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music stands...or Where to hide my notes???

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Sundogue, Nov 28, 2006.


  1. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I mainly play in a cover band that has well over 200 songs in our arsenal and the list just keeps growing. Plus I play in two other bands, and sit in on all kinds of gigs. So, I'm playing all styles of music for all kinds of gigs, be it bar gigs, music festivals, private parties, weddings, corporate events, etc.

    I have compiled all my notes (my crude "cheat notes" version of sheet music) into one of those Day Planners, and they are all in alphabetical order (with alphabet tab dividers), so I can find notes on any song in a matter of seconds if I have to. Let me tell you, with all these songs to remember, it's been invaluable. Most of the songs I don't need notes for, but some are long, complex or I just haven't played them enough to commit them to memory. Being as busy as I am, I don't always have time to rehearse every song for every gig until it's down cold. On a lot of these gigs, songs I've only played once long ago (or maybe even never played, or heard, before) will get called out, and it's nice having the changes right in front of me.

    Now, of course, I don't want to be onstage looking like I'm playing in an orchestra, though I also don't really care if anyone sees I'm using my notes occassionally either. I just don't want it so obvious like when using a traditional music stand that sticks way up.

    What do any of you use as a "hidden" stand for notes? Do you clip something to your mic stand? Something to your monitor? Something freestanding? Anybody make anything homemade? I've got some ideas to mount something to my monitor that doesn't block the speaker and also doesn't stand way up either (and is easily removable), but I wanted to see what anyone else has done.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. txbasschik

    txbasschik

    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    When I need to use notes, I get some notecards. Not the little bitty ones, but the ones that are about the size of an 8.5x11 page folded in half.

    I put my notes, one song per card, in BIG, BLACK letters that I can see from the floor.

    I order the cards so that they're going along with the set list, and then lay them at the floor, just this side of my monitor. I weight them with a rock, so they don't blow away.

    I don't have to do that very often anymore, but when our singer writes a new song, I use them. She likes to put in a lot of changes, and the notecards help.

    Also, we do our set list in a table format, and each song on the list has who is singing it, and what key it is in. Very convenient!

    Cherie :)
     
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I'm seeing more and more guys bringing laptop computers to gigs for what you're looking to do. I'm lucky in the sense that a music stand and charts are seen as a positive on the gigs I typically play, so I have no need to hide 'em.
     
  4. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI

    Well, that's why I went the Day Planner route. It's a three ring binder but it's only the size of a sheet of paper when opened.

    I used to have my notes out like that, but it just got to be way too disorganized. It's one thing if we're strictly following the set list, but none of the bands I play in now follow set lists completely anymore. I must have 300 songs in my binder now. I use it with every band I play with. It also comes in handy when jamming with someone for the first time, or auditioning.

    Two of the bands I play in will often go with the flow of the crowd or the feeling of the night and just shout out the next song. Many nights we'll just be going off on a tangent to the point where I could throw our set list in the garbage, because the crowd was into something else entirely that night.

    That's why the small binder works way better for me. Now I just need to know where I can put it that is easily accessible (to quickly flip through), yet not be so obvious. I could kind of see it on the floor, but I don't want to have to be kneeling between every other song to find my notes.
     
  5. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Well, I've already thought about using my laptop. But there's just no way I'm risking my laptop out there at some of the gigs we play. Just last weekend I had a dancer come flying into my monitor and wiped it, and my mic stand, out. If my laptop had been around where he landed, there would have been a dead man at the gig.

    And yeah, I'm not pretending I'm some big rock star, and most people don't really care if I have notes. I'd just like them to be a bit unobtrusive. Kind of a mini music stand.
     
  6. I use to play with a singer that used this. It's made by Raxxess
    [​IMG]

    He used little note cards and it was barley noticeable.
     
  7. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

  8. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yeah the bottom one is more like it. The top one wouldn't work as I have a boom mic stand. I have seen those though.

    Ideally, I want my notes to be about monitor height. Low enough to be out of the way, but high enough to reach easily.

    I'll probably make an angled shelf that sits on the top edge of the monitor, where two screws lock the bottom into the metal speaker grill, by simply setting it on there.

    On the top of my monitor is about the best place, because my monitor is always in the same place, but my mic stand sometimes is in a weird place to fit on stage (or sometimes off the stage, so that bracket wouldn't work if it's on the mic stand).
     
