Outdoor gigs – how to beat the heat

I play a lot of outdoor gigs where I live in Clearwater, FL. In the summer it gets wicked hot with very high humidity, but this is how I make my living, so I have come up with some solutions to the heat problem:

  • A fan is your best friend! I always bring a fan that moves a lot air. It’s the first thing I set up and the last thing I break down. I usually set it up behind me, on high, directly onto my back – ah, that’s better.
  • Take a mineral supplement for athletes. When we sweat, we lose minerals, which should be replaced. I used to always have a head ache by the end of a 4 hour summer gig, until I found a product by Youngevity, called Rebound that totally handles my mineral depletion problem. It is a powder that I add to a large water bottle. It has a nice orange flavor and is a little sweet. It was formulated for athletes to prevent the chronic mineral depletion they endure, but it works really well for me, too! No more headaches.
  • Drink a gallon of water, literally!
  • Don’t forget to eat. Sometimes the heat can make one forget to eat, but I find that increases fatigue on a hot day even more than on a cool day.
  • Go inside and cool off on your breaks, if you can. Fifteen minutes of cooling off can really make a difference in long term endurance.
  • Um, wear shorts – duh.
  • This tip is just for guitarists: if you sweat a lot and your strap is wet after the gig, don’t put it in your case until it’s dry. I used to always lay my strap lengthwise along the body and neck, right over my strings when I put it in the case, until I noticed my strings were rusting.  Eventually I figured out why – the strap was wet and transferred moisture directly onto the strings.

I hope these tips come in handy for my fellow musicians who work in the heat.

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