[Dixielandjazz] Too loud!

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Thu Nov 20 14:49:10 PST 2003

I agree with Brian.  As the organiser of a jazz club I am also frustrated by
the volume of some bands and especially bass players who have 'promoted'
this instrument to the front line.  On one occasion a band leader asked me
to record his session.  At the first interval he asked me how it was going.
I told him the bass was too loud.  On mentioning this, the bass player said
that it was the bass drum and not the bass.

In most pub situations all that is really needed is a voice mike.

Hi Norrie:  & Brian:

 So do I, and the following exerpt from Dan Augustine's post pretty well sums 
it up and whiel it was intended as a joke, it is very close to reality and 
lessons for bands and bandleaders are evident in it if they would only pay 

>Subject: 10 Musical Facts for Playing in a Bar or Restaurant
>Unless you are in a concert situation, most of the people are not there to 
hear you. Your music is incidental. People go to restaurants and bars to eat, 
to drink, to socialize, do business, or maybe to be alone in a crowd. So if you 
reach some of them and entertain them, you've done a hell of a job.

Unfortunately since most bands are playing one night gigs these days they and 
many club owners actually believe they are in the concert business and they 
want to blow the walls down.
>In most restaurants, your main objective is to try to entertain without 
bothering anybody.
 True, their main business and source of income is from Food and beverage 
sales, not live music cover charges or concerts or CD sales.   

>Any volume is too loud for someone.
>The talent of anyone who wants to sit in is inversely proportional to how 
insistent he or his friends are about his sitting in.  The most talented 
musician that you would really like to play with will be sitting there quietly and 
will have left his axe in the car.
>The crowd would rather hear a terrible rendition of 'Sweet Caroline'; than 
the tastiest arrangement of one of your originals that they've never heard 
>The customer who asked for 'Sweet Caroline', his favorite song, won't 
realize you're playing it until you actually reach the word 'Sweet'.
>Someone in the crowd will have halfway heard you play 'Sweet Caroline'  and 
it will remind him of the song so he'll request it right after you've just 
played it.
>.....And the number one fact of life in playing in clubs and 
>Your slowest night, with the most obnoxious crowd and the worst response, is 
immeasurably better than the best day you ever had at a day job!!!

These are good rules to live by for any band playing in any small pub , to 
not adhere to the basic principle will result in another venue closing it's 
doors to live music.

You can't play loud enough to make most folks stop talking and eating and 
listen to you, so set the PA system to a nice balanced mix before the gig and 
leave it alone,  Start witht he volume low, but balanced, then do not turn up 
each individual instrument one at a time, if the room becomes noisy, just slide 
the master volume fader u p a little bit to compensate.

But do not try to push it so high that the audience can hear you but you 
can't hear them, you will all go deaf prematurely.   If you ae indeed all that 
good, they will stop and turn around and pay attention to you, if not they will 
only talk louder or get up and go home,  You can't MAKE them Like you or your 
music, No matter how loud you play.


Tom Wiggins
Another reason to play outside with a Marching Band, loud is hardley ever a 
problem unless you go under and overpass, :)   but even then the folks six 
blocks away can hear you loud and clear.

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