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Old 08-26-2014, 04:15 PM   #1
BallisticSquid
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Default How many guitars on stage?

For those of you that are gigging regularly, how many guitars to you bring with you aside from a backup?

In my band's setlist so far, we have some Stones songs that use open G tuning. The other guitarist that plays these parts brings a separate guitar to play those songs so he doen't have to retune on stage.

This makes sense to me, but I was curious to know if this is common practice amongst gigging musicians.

Other reasons I could see bring to bring multiple guitars would be to get a different sound (single coils vs. humbuckers), different setup (higher nut for slide), or lighter string gauge to suit a different style (e.g. Billy Gibbons and his 2 step bends are easier with very light strings).

Personally I would perfer to bring as few guitars as possible - less to manage, less chance of something bad happening to one of my guitars, etc. Just wondering what you guys all do.

Thanks!
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:39 PM   #2
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Good question dude and you'll get loads of different answers

We only do a couple of songs in Drop D, so it's fairly quick to change from standard tuning that we use for all the rest of our songs, so I usually just take 2 guitars with me now, I used to take 3 but with added lights, fog machine and all the PA and PA speakers, and the drumkit space in an issue in the back of the tourbus!!
I have never had any need for more than 2, I have broken strings during a gig and swapped to the backup and restrung the snapped string in the interval between sets.
I think it looks scrappy if you are constantly swapping guitars and checking tuning, but that's just me
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:17 PM   #3
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We are de-tuned on stage to a key of E flat
I bring my aria pro,my main axe and the backup is the marlin also tuned Eflat
Its just there for the convenience of broken string use but as of the weekend,the 2 guitars going with me to every gig is the aria pro and the Jackson sdx I will have by the weekend
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:01 PM   #4
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Two.

If a string snaps or something goes haywire I just grab the other and keep goin.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses guys. I always have a spare set of strings with me, but I hadn't thought of having a spare guitar just so I could grab it, keep going, and do the string change during a break between sets!

Yeah, drop D is easy enough to do quickly...open G is a bit more of a task.

If anybody else has some thoughts or opinions, I'm all ears.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:17 PM   #6
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I usually bring only one guitar and that would be my es339 specially if it is a small stage. Otherwise, I bring my es336 as back up.

Sent from my mobile computer.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flake_E_lee View Post
We are de-tuned on stage to a key of E flat
What's the reason for detuning to Eb - to accomodate the singer, heavier sound, easier playing?

Thanks!
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:09 PM   #8
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When I was gigging heavily in the late 80's-mid 90's, I had 4 guitars onstage.

One for a backup with the same pickups as my main (Strat style with Floyd Rose) running into a splitter, a Tele for a different tone/sound, one 6 string and one 12 string acoustic running wireless.

As far as Bass, I have my main (Ibanez) and a backup (Crate) into a secondary amp.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:00 PM   #9
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Depends on the venue/stage size. I only ever bring my main guitar, and a backup.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:51 PM   #10
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Playing bass in my current band, I just have my main plank (Peavey Cirrus).
When I play guitar at open mic's, it's just a single ac/el guitar - if something goes wrong, oh flippin' well. I mean, it's just open mic.
When I played guitar for real gigs, I'd have an elec, and either a 2nd elec for emergencies, or an acoustic if the set list required it.

Most importantly, I just make sure my glasses are clean so I can ogle breasts from the stage...
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