Keep it Loose: Stretches for Guitarists

If you’re anything like me, you have felt the pain of playing the guitar. I’m not talking about the blues, or the pain caused by being smacked by the singer; I’m talking about pain and tension in your muscles and joints. We guitarists put our hands through a lot of punishment. Bending strings, holding barre chords, rapid-fire picking – it all adds up, and none of it is good for your muscles or joints. When your hands are aching or your shoulders are locking up, your performance suffers. Worst of all, you might be doing long term damage.

When To Say “No”

You’re gigging a lot. A lot. You’ve also been hustling your musical butt off, making connections and marketing each and every gig your band has had. Slowly but surely you’re building your name and a dedicated following. The gigs are still coming in but now you’re at a point where you’re questioning if you should take every gig offer that comes your way. As someone that knows the joy of playing 42 gigs in 35 days on a regular basis and the pleasure of double booking, let me say that picking your gigs in a practical and quick manner is vital. We’ll talk about the criteria that many musicians – myself included – have come to rely on before committing to a gig.

The True Cost of Gigging

BB King really said it best, when he said he’s “paying the cost to be the boss,” and in the “glamorous” lifestyle of the working musician it rings true. And yet, when it comes to taking a gig and getting out and playing, we sometimes forget those costs and just agree to the gig, only…

A Big Argument for Small Bass Amplifiers

Here’s an actual conversation I had with a friend (and fellow bassist): Him: I just got a 1,200 watt head and 4×12 cabinet for my band. Me: Don’t you have PA support? That seems like overkill. Him: No way, it’ll be awesome. Two months later: Me: How’s that new amp? Him: I can’t turn it…

Gigging at the Edge of Reason, Episode 2

Gigging at the Edge of Reason is a series I started here on the Seymour Duncan Blog to share stories of gigs that have gone terribly awry for one reason or another. Performing live is an art all to itself. My hope is that by sharing these stories from time to time, we can all…

Holiday Gift Ideas (That Don’t Suck) for Guitarists 2012

The air has grown cold, the days grown short, and the time of family, friends, good food and gift giving draws near. My friends, the holiday season is officially underway. Personally, I love this time of year. I don’t always get to see my family very much, but no matter what else is going on…

Essential Items No Guitarist Should Leave Home Without

Ever been to a club with a live band, and halfway through the first set something breaks down on the guitarist or bass player’s rig – sometimes something as simple as a string breaking – sends the player into a tailspin?

Gigging at the Edge of Reason, Episode 1

Working musicians know that the key to a positive gig experience isn’t just in how prepared we are, but how well we are able to deal with and respond to the things we never thought to prepare for. We know not to flip out over a bad monitor mix or because the Jagermeister is the…

Conventional Wisdom and the 100-Watt Amplifier

Sometimes you feel like the whole world has gone crazy. At least, that’s how I feel whenever I come across a person on an internet forum repeating the increasingly-prevalent diatribe about the supposed impracticality of the 100-watt tube amp.

Assembling a Road-Ready Pedalboard

If you do any amount of gigging as a professional, semi-professional or hobbyist guitarist, be it in a cover band situation or an original group, ideally you’d like to be able to reproduce the recorded guitar tones of the tunes you’re playing as closely as possible. But if your gig involves traveling, and you don’t have a tech or a production-sized budget, you don’t want to be dealing with plugging a zillion cables into half-a-dozen pedals before every gig, so constructing a pedal board might be the best way to go.

Your Cart