The 2 Guiding Mantras of a Successful Live Music Tech

Mantra No.1 – “The 5 Ps – Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance”

Ever had a snare gone through half way through a gig -“I wish I’d brought my spare snare to the gig!”

Ever had a crackling output on a guitar amp. Damn dirty pot.  – “Wish I had my can of Switch Cleaner with me!”

Ever had a mic stand with a wobbly leg or no mic clip – “Who’s got the Gaffer Tape?”

Most Techs have learnt the hard way that if you don’t prepare for all eventualities during gigs and touring, you are going to feel a whole lot more stressed come show time. Some things, if not prepared for, are genuine show stoppers. Other misfortunes during a set can be covered up or winged, without the audience knowing. But you will know, and the band will know. And the rest of the crew will know.

To be a pro, and smash the job. Give confidence to the musicians you are looking after, and to your fellow crew mates. Then you best take your time when packing that Peli case or production flight case. And live by the 5 Ps, every time – Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

(But you don’t need to wear those shorts!)

Mantra No. 2 – “Assumption is the Mother of All F***ups”

Alarm bells ring in the Tech’s head, whenever they hear that phrase; “I’m sure it will be fine”.

The drum stool seems to be only two inches from the edge of the riser. “The drummer’s cool. I’m sure it will be fine” Ring! Ring!

The Vox AC30 definitely smells a bit funny, and we still only have one channel working. ” The guitarist only needs one channel, and it sounds great. I’m sure it will be fine.” Ring! Ring!

Does anyone know what the load in is like at the next venue? All good for the Hammond? “I think I’ve seen a Hammond used in there before. I’m sure it will be fine.” Aghhh! Ring! Ring!

Again, the road worn Tech knows that it really is always better to assume the worst case scenario, and have it covered. Never forget – Assumption is the Mother of All F***ups.

These two mantras are the flipside of the same coin. If the Tech can imagine all the things that can go wrong with equipment, stages, and transport; and prepare for them, everyone will love her. And her blood pressure will stay normal.

Then, all you should have to deal with is the unpredictability of people. “I’m sure the guitarist got on the bus after the last stop. He’s in his bunk isn’t he?” Ring! Ring!