I’m fortunate enough to have found two bandmates—guitar and bass—and a great practice place, and a monthly gig at a coffeehouse. The fly in the ointment? We practice acoustically, but amp up for the gig and my fellow guitarist turns up too loud for solos.
He uses a Peche a la Mouche and thinks he can control volume on the fly, turning up to solo and down to accompany. I’ve suggested setting levels before we start by setting the highest solo volume and then backing off a little for rhythm. He prefers to dial it in while playing. This invariably leads to too much volume. I also think that it’s starting to become a crutch in that the pickup sound can be forgiving with some sloppy technique.
I don’t like the idea getting louder myself; that’s a classic dead end. I lead the trio and can usually control things by “bringing it down” a bit, but it’s starting to bug me. Just to keep things in perspective, I’m getting supporting feedback from the audience as well.
Among the reasoned arguments I’m going to to try to make is that I think the Peche works and sounds better full on—no distortion, but full range. I’ve also suggested he use a foot switch with the amp that could toggle between two channels set a different volumes. That would eliminate fiddling with the volume knob on the Peche entirely.
We’ve had lots of good gigs at this venue, but his volume issue is a regular thorn in my ear. As anyone playing is already probably aware, it’s hard enough juggling the other random problems playing live without having a regular irritant pop up. My next to final solution will be to suggest with play acoustically. The coffeehouse is quiet enough to support this, though there’s a house PA with the standard SM57’s and 58’s on hand.
Haven’t seen too much in the forum about bandmate issues, or I’m not looking in the right places. I’m lucky to have the players and gigs I’ve got, but I just want to get the best from what I’ve got.
I’d appreciate any feedback or comments on your experiences.