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Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by pushbuttonfour, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. pushbuttonfour


    Dec 20, 2012
    What do you do during live shows to make it more entertaining for the crowd? Obviously just sitting there while playing is boring for everyone (including you), so what are some things you do while playing to get the crowd going (running around, jumping, etc)
  2. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    schenectady, ny
    i make humorous comments, occasional jokes, and play whimsical interludes, and have participated in all sorts of antics with bandmates as well as various levels of costuming
  3. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I move, I dance, I screw with the drummer, I smile my face off, I close my eyes and drool......


    If I could emulate the stage presence of any one bassist, it would be Yoshihiro Naruse. This guy is all that, and a bag of dried squid!

  4. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I struggle with showmamship. I haven't given up yet.

  5. JumboJack


    Dec 31, 2007
    I come from the Ox school of showmanship...

  6. IncX


    Jul 23, 2007
    i dance and move and interact with the crowd, if the crowd is dead ... i interact with my bandmates who arent looking down on their instruments.

    i struggle with showmanship if i become too concerned about playing things right
  7. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I dance and move around on stage. I'll play a solo with my instrument behind my head. I will jump on a table and play a solo. I will put my instrument around a lady in the audience and play a solo. I will eat food off an audience member's table. I have jumped onto both men's and women's laps and jammed. I have played with beer bottles, mic stands, and lighters as slides. I do windmills for big endings. I pose for the camera if someone's taking pictures. If I'm feeling it, I will do just about whatever.

    I do all that to make up for my lack of talent........
  8. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    I play a lot of notes in an exaggerated-looking manner, move around, sweat like a pig, make stupid jokes, strike poses between songs, look like I'm singing along with the lyrics even if I don't know them and they're in a language I don't speak...

    But showmanship stars well before I get on the stage - I shop for shirts so loud I won't need an amp, eat a lot of meat, lift weights, ask pretty girls what bass to buy, always shave my head before the show, hang small stuffed animals from my basses and so on. Showmanship isn't something you just do during your sets. It's an entire lifestyle.
  9. Dominic DeCosa

    Dominic DeCosa Habitual Line-Stepper Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 9, 2008
    Vero Beach, Florida
    DiCosimo Audio
    Big +1 from me. I've actually gotten a few compliments for it. Apparently there are a lot of Entwistle fans at the country bars I play at.
  10. BigRedX


    May 1, 2006





    Need I say any more?
  11. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I'm the same way.

    Part of it is because I think showmanship is overrated. Too many people look ridiculous when it's obvious that they are trying to "force" the showmanship. In my opinion, the quality of the music is much more important. If the music is great, showmanship isn't an issue. I think many bands rely on showmanship to compensate for poor musicianship. For years most bands just stood there and played. It really wasn't until the late 1960s and 1970s that showmanship became so prominent. In many bands, Aerosmith and The Who for example, its the front man who provides the showmanship. The rest of the band doesn't move much. John Entwistle hardly ever moved and nobody ever criticized him.
  12. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Genre will determine a lot of what's appropriate.

    New Country: typically the front person.

    Neotraditional Country: everyone stays put for the most part.

    Bluegrass: ditto.

    P&W: ditto. Don't distract from the worship.

    Rock: whatever works for a particular band. Who moves and how can become the band's signature. In some contexts, not moving at all can be an asset, so you don't draw attention away from where it's intended to be.
  13. i sit in the corner of the stage next to my amplifier. sometimes i stand. i stopped doing any kind of show i just dont care for these things. but hten again im playing mostly jazz, soul, r&b kind of stuff. id never ever dance a step unless i get payed extra for doing so
  14. I want to go to one of this guy's shows! Sounds like a blast! :D
  15. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I agree with craig.p that the genre you're playing matters a lot.

    The Ox famously stood still and oozed authority when he played. But he also was a notorious clothes horse - plenty of visual flash in his wardrobe. Plus he was in a band where the singer and guitarist jumped around enough for twelve people. If the WHOLE BAND had stood still like that, people would remember the Who as the most boring live act ever.

    I think that it's most important to engage with your bandmates - eye contact, at least sometimes physical contact - and with the audience. I love it when I see the whole band physically in motion, one way or another, and that's the way we try to play. But even if you're not dancing around, you can engage beyond just I'm-standing-here-playing-my-part.
  16. I generally let the music be my guide. When I play with my band I can move around quite a bit, but at church I tend to keep to myself (just close my eyes and groove to the song). I get frustrated when I see musicians doing more dancing than playing (and there are a lot of 'em around here...). There is one guy locally that uses his bass more as a prop to dance with, while periodically wanking on an open E string (probably de-tuned to C or something...). I like to see some movement from musicians to show that they are actually into the music, but acting crazy to compensate for lack of skill is annoying. One of my biggest frustrations at church is seeing the band look like they couldn't care less if they are leading worship. If you want me to experience passionate worship I want it to be modeled by those leading. Same applies to seeing a band at a venue. If you want me to enjoy it you need to look like you're enjoying it.
  17. Mtnman


    Jun 5, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'm usually the one in the band that moves around the most. I play wireless for the extra freedom... Sometimes I'll go out onto the dancefloor and dance with the girls. I've even been known to run into the girl's bathroom and play. (be warned: if you try this move, you'll be stuck in there until the song is over. The door is usually a pull!!!)

    When I stay on stage, I do kind of a Steve Harris thing; running around, foot on the monitor, eye contact with the crowd, etc... Its all about exuding energy. Remember, you're not just there to play music. You're there to entertain the crowd.
  18. Never mentioned it before, but I have a chronic pain condition in my spine, due to to a disc problem, so being too fancy would be out.

    But I think just moving around some, having fun, and engaging the audience a bit, bringing them in on the fun, goes a long way.
  19. drpepper

    drpepper Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    Columbia, Maryland

    I think the simple formula (obvious as it might be) is to feel what you're doing, be comfortable in yourself, be free with yourself, and, like Phalex said SMILE.

    I'm a struggler too. I can get comfortable. I have more trouble freeing myself, and my major problem is that I'm really not a smiler...I smile on the inside, where it counts, ha, except when you're on stage. That's the catch 22 for me, I tend to have to "force" smiling, or at least showing that I'm having a good time. I guess that's part of feeling free.
  20. LPswim2009


    Jan 1, 2013
    For me I'll wind up being quiet during the first song just to find my bearings to get ready to let myself dig in and let go, I'll move around a bit, occasionally crack a smile just to shake off any pre-gig nerves. After the first song is when I'd tend to move around, jump with the guitarist, headbang a bit with the singer, etc. For me it all depends on how I feel I guess. As far as overall atmosphere of the venue, if the people are into it, then so am I