Gig Checklists


Jim Dunlop Tortex Fin PicksInspired by a post called Gig Preparation, I thought I’d make some checklists.  I think we’ll need one (and a half) for our stuff, one for setting up the gig, and one for doing stuff at the gig.  The lists would change depending on who’s working the gig or who set it up, but you should be able to help with the flow of things even if you’re not the organizer.  This is also from the point of view of a guitar player, because that’s all I’ve ever been.  I’m guessing it would be the same for a bass player & quite similar for a drummer.

Gig Checklists…

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Before the gig:

☐ Get all the details in order:

☐ The bands
☐ The place
☐ The time
☐ The price
☐ All ages or 21+
☐ Is it a benefit?
☐ Any specials if it’s a bar?
☐ Selling tickets?

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Promote!

☐ …using social media – Link the crap out of details/event pages.
Flyers – Hang ’em up, pass ’em out.
☐ Word of mouth

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☐ Communicate with the other bands…

☐ Sharing equipment? – Cut down on changeovers between bands.
☐ Playing order?

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☐ Do you need your own door person?

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Stuff to take:

☐ Guitar – In a case or gig bag, I actually saw a guy use a bath-towel once.
☐ Backup guitar(s) – Don’t kill the show when you break a string.
☐ Amp head & cab (or combo)
☐ The merch box(es)
☐ Your gig backpack or briefcase. (“What’s that.” you ask? Keep reading!)

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An acoustic guitar string. 0.044-inch (1.117 m...I make sure to have my backpack full o’ stuff with me at every gig.  Over the years, every item in it has proved useful and one time or another.

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In The Gig Backpack or Briefcase:

☐ Tuner (Get a pedal one, so no one can hear you tune.)
Wireless system (Certainly not a necessity, but fun.)
9V battery (Are the lithium ones OK for pedals?)
☐ Guitar cables (1 more than you need)
☐ Speaker cables (1 more than you need)
Strings (At least a full set, …any leftovers you’ve got should be in there.)
☐ Extra power cord
Power Strip (w/ Circuit Breaker)
3-Prong to 2-Prong adapter (or 2)
Duct Tape or Gaff Tape (or both… Gaff doesn’t leave a mess.)
☐ Tablet (Setlists, Merch Prices, Boredom)
☐ A sharpie or 2 (Setlists, Rock Star Autographs)
☐ A Leatherman-type tool. (Crazy or not-so crazy.)
☐ Guitar picks (I use Jim Dunlop Fins.)
☐ An Extra Strap
☐ Flashlight (A really bright one helps)
☐ Extension Cord

[::( )::]

Stuff that I don’t have, but might be a good idea…

☐ Pedal(s) – Wah, Distortion, Foot Switch, Etc.
Mic clip(s)
String Winder
☐ Pick strip or holder
Slide / eBow / Capo
☐ Strap locks
Trem poker
☐ Ear plugs
☐ Nail clippers
☐ acetaminophen / ibuprofen / aspirin
☐ Band-aids
☐ Cloth or towel

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At the gig:

☐ Set stuff on the stage for the 1st band & any bands sharing
Backline the “main” act if there is one & set up in front of them.
☐ Tune (Silently! – No one likes the tuning song! – Tune your backup guitar too.)
Let the Sound Technician do their job.
☐ Set up a Merch Table/Corner/Counter/Box.
☐ Put your door person at the door.
☐ Using a setlist? Reach into that backpack & get one made!
☐ Have a drink? Water, Beer, or something harder.
☐ Tune Again (Silently! – No one likes the tuning song!)
☐ Unless you’re awesome & have a tech, get a string-wingman.

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Danelectro Vintage Power Source A cool looking...

I’m sure there’s stuff I’m forgetting, but I think this is a pretty decent start.  What do you think I’m missing from the list?  Do you have an emergency gig kit?  What’s in it?

D'Andrea Gmk1 Guitar Cleaner Maintenance Kit

Feb. 4th. 2012 – Come to this show! (Check out video of all the bands here…)


One week from tonight, this is where you need to be!

Ernie and the Berts

The Bands:

The Place:

The Details:

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Saturday December 17th – A punk rock party at the Fallout Shelter!


Reposted from ErnieAndTheBerts.com – A punk rock show to melt your face:

Insanity. Chaos. Deafening yet hooky melodies. Beer.  If these all seem like good things to you, you need to be at this show.  Add this to your Google calendar, Yahoo! Calendar, Facebook Events, or whatever you do with Google+ or AOL or MSN or Compuserve or Outlook or whatever you’re using.  Tweet about it.  Get a car full of idiots and find a non-idiot DD.

Ernie would like to remind you to drink responsibly, tip your bartender, buy some of the various bands’ merchandise, and to wash your hands before returning to work or play.

Get the flyer below tattooed on someone’s ass that you see frequently, so you don’t forget.

The Bands:

The Place:

The Details:

Ernie's twin brother

Sat.08/27 @ GOOSKI’S! – The Dirty Charms / Ernie and the Berts / What Else? – 21+/$5/10:00pm (via Ernie and the Berts)


I love Gooski’s. It’s a relaxing hole in the wall with a killer jukebox and ridiculously awesome honey BBQ wings. It’s always cool to play a place you’re so comfortable in, so please come out to this one, hang out, & have a fun time with Ernie and the Berts as we rock out with the Dirty Charms & What Else?.

Sat.08/27 @ GOOSKI'S! - The Dirty Charms / Ernie and the Berts / What Else? - 21+/$5/10:00pm GOOSKI’S.  That’s all I need to say.  Come early, stay late.  Rock out with some cheap beers, tasty wings & pierogies.  We all need a night of debauchery in Polish Hill every once in a while.  That’s what your favorite local rock n’ roll bands are for!  What Else? channels some glam, Ernie and the Berts will make you feel scuzzy & fuzzy, and the Dirty Charms just may make you need to take a shower… Read More

via Ernie and the Berts

Your attendance is required.


