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Thread: Loading up and breaking down etiquette.

  1. #1

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    Default Loading up and breaking down etiquette.

    As the drummer do you help load and unload all the other stuff like PA, lights, Monitors, speakers etc?

    I was asked if I was going to meet everyone at the guitar players house and then head to the gig but I said I would just meet everyone at the gig. I got there and unloaded all my crap, drums, stands, mics, throne, etc.

    After the gig I broke everything down and put it in my truck with some help from the bass player. I then noticed the guitar player trying to fit everything into his truck to no avail so I said throw it in the back of my truck and we will go to your place.

    I helped them unload everything into the guitar payers house and by the time I headed home it was 130 in the morning. 35 minute ride home than had to unload all my crap myself. On the ride home I started thinking should I be helping them with that too?

    Do you guys normally help load and unload all the other stuff or is it known the drummer has a lot of stuff to do himself and they do not expect the help?

    was never an issue with other bands because their house was always in the opposite direction, we helped load and unload at the gig but never went to someone's house to unload so this is kind of new to me.

    I was friggin beat at the end of the night to say the least.
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  2. #2

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    That suck man! And probably the last guy to get to bed, yeah that'd suck! I know this is a little off from your question but anyway...

    We can't seem to get enough of anything solid together for gigs yet. But we do have big outdoor jams here a couple times a year and EVERYONE lets me pack EVERYTHING out and back in...EVERYTHING! Late to show and early to leave is how they roll. EVERYTHING is mine so I guess I get to do EVERYTHING!

  3. #3

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    I think it depends upon who you are playing with as to how much each band member will do or be physically able to do. Most are responsible, some will be lazy, and others will have physical and/or health limitations that prevent them from doing heavy lifting, etc. I always try to be professional and will gladly help out when needed but I will not allow the lazy ones to make a mule of me. I will gladly help a band mate load, carry, setup, or unload gear if they need the help and they usually do the same for me.

    I consider myself solely responsible for transporting my stuff to/from the gig unless I ride with a band mate. Once at the gig, I will load in what I brought first then I will help the band load in where I can. Once everything is in, I will setup my kit, mic it, and sound check it. Once that is done, I will help in any other way that I can to get the band setup quickly. If I can, I will arrive at the gig before anyone else and get my stuff setup before they get there because I find it easier to do this without stage clutter.

    After the gig, I will tear down my stuff immediately and pack it up then I will help to get the band torn down quickly and packed up. I will load out my stuff and then help load out the band gear. I will then get paid, drive home, unload my gear, and hit the sack. I usually don't follow anyone to their house to help unload their equipment unless they live close to me.
    Last edited by dangermoney; 11-16-2014 at 09:44 PM.

  4. #4

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    i've always helped load and unload. Most of my bands were not from the town that I live in though. So sometimes I would leave from a gig and go home instead of going to where we rehearsed, and unload, depending on where we coming from. We rehearsed about 30 miles N. of my town, so if we played S. of my town I would usually skip unloading when we got home. In the 90's I kept my drums in the trailer at the residence that we rehearsed at, we didn't unload at all sometimes, and if we rehearsed that week we'd unload then. I've always went beyond my fair share of setting up, breaking down, and loading. I feel like, just because I've got more gear than some other musicians, is not a reason to sluff off any of the work. It's my choice to play a bulky multi piece instrument. There have been many times, where I rode with a band member and they often probably always helped me take my gear into the house. Sometimes we even took them all the way up to my drum room on the 3rd floor (36 steps up). I do not miss that house, I do miss that drum room though. Well at least the space and sound it had. Sorry didn't mean to write a book.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray on the Drums View Post
    That suck man! And probably the last guy to get to bed, yeah that'd suck! I know this is a little off from your question but anyway...

    We can't seem to get enough of anything solid together for gigs yet. But we do have big outdoor jams here a couple times a year and EVERYONE lets me pack EVERYTHING out and back in...EVERYTHING! Late to show and early to leave is how they roll. EVERYTHING is mine so I guess I get to do EVERYTHING!

