1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Keeping the ball rolling / DEAD AIR

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by keneds, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. keneds


    Feb 18, 2006
    London Grove, PA.
    Looking for some pointers on the best way to keep the set moving along. The problem is, between songs it turns into a guitar "not bass" tuning session or a dilly dally take a drink, scratch your a*$ break when I think we need to keep the ball moving an keep the crowd into it, I'm constantly tring to get everyone back on track for the next song.

    What are some ways / advice you can share.:help:
  2. I find the best way is for the singer (or someone to give a short monolouge to the crowd about the next song 'er whatever. The most important thing is to not stop and dick around though. When it comes right down to it we're there to entertain.
  3. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    You're right, it's very important to keep things interesting for the people. First I'd have my guitarist have his guitar checked out by a repairman, perhaps there's a problem causing it to go out of tune so much. Perhaps he could switch to a higher guage string which won't go out of tune as easy as super slinkys do. As far as the show: he/they need an inline tuner so they can tune quietly DURING songs, this is real easy if there's 2 guitarists but even with one, a quick drop out to tune can be very effective. Also you can set up your setlist so that you have songs the guitarist doesn't start/play at the beginning, so someone like say, the drummer can start a beat while the tuning is going on, that way there's no dead space. There's more but I gotta go!
  4. FriscoBassAce


    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    I saw a band on Sat. night that did that a lot. They were just kind of hemming and hawing around. Even mumbling into the mic. One of the things we try to do is put on a show-everything with a purpose. If set lists are thought out well and ahead of time, then you can pre-program in those little breaks. If your vocalist knows how to entertain a crowd, they can provide some banter in between songs. We're still trying to make ours the best that we can, but we definitely have decided to keep those awkward silences out of our shows.
  5. ya, and even if the guitarist is using super slinkys, the only way his guitar should be going out of tune after one song is if you're playing Mozart on a Wasburn.(lol{sry used to play guitar extensively}). as Bass man said I'd get that checked out. Mabey bass tuners on it or the guitarist is changing strings too soon before the concert so they go outta tune before they're broken in.

    P.S. Frisco +1 budddy. thnkin' it out ahead of time is one of the best things you can do.
  6. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Tell the guitarist to get an an effing silent tuner already. That is so bush league :rollno: The lead singer should engage the audience in some cool banter in between songs :cool:
  7. keneds


    Feb 18, 2006
    London Grove, PA.
    I have failed to mention that there are two guitarists in the band and one of them does have a silent rack mount tuner in his rig.There isn't a lead singer so to speak, myself and one of the guitar players do most of the singing, myself mostly, I would have to say that it probably is a guitar player thing and I obviously just need to bust balls an try to tighten up the ship. As far as the conversation between songs, we all suck at that. Thats why we need to keep rolling into the songs. Thanks everyone for your input.....Ken
  8. Tell your bandmates to quit messing around between songs - full stop. That kills a set and they probably know it.

    If the problem is that the guitar goes out of tune, tell them to get their guitars fixed so they stay in tune at least for a reasonable period of time (a guitar should not go out of tune every song).

    If the guitarist tends to break strings, have him bring a second guitar to pick up during the set and change the string between sets.

    If the guys want a drink, have them bring a drink when the set starts (one drink per set is plenty, if not too much).

    If they guys don't know the songs, you gotta practice more (I had this problem with a drummer - no matter how many times we played or rehearsed, he would blank out as to which songs were which).

    If there is any question as to what to play next, you gotta organize the set list better.

    The whole point is that there is no good reason for dead air in a set. Just get them to hit it right once and they will see the difference.
  9. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Banter in between songs is not that hard...even though i am new to the gig world our singer is pretty good at it stuff like " hey how's everybody doing out there tonight" glad you made it out" drink up" hope you are enjoying the show" We are ____ thanks for stopping in and sharing some time with us" introduce the next song coming up....we get the bar to write drink specials on napkins or up coming events for our singer to read off in between songs also thank the bar and remember to tip the waitresses and bartenders etc....this will keep it going and there is no dead air.
  10. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Im the only one in the band that does regular tune ups with my TU-2. Having only four strings probably speeds up the process but still any chance I get even breaks where Im not playing in the middle/start/finish of a song I'll stick the tuner on and run through my tuning quickly.

    Sometimes we work off a setlist and then we all read off the setlist i.e. finish the song look down at the setlist everyone knows the next song and who starts and what way it starts and it keeps things moving alot quicker. If our singer is calling songs he will usually walk over to whoever is starting the next song and say the name of the song thats next in the ear of whoever starting the next song when he gets a vocal break in the song being played at that time. Another thing is the singer will anounce to the crowd that this next song is by whatever artist. For example he will say OK! Blah d blah blah! this next song is by a band called Aersomith! Everyone in the band instantly knows the next song is going to be walk this way since its the only Aerosmith number we do and the drummer will then kick into the initial drum part and away we go.

    Tuning out loud with harmonics or unisent notes should not happen at a gig at all, period. Theres nothing that sounds worse than the tune up song. I think its on par with feedback in terms of something that will turn a crowd off.

    Your guitairst needs a tuner that will mute. He needs to use it constantly and wisely and be aware of where he can use it. He should be able to tell what string is out of tune or general area of which string has gone out by ear even if it means playing a quick chord or something and focus first on that string and tune it. Then run through the others quickly if he has time.

