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Band energy & dynamics

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  • Band energy & dynamics

    I didn't know what else to call this post. If it sounds like a mini rant it might be, but I don't seem to be able to understand or see whats happening.

     I'm playing in a 4 piece format New country band,( we have a long history of old and classic but have upped the song list, Urban, Bentley, Aldean, Hayes etc). Its Bass,drums,Steel and Guitar. 3 vocals.

     I've found myself, (guitar/vocals, I guess I do a majority of the singing but not overwhelmingly so), I find myself performing what ever song it is, with good energy, and in the moment it just feels like I'm fronting a loungeband. It seems that the rest of the guys are playing in time, key and tempo, but its just laying there like a fish. So I shake it off and realize that its "MY" performance and that if I don't bring the goods why should they, and I hit the vocal, notes, phrasing, guitar chops, fills, add some  stage presence and expression for good measure and after another verse and chorus I find that I'm still the only one on the bandstand thats carrying any sand.  So then I just ratchet back to chord,vocal,and fill mode, right at the energy level thats being offered, which is very unsatisfying.

     The bassist is really pretty good. Hind of a stickler for tempos.(hes a dancer ) Experienced and knowledgable, skill and vocal chops with a good ear. The steel play I've known for almost 20 years and played with him for much of it. He's not a monster player but really competent on C6 and E9, sings lead while comping, and does consistant harmony. He reads his lyrics, even after many gigs. The bassist reads lyrics sometimes off an iPad setup. I have to memorize them because without my glasses I couldn't see the printing.

    So My questions are:

    1. Can you deliver your strongest performance when your reading a lyric sheet.
    2. Can a song be energetic without having the tempo run away.
    3. Is the era of pedal steel lost on todays guitar driven country?

    I have my opinions on the answers but so many of us have been doing this live for so long I sometimes need feedback outside the band members. We're mostly 55+ in age, good health and dress reasonably appropriately though not matching, just to give you a picture. None of the members are butt nuggets, all good responsible easy to hangout guys. 1 beer a night.  Hats are occasionaly worn.

    Sorry for excessive length but this is important. In any event I feel better typing it out.
    Gary

    NYC

     

     

     

    <div class="signaturecontainer">Dez<br><br>Parker, Robin, &amp; Tele's,<br><br>Tech 21, BN D'lite build, Boss ME-50</div>

  • #2
    I think lap or pedal steel would be hard to be really energetic, but the bass player and yourself should be able to perform, and have some fun up there.

    Are you in the middle with the bass player beside you, or is the lap steel person in between?
    NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

    Comment


    • tlbonehead
      tlbonehead commented
      Editing a comment

      StratGuy22 wrote:
      I think lap or pedal steel would be hard to be really energetic, but the bass player and yourself should be able to perform, and have some fun up there.

      Are you in the middle with the bass player beside you, or is the lap steel person in between?

      Texas swing and similar is full of steel guitar and is very energetic as well.


    • dezmoduo
      dezmoduo commented
      Editing a comment
      I've parked myself to the right on the stage. Access to the board. I should be middle and I need to step into that spot. Often the space dictates the layout.

  • #3

    So Friday is another gig, new room, big build up, decent promotion and they really want what we do. I'm going to pep talk the crew.

    This wednesday I'm subbing with a country band, same music, 2 sets. Hopefully I'm not too busy keeping the clams in check to get a feel for how they do it.

    <div class="signaturecontainer">Dez<br><br>Parker, Robin, &amp; Tele's,<br><br>Tech 21, BN D'lite build, Boss ME-50</div>

    Comment


    • FranE
      FranE commented
      Editing a comment

      1. Can you deliver your strongest performance when your reading a lyric sheet.

      No.  If you listen to any spoken performance you can always tell when it's being read.  Courtroom advocacy 101: never write it all down and just read it out.  It carries no conviction. 


      2. Can a song be energetic without having the tempo run away.

      Yes.  Energy and tempo are completely different.   Has your bass player ever danced professionally ie on stage?  If so, he should know that.  If you dance like a wet fish then that's what the audience will see -  wet fishes dancing.   It's the same for any performance. 

       

      Just my opinion.


  • #4

    dezmoduo wrote:
    My questions are:

    1. Can you deliver your strongest performance when your reading a lyric sheet.
    2. Can a song be energetic without having the tempo run away.
    3. Is the era of pedal steel lost on todays guitar driven country?

     

    1. No. One of the BEST things we ever did as a band was force (and I mean kicking and screaming at the beginning) our singer to get rid of the music stand. Nowadays he may fumble a line or 2 here or there, but he's morphed into a 10X better and more engaging front man. And when he does flub up the words nobody notices or cares.

    2. Yes.

    3. No idea.

    <div class="signaturecontainer">Christian<br />
    <br />
    SpaceCat<br />
    <a href="http://www.spacecatband.com" target="_blank">www.spacecatband.com</a><br />
    <br />
    &quot;When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.&quot; - Jimi Hendrix<br />
    <br />
    <div class="bbcode_container">
    <div class="bbcode_quote">
    <div class="quote_container">
    <div class="bbcode_quote_container"></div>

    <div class="bbcode_postedby">
    <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>wheresgrant3</strong>
    <a href="showthread.php?p=46361260#post46361260" rel="nofollow"><img class="inlineimg" src="images/buttons/viewpost-right.png" alt="View Post" /></a>
    </div>
    <div class="message">Our singer is basically butchering the Grade A material into deli meat, but don't fear... the crowd is there for big sandwiches.</div>

    </div>
    </div>
    </div> </div>

    Comment


    • dezmoduo
      dezmoduo commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks Gitguy and Fran,

       My feelings also. Having to read and then phrase and and play an instrument can't enhance a performance.

      And the energy thing is pretty obvious I guess. I was able to crank the energy and drive all within the confines of what was being played on stage, which happened to be awful, then I backed out of the energy and just went through the motions.

      As far as the steel guitar working, if the performance was brought to a level that captured peoples attention it would be more relevent. As it is, people are mostly just intriqued with the unusual instrument.

      Fill in gig this evening. Must see if I laundered a handsome face to wear tonight.

       



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