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I can't dance! Teach me how to move on stage!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by davidjackson, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. davidjackson


    Sep 10, 2011
    OK - this is slightly tongue in cheek but slightly serious too.

    I am about to play my third gig with my current band. Although the music sounds great (pop, motown, soul, 80s dance and some disco) when I watch back the videos I'm just so damn stationary on stage. Maybe I sway a bit or tap my foot here or there but generally I just stand like a tree and look much older than I am.

    I can't believe that I am the only bass player on here who has this problem. I love playing live but I also want to look like I am actually enjoying myself! Any tips or humerous instructional videos out there?

  2. Can't help you, I fake it. Try to pretend you're humping an invisible person- that's what the kids do
  3. I don't know man - I like how the OX did it
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Just nod your head to the beat the bass player has to be the cool one on stage and I don't like bass players jumping around on stage let the lead singer and lead guitarist do that you be that silent cool.
  5. davidjackson


    Sep 10, 2011
    This may be the best advice I have ever received off anybody. I love it!
  6. Lol!
  7. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    Do not stress is - go with the flow, let the music take over and just feel the beat, bang your head is always a good start!!

    Within 15 seconds, it looks like this :)

    Oh and jumping to the beat is always a good idea (unless you are drunk.. when you are drunk, do not do it!! You will eventually fall off the stage of jump against/on something more solid than yourself)

    Attached Files:

  8. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Feel the groove in your torso, and move as it comes naturally!
  9. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    The report from my high schoolers is that the person one humps at school dances is no longer invisible. They don't go any more.



  10. BBox Bass

    BBox Bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Pennsylvania
    As vbchaos stated, headbanging is a good starting point. It's been my experience that audiences like movement, no matter how uncoordinated it might be. There are no set rules for how and where you have to move, so just have fun with it. I run all over the place and the crowd eats it up. Having a wireless helps a lot, for it lets me go up to people at the bar and encourage them to come dance with me.

    Put me in a situation where I have to learn dance moves and think about what I'm doing, and it's a different story. When I was playing guitar with a folk fiddler, he attempted to teach me to do square and contra dancing. I was so stiff and awkward that he eventually threw up his hands and exclaimed "It's amazing you can even walk! I don't understand how you can play in time, but somehow you do it."

    Bottom line: Don't overthink it and have a good time.
  11. DataDan


    Mar 18, 2013

    They used to call me the statue in my first band. I was a novice player back then (and a drunk) and it took all my drunken concentration to even play a song, so any movement was not possible.

    8 years later I sway with the music, tap my foot, or tap my heel. Sometime Ill raise the left arm while holding an open note.

    I never do the wide rocker stance (seen in the pics above).
  12. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I'm one of those people that loves to move around on stage! Always have! I also like to dance though. IMO If you are self conscious on a dance floor when it's likely no one is watching, then you will be more self conscious on stage when people are watching... dancing and movement should be natural.

    You are a bass player and thus should have a decent amount of rhythm and intuitive anticipation

    You WANT to move more.

    So it either comes down to 1) you are not familiar enough with your playing to move your fingers and your feet at the same time, or 2)you are self conscious about moving your body...

    Looking funny with jerky movement (see: Moves Like Jagger then watch the video for Start Me Up) is more entertaining than looking like you are bored playing music. IMO
  13. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Here ya go!

  14. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

  15. RedMoses


    Jul 4, 2012
    Shuffle over to the Drummer, nod your head and tap your feet. shuffle over to the Bass cab nod your head and tap your feet. shuffle over to the wedge monitor at the front of the stage, put on foot on top of it, nod your head and tap your feet.

    Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

    As you become more comfortabvle with that you will adopt new ways off shuffling over and nodding.
  16. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Watched a band play a few weekends ago and the bassist would stand there with his legs spread, and look at the ceiling for 4 beats, the his shoes, then his bass, the headstock, then repeat.

    It made me feel awkward.......
  17. Tat2dHeart

    Tat2dHeart Only two strings away from an attitude problem.

    I tend to do the Robert Palmer girl Addicted to Love moves somewhere past the 3/4 mark of the first set. You know the one...bored look and swaying to the beat. But, I can get away with that because I'm a girl. Up until that, though, mostly you can just see my eyes darting frantically around the room looking for the fastest path to the ladies room in case I need to throw up because my stage fright is horrendous.
  18. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Look up old soul train line dance footage on youtube. You will prevail.
  19. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    I believe we need a pic.
  20. Tat2dHeart

    Tat2dHeart Only two strings away from an attitude problem.

    I believe there are videos on YouTube from an open mic night. They'd be on the band's channel though. :D

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