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*Typical bar gig* how long do you take on breaks?


Kramerguy

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15 min tops for us. The audience buys less beer when the band isnt playing so we keep it just long enough for a quick bathroom break and a quick drink and or smoke. Even when we are only playing 2 sets we keep the breaks short.

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around 15 minutes for the first two breaks, last one might be closer to 20. But a lot depends on the crowd, if it's a happening night we'll take a shorter break just to get back on stage ASAP.

On a slow night we take a little longer to get going.

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For a long time, we were playing 45 and taking 20 mins. the first set starts at 10, the second at 11:05, the third at 12:10 and the last at 1:15. Then you end up right at 2:00. I still do it when we play private clubs.

 

Lately, we've been playing an extra long 1:10 or 1:15 first set and take a 15. and get back in the game to keep the people interested. The crowds are turning a bit older it seems like. Maybe it's our genre. Seems like there is a age group in the middle that is afraid to go out anymore. Or they are raising kids. After midnight, we tend to get a bit more liberal with the timing. If it's happening musically, we'll stretch them out. If we're just putting in the time, then we'll make sure we aren't working off-the-clock.

 

I can't take breaks like I used to. I can't go hide in the van or in a dark corner. I am now the beer salesman. I have to work the crowd during the break anyway.

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10 minutes...15 is too much...bar tenders know when we go on break we are headed to the bar for a pop/water/beer/drink and the bathroom so it aint like the band has to wait for something to drink...

 

10 minute is plenty of time to take a piss and get a beer...as far as picking up chicks, your doing most of the work while you play, not on breaks...

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45 minute set with a 15 minute break is standard around here. Taking a longer break will get you in hot water or maybe fired or not asked back.

 

Some bands are dumb enough to think that the management doesn't notice how long they take a break. In my experience, at a successful venue there is always someone paying attention to that sort of stuff.

 

Max

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Both of my bands do the 1:10-1:20 set thing for the first two sets with 15-20 minute breaks, then play whatever's left for the third set, usually around an hour, finishing up at 1.

 

If we're at a place that wants us to go til 1:30, we'll stretch the sets a little more and do 20 minute breaks.

 

Seems to make the night go by faster for us than the old 45/15 routine with 4 sets, and the places we play like it because it seems like it tends to fool the crowd into thinking it's earlier that it actually is, making them stay longer (and drink more, which is, after all, the entire point.) :D

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On a typical 4 hour bar gig, I usually do something like this:

 

Play from 9:00-9:50 (50 minutes)

Break from 9:50-10:05 (15 minutes)

Play from 10:05-10:55 (50 minutes)

Break from 10:55-11:10 (15 minutes)

Play from 11:10-11:55 (45 minutes)

Break from 11:55-12:15 (20 minutes)

Play from 12:15-1:00 (45 minutes)

 

Of course, this will change depending on the crowd. Most of the local gigs we do is for an older crowd, so they're ready to dance at the beginning of the night, but by the time midnight rolls around, there are only a few diehards and a few drunks left.

 

I've always had a hard time trying to figure out how to start on the hour and end on the hour but still include sufficient break time for getting drinks, going to the bathroom, and schmoozing. Back in PA when I was growing up, it was not uncommon for bands to take their first "break" before they started playing; if the gig was from 9:00-1:00, they started playing at 9:15, did four 45 minute sets, and ended exactly at 1:00.

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15 minutes tops.

 

Tune, tweak, bathroom, bar & we're back. Shaking a few hands is fine but it isn't the time for catching up with old friends.

 

If you're playing an area that has multiple bars in close proximity, you're better off keeping them short.

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10-15, unless we get to the end of a set and are ahead of schedule, then we will tack on 2-3 minutes. Two or three each set is better than 12 at the end of set 3 and doubling your time off stage. Nothing like giving a Pavlov response to the crowd. They don't hear live music and leave.

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