Quick tips! A few key things you should know before talking to the unsung hero who will be mixing you at your show. Remember, if you do him (or her) wrong, you'll sound like ass on stage.

This practical shit is brought to you by Will (@spiffypal), and his band Cuzco (@cuzcomusic)!

A post shared by MARK ECKERT (@markeckert) on

Alright! Practical Shit - Episode 3. We're doing a little embellishment of the week before. If you haven't checked out Episode 2 you can check it out here. This little mini-series this month is about how to not be a dick to your sound guy/girl, so YOU can sound your BEST.

There are two very basic principles we will cover in this video.

Hand Gestures & Tipping.

So here we go.


If your sound person/lady/man/alien is asking you what you want in your monitors - you should be directly able to tell them with very distinct gestures. This is something most musicians learn over time, and it is often hard-earned. Why? Well, because typically it involves pissing off your sound guy. So let's not do that. Read below, and nobody will be mad at you.

  • Point up for more
  • Point down for less.
  • 'OK' sign or a 'Cut-off' sign if you are all good.


Tip your sound person. Every show I play, we typically do. (Except this one show where the dude literally just bailed 5 minutes before we started. WHAT A PILE OF SHIT.) Either give them a tip, or buy them a drink. Something to show them you appreciated what they did for you. *At many small clubs,* sound guys may often do it because they just love running sound. Sometimes they get paid if it's a good show with a high turnout, but often, it's a tough job - and for not a lot of money. If any. 

Tip them. They'll remember you, you'll gain street cred' for being "one of the good ones" in the scene. And I mean, like, you would've sounded like shit if they weren't running your sound. If you didn't have a sound system, and a competent person running it, nobody would stick around to watch your set. The sound guy should be one of the last people you talk to before you go on, and one of the first people you thank after you finish your set.

That about sums up Practical Shit 3! Have an awesome weekend. If you are playing this weekend, GESTURE & TIP, DAMNIT.

- Mark

Mark Eckert