DiscMakers recently published an excellent article by Michael Gallant in their Echoes blog. If you’ve ever been frustrated by band-mates, other bands or venues when it cam to set-up and breakdown, this is a must-read.
Nearly every touring musician has at least one story about load-in or breakdown gone awry – that emotionally scarring gig where the venue promised a full drum kit but only delivered a broken snare drum, the festival slot when you expected fifteen minutes to set up but only got fifteen seconds, or that sickening post-gig moment when you realized your vintage Les Paul had grown legs and walked out of the club, all by itself.
Can such situations be prevented? Quite often, yes, and adopting common-sense habits like showing up early, making lists, and packing ahead of time can save you considerable trouble and grief before and after you hit the stage for your music gig.
Beyond that, many players develop their own sets of best practices through hard-earned, on-the-gig experience. Here are tips from bassist Tony Tino, guitarist Laurence Yeung, keyboardist Arlan Schierbaum, and drummer Josh Giunta to help you maximize your effectiveness and minimize your stress when setting up before and breaking down after a gig.