Sun. 08/14 @ The Fallout Shelter:

Ernie and the Berts
Hopeless Otis
The Awful Waffles

$5 / 21+ / 9:00pm

Click the link for details & links to the venue & other bands.

Sun.08/14 @ The Fallout Shelter - Ernie and the Berts/Hopeless Otis/The Awful Waffles - $5/21+/9:00pm Beat the heat, not your meat!  Hang out in the cool relaxing not-humid soothing basement of Sheffield Lanes… a little place we like to call the Fallout Shelter.  Well, they called it that, so that’s why we call it that.  We didn’t name it.  Although, it is a pretty good name.  For some reason, they like us there, and keep letting us come back.  Randy just may be a little insane.  That’s OK, I think we are too.  At any rate, they have good drink … Read More

via Ernie and the Berts

So, how do I make money at this art thing?


I’m a lazy artist.  I always have been.  I generally make art for fun, and give it away.  I made a ton of cool stuff in art class in high school and even in my time at WCCC, now I only have a fraction of it.  I’ve never had an interest in making money from any of it, perhaps because I felt it wasn’t perfect or even “good enough” to sell.  Perhaps it was because I’d feel “dirty” making money from art.  I’m also lazy in that I have a lot of ideas that don’t make it to fruition.  (You should see the AiXeLsyD and Gasoline Dion “almost” song piles… and that Yup-punk band idea…)

I also went through a phase of drawing a bunch of comic book stuff… and it was always my understanding that Marvel didn’t want me selling my Wolverine art, and DC didn’t want me to sell my Batman art.  Somehow the Airbrush guy at the mall makes money on pretty much any popular character out there.  (Exactly who’s buying white T-shirts with airbrushed Mickey Mouse and Garfield on them at a mall kiosk in 2011 is a subject of another blog.)  Is that guy bootlegging?  Is he paying royalty fees?

With the advent of sites like Etsy (and more so Regretsy), I can see now that my art is certainly acceptable for sale.  I’d like to think it’s a few grades above what’s considered acceptable for sale.  The question remains on copyrights though… I see all kinds of people selling Superman, Batman and Spider-Man stuff with images clearly ripped from elsewhere.  Not that I want to sell comic book-art, but I never know what mood will strike me.  My flyer art is mainly bastardization of existing images… so I’m sure I can’t sell any of that kind of stuff.  Again, I think I’m veering toward the subject matter of an entirely different blog.  Back to the insanity at hand…

I’ve been drawing mazes for what seems like forever.  I started them when I was a kid & was in the hospital for a while.  I remember my pediatrician saying I ought to look into getting them published.  I obviously never have.  I have through twitter found another cat on the internet who draws mazes… he sells them online & at art shows and has used LuLu to publish some books.  Is that a good avenue to explore?

I have an idea for what I think would be an amusing photo book… but how does one go into execution of such an idea?  Do I even have time for something like this?

Would I use something like deviantART to set up shop?  How do I get prints made from original artwork?  Should I settle for a Cafe Press or Zazzle store?  Ha ha.  I’d like to put photography in the mix too, eventually.  Every once in a while I capture some stuff that would look great on someone’s wall.  How do I sell the stuff online without the seller site making most of the money, or without breaking the bank in setting up a site & paying any maintenance fees while not selling anything… therefore eventually losing money?

People have also told me that I ought to get paid to write.  I must confess, I would most likely be an editor’s nightmare.  I jump tenses like hopscotch, and my grammar & typing can be quite poor… even though I can differentiate between you’re and your and the apparently difficult they’re/there/their.  (Is it just me, or do they all sound totally different if you’re pronouncing them correctly?)  If you would like to pay me to write, I will certainly take your money.

I don’t think I do well with deadlines or commissions though.  I don’t work well with others’ ideas.  I’d like to make my own mazes, drawings, paintings, photos, etc. at my own pace.  Although, I aim to be productive with art, & maybe buy some more camera accessories, or a new amp, guitar, or some other new goofy instrument or piece of equipment.  (Because I apparently can’t make any money as a musician unless I join/form a human jukebox band – and let’s face it; I’m a poor guitarist.  Ha ha.)

As you can see, I’m all over the place.  I need focus/direction.  I guess I’m just looking for advice beyond the “you should publish a book” or “you should sell your photos” or the “you should write for someone” point.  I get that, and accept that… but how?  I’m looking for specifics here.  I’d like to hear “I use such & such & it’s fantastic, and works like…” and not “I think my cousin’s uncle’s mother’s neighbor uses blah blah blah, …I think.”  Are you an artist?  How do you sell your work?  Hit me with your wisdom!

Ernie and the Berts / Awful Waffles / Uke & Tuba – FRIDAY AT THE BBT!


If you didn’t catch us last night at the Fallout Shelter… and you probably didn’t… you have the chance to try again this weekend, and eat some pierogies!

July 22nd at the BBT with the Awful Waffles and Uke & Tuba! This promises to be absolutely ridiculous.  Peep the links.  Come out & get the best Polish food in the ‘Burgh in the corner of “Little Italy”. The Bands: Awful Waffles / Ernie and the Berts / Uke & Tuba – The Place: Th… Read More

via Ernie and the Berts

Chili Cook-Off Fliers


If you know me, you know I dig making fliers. I used to make them for my old bands all the time, now I have no band, and no need of fliers… so the annual chili cook-off at my place has become my fun with fliers time. As you can see, I was a little rusty on one… not quite sure where to go. On the other… well, I think it all just fell together nicely.

Should I use both? Get rid of the corny one?

If you’re interested in the chili cook-off itself, stay tuned!