    I dont think I would put up with doing everything.



    Quote Originally Posted by dangermoney View Post
    I think it depends upon who you are playing with as to how much each band member will do or be physically able to do. Most are responsible, some will be lazy, and others will have physical and/or health limitations that prevent them from doing heavy lifting, etc. I always try to be professional and will gladly help out when needed but I will not allow the lazy ones to make a mule of me. I will gladly help a band mate load, carry, setup, or unload gear if they need the help and they usually do the same for me.

    I consider myself solely responsible for transporting my stuff to/from the gig unless I ride with a band mate. Once at the gig, I will load in what I brought first then I will help the band load in where I can. Once everything is in, I will setup my kit, mic it, and sound check it. Once that is done, I will help in any other way that I can to get the band setup quickly. If I can, I will arrive at the gig before anyone else and get my stuff setup before they get there because I find it easier to do this without stage clutter.

    After the gig, I will tear down my stuff immediately and pack it up then I will help to get the band torn down quickly and packed up. I will load out my stuff and then help load out the band gear. I will then get paid, drive home, unload my gear, and hit the sack. I usually don't follow anyone to their house to help unload their equipment unless they live close to me.

    I know what ya mean, lead singer/keyboardist cannot lift moe than 5lbs due to a bad back, female singer.rhythm guitar player is well not much help but does her fair share, and the guitar player has very bad knees but jumps right in limping anyway. That leaves me and the bass player. Maybe they will bring it up at next rehearsal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    i've always helped load and unload. Most of my bands were not from the town that I live in though. So sometimes I would leave from a gig and go home instead of going to where we rehearsed, and unload, depending on where we coming from. We rehearsed about 30 miles N. of my town, so if we played S. of my town I would usually skip unloading when we got home. In the 90's I kept my drums in the trailer at the residence that we rehearsed at, we didn't unload at all sometimes, and if we rehearsed that week we'd unload then. I've always went beyond my fair share of setting up, breaking down, and loading. I feel like, just because I've got more gear than some other musicians, is not a reason to sluff off any of the work. It's my choice to play a bulky multi piece instrument. There have been many times, where I rode with a band member and they often probably always helped me take my gear into the house. Sometimes we even took them all the way up to my drum room on the 3rd floor (36 steps up). I do not miss that house, I do miss that drum room though. Well at least the space and sound it had. Sorry didn't mean to write a book.

    Thanks, I have to load all my equipment into my basement, and the only door to cellar is through the kitchen (no bulkhead) so that means upstairs and then down/up narrow stairs..ughhh
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  6. #6

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    My feeling is load/unload your gear first. Your kit is going to take longer than the other gear. If, after setting up your kit, and you have everything adjusted just right, if the rest of the band still needs help, help 'em. After the performance, if there is another band coming on, I usually get my kit off stage as quickly as possible. By the time I'm done, the rest of my band usually has all of there gear off stage already. Likewise, the band usually has all their gear packed up by the time I'm done packing up my kit loading it in the trailer.

  7. #7

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    It depends on how much stuff there is. And how heavy it is.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDK View Post
    As the drummer do you help load and unload all the other stuff like PA, lights, Monitors, speakers etc?

    I was asked if I was going to meet everyone at the guitar players house and then head to the gig but I said I would just meet everyone at the gig. I got there and unloaded all my crap, drums, stands, mics, throne, etc.

    After the gig I broke everything down and put it in my truck with some help from the bass player. I then noticed the guitar player trying to fit everything into his truck to no avail so I said throw it in the back of my truck and we will go to your place.

    I helped them unload everything into the guitar payers house and by the time I headed home it was 130 in the morning. 35 minute ride home than had to unload all my crap myself. On the ride home I started thinking should I be helping them with that too?

