LocalWin.com - Your Local Business Finder

And Time for Equipment

18Equipment_0You've found your members, decided on a sound and tested your talent and commitment to make sure you're in this for the right reasons: now it's time for equipment. Sometimes an overlooked aspect of starting a band, the right band equipment is vital to both your sound and your ability to play live; those little practice amps won't last forever, you know.

But maybe you don't have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on musical equipment. No worries! The following article will guide you through the band gear process, and give you the inside scoop on what you need and what you absolutely don't.

What You Need

Since you probably already have your main piece of band equipment covered (your chosen instrument, be it guitar, bass, drums or keyboard), your biggest concern is going to be things through which to play said instrument; namely amps. In an ideal world, you'd have amps built specifically for every instrument, especially bass, as the make of these pieces of band equipment can change exponentially with each individual instrument. But this isn't an ideal world, so chances are good that you'll have to make do with what band gear you can afford.

A good guitar amp is the best place to start. If you have no aspirations of playing shows (at least not anytime soon), you're fine with your 10-30 watt practice guitar amp. But if you're banking on hitting the clubs as soon as possible, you'll want to find a guitar amp worthy of live sound. The best bet for beginners is a 1x12 combo amp; it contains a 12 inch speaker and runs at about 50 watts (though some run at much more than this). The only problem with these combo guitar amps is that they can be mercilessly unpowerful. Be sure to shop around and talk to the employees at your local music shop to find one that is both affordable and powerful enough to hold its own on stage.

You can use these same general principles to find a good bass guitar amp (running a bass guitar through a regular guitar amp will sound absolutely terrible and can potentially ruin your band equipment), but be forewarned: bass players may want to seek out greater wattage. While bass does carry the low end and tends to be very powerful on its own, it often lacks the ability to cut through a wall of sound the way a guitar does; treble waves and bass waves function very differently. Some musicians recommend that bass players get a bass guitar amp of 300 watts or more, but your particular wattage will be entirely dependent on how many watts your guitarist is running, if you'll have more than one guitarist and if keyboards will be in the mix. Talk to your local music store owner about your band's set-up; he or she should be able to point you in the direction of a bass guitar amp that will cut through the other instruments.

Though microphones aren't absolutely essential to new bands, especially if you plan to focus on instrumentals before nailing down the vocals, it's a good idea to have a few on hand. Nearly every club will provide microphones as part of their house band equipment, but night after night of gigs will ruin their quality very quickly. What's more, the mics are rarely sterilized; imagine all the germs hanging out on one of those things. Constant use of club microphones is one reason touring bands find themselves with colds and the flu so frequently.

Microphones aren't difficult to purchase. The industry standard tends to be a Shure SM57 or a Shure SM58; these are perfect pieces of band gear for both performing and recording, though you'll probably want to reserve each for either one or the other. And they're very cost effective, usually hovering right around $100. The price may seem like a lot now, but it'll pay off extremely; this is one piece of band gear you'll find yourself holding onto for years and years, especially if you treat it well.

What You Don't

Bands sometimes go a little crazy with musical equipment, buying not only amps, microphones and cables, but tons of expensive gear more suited for recording than performing. Though those shiny new pieces of band gear might be tempting (especially if you have the money to spare), try to restrain yourself. Mixers are nice, yes, but you most likely won't need one for performing, unless you have tons of keyboards and samplers running at once and at different levels per song. Similarly, a PA is an absolutely unnecessary piece of equipment for new bands. Almost every venue in which you set foot will have one installed in the room, and the ones that don't (house shows, or places where concerts don't often take place) will almost always rent one specifically for your event. Focus your spending on the pieces of band equipment that will make your individual instruments sound best; let the clubs worry about the overall sound.

If you are a business owner get listed at Best Education Site, part of Localwin Network.
About Us | Privacy | Terms | Copyright © 2005-2015 Localwin.com. All rights reserved.