Hey! what's your pre-gig ritual?

tpaul

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Mar 18, 2003
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There's really not much to it. After sacrificing a chicken to the God of Fortuitous Mistakes, I generally gargle with Harvey's, spit into my hat, throw a pinch of sulfur over my left shoulder, rub my guitar strings with a gallstone, count to eleven, read the tarot, roll a pair of dice made from the vertibrae of an alligator, burn some incense, place a nickle inside each shoe, sage my amp, and I'm good to go.

What do you guys do?
 

umasstele

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Dec 19, 2008
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Central Massachusetts
I begin by going over my guitars, cleaning them and tweaking them to play the best I can. I get all my pedals and cables organized and put them by the door...

I shower/shave before leaving, I don't eat...if I do its very lightly. for my band, I've found showing up 1 1/2 hours early if perfect.

When I show up, I usually like to get there before the van with the gear, and I go in and talk to the bartender/manager to get situated.

When we start setting up, I have one beer.

thats the ritual!
 

KeithJ

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Jul 27, 2012
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Reindeer
I'm hypoglycemic, so I would always have a protein bar and a protein juice from Odwalla or something. I had this one t-shirt I like to wear at shows, but other than that, just tune and plug into the amp. . .
 

Lefty138

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Jan 9, 2010
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Los Angeles CA
make sure my gear is good to go, unload said gear into the venue. depending on the availability of alcohol, either two beers or a beer and a shot, no more, no less until i start playing. once the set has started i keep the beers coming.
 

toadman

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Mar 5, 2007
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andoverandoverandover,ct
i check to make sure the roadies have all the equipment set up just right and that my guitar tech has fresh strings on all 12 guitars a and new tubes in both my expensive top shelf custom amp and my slightly less expensive back up amp.
after i finsh the required prime rib dinner(it's all there in the contract)the TDPRI tshirt model escorts me to the stage and.................

aawww heck! i just check to make sure i'm in the right club on the right night and that my fly is zipped!
 

Larry F

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Nov 5, 2006
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Iowa City, IA
Sweating hands has always been a problem. Particularly that little bit of flesh between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand. I do most of my blues soloing with bends, so that part of my hand is often touching the neck. The problem comes when I move up or down to different positions. The skin sort of catches on the neck, which interrupts my fluid motion that I hope to have. I have found a bottle of something that is sold as a hand drying product, useful for pole dancing (I'm not kidding). I put that stuff on a few hours before the gig. Before getting on stage, I try to wash my hands. If not right before, then anytime earlier. I can use soap and dry the hands, but the goop still works for the night and part of the next day. It is a real life-saver for me, as the old way was so uncomfortable and made me feel like I was not playing well, even when post-gig recordings sometime showed the opposite. I am funny, in that if my hands don't feel good, I think that I am playing badly.

I also bring baby wipes, another kind of sweat inhibitor in the form of a wipe, and some alcohol swabs for the calluses. I also bring, usually don't use, some liquid you brush on the callus to beef it up, similar to super glue, but without the nastiness.

If I can't play for several hours ahead of time, I do stretches with a v between fingers 1 and 2, 2 and 3, etc. I use the knew for this. I read this by Barney Kessel. I also squeeze a rubber donut and a rubber band (but wider and tougher).

I heard John Mayer mention that before the gig, he listens to BB King's Live at the Regal. I need to start doing that, so that I can implant some reflexes by other players. Otherwise, I get stuck into finger-cliches of mine that are musically dead and worthless.

Howard Roberts used to play single note stuff very, very slowly. He said that if he didn't do that before a gig, his playing would be off all night.
 

killer

TDPRI Member
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Nov 3, 2012
Posts
65
Drink a lot while we go to the gig and Turn on the stereo so loud that my friends beat me
 

voodooblues

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Sep 12, 2012
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3,157
Location
Berwyn, Il
I usually shower, but more out of necessity as opposed to ritual. I try to play for about half an hour earlier in the day, that way my hands warm up faster on the gig, but I don't always have an opportunity to do that. I like to make sure I get a fresh beer right before we start, that way I don't get thirsty during the set.
 

leatherbound

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Dec 23, 2010
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367
Location
Indiana
I like to get my stuff set up, set up the lights and help with the PA then stand back and make fun of our drummer because he is STILL setting up his drums. He usually has them set where he wants them about half way in the first set. He likes to yell at me after about the 3rd song to have me talk longer cause he needs to work on his Hi Hat.............................It isn't annoying at all!
 

Jack FFR1846

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Sep 18, 2011
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Location
Hopkinton, MA
Ahhh....I'm boring. Day before, put the bag of stuff near the door along with the guitar in its case. Double check that the FX pedal power supply is in there.

Day of: get there 1/2 an hour earlier than needed. Set up. Noodle a bunch to get the strings up to temp and retune periodically until the guitar is fully at room temp.
 




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