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Ugh... I am the band statue...


mstreck

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I think alot of it has do do with what genre of music you are playing. It's perfectly acceptable for an old school Country band or a Classical Guitarist to remain still. A buddy of mine saw George Strait a few years back and said that George basically stood in one position all night but that when he did move the whole crowd went ape {censored}! If you're in a newer Country (Red Dirt), Rock or Rockabilly band there is a level of expectation when it comes to performance which has been created by the general overall perception and image that was created way back by Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Elvis. Where Rock and Rockabilly is conecerned I truly believe that the majority of people listen with their eyes and not their ears, especially with the advent of MTV, VH1 and CMT!

 

Have you ever noticed that when someone says "that band kicked ass" it's usually because the band also had great stage presence and put on a great performance wheras another band can have great musicians but no stage presence or the "deer in headlights" look and people will say the band was "so so" or "sucked"?

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Practice your songs in the dark.


Practice standing up - make yourself look straight ahead - see how far you can get without looking at your hand on the neck.


That's where it starts IMO.

 

 

Did you eat a lot of paint chips when you were a kid?

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As a "sit down" keyboard player - I'm not much of a jump around sorta guy. My head bobs a bit, ... I try to exaggerate my arm movements some. Not helping matters is my tendency to go somewhat "slack faced" when I'm playing and concentrating. When it's all said and done, I'm not gonna get high marks for "projecting" onstage.

 

I do lean on the "play to one" strategy a little bit. Whenever possible, I try to set up so that I can see and talk to the folks at the table next to me .... and then have little sidebar conversations with them at various points throughout the night. I also quip with bandmates over the mic in the course of the evening as well.

 

Between playing keys, singing a little and running sound - I'm pretty much at my capacity in terms of multi-tasking.

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I'm a Red Bull addict. I usually drink 3-4 before the show and 1-2 per set. As for alcohol, I find that too much trashes my voice, so I might do a shot before the first set and one between sets, but that's about it.

 

 

Do your feet ever touch the ground during a gig? :lol:

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i find it much easier to get into the set if i'm belting out the choruses! throw a mic in front of yourself (or don't) and get those lungs working. there's something about choruses being sung by, well, a chorus of people that gets people excited. there's nothing worse than bored looking band members.

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dude just be confident and let it rip!! do whatever you feel at the time when you play the music- people are there to hear the music and not to see if you mess up on stage, so your job is to just enjoy the act of playing it!! your true "stage presence" will come out naturally :)

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When we first started out we videoed every gig... I couldn't bare to look at them.. all I did was stand still...I thought I was moving but there it was as plain as day.. nope..I am standing still..

But with each and every gig I moved more and more and with others around that moved helped alot too..

I know you were tired so cut yourself some slack on that one..but with each gig you can move a little more and you will get more confidence doing it...

I watched videos of The Rolling Stones (Shine a Light).. Ronnie doesn't move much but when he does it speaks volumes....Same with Keith..

So I don't think you have to jump off of the risers .. or drop to your knees. but once you find doing something comfortable and suits you, and the more you play the more you will move...:thu:

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Do your feet ever touch the ground during a gig?
:lol:

 

Not so much!

 

Back to the OP, it's good that you're aware of this issue and that you're working one it. However, you and I both play for female fronted bands, which means no one's looking at us. That doesn't mean just stand still, but if you just move to the beat a little, you'll be fine.

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Not so much!


Back to the OP, it's good that you're aware of this issue and that you're working one it. However, you and I both play for female fronted bands, which means no one's looking at us. That doesn't mean just stand still, but if you just move to the beat a little, you'll be fine.

 

 

couldnt agree more, dudes and chicks are staring at our chicks.

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Look at a jazz jam, everyone is scope locked on fret boards trying to figure {censored} out, or a blues jam where idiots are calling songs nobody knows...you can see the discomfort and frustration on stage....vs

 

... knowing a great song well enough, that you can look up, around, move around and start to enjoy what your playing on stage....

