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Showtime! A Day in the Life of a Guitar Tech

elokuu 09, 2018

Playing the guitar and going on tour are totally two different things. There’s plenty of competent method books around for the former, but there’s nothing available on the latter – even though it would be very useful knowledge for a band.

If you’re about to go on your first real tour, or if you’re only dreaming about it, these articles are for you. Well, actually, I kind of wrote these for my own sake. About twelve years ago I set off on my first long tour, without really knowing anything about the inner workings of life on tour. I tried to find something on Google, but to no avail. I asked people I knew, I tried to find informative books, but I couldn’t get any answers. Those in the know were keeping their knowledge to themselves.

These questions are central to this guide:

  • What are the most important pieces of advice and information I would have needed when I first started my life on the road?
  • What’s a “load in”?
  • What’s a “linecheck”?
  • What’s a “buyout”?
  • Which were the things I only understood once I got home?

Everything you will read on these pages has really happened. I have been confronted with all these issues and situations, in one form or another. You will get a detailed account of all my trials and tribulations in real-life examples. In order to give you a truthful account of what happened I will name real names and places.

I wish your band all the success in the world, and hope that this tutorial will keep you from having to learn solely by trial and error. The knowledge contained on these pages will get you one step closer to becoming a true professional. Take this knowledge and use it well – it’s all down to you!


  1. In the Morning
  2. The Load In
  3. The Linecheck
  4. The Soundcheck
  5. Time to Rest and Think
  6. The Endless Wait
  7. The Changeover
  8. Showtime!
  9. The Load Out 
  10. Reactor Shutdown

9.8.2018 Kimmo Aroluoma (Translated by: Martin Berka, Pics: Harri Huuhtanen) 
The writer is the owner of Custom Boards Finland. He is a veteran guitar tech who has toured for years with Finnish bands HIM, Amorphis, Michael Monroe, The Rasmus and Von Hertzen Brothers. Today he designs pedalboards and runs his own web shop in Helsinki, Finland.


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