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> Strings, Gigs & Backup Guitars !
Ben Higgins
post Jul 10 2011, 02:32 PM
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I played a gig last night and I had changed the strings the day before the gig. Of course, I had some tuning issues... I always manage to leave it too late before changing strings. I also always take a backup guitar which I haven't had to use so far, thankfully. However, I'm thinking I need to get a better string changing system happening..... biggrin.gif

What precautions do you take before a gig ? Do you change the strings days in advance ? Do you take a backup guitar ?


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 10 2011, 02:44 PM
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One time I snapped two NEW strings during a gig, in interval of half an hour, and what can you do.. had to change them while everybody was waiting... After that I learned very well the meaning of having backup guitar..

so it came to this: If there are other bands playing that night, I bring along one guitar, so if something happens, somebody will lend me his. On all other gigs, I bring two guitars, both with new strings.


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thefireball
post Jul 10 2011, 02:55 PM
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Wow. Never had this opportunity because I've never played gigs. However, I can see the importance. I want you to watch the video below - or at least the first part. It's so cool how Buddy handles the situation of a string break. He just makes fun of himself. It happens very early in the video. You can tell he notices something not quite right before the string breaks. biggrin.gif



Once I went to see a favorite band play, Skillet, and I noticed Ben Kasica's guitar was having tuning issues or something. I don't know. But whatever he played was kind of out. Perhaps it was intonation, because it seemed to only happen when he hit high notes. He may have had only one guitar for that tuning and couldn't switch out. sad.gif


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jul 10 2011, 05:06 PM
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QUOTE (thefireball @ Jul 10 2011, 03:55 PM) *
Wow. Never had this opportunity because I've never played gigs. However, I can see the importance. I want you to watch the video below - or at least the first part. It's so cool how Buddy handles the situation of a string break. He just makes fun of himself. It happens very early in the video. You can tell he notices something not quite right before the string breaks. biggrin.gif



Once I went to see a favorite band play, Skillet, and I noticed Ben Kasica's guitar was having tuning issues or something. I don't know. But whatever he played was kind of out. Perhaps it was intonation, because it seemed to only happen when he hit high notes. He may have had only one guitar for that tuning and couldn't switch out. sad.gif


Hahahahahaha great video smile.gif

I play bass and I only broke a string few times on stage.
Though, I broke a string for this lesson too heheh : https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/misc-less...-bass-tutorial/

It really kinda embarassing when it happens and you don't have a spare guitar. I always end the song with one broken string (compensating for it on the other strings) and then if it's a group gig I lend the bass from a fellow bass player. If it's a bigger gig or we play by ourselves - I bring the backup bass with me - though, I hate lugging around the 2 heavy huge hardcases.


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 10 2011, 06:25 PM
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Haha, that Buddy video was excellent... he was soo cool about it. Also love the way he pronounces 'Guitar' cool.gif

I imagine breaking a bass string to be a very intimidating experience.. I'd be scared the force of the string would whack me in the face or something ! ohmy.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jul 10 2011, 07:41 PM
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I always carry two guitars along, as in all my projects I play in drop C or drop A so things could get nasty if i broke strings. The good part is that heavy gauge strings don't break that easily biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: Jul 10 2011, 07:42 PM


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Sinisa Cekic
post Jul 10 2011, 08:28 PM
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Simply I don't think about it - what if ..? I try to always have new strings, and back-packing, in the worst case the replacement shall be carried out in a minute! And don't remember when I broke the string smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 10 2011, 10:53 PM
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Snapping a string become not-a-bit-deal to me, these days I finish the song more easily. It's just a state of mind to have something as a backup, you feel safer, specially when you need to get payed afterwards..


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 11 2011, 08:38 AM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jul 10 2011, 10:53 PM) *
Snapping a string become not-a-bit-deal to me, these days I finish the song more easily. It's just a state of mind to have something as a backup, you feel safer, specially when you need to get payed afterwards..


