This will be a very practical post.
In my first year I noticed a recurring problem: little kids trying to play with my pedals and grown men trying to turn the knobs on my sound board/pedals.
“Seriously?!” – Most people when they hear this.
“A lot more than you think.” – Me
Kids love to play with guitar pedals. They flash and make a satisfying click when you press on them. Grown men love to turn the knobs because they’re musicians/tinkerers who like to play with sounds.
I empathize with both parties (and I am the second party, which is partly why I have so much fun gear), but I can’t focus on the songs if I’m playing keep-away with my equipment.
So I made these changes!
1) I bring my own collapsible merch table with black curtain. The curtain is critical…it highlights the merch and hides your gig bags. Makes you look clean and professional.
2) My sound board is now located underneath my merch table (hidden from the sight of grown men).
3) My speaker monitor is located in front of my pedal board, blocking the quickest route to the pedals. Kids don’t like being right next to the loud sounds, so they’ll typically avoid the speaker and forget about the pedals under my feet.
4) The backdrop/banner. This was a serious step up, and not only helped people to find me on social media, but it made me look like a professional musician.
Overall, it seems like the more professional you look, the less people play with your stuff.
Musicians need to focus on the music and connecting with the audience. Eliminating these distractions help people to focus on the songs themselves, rather than the toys I’m using during performances.