On Stage

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Jiro, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. Jiro


    Mar 15, 2004
    What do you do? Just stand still and play the bass or do you all crazy wacko!?!?!
  2. IM in between, i like to go crazy but not make a complete embarressment of myself, cause thats just sad. I skip and I tend to always put my foot on a speaker at some point.
  3. Jiro


    Mar 15, 2004
    Ya it just occured to me cause I've been practicing all this time just worried about the music but havent clued in about that Im on stage being looked at by many!!!
  4. The best advice is - Don't force it. There's nothing worse than seeing someone "pose" in a fake way on stage, at least for me. The second best advice - get a camcorder and tape a performance. You'll get a quick idea of what you do on stage.
  5. Gia


    Feb 28, 2001
    depends who i'm playing with!
    if it's a rock band, or indie etc, i'll dance a bit and maybe cross the stage a couple times.

    if it's with my orchestra i'll usually stay pretty still ;)
  6. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I'm of the John Entwistle school of stage performance.

    I'm more into the music. When I go to see a band, I'd rather watch a bass player play than jump all over the place. I've never been into band stage "shows". It always seems a little over the top. If I want that I'll go take in a musical at our local theatre.

    When I go to see bands play live, I just want to watch great musicianship.

    Though I can understand those who want to "perform" on stage. It's one thing to be grooving a bit with the music, but (perhaps because of my age) watching musicians jump all over the stage seems (to me) to be a bit idiotic.
  7. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2000

    I really don't move all to much if at all when on the stage. Unless you count tapping my foot every now and agian to the beat or walking to the mic to do backing vox.
  8. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I'm all over the place, but at the same time, not in the way.
  9. I don't do much. Move a bit with the music, but singing at a mike doesn't allow much running around.
  10. haujobb


    Dec 16, 2004
    I play in a metal band, but my style doesn't allow much movement, so I mostly just groove to the drums and my bass, however we got a few songs where I'm able to just go nuts with the other guys...
  11. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I do agree that some people force their performances because somewhere down the line, someone said "do this" or "try some of these". But I have the opinion that the majority of a crowd that goes to see a band is of the "I want to be entertained by music and a band" variety. If they wanted pure music, they'd listen to their favorite recording very loud. If they wanted just to see a band play without caring about music, who cares what band you see? But I feel like I always want to give or see a show that expresses the music in the way I or the musicians would like to express it.

    I really couldn't say that one way is idiotic and another way is correct. Like I said, some are forced, but other than that, if it's a natural moving of the musician by the music, why not? I got tired of caring about how "cool" I look on stage and more about what people came for which is good music and getting an insight into the personality that helped create the music.

    So I swing my guitar a bit here, or throw in a few jumps there or I don't at all. I really don't think that makes me, nor does it make the billions of acts who do the same thing "idiotic". I like seeing energy, in one form or another. Whether it's an intense face but they are virtually are a statue, or it's high kickin' and high flying, I see it as all forms of expression and do not condemn one way or another.

    I guess it's all about appropriateness of expectations. Don't expect me to just stand there or simply sway back and forth to my music, and I won't expect a classical orchestra to start playing with their teeth and lighting their cellos on fire.

    Just my opinion...

  12. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    While I agree that first and foremost, when I see a band play I wanna see the bass player PLAY, I think it adds a lot to the experience if that player is able to move a good bit while playing accurately. Any good player can sit/stand in one position and play well for a night. To me, that's just what they're SUPPOSED to do, so it's not all that entertaining if that's ALL they do.

    When I was playing metal, I just did what felt right at the moment. A really heavy, chugging part... I'll be really getting into it. A real technical part of a song, I'll be standing there playing it well. Bottom line.. move as much as you can without sacrificing your playing. That will achieve the best crowd response. People love to see a good band, especially if they're showing that they're into what they're doing and having fun.

    That said, there are different types of stage performance. It might be jumping around, but more often than not, a big smile and a lot of head bobbing while playing will convey to the audience that you're having fun. Different genres of music have allowances for different types of performance. Like it was said already, if you're playing with an orchestra, you're not gonna be head banging, running around the stage. But if you're playing in a metal band, you don't want to be sitting in a chair with a chart in front of you. :)

    Less band members = more performance "slack" to pick up. If you're in a 3-piece, you have a 1 in 3 chance of someone paying attention to YOU, so you need to be entertaining all the time. If you're playing in a 30-piece orchestra setting, you have a 1/30 chance of someone paying attention to YOU, so you don't have to worry as much about being entertaining.
  13. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I don't question one's desire to jump around...(and I think I said that..."Though I can understand those who want to "perform" on stage.").

