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Singers using music stands with lyric sheets


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Well Orchestras are not supposed to be interacting a bunch of drunk dancing people 3 feet in front of them.


And we can go in the way back machine when teleprompters didn't exist. Have you ever seen The Beatles or the Stones using a music stand? (Serious question)

 

Off the top of my head, no I cannot recall.

 

I said personally I don't like it, but people do use them and still get good results. IOW, I don't think it's as clear cut as saying anyone who uses one is a hack, unprofessional, lazy, etc. I've seen Warren Haynes use a lyric sheet several times and I don't think anyone would call him unprofessional or a hack.

 

This is just another example of where there is no right or wrong way to do things. Just do whatever works for you without having to resort to name calling for someone who does it differently. And no, I'm not referring to you directly when I say "you". What works for one situation, may not work for another.

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Are you a singer?


It doesn't matter...either way, sometimes one just can't remember all the words to all of their songs so IMO it's better to have a music stand with a book of lyrics rather than have a bunch of loose papers flying all over the stage.


We all know that the big name acts (a lot of them, anyway) use monitors with scrolling lyrics.

 

Yes I sing anywhere from 8-12 songs a night as well as play all 40 on guitar 40% of which have leads which I play 85% to the record.

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I will occasionally need a lyric cheat sheet the first 3 or 4 times I do a song. If I do, I put the sheet on my monitor so I can look down. I would never use a music stand for lyrics. After a few times, I get the words down and I throw the cheat sheet away. I've found that people who regularly use cheat sheets lean on them as a crutch and just keep using them.

 

I have used a cheat sheet twice. Once as a prop during a halloween costume (I was santa, and santa's list was the lyrics to Billionaire) and during a private show where we pulled out "let's get it started" for the first time since we added it 4 days prior. still hadn't memorized the lyrics.

 

I think you are right it is a crutch and shows that the person using it is either too lazy to memorize the words, or has difficulty remembering things (not related to just being lazy)

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side note - big name act with teleprompters = COMPLETELY different than your band with a music stand. In those shows the stage is 10 feet high and the monitors are at their feet recessed in the stage. So... when they are looking at the teleprompters it appears that they are making eye contact with the crowd and they are still putting on a great show. Is it smoke and mirrors? Sure but the two aren't comparable.

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I don't like it, but it's not really enough to turn me off from a performance. Joe Blow cover guy can't spend the money for a telemprompter like a national touring band. Then there's always the orchestra with sheet music in front of them. Are these musicians lazy and unprofessional, too?

 

Orchestras and rock bands are entirely different. That's not even close to a valid argument.

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Orchestras and rock bands are entirely different. That's not even close to a valid argument.

 

I wasn't trying to start an argument and I now understand this thanks to this excellent thread. I'm still not understanding whether I should be for or against music stand though. :confused:

 

I don't see the big deal. If you don't like it, then don't do it. If you like it, then do it.

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FWIW, I'm with the crowd that despises music stands...despite the fact that they are being used in my own band. I am treating this band with kid gloves because I like the people in it. But if I were a tyrant running things exactly the way I want them to be ran, the music stands would be high up the list of things to eliminate. I don't think they look good onstage or off to the side. It just screams "lazy" and "incompetent" to me. I expected both of the guys in my band to have weaned off of them by now. It's looking like that is never going to happen. So, it's just one of those things I will have to tolerate in the name of band harmony.

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I saw some vid of this Floyd cover band with a female singer/keyboard player. Her music stand is so tall that she sets up sideways with her back to the band and off to the side of the stage. Maybe that's not why she sets up that way but I couldn't think of any other reason to have my back to the band. Nice bright light on the stand which detracts from the rest of the light show too.

 

 

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Have you ever seen The Beatles or the Stones using a music stand? (Serious question)

 

BTW-

 

Paul taped his cheat sheets to the top of the body of his Hofners, Rics & acoustic guitars.

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I saw some vid of this Floyd cover band with a female singer/keyboard player. Her music stand is so tall that she sets up sideways with her back to the band and off to the side of the stage. Maybe that's not why she sets up that way but I couldn't think of any other reason to have my back to the band. Nice bright light on the stand which detracts from the rest of the light show too.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX5whp_u17E&feature=player_profilepage

 

Yoko Ono joined a Pink Floyd tribute band??? When did that happen?

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I am vehemently anti music stand.

 

If you forget a lyric, BFD... the crowd will probably miss the fact that you did.

If you can't remember an entire verse, repeat one. But work on it...

If you can't remember an entire song, you need to tell the band you can't play that song that night.

 

IF you need a 3 ring binder and you use it at every gig for every song, my guess is you're not putting the work in during the week.

 

Seriously, nothing is more annoying to me then a singer that interacts with a crowd when they aren't singing, then goes into bookworm mode when it comes time to sing.

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I will happily walk out of a bar that features a singer with a music stand. It is unprofessional and show a lack of respect for the audience. PERIOD. I don't care if it is the greatest band in the world. I see a music stand up front, I walk out.

