Jump to content

Talking between songs


trmckenz

Recommended Posts

  • Members

This is something I've always tried to control. My philosophy is "less talk, more rock," so I like to just kick into the first song of the night, followed by two or three more, then chat with the crowd for about 30 seconds to a minute, then do the same thing again.

 

Kinda like this:

 

4 songs

Banter

4 songs

Banter

4 songs

"We'll be right back!" (something along those lines anyway)

 

However, the bass player and drummer were in a band where they were used to talking. A LOT. It was a five-piece and the three vocalist/guitarists apparently did not talk to the crowd, so they did instead. They get a bit frustrated with me because they sometimes talk over me when I'm doing MY banter, which kind of pisses me off. It's like they are trying to say I shouldn't talk, because the guitarists in their previous band didn't. Well, too f***in' bad. I'm the lead singer for cryin' out loud. People expect me to talk to them. :blah:

 

Anyway, on a positive note, we recently switched from their three hour long set/two 30 minute break method to my 45 minute/15-20 minute break method as well as kicking into song after song (keeping the party going and not clearing the dance floor) and they are noticing a pleasant difference. Whaddyaknow, it works! :idea::lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

You should realize the crowd you play for and know what you're going to say so you don't accidently pee someone off. You should practice what you're going to say at band practice and do your practice just like the sets. Same order same speach. No one should be stepping on each other. If you would like to take part plan it. Practice. Plan it. Practice. Plan it. Practice. Somewhere in there you should introduce the band. It's acting, getting it down, being professional.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Weird random aside. Our drummer, who happens to be an excellent singer, is also our best at between song banter. So he often stands up (he wears a wireless headset) and fires the crowd up during breaks in the set

 

 

Same here. The bass player handles any "official" MCing and announcements we might be required to do and is considered our 'front man', but our drummer is the class clown and gets the audience going. He's also our best male vocalist---at least as far as rapping and screaming AC/DC tunes and the like. So he's up on his kit a lot and egging the audience on.

 

Odd having our best 'front' man being behind the drums but hey---you gotta work with what you got.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members


Kinda like this:


4 songs

Banter

4 songs

Banter

4 songs

"We'll be right back!" (something along those lines anyway)

 

This.

 

Keep it short and sweet. I find 3 songs and then a bit of talking works well. I did sound at a folk festival and this one trio of girls literally told a 3 - 4 minute story between each song. Holy {censored}, they weren't even INTERESTING stories.

 

I earned my money that set.

 

:facepalm:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Typical night:

 

"We're Finally Friday and we do take requests. If we know it, we'll play it. If we don't, we might play it anyway."

 

"If you'd like reminders about where we're playing, give us your e-mail address and we'll spam you."

 

"Thanks for being here tonight."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

We have the philosophy that every second we're talking instead of playing, another person is thinking "this sucks".

 

hahahah! Good one!

 

We try to talk as little as possible and when we do there is usually music playing too even if it's just a drum beat. We figure they came to be entertained not listen to us talk. We play mostly medleys and most of the medleys are long so that doesn't leave a lot of dead air between songs. I like that.

 

and we are the only band in our hometown doing that. :thu: It makes our gigs more of a "show" than just 5 guys in a corner with instruments. (I am not sure who originally posted the 5 guys thing but it stuck with me)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

We have the philosophy that every second we're talking instead of playing, another person is thinking "this sucks".

 

 

The important thing about the talk game is that it only works if people are interested in what you have to say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

IMO, a little bit of talk is important. Never drone on and on. Done correctly, it engages the audience. But there should be only one emcee and that should be the singer, unless (s)he sucks at it.

 

And like mentioned before, I like to start each set with a minimum of 3 tunes, one right into the next.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

This.


Keep it short and sweet. I find 3 songs and then a bit of talking works well. I did sound at a fold festival and this one trio of girls literally told a 3 - 4 minute story between each song. Holy {censored}, they weren't even INTERESTING stories.


I earned my money that set.


:facepalm:

 

LOL maybe they thought they were filming VH1 storytellers?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

... if we know it, we'll play it. If we don't know it, we'll still play it, but it will really suck ...

 

 

I'm usually a fan of self-deprecation - and often use it myself in situations where I'm "in the driver's seat" and dealing with people that I know and who know me. I've always felt that it sends the message that I can laugh at myself - and more importantly, says that I'm approachable and can be criticized - which are traits that I feel are important in my day gig.