    Do you guys normally help load and unload all the other stuff or is it known the drummer has a lot of stuff to do himself and they do not expect the help?

    was never an issue with other bands because their house was always in the opposite direction, we helped load and unload at the gig but never went to someone's house to unload so this is kind of new to me.

    I was friggin beat at the end of the night to say the least.
    I'm assuming that all the gear except yours arrived in the same vehicle - I would offer to help load, if it arrived in the same truck it should all load back in for the return journey, but I would not follow him home to assist unload unless they do this for you when a gig is closer to your home.

    I think you should bring this subject up fairly quickly to establish loading/unloading etiquette as it is very easy for other band members to assume that the new routine is for you to be a general roadie/packhorse/dogsbody. Personally I would suggest that someone who lives closer should drive to his home, leave their vehicle and travel to and from gigs with him and the gear to assist at both ends. If no-one lives close to him either they agree to transport some gear to their home and bring it to gigs/practice sessions or the poor guy needs to buy a trailer or bigger truck

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by crispycritters View Post

    I think you should bring this subject up fairly quickly to establish loading/unloading etiquette as it is very easy for other band members to assume that the new routine is for you to be a general roadie/packhorse/dogsbody.

    Good point, I will definitely bring it up this week. Probably the best thing to do is to load half of the stuff into one of the other guys car after the last rehearsal before a gig so he has less to do the day of. I would rather not follow him home to help offload though, I got enough of my own crap to worry about and our gigs are pretty much in the same area and same times. Getting home at 2am and doing all that loading after a 4hr gig for $80 is a little ridiculous when you think about it
    Last edited by MDK; 11-17-2014 at 07:41 AM.
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    Decide whether this is love for the craft or simply an ego thing.

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  10. #10

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    My band everybody helps.

  11. #11

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    We treat it as a team event. We all get paid the same, so Everyone is expected to help load/unload everything after the gig. I have the only truck, so I haul all the big stuff. Guitars and mic stands usually travel in someone's mini-van or back seat. Sometimes, I leave everything locked up in back of my truck (I have a topper) over night and we all unload it the next day. It's always a group effort....unless someone has a reasonable excuse for not being able to help.

    HOWEVER.....all of our stuff is kept at our practice location, so it's not like we travel to everyone's house. We also all live within a few miles of each other now. We used to keep all the stuff at our old bass players house (before we fired him) which was 35 miles away. That meant I had to travel an extra hour after each gig to unload. Yes, it was rediculous to go through all that for $75. Especially since it cost me $40 in gas.
    Last edited by N2Bluz; 11-17-2014 at 08:41 AM.
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  12. #12

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    These days I play with guys that pretty much do their own thing and have their own vehicles etc... The club provides the PA, (we have no lights or extra curricular crap) so it's pretty easy.

    all the best...

  13. #13

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    We all helped each other load and unload. Except the singer. He never showed up until 5 minutes before down beat.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by marko138 View Post
    We all helped each other load and unload. Except the singer. He never showed up until 5 minutes before down beat.
    I own our PA so if the singer didnt show up to help load he'd have sing really loud lol.

  15. #15

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    I gotta get but just thought of somethin'...

    You spoke up and said "throw it it my truck I got room"...So there you go!

    Next time you say "Throw it in my truck I got room and you can pick
    it up soon or I'll bring it the next time I'm over. Later guys it was fun!
    I'm going to bed!"

  16. #16

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    My gigging kit stays packed between gigs, so on the day of the gig, I throw my gear into my SUV and go to the practice house(guitarist's house) and help load the PA gear into all the vehicles. At the gig, I load in and set up my stuff then help with whatever still needs to be done. After the gig, I usually go back to the practice house and help unload. Usually, everybody helps share the work but there have been times when the guitarist and his wife (a singer) have been standing around BSing with their friends at the gig while the rest of us are breaking down and loading. Also we've noticed that the guitarist will load in and set up his own stuff and keep himself busy with that until the PA, speakers and monitors have been loaded in, and he owns the PA! We've addressed this at times by stressing that EVERYONE should pitch in and it has gotten better recently.


