Is it all right to do this?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by stratovani, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. At my weekly Friday Night jams at my friend's house I play guitar and sing. But because I don't have the greatest memory I have the lyrics in front of me on a music stand. We're already discussing possible gigs in the future, and what I'm wondering is if it's OK to have a music stand with the lyrics on stage with me of is that considered too unprofessional or uncool? Or should I somehow try to memorize all the songs on our setlist?
  2. PBass101


    Jul 3, 2008
    Memorize the songs. Nobody wants to watch you learning what to sing on stage.
  3. uaudio


    Apr 11, 2008
    Learn the songs. Not professional to have lyric sheets as a lead singer.
  4. lunker


    May 27, 2008
    Memorize the songs. Memorization is just like everything else, the more you do it the easier it will be in the future.
  5. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    it's better than not getting up there at all.
  6. Joel S.

    Joel S. Reserved for future witty use...

    Jul 9, 2008
    The singer in one of my bands has his laptop setup a little out of the way with the lyrics to various songs up there. Usually a quick glance will jog his memory.

    Singer in another band wrote out a few cheat sheets he set on his guitar amp. Just the first lines of verses, usually enough to jog his memory.

    I wouldn't sing from a stand if you can avoid it, but having a memory aide somewhere where you can take a quick glance if need be wouldn't be a bad thing.
  7. As everyone else said memorize. It is ok to have a small cheat sheet somewhere that isn't visible to the crowd, but not a full out music stand. You should be able to glance at it though rather than stare at it.

    Use your music stand at your friends house and play the songs a million times, eventually you will remember them without the lyrics.
  8. EEEEhhhhh.... It all depends. Obviously for the sake of comfort and performance you'd want to memorize them. Buttttt... my band covers a ton of stuff, i mean a ton. Our singer is close to twenty years older than our band and he obviously has a bigger library than us. So sometimes we bring charts to gigs, cause we take a lot of requests. I don't see the difference.

    It also depends on the gig. If it's a bar, than hell yeah don't even worry about it. The people aren't going to paying attention to what you're doing anyway. They're there to drink and socialize not get some awesome show out of a cover band. However, if it's a gig where you're expected to be the only entertainment, you'll need to know your stuff and entertain them.
  9. mrbass02


    Nov 15, 2008
    just tape a sheet to the stage on the ground. no one can notice that.
  10. Joel S.

    Joel S. Reserved for future witty use...

    Jul 9, 2008
    Not sure I agree with that.
  11. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    It is ideal to memorize, but if it's a few gigs in a new group, then it might be ok. I've seen stands up on stage, and heck many "stars" use telepromters. Anyway, I would not say never use the stand as there's tons of different situations which might fairly prompt it's use, but try to go without asap.
  12. KrisH


    Nov 6, 2007
    New Jersey
    All the above. I used a stand at practice for my cover band, but intend to have words memorized before we gig. That was how we did it before. When we were playing five nights a week and learning a couple songs at our on weekly rehearsal, the singer might lay a sheet of paper with "word cues" on the stage to glance at for the first week or so. And when I've recently gigged out with the originals band, I used to keep a copy of the set list on my amp that had handwritten "cues" to unusual transitions and such, that I'd refer to before the countoff. Until I learned them. I don't do much singing in that band, though. The guitarist who does the bulk of the singing, and wrote the tunes (!), still uses a stand set off to the side. I don't understand.

    And I disagree too that it doesn't matter if a bar band playing covers uses a stand. It appears uncool. :scowl:
  13. Just one small problem with that. My eyesight is getting so bad that I use large bold fonts to see what I'm reading. The stage would be covered with lyric sheets! That would not only be uncool but downright dangerous!!:eek:
  14. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I sometime keep my gig briefcase open turned sideways
    so no one can see what's in it.

    Bridge: Bm C D Em

    and whatnot is hidden in there. Setlist too.

    Yeah, BIG FONTS.

    I always try to get a song on 1 sheet, but maximize the fontage.
  15. I am pretty good at memorizing song lyrics, but any that give me trouble, I usually only need to know the first few words of the verse and the rest flows. Jot just the first few words to any you are having trouble with and stick it on the mic stand. It'll look like a set list, and you'd be surprised how quickly that list will get smaller and smaller and less used.
  16. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    My singer uses a little stand that attaches to a mic stand. She keeps it pretty low and no one notices it. She has them memorized by now but feels better with a cruch.
  17. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Practice without the music in front of you, perform with the lyrics or lyric notes on a mic-stand attachment.
  18. adamrobertt

    adamrobertt Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Kingston, New York
    You have this backwards.
  19. the_evil_monk


    Dec 18, 2008
    Olathe, KS
    What about for an audition for a cover/tribute band for a group you love, and can sing...but has very complex lyrics and you were given 4 songs on fairly short notice that you don't have totally memorized? It's a first audition/practice, and admittedly, we don't have any gigs or anything (heck, not even a band yet)...but I don't want to look like a loser showing up to the rehearsal with lyric sheets...better to ask for a delay, or show and sing with cheat sheets?
  20. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    I've done hundreds of gigs with a music stand in front of me. And I expect to do hundreds more. Some say it doesn't look cool... whatever. I manage to keep working.
    What's not cool IMO is getting brain freeze and having silence where the singing is supposed to be. Sure, I'd love to have a great memory, but I don't. I get rid of a sheet as soon as I feel comfortable about it, and not before.

    I used to put sheets on the floor monitor, but then in-ears came along and the floor monitors went away. So now I use a folding stand, painted flat black, and I keep the top part folded up until I need a sheet. Then I unfold it real quick and slap the sheet up there, and take it away when the song is over. This method has worked for me for years.
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