 

However, I try to never be self-deprecating when on stage and performing to an audience filled with folks who are for the most part strangers. In the on stage situation - I feel it's important to send the message that you're comfortable, confident and in control. Whenever I see a band that predicts a song is going to suck before they've played a note of it - that's certain not the message that I get (comfortable, confident and in control).

 

I'd avoid telling people you don't know that something your about to do is going to suck. I think it invariably puts you in a hole too deep to dig yourself out of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Know your limitations. Talk can be part of the overall entertainment package, & there are times when people need to pause & catch their breath (or swap guitars, etc.). You don't want to overdo it, but you really want to establish a "dialog" with your audience & do something more than just play the songs, otherwise your name might as well be "Wurlitzer". I've seen some bands where some significant comedy was even part of the show, but there are very few people who can pull something like that off. Pause every now & then to thank people for being there, introduce your members like you'd introduce friends to one another, & try to make everybody feel welcome & part of the event.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

one of the things that just embarrassed me to death was the endless banter between songs with the oldies band that mercifully fired me. I wanted to play the danged songs and every time I thought they were finally through with the improvised stand up act they would go off on another tangent. On the other hand in my main band now the lead singer has to be pushed to say anything at all and a little more crowd warming would be fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Of course a crowd are at your gig primarily for the music. The best live acts though are able to get a rapport going with a crowd even when the band/material and the audience are total strangers.

 

It can be much tougher to get a crowd on your side if you don't at least do some verbal chat at certain points in the night.

 

IMHO how successful you are at this boils down to when & how you talk to the crowd. Content is less important than delivery and timing

 

Couple of audience interaction tips here to explain a bit more. Hope it helps

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Sadly, for most working musicians, it's all entertainment. Nevermind that your guitar guy brings three amps to nail that tone for the one song, or if the bass player can actually switch to bagpipes for Copperhead Road (although that would probably be pretty entertaining).

 

Especially if you are a cover band, your job is to:

-1. Rise above 'your favorite music, whatever it is', as well as the person that booked you. Examine the venue, examine the crowd. Mix in your setlist, add salt or pepper to suit.

1. Make them dance. The bar does better, you'll get Web 2.x followers online, the venue will re-book.

2. Play the hooks.

3. Vocals are the utmost.

4. If you have a band member that can work the crowd, so be it.

5. If you have more than 15 seconds of dead air, that is a bad thing.

6. Profit!

7. Shoegazers, screamo/emo bands ignore steps 1 through 5. If the venue/audience is a step up to the next level, then keep doing whatever works.

 

If your band never plays more than a 30 minute show, this all the more difficult, because you have immediate competition/comparison.

 

A good front-person can read the crowd, and know when to keep going, and when to kick off the next song. An excellent front-person can involve the crowd on the spur of the moment while another band member is changing strings/guitars/instruments/cords/chords/shirt/shoes without knowing how long they have to do so.

 

On Hallowe'en, I saw a guitar player that remains silent the whole night onstage, yet during the costume contest, he got more applause MCing the contest than the (very good) band that was playing.

 

Entertain them, practice patter, make it work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Typical night:


"We're Finally Friday and we do take requests. If we know it, we'll play it. If we don't, we might play it anyway."


"If you'd like reminders about where we're playing, give us your e-mail address and we'll spam you."


"Thanks for being here tonight."

 

 

I do the solo acoustic thing. I try and keep it simple like this. Lots of music, not a lot of chatter. I've always felt that less is more with chatter, and more is better with the tunes back to back.

 

Maybe, "Welcome to (insert venue), thanks for coming out. My name is. . .I'm happy to take requests." Then a few songs later, maybe a plug of my website and some plugs about other events at the venue.

 

Sometimes I will interact with the crowd a lot more - particularly if there are a few key party-goers in the crowd that are making a lot of requests, etc. Most of the time, this is not the case, as I'm playing to an early/dinner crowd. Plus, it can be a really tough sell to the get the crowd all riled up as a solo act.

 

All that being said, I'm finding some venues that really EXPECT you to interact heavily with the crowd and get them involved. I've actually had a venue not book me again because I was not being "interactive" enough!! Damn, I'm not a karaoke DJ, I'm a musician.

 

 

I've seen both types - the guys who just play and don't interact, and then the guys who talk so much that they might only play 8 songs in an hour. I try and be somewhere in the middle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...