Advice for the Gigging Musician


In this post, I’ve compiled a list of advice for the gigging musician. It’s divided into three categories: (1) equipment and gear, (2) repertoire development, and (3) band dynamics. As a bonus, I’ve included a gig day checklist and a video tutorial.

Equipment and Gear

  1. You should probably ditch your tuner. How else are you going to fit an extra ring modulator onto your board? Besides, if you have your ring modulator’s rate and LFO set high enough, you don’t even need to tune.
  2. The best tones for jazz are created using a Hammer double neck through a Crate half stack with the gain cranked all the way up. This maneuver really gets those sweet, bell-like tones that make your melodies soar and your chords shimmer.
  3. Most of the best pro audio gear is sold at Best Buy.

Repertoire Development

  1. The best way to wow your wedding audience is to deliver an unsolicited Iron Maidenonly set list. If the bride and groom seem set on easy listening and rhythm and blues, you’ll know what they really want—even if they’re not asking for it. Just use your head and do the right thing.
  2. The drum intro to “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen can be used to good effect on ballads, waltzes, and folk-dances.
  3. You should spend most of your time learning traditional Icelandic serenades.

Band Dynamics

  1. It is imperative that you reign with absolute tyranny over your bandmates.  Those talent-less assholes need to know whose in charge.  Do not tolerate, especially, looks of boredom and disbelief  from these imps and ignoramuses, especially when you take that all-important third guitar solo. Attitudes of this sort are like a cancer, if you let it slide once, then it’s amateur hour from then on.
  2. Band practice is overrated.  I recommend rehearsing as infrequently as possible.  How else are you going to maintain that organic spontaneity that is so important to a band dynamic? Really, take me seriously on this one, never practice with your band—In fact, it’s probably best if you don’t even meet them till gig day.
  3. If you’re forced to rehearse with your band, be sure to review power-stance techniques—nothing else matters, really. Trust me on this one: Do not practice under any circumstance.

Gig Day Checklist

  1. One handle apiece for each band member of the following spirits: Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Jamison, and Wild Turkey
  2. One, just for men, twerk-enabling trouser pad
  3. Eighteen or nineteen ham sandwiches
  4. A copy of “How To Yell In Key” by Throat Johnson
  5. Uncle Randy’s Good Time Fake Book
  6. Lots of cat treats
  7. DVD copy of the documentary “Asshole to Zillionaire” by Ken Burns
  8. A panda costume

The Only Lick You Really Need For Jazz 

Please study this video tutorial before playing your next jazz gig:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Thanks for reading and watching. I wish you good luck at your next gig.

If you follow the steps outlined in this blog post, then your next show will be a success.

Please send video here:

One thought on “Advice for the Gigging Musician

Add yours

  1. Um, from the licks to the stance to the Bat Mitzvah, it sounds a little like a non-Kosher mail-order bride scenario, Brian. There is help. And Forever Stamps. (but really, love the post, keep up the great writing!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: