away from your mouth that hand is.

    Peace, Tony
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