 

You can really see this in EVH...he just owns the music he plays...

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Since I'm the only guitarist and only singer in my trio, I sometimes find it hard to get out from behind the mic stand. I've got to hit the multieffects pedal to change my guitar sound for the solos, plus I've got to hit the harmonizer button for the vocals.

 

One way I force myself to move around on stage is by setting my mic stand a little bit off to the side. Then when it's time for a guitar lead, I step on the pedal and jump to center stage. I crank out the lead licks, accompanied by the appropriate guitar faces, then jump back in time to set the guitar back to rhythm setting, kick in the harmonizer, and go back to being Ricky Nelson.

 

I get a lot of exercise this way.

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I don't have a problem with the energy, but apparently my facial expressions are like crap....like I'm in pain or something. When I'm soloing, it apparently takes on a persona all unto itself. For me, it's getting into it and being passionate. For some people, they're like, 'why don't you smile'? I'm not Keith Richards and Jimmy Page on heroin!

 

I try to smile and it seems forced while soloing. So I go with the face and it's become a trademark, for better or for worse, but they at least feel I'm passionate.

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Have you ever noticed that when someone says "that band kicked ass" it's usually because the band also had great stage presence and put on a great performance wheras another band can have great musicians but no stage presence or the "deer in headlights" look and people will say the band was "so so" or "sucked"?

 

That reminds me of a conversation I had with a co-worker a while back. He had went to a concert the night before. I don't remember who was on the bill, but I asked him if he liked it. His response was something like: "Well, so and so was ok, but the other band was awesome!" I said, "oh, they sounded a lot better?" He goes, "I don't really know. They just had more explosions and effects." :facepalm:

 

I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I could really care less if a guy is standing there like a statue, or jumping around like a madman. If it sounds good and is a good song that's all I'm after.

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apparently my facial expressions are like crap....like I'm in pain or something. When I'm soloing, it apparently takes on a persona all unto itself.


So I go with the face and it's become a trademark, for better or for worse,

 

Pics, or it doesn't happen!!!!!:wave:

 

But don't feel bad, you can't look as bad as Joe Cocker....

 

then again, neither can anyone else on the planet!

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Videos definitely help, and show weak areas. I'm definitely a mover when we play. Here's an old video. I'm the idiot jumping around on the left with the long hair (the long hair is gone now, just cut off, not bald. haha) I used to practice wearing my wireless, walking around the house, up and down the stairs, all over the place. Play to the crowd, play to each other now and then, but don't spend the whole night looking at the other members.

 

A good idea is to practice in a line facing away from the drummer, as though it were a gig. I find when bands practice in a semi-circle around the drummer, they tend to naturally gravitate towards the drummer during a gig. If you always practice in a line facing the audience, it's one less thing that's foreign when you get up on stage to play.

 

This was around 95 or so... haha the side to side hip thing looks a little gay these days.

 

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UPDATE:

 

Last week, I asked for some advice from our bass player - who never seems to have a problem on stage - and he suggested the following:

 

The key is to keep what you do during the verse minimal compared to what you're doing during the chorus, just like the music, and it comes together a lot better. During the verse, you can just bob to the music a bit where you are, move to another spot, or interact with another band member, but during a chorus is when you take advantage of the chance to "rock out" - do the "rock star poses" as he called them: the "Spinal Tap" stuff - foot on the monitor, extreme head rocking, etc.

 

That was all I need to hear and I put his advice into play at our gig last night. I felt a lot more comfortable and nothing felt forced or out of place. A bonus was that I think both of us doing somewhat similar things helps to visually "balance things out" since we are at opposite sides of the stage.

 

I wish there was some video so I could see if it was as big of an improvement as I think it was. :thu:

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lots of great posts, tried to multi-quote and participate, I am not going to one at a time them. It would be nice if the powers that be gave a {censored}ing {censored} about this site and fixed it, for {censored} sake:arg:

 

 

good thread, folks. a lot of good ideas and comments.

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