    But I don't, and I do think it's kind of idiotic. Does that make it idiotic? No, it just means I think of it as idiotic. Of course it is relative to the kind of music one plays...and I don't really care for the kind of music that one would expect a band to play while jumping around.

    I never cared for the likes of bands such as Kiss. Entertaining? Yeah, they are...but I'm not 16 anymore and it does not appeal to me.

    No matter how great a musician might be, if he/she is jumping all over the place it detracts from the musical experience rather than add to it. But that's just me. I certainly don't expect anyone (and I don't either really) to just stand there like a cardboard cutout.

    And I do agree that it really sucks when it is forced...like when two guitarists stand side by side and swing their guitars back and forth in unison, like some forced, cliche choreography. :spit:

    Hey do whatever you feel at the moment. Music moves people in different ways. I like to watch people dance to our music...yet most of them look idiotic. Are they idiotic? No, they just look that way to me. :)

    I don't really care if anyone is paying attention to me anyway...I'd rather they were paying attention to the music.
  14. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    This isn't directed towards anyone in particular. It's just a question I've heard asked before.

    "If Mingus played naked, would that make not as good?"
  15. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    we move about... we do punk rock & new wave etc, so it's an entirely appropriate presentation method for the material... I doubt if i'd take the same approach if we were a Steely Dan covers band or something

    it generally seems to be something the crowd find entertaining, and as far as i'm concerned we're being paid to entertain, so we'll do whatever's necessary (barring things like 'gross-out contests' etc :) ) to get a favourable reaction

    we play to drunk people who want to hear and sing along to something loud that they recognize - jumping up & down, wearing dresses, having stupid colored hair, telling them stupid jokes etc is really just part of convincing them they're having a great time seeing a band do stuff other bands don't usually do :) these people might be interested in hearing Mingus, but on the nights we play in the places we play (and they can barely stand up never mind string a coherent sentence together), they'd rather see a bunch of maniacs jumping around acting silly

    yup, it's idiotic, but the pleasure we get from that big roar of appreciation when the people you're playing to are happy... it feels good...
  16. invisiman


    Feb 22, 2004
    I don't go nuts and jump around, but bizarre facial expressions are right up my alley. Just watch Steve Vai play for a good idea of what I do :p
  17. Put me down in the 'idiotic' category... :bassist: :D

    I probably look stupid while I play, but if I couldn't jump around while I play I wouldn't have as much fun.
  18. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I don't play metal, so I don't 'bang' or jump around, but I do move/swing about... I've always done this, even when just jamming along to CDs... In former Classic Rock, Country, and Blues bands, I would often go on the dance floor, (wireless), and dance with any single ladies that happened to be grooving about... This became part of the performance and was really fun...

    To me, it's about the feel and good times. In my current band, there is some rehearsed choreography that is part of the show, (It's a Blues Brothers tribute band...), and I am having a tough time getting it... It's kind of funny actually, because one of the things that set me apart in the audition was the fact that I moved around and had some stage presence :D

  19. KPJ

    KPJ Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    I try to fall somewhere between John Entwhistle and Steve Harris! :D

    My current main gig is a country band. The other players all cannot move around: steel player, guitarist with a Roland guit-synth, drummer, so I move around quite a bit if I'm not at the mike singing. I'll dance with the lead singer or do some line dance moves. With the wireless, I'll hop off stage occasionally and interact with the audience, especially if the stage is too small! Part of my moving around is to inspire the singer to do more. She just recently began performing full-time with a band and used to stand stone still and sing. Now she hops off stage and leads the crowd doing the "Boot Scoot Boogie". Now I couldn't care less how the crowd is dancing, as long as they're digging it, but 20+ people doing the "Boot Scoot Boogie" in front of you is an impressive sight!
  20. any time i've performed, i had friends and stuff in the audience so i usually try to do sumthin kinda goofy to make 'em laugh or sumthin, like jerkin off the bass neck, actin like sum 80's hair metal flamer or sumthin.

    other than that, accuracy is the best policy. Puarija's post best explains it.

    that dude is smart.