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Thread: Amp Advice

  1. #1
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    Default Amp Advice

    I've finally gotten up the nerve to join my praise band at church. They currently have one electric guitar player one acoustic guitar player, a piano player, and an additional 4-6 singers. I should be getting my first ukulele with a pickup within the next week (Loprinzi concert with MiSi pickup). I'm not sure what the amp situation is at church. I don't know if I'll be plugging into an existing system or needing to bring my own amp. I'm a total novice at this sort of thing, but they have been quite welcoming and they said that playing in front of the church congregation is a great way to begin playing in public.

    I have a Blackstar Fly 3 combo. 6 watts total. If I need to provide my own amp, will this surfice, or should I invest in something bigger?

    Medium sized sanctuary. 70-100 bodies in the pews on any given Sunday.

    Advice (and prayers) welcome as I venture into playing in public. My uke group did play a 30 minute Christmas concert at an assisted living center yesterday and that was great fun. There were about 20 of us playing, so I was definitely just one of the herd. Playing at church will be more nerve wracking for me!

  2. #2
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    RafterGirl, While I really can't give you good advice about which amp to use, I would reckon that any decent guitar amp would work.
    To help with the jitters, just make sure you rehearse with the members of your "praise band" at least twice before any performance. Our ALF band practices on the average of three times per performance, and at least once before open mic (much more casual, and a great way to learn). We make sure we can do each song perfectly 3 times, or we throw it out or save it for later. It entails about 4 - 6 hours of practice for a one hour performance.
    We're doing a 30 minute Christmas show at my church, and will have two practices beforehand.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  3. #3

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    Your black star is useless in that situation. They most likely have a PA system and you’ll plug into that. Otherwise you need to work with the church and other musicians to see what you need to fit in. Premature to recommend an amp with this info. There are a wide range of good acoustic amps and portable PA systems. How big is the room. How high is the ceiling. What is your role in the mix. What kind of amplification does the acoustic guitar player have.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by katysax View Post
    Your black star is useless in that situation. They most likely have a PA system and you’ll plug into that. Otherwise you need to work with the church and other musicians to see what you need to fit in. Premature to recommend an amp with this info. There are a wide range of good acoustic amps and portable PA systems. How big is the room. How high is the ceiling. What is your role in the mix. What kind of amplification does the acoustic guitar player have.
    Medium sized sanctuary with high ceilings. Will hold about 150+ people if every seat is filled. My guess is that I won't need my own amp and I figured my little Blackstar would be useless in that setting. I'm a total novice at this kind of thing, but I love to play, so I figured church was a good place to dive in. They practice during the week and again early Sunday morning before the service. I'm sure they will have to figure out how best to add my ukulele sound into the mix.

    What's a good portable amp for smaller venues? Like playing for a small room of 20-40 people? Since I'm getting a uke with a pickup, I should be a decent medium sized amp at some point. The Blackstar is good for home practice.
    Last edited by RafterGirl; 12-10-2017 at 10:04 AM.

  5. #5
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    You need to talk to the sound guy/gal first. Katysax had good advice there. If there is any kind of PA system, you might want to consider a multi-effects unit instead of an amp. And talk to the other "guitar" players and see what they are doing. Start small, keep it simple, and have fun!
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127

    !Flukutronic!

  6. #6

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    I'm assuming you also sing besides playing the ukulele. Fishman Loudbox Mini

  7. #7
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    Sounds like you would be able to use the church PA for this gig. See how you like it and if you like performing get an amp for all your future gigs. I've found that an amp designed for accoustic instruments works best. I use a Roland AC33. If you do get an amp and like the sound you are getting, you can send a line out of the amp into the PA and have the amp as your own little foldback box.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by craig l robertson View Post
    I'm assuming you also sing besides playing the ukulele. Fishman Loudbox Mini
    I'm not much of a singer, but maybe playing will help me improve with that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strumdaddy View Post
    Sounds like you would be able to use the church PA for this gig. See how you like it and if you like performing get an amp for all your future gigs. I've found that an amp designed for accoustic instruments works best. I use a Roland AC33. If you do get an amp and like the sound you are getting, you can send a line out of the amp into the PA and have the amp as your own little foldback box.
    I saw that amp mentioned in a lot of threads about portable amps.

    The church has a sound guy and a big sound board in the back of the sanctuary, so maybe I won't need an amp to start with. We'll see how is goes. I'll start by attending a practice session to see if I'm a good fit with the group. I think they are just happy to have people willing to participate.

    I do have an iRig Acoustic. I believe I can plug my MiSi into the iRig to work as a pre-amp. I know I don't actually need a pre-amp with the MiSi, but I think the iRig would give me some volume & tone control. Again....I'm a total noobie to playing plugged in. Lots to learn.
    Last edited by RafterGirl; 12-10-2017 at 02:33 PM.

  10. #10

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    I have got more than a dozen amps. For most gigs I find that a plug is available and I have a $99 kustom pa that has a built in mixer and is very expandable. When I need a battery I use my Phil Jones db4 which is a bass amp but which works fine as an acoustic amp. I also sometimes use a lunch box sized Roland pa when indoors in a rec room. The Phillips loudbox mini is a good acoustic amp. I like the burgera ac60 as an alternative. For gigs I find that simpler is better. There is always background noise and all kind of distractions so the purest sound is not important. You need loud enough, adequate range and no noticeable distortion. The fewer extra cables and boxes and switches the better. The kustom pa50 is genius.

    Skip the irig. I have lugged around preamps and pedals and in most cases have always gone back to as simple as possible. If I were a big-time musician with roadies that stuff might be cool. Fun to play with but I have to get on and off stage fast and there are crowds. Keep it simple.
    Last edited by katysax; 12-10-2017 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Typo

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