Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Location: The smoke filled back room where it all really happens
|Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:22 pm Post subject:
|Cam wrote: |
|I'm basically an amateur but I have a few very accomplished musician friends. I notice that they take stress and make it work for them. They just wail away more on a lead or throw in more drum flourishes. In my case, I forget chords and lose all dexterity. It really pisses me off. It seems like not giving a shit can be a real asset. |
You've picked up on something important. The pros do give a shit - that's why they're pros. But they don't get rattled easily and recover well from a gaffe. So remind yourself when you play that the audience wants you to have fun. Because the more fun you have, the more of that rubs off on your audience. If you stress out, the audience finds itself watching someone stress out - which is not why they go to hear a live performer. So find ways to turn the energy that comes out as stress, around to come out as a more neutral energy.
I've battled stage fright / adrenalin for years and the only thing that overcomes it seems to be time on a stage. But at least if you remind yourself that these people are your friends and they want you to do well, you can help them to avoid stressing for you by exercising your sense of humor. If I start a tune in the wrong key (forgot the capo, whatever), I'll do the Eric Clapton thing. Remember his Unplugged concert? "uh.. hang on, hang on.... heh... ok" Needed to retune or something and just went with it.
Get someone to take pictures of you when you're playing (and practicing). Look at the expression on your face. I'm awful with that - it looks like I just heard a friend had died or something. So a big grin and a flash of the eye can help an audience. And then just let it all happen. You'll get cranking before you know it and then you're cooking.
About the live sound, I agree with trying to rearrange stuff so each guitar has a different sonic space at any given moment. Another thing to try if your mixer has enough channels is a trick sound guys do with delay effects, especially with rockabilly bands where a vocal slapback can be part of the show. Sometimes we will take a return from a completely wet reverb or delay signal and re-route it into a separate channel - and then slap the fader up and down momentarily to apply an instant of slapback.
You can do something like this by panning eq on each guitar. The idea is to dupe a track with its own unique eq and pan setup, only do it live. All you need to do is assign an aux send from each guitar channel to its own new input channel. Then on the new channel, do something different with the eq and let it back into the mix. If you're running a stereo main mix, play with panning the secondary signal differently from the primary and so forth. Experiment with pre- and post- fader sends to see what you like. By doing this you can establish more and differing acoustic spaces for each guitar.
I almost never run stereo live mix as it causes more problems for me than it solves. I'll run a mono mix to one active cab and daisy chain the line level signal to the other. But maybe a stereo mix could work for you if you get this kind of thing under your belt.
Shut up, she explained.
HERE THERE BE MOOSIC