    Honestly if you want nothing but solid music with no gaps then a setlist is the way to go. Everyone has to get used to looking at it before they finish the song and be able to kick striaght into the next song. This has its advantages and disadvantages. Taking a drink can be done on breaks and pieces where you can drop out of a song or get a few seconds break. For example we play American Idiot. I know theres a section in that song where its rythmn guitar vocals and drums. I can tune quickly and take a drink in those few seconds and be ready to come back in. Its all about using your head at the end of the day.
  11. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    I have never heard so many problems and concerns with tuning before. In my band we tune silent before each set and play...I never need to re-tune but do check it again at the start of each set. Our guitarist also never needs to re-tune during our sets ..He checks it before the start of a set and we are always in tune. We did have a guy who used to always tune but we got rid of him ....he fiddled with his gear more than he played....i cant stand to play with guitarists who always check their tunings...if they slip that much get better strings or a better guitar....their problem is it becomes a bad habit for them checking tuning all the time.My rig has a mute switch and my tuner is digital right on the top it takes a second and i'm ready to go....once before each set.
  12. I think what Bassbully wrote should be written out and carried in your pocket! There is so much you can do without much thinking that can be carried from gig to gig and actually get you a great chance at being asked back. Thanking the club, mentioning the waitstaff, encouraging purchases, asking audience participation in "contests" where they write down silly things (name the bass contest), giving some history on the song (number one on the charts in 19**). The best thing though is just keeping the music going and keep the talking down as much as possible (unless you're very witty and that IS part of your show).
  13. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think I can give a helpful tip, here.

    When I was with my previous Classic Rock band, I ended-up pretty-much being the MC or whatever. I found out that it worked-out really-well - and, in fact impressed a couple club-owners - that before the show I'd go up to the boss or manager or whoever, with a notepad, and ask about what I can announce from the stage. There's tons of stuff - and let me say now, that for this kind of thing, it's perfectly-fine to read right off of your notepad, so there's no excuse! There are Lady's Nights and pool league and dart league and happy hours and weekly drink specials and weekly food specials, and upcoming entertainment events and etc., etc.!! Also don't forget to at least ONCE thank the club and/or club owner for running and supporting live music in the area - maybe saying "for nine years now, bringing you the best in local and regional entertainment. C'mon, People; let's give him a hand!".

    For times when you're NOT speaking (which should be between MOST of the songs) I find it best to have one person call-off the songs, and then count them off. If someone's not ready, they have to make a deal of it by saying "Wait-a-sec! I'm not ready!". Embarassing? - well, yeah; maybe it should be - the point is that dinkin'-around between song should in no-way be the norm; if there has to be some kind of unplanned-pause, it should be an 'emergency'; where someone has to SAY "wait, stop, stop. sorry, guys..." - NOT the 'norm'!

    So there..

  14. nothing worse than band meetings between songs. I hate it.
    A good pro band runs one tune into the other just like a D.J. would.
    Some good tips are, always look at the set list while your doing the tag out of the song you are currently playing. Get everyone in the habit of looking at the list BEFORE you end the current tune.

    Another is many songs can be started with the groove i.e. have the drummer go right into the groove of the next tune and then everyone can come in after a measure. This can be done on the bass or guitar as well. One band I play with does "Living on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi and I just launch into the bass riff and the others can come in whenever they want and we never lose the dance floor that way. This can give others time to switch guitars or tune if absolutly needed.

    If you have a dance floor going dead air will lose the floor everytime. Peep's won't hang out on the floor waiting for you to get your sh*t together.

  15. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    My old band was *horrible* about messing around between songs. The percussionist would carry on conversation with audience members. The electric rhythm was constantly asking to have her sound tweaked and tuning. The drummer never would use the set lists I provided, and so I was put in charge of making sure the drummer played the right song (until we started using my husband, who knows what set lists are for).

    I got complaints about it from audience members.

    I had a friend videotape several performances. Then, as we watched the tapes, I timed the "in-between song b.s." with a stopwatch. And called out how much time it took, every time.

    Try it...it might work, and then you aren't the bad guy. They will be able to see for themselves.


  16. +1......or even to take it one step further, consciously build in transitions between songs and practice them so it's basically one long song. We do that wherever we can and are always thinking about what song might run into another song, etc. based on tempo, drum beat, key, etc. People love when bands do that too, it's cool and kind of impressive. I mean when you're playing covers this is just one small way to set yourself apart from the millions of other cover bands playing the same songs.
  17. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Yea...this is all great advise and real easy too. We asked the bar and they gave us drink specials since it was St Pats day and they had a trick shot pool pro to promote that was coming in latter this month. We thanked the bar for the support and having us there. Our singer cracked up the place when a couple came up and danced for one of are songs. It was early and they were real good dancers you could tell they were trained...the song was Youngblood and they were really getting down doing a great job....when we finished our singer goes to the crowd " oh by the way i forgot to tell everybody there was a dance contest tonight with first prize being $500.00.....guess what ...they win! Stuff like that between songs works just be yourself and have fun. If you are having fun chances are the crowd is to.
  18. I agree, however you want to change it up often as you don't want to be a band people can set their watch to. You know "Oh they're playing Brick House it must be 10:30" :smug:
  19. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Remmber guys and gals he says here they suck at banter between songs...you do need that to make an crowd feel good about you. I dont like a band to get up there and rip off 10 songs in a row stop say hi and play 10 more you gotta work the crowd some...but dont do it to long just long enough to give your bandmates time to get a drink, wipe off strings or hands adjust a knob etc and get back to it...20-30 sec is good.
  20. +1 - I am in a situation where we:
    1. don't have a 'fixed' set list and I have to wait for the 'leader' to decide what we are doing next - I think he has control issues and does not like anyone else in the band to know what is going on until he tells us :)
    2. Said 'leader' also falls miserably out of tune after every song so while he is hunched over deciding what song to do next, he is also re-tuning, again and again... So the banter thing is ESSENTIAL to keeping the percieved motion going.

    Our former drummer was a gifted banterer. He had the whole 'gameshow host' demeanor down pat and really kept the spaces between filled with good banter.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.