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Been there! I dread the day when I'll have to bring a 'puter to gigs, but I know it's coming. I guess it's not as bad as bringing a $20K upright to a scary-rowdy cafe gig with no stage though, which my buddy did routinely for a few years.

    And yeah, I'm not pretending I'm some big rock star, and most people don't really care if I have notes. I'd just like them to be a bit unobtrusive. Kind of a mini music stand.

    Can you put a rack on your hot female singer's butt?:ninja:
    When I need quicky change sheets for the non-jazz gigs I occasionally do, I try to fit 10 or so tunes per page. Then I keep a couple of pages open on the floor behind the monitor so I don't have to bend down too often. But if you have hundreds of tunes in your book, that's a tough one.
     
  10. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Maybe a wearble computer?

    wearable_computer_system.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI

    Well, she already has quite a rack...but if I used it, I seriously doubt I would notice my notes. ;)

    I use to do that. I had all these sheets that would either lie on the floor, or in the corner of the monitor, taped to the monitor or the back of the PA on my side...but it was just getting to be such a wild pile of paper and duct tape. Ugh!

    So, I thought...since I have all these notes, for all these songs, why not keep them all together? It's really been helpful. I recently went and jammed with some guys I never played with before. We all kind of went through the typical..."What do you wanna play, what do you know?" scenario.

    I pulled out my book and said, how about any of...these?

    We jammed all night long. It's great for pick-up gigs when I'm not sure what might be played. I do it for every single new song I learn now.

    I wish I had done this when I was in my twenties. Who knows how many I'd have in there now! Though I really wish I had them organized better on my computer. I can't find half of them on there now, though they are all in my binder.
     
  12. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yeah...now there you go...just like how QB's use the wristbands!!!

    Wristbands for songs instead of plays. Certainly makes it easier to call an audible in the middle of a set.
     
  13. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Better yet, use tattoos. It looks more rock and roll.
     
  14. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I play rockabilly too. It would fit that too.

    But seriously, that would be one big tattoo with some hard to read areas.

    I can see it now...

    Me to the keyboard player..."We're you checking my ass out?"

    Keyboard player..."I'm just checking what key the next song is in."
     
  15. Zinkff

    Zinkff

    Nov 4, 2005
    Seattle area
    The fold up type music stands can be set pretty low, and they are fairly unobtrusive if you get it in black. Keep it down low and off to the side a bit and it will hardly be noticed. Or you could go a different route and get one of those stands that the big bands use in the front row. If it was painted black most people would think it was some kind of monitor or something.
     
  16. Kael

    Kael

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I keep my notes in a notebook and usually on the floor with the monitor between it and the audience. Occasionally I set my notebook on top of my amp if I hang back on the hat.
     
  17. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I put my notes on the floor, in front of my pedalboard.
     
  18. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    The floor won't work for me, unless I feel like bending over, or kneeling between songs to get to particular notes. I counted them last night, and I have 276 songs in my binder (along with lyrics for songs I sing, and preset bank numbers for my multi-effects pedal for those songs I use it on).

    However, I found my solution. I have two bass stands. I also have many small easels (I'm an artist too). I have one easel with a top that can be be angled (for watercolor work outdoors).

    I"m going to take the top off of that and mount a clipboard to it to hold my Day Planner binder. Then the mounting tube on it will just slide into the base of one of my bass stands.

    It will be adjustable both in height and angle, so I can have it anywhere from about 15" high to about 24" and I can angle it. Plus when folded up it takes up way less space than a traditional music stand.

    I'll post a pic when it's done.
     
  19. txbasschik

    txbasschik

    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Yeah, the kneeling down is kindof a pain.

    My previous band used to just play whatever, whenever, and the singer would pull songs out of his hat that we'd never played before. We played rock, and one night, for fun, he wanted "Play That Funky Music" (white boy!). ;-) I had *never* played it, but he gave me a key sig, and off we went. What a blast!

    I only bring cards for the songs I'm struggling with. With this current band, that amounts to maybe three, so its not too cumbersome. I love our little local bar, 'cause I can set the cards, and my beer, on a wooden shelf at the side of the stage, where its catycorner in front of me. I wish every bar had a convenient shelf for musician's notes! LOL! :D

    Cherie :bassist:
     
  20. txbasschik

    txbasschik

    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    That's a great idea!

    I have a bass stand that the dog chewed the cushions off of. I think I'll experiment a little bit with that.

    Cherie :) :bassist:
     

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