performance, equipment

December 17, 2008 1:40 PM

Getting ready to start performing around town.

Specifically, around Minneapolis. It's just me and my ukulele, which already has a pickup in it. What do y'all think I will need? I reckon a microphone, and amp, and a mixer. I'm guessing I'll be playing pretty small venues to start out with. Suggestions appreciated.
posted by Astro Zombie (11 comments total)

It depends on the venue. At any legit venue that regularly puts on musical acts, you shouldn't have to bring anything except your instrument and a cable. If it's not a traditional venue then you'd need a PA, a mic, a mic stand, and speaker(s). Ask the booking contact what equipment they will be providing when you set up the date.

Don't forget your tuner, anything you want to sell, and a mailing list signup.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:00 PM on December 17, 2008

I've seen a couple small venue shows there actually, and I think the only things you've left out are your personal comfort things; teddy bear, beer/water- (if it's really small), mic stand, power strip and a small folding table to put your stuff on.

Some of those smaller places do have regular shows and have equipment, but I think you're right to have the basics together just in case.

I don't remember any club names but they were blues shows and they knocked my socks off. Good luck/break a leg!

Oh yea, something to record with---so you can post it HERE!
posted by snsranch at 3:06 PM on December 17, 2008

Obviously, you'll need some dancing girls (I'm think Radio City/Rockettes-style chorus line), an enormous electric fan placed sidestage to blow your hair dramatically, and a drummer to do the ba-dam psssshhh after the snappy one-liners you'll be delivering during your between-songs patter.

And a blackjack, knife or handgun to defend yourself against the jealous husbands and boyfriends of the ladies who are going to throw themselves at you after the show.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:45 PM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

You are so wise, flapjax.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:01 PM on December 17, 2008

Yeah, further to Flapjax' advice, you're going to want a wedge monitor that you can hoik your leg up onto *just so* when you take a solo. It needs to be deep enough that you won't stumble off of it when your eyes are closed for the high parts - but it also needs to be not so tall that it obscures the view of The Ladies in the front row who are, inevitably, going to be screaming - only underlining the need for a monitor in the first place.

Also, I think its worth spending some cash on a couple of spare leads and cables. Venue supplied ones suck arse - particularly guitar ones as they get the most torture *and* the good ones are always stolen. Squirrel them away and only get them out if you're cutting out during the show.
posted by Jofus at 2:51 PM on December 18, 2008

You are so wise, flapjax.

By that you mean wise-ass, no? :)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:21 PM on December 18, 2008

I've only played out with my ukulele a handful of times to date, but it was great because I didn't have to bring *anything* -- just me and the uke and whatever talent I could muster. I didn't even have to carry it in a case (it's a fluke, so I can just stand it on its end onstage until showtime.)
posted by davejay at 12:02 AM on December 19, 2008

Oh, and if you ever come to Los Angeles and want to do an open mic or something, holler -- maybe we can figure out some twin-uke arrangements and wow all of the aforementioned ladies.
posted by davejay at 12:03 AM on December 19, 2008

Oh, note: I don't have a pickup in my uke, so I didn't have need for cables and such -- seconding Jofus's suggestion of carrying a few spare cables.
posted by davejay at 12:04 AM on December 19, 2008

Yeah, mine's also a Fluke; I'll grab a cable for it. That's for your invite, Davejay. I hope to visit LA sometime in the near future. All my songs right now are about Los Angeles, and it feels odd to consider playing them in Minneapolis.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:12 AM on December 20, 2008

I'd say you need nothing more than your voice and the Uke. Any venue putting on shows would need to have all the mics, PA, stage mixer etc..

oh actually in some venues you may need to bring your own sound guy / mix guy to monitor the house mixer and keep your mic / uke mixed well. - or they will have someone in-house.
posted by mary8nne at 2:36 AM on January 6, 2009

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