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View Full Version : Using multiple guitars live - how do you switch?



kevphol
12-27-2012, 02:52 PM
I currently use 3 different guitars for gigs and use a ABY patched to a AB for quick switching. Even though it will take more effort, I'm considering adding one or two more guitars to the mix just for the fun of playing them live. Anybody have an effective setup for doing this other than adding another switch? Is there a switch pedal with more than 2 in/outs?

Sekunda
12-27-2012, 03:01 PM
I always just kicked on my tuner then switched guitars using only the one cable... it worked well for me. It was quicker than hitting standby on the amp.

kevphol
12-27-2012, 03:04 PM
Yeah that may turn out to be my best bet. Much cleaner setup for sure. Thanks.

sergiodeblanc
12-27-2012, 03:04 PM
I just unplug, switch, and plug.

Sekunda
12-27-2012, 03:05 PM
Yeah that may turn out to be my best bet. Much cleaner setup for sure. Thanks.

Glad to help! I always feel better when someone can get something out of my years of mistakes! Ha

markie
12-27-2012, 03:11 PM
I just unplug, switch, and plug.


I subscribe to the Sergio method!

LSchefman
12-27-2012, 03:12 PM
I only ever needed one guitar at a gig. Really!

markie
12-27-2012, 03:15 PM
I always take 2 Les, in case I break a string. That almost never happens, but if I'm dragging 2 Guitars to a gig.................... I'm playing both of them :proud:

kevphol
12-27-2012, 03:40 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys! My band is a 3 piece and most of our gigs are typical 4 hours. We cover everything from rockabilly, 50's, 60's to classic and southern rock, blues and some 80's rock hits, so I have reason to switch around guitars. My mainstay is a '85 Shecter strat with P-rails, which is versatile but I also play a Gretsch hollowbody on rockabilly stuff and a Navarro SE on more rock tunes. It is more work to switch up but it is fun and I think it keeps our show more interesting. The bass player also switches between a regular electric bass and a full size standup.

LSchefman
12-27-2012, 03:54 PM
I always take 2 Les, in case I break a string. That almost never happens, but if I'm dragging 2 Guitars to a gig.................... I'm playing both of them :proud:

Makes perfect sense.

I am probably pushing my luck here, but I started playing guitar at gigs in around '66-7...and in those days, no one I knew even owned more than one guitar! So I never really thought about taking a backup. Also, I play keys, too, so I usually have to bring a keyboard along.

The strange thing is...I've never broken a string at a gig! But I do play with a pretty light hand. And I do bring spare strings, because...stuff might one day happen.

Thinking about it, though, it's been a few years since I played out. I really need to get back into it.

sergiodeblanc
12-27-2012, 04:01 PM
I break strings like crazy! One of the coolest things about PRS guitars is the fast string changes that I can make with those old winged tuners, if the song is a slow to medium tempo I can usually replace, stretch, and tune a new string in 16 bars.

Sekunda
12-27-2012, 04:06 PM
I always take 2 Les, in case I break a string. That almost never happens, but if I'm dragging 2 Guitars to a gig.................... I'm playing both of them :proud:

My last band took great pride in not having any large gaps in between songs when we played live, so if the worst-case ever happened... step on the tuner, switch guitars, step on the tuner and jump right back in while the other guys kept going. That way we got to jam more music down the throats of our fans! Plus I carried 3 guitars, we had one song which was in a different tuning. It was quicker than tuning back and forth in between songs... But that was a high-pressure situation which I'm glad I'm not dealing with anymore...

watelessness
12-27-2012, 04:42 PM
I always find it easier to take off one guitar before grabbing another. :D

11top
12-27-2012, 05:03 PM
I always find it easier to take off one guitar before grabbing another. :D

....which is why we tend to make our set lists conform to the guitar used for those songs. For example, I try to group "drop D" songs together and acoustic songs together (in the latter case so I have my SC HB piezo on my shoulder). We're trying to keep dead space at a minimum as someone mentioned above.

That's why I take three guitars to a gig.

Mikegarveyblues
12-27-2012, 05:29 PM
Volume pedal.

Boogie
12-27-2012, 05:38 PM
I always just kicked on my tuner then switched guitars using only the one cable... it worked well for me. It was quicker than hitting standby on the amp.
^ This. We don't typically have enough room on stage for a vault of guitars, so 2 is the maximum. Same strap, same cord, silence brought to you by Polytune. ;)

watelessness
12-27-2012, 06:07 PM
Volume pedal or mute button on Tonebone, disconnect wireless jack, unbutton strap locks, put down one guitar, pick up second guitar, then reverse previous steps. This is typically done during singer's banter or while we geezers are sucking on the oxygen tank. I also attempt to arrange the set lists to accommodate my gear switching as well as the singer's pipes and a logical arrangement of moods.

Dirty Bob
12-27-2012, 06:56 PM
When playing a gig...2 guitars and a polytune when I have my pedalboard. If I dont bring the board then its the good ole' standby switch. I subscribe to the two guitars primarily from a backup standpoint if I break a string....similar to Markie.

Rango
12-27-2012, 09:25 PM
Always TWO - just incase one has an issue. I've swapped using volume pedal and tuner.... I've also gone to a "circuit breaker" type cable that mutes itself when you unplug it. It's nice at home where I tend to swap all the time... just unplug and drop it... swap guitars and plug it in. ;)

geese_com
12-27-2012, 10:21 PM
I either use a tuner or if I am using my VH4, I click the mute for the amp.

Twinfan
12-28-2012, 07:38 AM
Tuner and unplug here as well, however I'm switching to using just one guitar for the whole gig now I have a Tremol-no on my #1. Like Markie, I'll always take a second as backup though - just in case!

Mikegarveyblues
12-28-2012, 07:55 AM
I'd always take two guitars. It's been years amd years since I last broke a string but I wouldn't take any chances on a gig as nothing screams 'unprofessional' more than having to stop a tune whilst I go off to re-string.

I also want access to diffrent sounds so i'd likely take my Strat and a humbucker guitar. It's been a bit since I last did a gig so when I do gig again i'd likely take my Strat and alternate between the Bernie or SEC24. Not inconceivable that the Strat may get left at home as I can use the coil tap and trem of the C24! ;)