Mixing Your Stage Sound As You Play By Adjusting Your Playing

While many bands, particularly the larger ones, have a sound engineer, there are performance aspects to the mix that only the band members control.

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If you think that you can just play in whatever manner you feel like playing, and the sound engineer’s job is to make everyone sound good in the mix, you’ll fall short of your optimal sound. The mix can’t fix busy keyboards or guitar fills that walk all over the vocals.

While thinking about these things may seem distracting at first, but it becomes second nature after a while. Once you can do this unconsciously, you’ll get into your own part naturally.

You’ll hear where your part fits in the overall sound, and will pick up on the other band member’s cues. Then you’ll be be really playing as a band.

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Practice being aware of these things until they are part of you and your playing:

  • Don’t overplay. More notes don’t equal more music.
  • Be aware of your stage volume. Can the other players hear themselves clearly?
  • Are you leaving space for the rest of the band to play?
  • Is your playing appropriate for the meaning of the song?
  • Do your solos and backup contribute to the overall feeling and mood of the song?
  • How are your tones meshing with the rest of the band? Is the texture of the song improved? All highs or lows, or is there a good balance?

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