I never think about it when playing.. but if it did break I would just carry on the rest of the song and switch guitars in between songs smile.gif

Although I'm not sure what I'd do if the bottom E broke... we do play metal after all tongue.gif


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Chris Evans
post Jul 11 2011, 12:54 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jul 11 2011, 08:38 AM) *
I never think about it when playing.. but if it did break I would just carry on the rest of the song and switch guitars in between songs smile.gif

Although I'm not sure what I'd do if the bottom E broke... we do play metal after all tongue.gif



this is when fixed bridges become a whole huge advantage, with FR floating trems as soon as you break a string the whole tension of the bridge is altered and the whole guitar is dreadfully out of tune, impossible to carry on, and gotta swap guitars, it wasnt till I was well on my way travelling down to you that I started to regret not bringing a spare!

but as with this gig, I always change the strings the night before and spend the night playing on them to bed them in as much as possible and (touch wood) I`ve not broken a string during performance yet ....... that could have just been the kiss of death unsure.gif


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MickeM
post Jul 11 2011, 01:08 PM
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I only play fixed bridge guitars, can't really handle a floating bridge anyway. I keep a set of new strings in my case but usually that's in the back room and not on stage... If a string breaks, I will probably ride the set out and change in the break.
I never bring a spare guitar, it's a bit too much to carry and the gigs are still too small laugh.gif

About strings I change when they start sounding dull, I used to change a couple of days before a gig but nowadays I play on old strings unless they are worn out. And I always get stunned by how good new strings sound, but I also think that if my half-old-still-ok-sounding strings went with me this far they are less likely to break during the current gig.


EDIT: I always bring a HT-Dual pedal as a stand in if my amp breaks. So I can line it if nothing else. A silent amp is a bigger worry to me. wink.gif


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Chris Evans
post Jul 11 2011, 01:16 PM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Jul 11 2011, 01:08 PM) *
EDIT: A silent amp is a bigger worry to me. wink.gif


this is very true!!! especially with the rather nasty crackling noises my amp was making Saturday night I wasnt overly confident! blink.gif or was that my playing!? laugh.gif

This post has been edited by Chris Evans: Jul 11 2011, 01:17 PM


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MonkeyDAthos
post Jul 14 2011, 01:10 AM
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i have always at less 2 back up guitas, on mine and another from the vocalist ...the problem for me isn't the strings.
but breaking the guitar itself, special on more Punk/Thrash songs or on the encore q:


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Mudbone
post Jul 14 2011, 04:02 AM
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I heard that if you boil the replacement string, you don't have to stretch it out when you install it. If this is actually true, then it could be useful prep work for any gigging musician.


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 14 2011, 04:55 AM
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It's a good idea to change strings a few days ahead of a Gig as you know. Doesn't always work out that way though. Giving them a couple of days to "Stretch in" is always a good idea. Tuning issues are a pain and strings that aren't stretched out can drift making life really tough for the gigging musician.

I"ve seen guys show up with a little guitar tree, each with a different tune. Those triple stands with three guitars and carry it around, up to stage, then back off when none snap. It always seems like the guys with four guitars never break strings and the guy with one axe snaps a high E in the first tune. Murphy's Law?

A backup is alwasy a good plan smile.gif As is buying the guitar player in the other and a beer in case you need to borrow a guitar or even a pick.

For a while I got in the habbit of just carrying two guitars and a small rack and renting speakers cabs from the back line collection of the sound guy at a given club. The big shocker was that all the cabs sounded amazingly similar in the house mix. Even though they were wildly different in price/design. It was this experience that cured me on the idea of getting my "Cone Tone" out through the PA. After that, I quit toting huge amps altogether to gigs. No matter what cab I rented, still sounded like an SM 57 and a house PA.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 14 2011, 05:16 AM
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I try to change the strings 3 days before the show to avoid tuning issues. I always carry a back up guitar which is tuned in drop D for some songs.. If I have to replace my first guitar I have to tune it in standard tuning. However it has never happened with my Gibson Les Paul. I broke strings twice when I used an Ibanez RG520 with floyd rose... so I had to change the guitar in the middle of the song..


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 14 2011, 10:14 AM
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QUOTE (Chris Evans @ Jul 11 2011, 01:16 PM) *
this is very true!!! especially with the rather nasty crackling noises my amp was making Saturday night I wasnt overly confident! blink.gif or was that my playing!? laugh.gif


Crackling sounds are only welcome if you're cooking bacon !! laugh.gif

But coming from an amp.. not so welcome ! dry.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jul 14 2011, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jul 14 2011, 09:14 AM) *
Crackling sounds are only welcome if you're cooking bacon !! laugh.gif

But coming from an amp.. not so welcome ! dry.gif



Mmmm bacon biggrin.gif and scrambled eggs biggrin.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 14 2011, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jul 14 2011, 10:17 AM) *
Mmmm bacon biggrin.gif and scrambled eggs biggrin.gif


Stop it, you're making me hungry... maybe I should get some breakfast then.......... huh.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jul 14 2011, 10:18 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jul 14 2011, 09:17 AM) *
Stop it, you're making me hungry... maybe I should get some breakfast then.......... huh.gif


breakfast? Mate what hour did you wake up at? biggrin.gif


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