If you are an active reader of this site or my Facebook Page then you already know how important I think it is to keep the sound guy/girl in a good mood. Yes, you will come across some real assholes but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do everything in your power to avoid pissing them off. Just a simple conversation or single compliment can be enough to turn any ass around, and I would recommend using this to your advantage. Why? Because a sound guy can make or break your show. It doesn’t matter how good you play, you are going to sound like shit to the crowd if you aren’t mixed properly. If you piss them off, then they may not take the extra care needed to make sure your band is sounding great for the audience. It is recommended to get a sound guy of your own once you start to get serious about your gigs. Until then just don’t piss them off!
Here are nine things that piss off the sound guy:
1. You constantly ask them to turn something up/down after every song
Asking them once or twice isn’t going to be much of a deal at all. Doing it over and over after every song is going to piss even the nicest of people off. I have seen many front men ask so many times in a show that I can tell the audience is even starting to get annoyed.
2. You come to a gig with a massive and complicated set up & don’t let them know beforehand
If you or your band have a pretty basic and common set up then little/no prior communication is required depending on the gig. If you aren’t like every other band, you may have something that will require an extra bit of set up time before your gig. If you do have anything out of the ordinary, you need to get in contact with the sound guy and let him or her know before the show. You are going to make the sound guys job a lot easier if he/she goes into the show already knowing what your bands setup is going to be.
3. You show up late for sound check
Sound check is extremely important and you shouldn’t be messing with your allowed time! A lot of the times there are numerous bands on the bill and sound check time is tight for all bands. The sound guy is already going to have enough on their plate due to the volume of bands and being late is going to screw up their schedule and put you in their bad books. Show up on time and make sure your set is going to sound great!!!
4. You take forever to get off stage after your set
Hello!!! It’s not time to mingle on stage after your show. You may have some time if you are headlining but for the most part you are going to have other bands going on after you. These people need time to set up, and the sound guy has limited time to change things over. Taking your time will also piss the band off that is playing after you. Get your equipment off the stage and chat after!
5. You tell them to adjust something when another band is playing
I don’t know if there are many things worse than walking up to the sound guy and telling him that he needs to adjust something. It’s one thing when you are on stage, but when you are standing beside them listening to other musicians you are basically telling them that they are bad at their job.
6. You go around the crowd and talk shit about the sound
Don’t go around talking shit about the sound even if it isn’t up to par to your standards. It is more than likely going to get back to the sound guy. For the most part, sound guys do sound at a lot of the same venues, and they get to know a lot of the employees and regulars that attend that bar. If any of them hear you talking shit, chances are one of them is going to go let the sound guy know.
7. You blame the sound guy for your bad playing
I have seen bands play horrible sets and try to blame it on the fact that they couldn’t hear anything. It usually goes with the band doing a lot of what I explain in reason #1. If this rings a bell stop complaining and start practicing more. Yes, bad sound guys can make a band sound worse but a sound guy can’t make a band play worse.
8. You touch the board
Oh No You Didn’t! What the heck is wrong with you? Remember when I said I didn’t know if there were many things worse than reason #5? Well, reason #8 is worse, possibly THE worst thing you could do to piss off the sound guy. Touching the sound board is comparable to someone in the audience walking up on stage and grabbing your guitar strings while you are playing live. Simply thinking this is ok makes you a horrible person
Now the you know some key things to avoid when dealing with a sound guy you are well on you way to having many stress and drama free shows in the future.
Do you agree with everything I have to say? Do you think I missed anything out? Let me know in the comments section below!