Flamenco Guitarist Practical Considerations
Are you thinking of booking me to play flamenco guitar at your event?
If so, I want your event to go as smoothly as possible.
Here is some information which I think is useful for the planning stages.
I have had some very bad experiences over the years, so please read this article carefully.
That way we can work together to provide the very best flamenco guitar playing for your event.
While it is true that each event is unique, nonetheless there are some considerations which I feel apply pretty much in all cases.
The right chair in the right place
For example: I need a chair without arms so that the guitar fits.
The chair should be placed on flat hard ground.
Access to electricity
Given that I often use an amplifier, I need an electric socket near to where I am seated or an extension lead to my location.
Playing Flamenco Guitar in an outside open air location
This is very popular, especially at weddings.
Typically, people like me to play while wedding guests are arriving for the drinks reception.
Outside seems to be the logical location.
Considerations to bear in mind.
If you ask me to sit in direct sun I may get sun stroke, become quite unwell and unable to continue playing.
Hence, I should have some form of shade.
If it starts to drizzle that might be OK for your guests but the damp will eventually find its way into the amplifier which will then produce a loud unpleasant feedback scream.
Most important for flamenco guitars and guitarist
Far more importantly, damp is very bad for my guitar. So much so that I will put the guitar in its case and wait for clear weather.
My guitars are of exceptional quality and I will not risk any damage.
If it is very cold and or windy the guitar will begin to seize up and my fingers will become tense. I cannot play like that.
Playing flamenco guitar inside
Playing flamenco guitar inside is infinitely better than playing outside.
All of the climatic concerns above are immediately removed.
The natural acoustics of the room produce a better sound with less amplification.
Room layout for flamenco guitarist
Landscape is always better than portrait.
If I am playing at the end of a long room the table closest to me will find the amplifier is too loud and makes it difficult for them to talk.
At the other end of the room, no one can hear me.
However, if I am seated along a long wall at a centre position the sound is much more even across the whole room.
Furthermore, everyone can see me play.
Things to avoid in all cases
Best to avoid trailing cables across the floor.
If someone trips on a cable you then potentially have a real problem.
Give the flamenco guitarist some space
Please ask your guests not to crowd me.
When people stand close to me and around me two things happen.
First, they produce a wall which blocks the sound coming from the guitar and the amplifier.
Second, as they will be chatting, they produce another sound which further makes it difficult for me to be heard.
Even worse the microphone picks up their chatter and sends it to the amplifier so those nearby can hear what they say.
Damage to a flamenco guitar
A much bigger problem is that people bang into the microphone stand which swings the boom arm round which in turn smashes into my guitar.
When this happens, it feels like the only thing I can do is pack up and go home.
Refreshments for flamenco guitarist
I do not drink alcohol when I am playing for an event.
However, as I am playing for a long time, I do appreciate a soft drink.
I always bring my own bottle of water to avoid dehydration, however, a soft drink is pleasant.
If you do not tell your caterers to offer the guitarist a soft drink they will not do so of their own volition.
My experience is that even if you do tell them, they often forget as they have a lot on their mind.
However, when I ask for a drink they remember, which is helpful.
At some events, when I ask for a coffee of non alcohol drink the bar staff expect me to pay.
So, I play for my coffee but I do think that it would be very pleasant to receive a cup of coffee on the house.