If you happen to be entering the intricate world of music and music business, a fine way to do so is through a career of a technician.
Being a technician allows you to learn a lot when it comes to your craft, business and just the way things work in music, and then even do some travel and make money. It doesn’t sound like a bad deal, now does it?
But there are so many factors to consider and determine here, so don’t think even for a second that this is an easy road we’re talking about. Therefore, we’ve assembled a brief guide on how to be a guitar tech.
Is the Guitar Tech Job Really for You?
This is the first question you should be asking yourself. Being a guitar tech typically requires a lot of travelling, a lot of time away from home, and a lot of physical and mental strains
If these sound like something you think you can cope with, only then should you proceed to read further. Off to the juicy bits now!
Be on Time!
Guitar techs are one of those guys that enter the venue first and leave it last, so it is of utmost importance that you are punctual. You need to have everything prepared for the musician you work for and do your absolute best not to frustrate him.
And as we all know, waiting for someone who’s late is a very frustrating experience. The point is – allow the musician to focus on music only, help him grow and you paycheck is also bound to grow.
Know the Gear
The second most important thing is to get acquainted with the gear. We’ll take Tom Webber, one of the world’s most renowned technicians as an example. When Tom was hired by Bush, he spent a whole week reading the 201-page manual for frontman Gavin Rossdale’s Fractal Audio Axe-FX II guitar effects system. Ultimately, he bought one $2,300 system for himself, just so he could really master it.
This shows the great importance of knowing the gear. It is you who set it up and it is you who should know how to adjust the sound.
Know the Guitar
Needless to say, you need to know how to play guitar, how to perform minor (and major if possible) adjustments and repairs. Basically, if something goes wrong with any piece of gear, you need to know how to tackle the issue ASAP.
Additionally, you must know how to properly set up the gear in the first place. Cover those two areas properly and you’re good to go.
Be Alert, Persistent and Self-Motivated
A few crucial qualities you should possess – you need to be in the state of alertness at all times. You never know when something can go wrong and cause technical issues or even injuries, meaning that resting is something you should do only once the job is done.
Additionally, self-motivation is greatly appreciated here. Musicians just want to play with maximum convenience, and you need to be the guy to predict their musical needs even before they know they have them.
You also need to keep the quality of your performance high at all times. You need to get the musician used to high-quality service to an extent that he gets comfortable and used to it, and then when another tech works for him with lower quality service, he or she suddenly realizes that it’s your performance that he can’t go without. Basically, get under their skin!
Adjust the gear properly, place all the equipment where it belongs, check the tuning, check the string setup, check everything and then double check it, it the only way to go up.
How to Become a Guitar Tech – Conclusion
And that about wraps it up. The only word of advice we can post at the end is to be a hard-working individual. If you enjoy working and always being busy, you will enjoy being a guitar tech.
It’s a long way to the top as always, but hard work and motivation are absolute must-have qualities for any self-respecting guitar tech. Now get off the computer and invest in your craft. Good luck, folks!