Music Stands on Stage

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Introvox, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. Music Stands on stage looks hokey

    20 vote(s)
  2. There's nothing wrong with Music Stands on stage

    26 vote(s)
  3. Certain bands can get away with using Music Stands

    20 vote(s)
  4. I need a teleprompter for my cheat sheets

    5 vote(s)
  1. Introvox


    May 21, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    Just wondering how many of you actually use a music stand on stage during a performance.

    Me personally, never used a music stand or cheat sheets.

    I'm sure we'll get some interesting comments here.
  2. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I think it depends on the situation. In an orchestra or big band a music stand is probably more than appropriate. In a rock/blues/pop/country band it is likely to be less appropriate. I use them when rehearsing a new arrangement. After a couple of practices with a new song we take them away and make sure everyone knows the changes cold.

  3. Our band has incorporated much new material, I have quite a bit of new vocal and keyboard parts. I'm currently using a 'crutch' onstage :oops: but hope to get rid of it soon.
  4. Adrian Belew of King Crimson used a stand when I saw them at the Orpheum Theater in Boston for the lyrics to a song. They've been playing that song for about 4 years...
  5. Ben Jammin'

    Ben Jammin' Guest

    Jul 13, 2003
    Falmouth, Cornwall, UK
    To be honest it looks pretty unprofessional for a rock band to have stands on their set. Firstly it looks like u havent played the song much and secondly it takes away the whole improvising/non-coriographed thing.
  6. Although I don't like having music stands on stage, sometimes I have to. I've also come up with a smaller way of doing "cheat sheets" so that I can use a smaller, less obtrusive holder--I write the chord structure down on little blank business cards, then shove them into one of the clear plastic card holders that holds 10 or 12 cards per side. That way I can see a whole set's worth of songs without flipping pages. Also, if they decide to rearrange the set list five minutes before show time, I can rearrange the little cards in the holders.
  7. How else am I supposed to play a song someone calls out that I've never heard? :) I think sometimes other musicians look down on it if it's rock or blues bands but I doubt any of the general public would ever notice. I will say that I think it's MUCH better to have music in front of you and play a song right than try to 'wing' it and mess everyone up.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - probably the best group of musicians I have ever experienced live, was the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - playing Stravinsky, Mahler, Bruckner,Schonberg etc.

    Guess what - they had large numbers of music stands on stage!! ;)

    Same for the Afro-Cuban All-Stars - who really got the whole crowd dancing ...oh and just about every Jazz group I've ever seen!! ;)
  9. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    That's why context matters. Many blues and rock groups frown upon the music stand. Many other styles it is recommended. As I stated above.

  10. Our singer is the only one with a music stand...for lyrics.
    We have nearly 100 tunes on our master song list and don't expect him to have the words to every tune memorized. Would be nice, but not likely to happen. Our set lists are merely a suggested song order for the night. we tend to deviate from it a lot depending on crowd response or some guitar malfunction like a broken string on a de-tuned guitar.
    most times if a player forgets or misses a part, no one seems to notice in the audience...but if the singer forgets the words that is another story altogether. we also try to make a small joke about the music stand by leaving the HUGE price tag hanging on it:) BTW... the pros use TelePromTers and no one rags on them for having a "crutch".
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Why is that... because it gives the appearance that one can read music?

    :D ;)

    Last time I saw Steely Dan I'm pretty sure I saw a few stands.
  12. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    ROFLMAO :D. Now that's funny! And almost true ;). I think I really meant in the context of the band rather than the style. When I read my original post I can see how I made that miscommunication :) When I saw SuperTramp last year some of the members used stands and it certainly didn't detract from the music. Some bands never use stands. I had to laugh because one band I played in never used stands. The band leader thought that reading, and theory in particular, got in the way of making music. So each band has its own context which defines whether or not using a stand is OK. Back to a generalization for a moment, it does seem that most rock and blues acts wouldn't be caught dead with a music stand on stage and yet as someone pointed out earlier they may or may not use a teleprompter. Interesting.
  13. thrasher717


    Jan 17, 2003
    North Dakota
    Our singer uses a stand that was made to look like a floor monitor. From out front, it just looks like a monitor. It even has a light on it.
  14. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB

    That's pretty cool. I like that idea. BTW, I really don't mind stands, I just prefer to memorize as many of the chord changes as I can for the music I play (rock and R&B). I used stands when I played orchestra, jazz band, and big bands.
  15. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Not in the classic rock band I play in. These songs are so "complicated" that I'd be laughed out of there if I showed up with one. Usually one run through and I can pretty much fake from then on. In the church praise band I'm in however, it's a different story. We often get short notice on songs, and play at least one brand new song a week. I've found these Cardboard Tabletop Stands to be just the ticket. I mark the changes in big black letters on the lyric sheets and set it on the floor a little bit in front of me. It's unobtrusive, and at 99 cents a pop, I could care less if it gets stepped on or kicked around.

  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I've never used one, but the singers in our band use them. I'd rather they didn't.
  17. DB5


    Jul 3, 2001
    Austin Texas
    We use two flat screen monitors on stage that have the chords and the words for each tune. :bag: With the amount of material we cover it would be very difficult to memorize over 400 tunes. When we do our dinner set I'm pretty much clued to that screen. Once we hit the dance stuff I really don't look at the screen except to see what tune is next. I don't think this would work in a bar band, nor would it be cost effective.
  18. As I've gotten older, and my quick recall memory has declined somewhat, I've taken to using a stand. For church ALWAYS, for anything else, it depends on the complexity. There is one situation that I always use a stand in and that's original music. For some weird reason, I really have a hard time relating the song names to the arrangements. I don't know why but I'd rather use the stand for confidence than not and blow off a change.

    Anyone use marching band flip folders for half sheet scores? Seems like a good way to keep the size down. I guess you could even attach one to a mike stand.
  19. Jimbo


    Dec 4, 2000
    Philadelphia, PA
    well when i was in my high school marching band we had those flip folders for the pep music we played in the stands. unfortunately i had no way of attaching it to my bass so i would place it on my lap or balance it on the back of the kid sitting in front of me :p but IME you got to get close to those little things in order to read them. but thats probably just me, i have bad eyes :cool:

    to answer the original question, i too use stands only when in a jazz or orchestra setting. when performing with my own rock band we don't use them. i don't have a need to since typically our changes and such are simpler than written-out orchestra parts or jazz changes. image is not really a concern :)

  20. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    I saw them at Yoshi's in Oakland. Smokin!