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  17. #17

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    Guys it wasn't nothing about working harder than the rest of the guys in the band.
    It was all the extra driving late at night! He's still driving as they are fast asleep.
    Because of the other guys gear and little space.. That would suck! And have to stop!

  18. #18

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    Everyone helps unload and load the trailer. I haul the trailer to/from our practice facility. Bass player helps me back the trailer in as it's a tricky 90 degree turn into the garage. Team efforts are the only way to keep harmony in the long run, but I know that I put in more effort than anyone keeping the PA in good order and maintaining the rehearsal space. That's ok as not everyone has the drive to do the minutia to keep the forward momentum. Singer does a ton of marketing and she's always getting gigs. I appreciate that.

  19. #19

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    I live the furthest away from the practice studio but I drive in and help load/unload up the P.A. because were all old and have some sort of physical issues with either lower back, hips and knees. In my former band, we used my P.A. system so I know how much work is involved hauling both the kit and 6 speaker cabinets, mixer, mic stands and cables. My current bandmates handle the P.A but I haven't forgotten what it was like to do it alone so I always to follow the guys back to the practice studio to help unload.

    Here's the kit cased up (includes back up snare and back up pedal):



    At the gig:


  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Redneck View Post
    My band everybody helps.
    Yeah, this is how it's been in all the bands I've played in.
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  21. #21

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    everybody helps each other here to some degree. Most of the time we help each other and sometimes were on our own. Just different circumstances that come along.
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  22. #22

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    Always help. Every time. They do the same for me too.

  23. #23

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    I almost always arrive an hour earlier than the band and set my equipment up. I prefer it that way. When done I help unload and/or set-up any of the sound equipment left to do (which is usually most of it). After the gig I pack up all my equipment first, then help the others as needed.

    The unwritten rule in the band is you do not touch anyone's personal equipment without asking first, out of respect, as all have high end professional instruments. I rarely touch a guitar or bass, but I do help with amps/pedal boards quite a bit. They in turn help me bag and carry my drums out to, but not load into, my car with supervision.
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  24. #24

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    my bass player pisses me right off.. he never does anything... literally stands around with his hands in his pockets as I'm struggling to unload and setup all my **** and never helps me out. The others guys do their own and also never help. So until they start helping me I won't help them. It sucks having so much gear but with a little bit of help I could be pack/unpacked in no time flat. I keep a simple setup for playing out.

  25. #25

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    It's been different with every band I've been in.

    Band A: Everyone helped...for the most part. The bass player was lazy and spent more time talking to girls than he did loading in, loading out, and brushing his teeth. His mic reeked. This was the band where I owned most of the PA system. The lead singer was sketchy at best getting to and from gigs because he had a wife who did not support what he was doing, so that made it hard. When she didn't show up, everything seemed to go more smoothly. The rhythm guitar player was awesome. However, when it came to unloading, I lived further out than anyone else, so I unloaded my entire kit plus two big speaker cabinets, powered head, and cables myself because everyone drove too slowly, and I wanted to hurry home, unload, then get in bed. If we were playing 2 hours away, I'd get back in time to unload before they even thought about pulling in the driveway.

    Band B: I would show up to where we practiced, and the guy that headed up the group usually had everything already packed up. He liked it done a certain way, so I just let him. I offered to help, but he really like it his way. No biggie. He was a great guy.

    Band C: Everyone helped everyone. It was great. However, the lead singer wouldn't show up to half the practices, and would walk into gigs 5 min. before they started and I swear he'd have one foot out the door before we finished our last song. Everyone else was awesome.

    Band D: This was a group I toured with. Everyone helped load and unload. In addition, everyone had a SPECIFIC job they had to do. We were really singer-heavy in this group, but every singer had certain wires and cables they had to run. It was a very well-oiled machine. Horrible music though. It was just a weird situation all the way around.

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