 

In fact, the ONLY time I accept a stand on stage is with a band that is using a horn section for a couple of songs or a wedding band with a fake book during dinner. If the horns are regular members they should know the music and once dinner is over, the wedding band should get the stands out from center stage.

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Ha, ok, let's do this again. :lol:

 

I agree with those that say music stands just look bad in a "rock" setting. I know when I see a band using them I definitely think "oh, come on!". I certainly wouldn't walk out because of it but it would hurt my impression of them.

 

On the other hand, I've been guilty of using lyric "cheat sheets" occasionally for newer originals or recently-added covers. They usually have the fist few words of each verse and nothing more, discreetly placed next to my setlist. It's not because I haven't made the effort to learn the song; it's just that sometimes with newer stuff I'll get a total mental freeze. But when I do use them I'm always working to work past needing them.

 

As someone who has serious issues with memorization (and also with flipping stuff around etc) I understand the desire to have lyrics up there, but I just feel like using a stand- whether you're using it a lot or not- just kinda gives the percertion you don't care.

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I will happily walk out of a bar that features a singer with a music stand. It is unprofessional and show a lack of respect for the audience. PERIOD. I don't care if it is the greatest band in the world. I see a music stand up front, I walk out.

 

Snob.

 

Don't care if it is the greatest band in the world? You show a lack of respect for the music.

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Can we all at least agree that they detract from the show? Does anyone seriously think that all things being equal, a singer with a stand next to them reading lyrics is going to be as well received, even by an audience of non-musicians, as someone who knows all the lyrics without a crutch?

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Snob.


Don't care if it is the greatest band in the world? You show a lack of respect for the music.

 

And you overestimate it's worth.

 

I don't mean to be a jerk to you personally, but more the musician mindset that attaches a much greater importance to what we do than there actually is. In most settings, we're entertainment. We're an escape. That's it. Enjoy being that.

 

As for stands, I agree with what AustinCB said previously - if you're not the main attraction, sure, do what you have to. If you are intended to be the center of attention however, get that crap off the stage and engage.

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Exactly, and 99% of that .1% that DO care about music stands are other musicians who just think they are SO cool. The fact is that the use of music stands is a non-issue for those who we're playing for almost all of the time. It's a musician only issue! Another example of a musician only issue: I personally don't like shorts on stage, ever, but I don't think the audience cares AT ALL!

 

I dunno, I was at a larger club show earlier this year where the people I went with were dissapointed with the show. Among the things mentioned was, specifically, the singer using a stand. The people in question were a couple musicians and one non-musician. I don't deny musicians would care more than non-musicians, but in a lot of cities (like mine) the crowd at many shows has a lot of musicians who paid for tickets just like everyone else.

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And you overestimate it's worth.


I don't mean to be a jerk to you personally, but more the musician mindset that attaches a much greater importance to what we do than there actually is. In most settings, we're entertainment. We're an escape. That's it. Enjoy being that.


As for stands, I agree with what AustinCB said previously - if you're not the main attraction, sure, do what you have to. If you are intended to be the center of attention however, get that crap off the stage and engage.

 

You are implying my opinion on which has nothing to do with the post. If a person is willing to walk out on the basis of a music stand....irregardless of the music...well that is snobbery. Pure and simple. It is an inanimate object, fer chrissakes.

 

It's like saying "I walk out on any band with a white guy playing a strat. It shows a lack of respect for the music."

 

It is a totally brain dead POV.

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By the way, in reference to my above post, I googled the artist/tour in question and "music stand", and the second result was a review of the tour that contained a criticism of his using a stand.

 

...and he sang with a sheaf of lyrics before him on a waist-high music stand. Come on.

http://www.nadamucho.com/live/music/manchester_pirate_karaoke_peter_hook_plays_unknown_pleasures.html

 

EDIT: and another review mentions it:

 

and making sure to dart back to his music stand so that he could turn the page of his [lyrics book]...

 

Wait...what!? The man was a founding member of one of alternative rock's seminal groups, and in touring in "tribute" to their frontman he cannot even remember the guitar tabs, or even the words, to some of the most critical songs in rock history? Are you {censored}ing kidding me?

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:u5J4lKNjua0J:decibelsaspixels.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html+peter+hook+unknown+pleasures+%22music+stand%22&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com

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I dunno, I was at a larger club show earlier this year where the people I went with were dissapointed with the show. Among the things mentioned was, specifically, the singer using a stand. The people in question were a couple musicians and one non-musician. I don't deny musicians would care
more
than non-musicians, but in a lot of cities (like mine) the crowd at many shows has a
lot
of musicians who paid for tickets just like everyone else.

 

did they line up against the wall with their arms crossed?

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I am vehemently anti music stand.


If you forget a lyric, BFD... the crowd will probably miss the fact that you did.

If you can't remember an entire verse, repeat one. But work on it...

If you can't remember an entire song, you need to tell the band you can't play that song that night.


IF you need a 3 ring binder and you use it at every gig for every song, my guess is you're not putting the work in during the week.

 

THIS^^^^^:deadhorse:

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