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Singer talks too much between songs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by prater, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    I've been working with a band (tech, lights etc.) for five years or so and throughout that time I've seen their live show improve drastically. But their singer has the tendency to talk to much. He will do the usual introducing a song and then get caught up responding to the audience for five minutes. Other times he will spoil surprise musical numbers or planned cold starts by talking over things. (example being show intros, stage blackouts before a big dramatic start to a song).

    What would be a good way to approach this without offending?
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Make a recording/video and have the band give it a listen. You won't have to say anything. If the band doesn't get it, then point out how the continuity of the show is affected by what you see/hear. Do they listen to you regarding other FOH matters?

    How has the vocalist responded to criticism in the past? Based on what you've seen on how the band handles other problems, how do you think they will respond to your suggestions? I mean, how come it has taken you so long to want to speak up?

    Have any listeners told you about the problem? Maybe do an informal survey about "how can the band improve their show" at the next gig and see what comes up?

    Based on other TB threads on dead time between songs, the least as possible is best to keep the momentum of the show moving forward.
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I tend to be the village cynic when it comes to such matters... :rolleyes:

    My feeling is that some things are - or should be - so obvious, that they should not require pointing out, well-intentioned though your feedback may be. Excessive transition times between songs during a live performance - and excessive chit-chat to fill up the silence - is once of those. :eyebrow:

    If the band has not already become aware of this problem - a long time ago, in fact - then they've probably got bigger problems than this alone. Those problems may simply have not yet manifested themselves on the surface.

    Don't know what else to tell you. Some things people just get - or they fail to get... :rolleyes:

  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Especially if the vocalist has LSD. :atoz:
  5. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    [to Ty, about Judge Smails] If he bothers you, I'll take care of him. What you've got to do is cut the hamstring on the back of his leg right at the bottom. He'll never play golf again, because his weight displacement goes back, all his weight is on his right foot, and he'll push everything off to the right. He'll never come through on anything. He'll quit the game.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
  7. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    They are aware, every show we mark designated "talking points" in the set, every show that goes out the window. I have pointed it out, if everyone in the band agrees to it then for about one show he won't do it. But then he goes right back to it and the other guys throw up their hands. My concern isn't that he talks (thought I don't like much talking from a singer) but how long he talks and the manner in which he does it, like having a direct conversation with the audience, asking one question 3 or 4 times trying to get louder applause. Or for instance if they are about to play a new song he will go on about how they've been recording, asking a few questions in between and eventually winding up at the point which is "this is a new song". Or talking during blackout points (I'm the light guy most of the time) that were supposed to be dramatic sequences between sections of the set.

    I guess I'm more looking for the way to advise him. Like I want to tell him to use more rhetorical questions, to the crowd (i.e. is everyone having a good time?) and moving on regardless of their response. Or simply stating things without always having to phrase it in such a way that you await response from the audience.
  8. If the band doesn't have the balls to lay down the law (in a diplomatic way) to stop him from ruining their shows, then you either live with it or without it, as in find another band.

    If the band permits it by inaction, the singer isn't going to change for you.
  9. Foamy


    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    Now THAT was funny!
    I'll bet you a THOUSAND bucks you can't make the shot. You can owe me!
  10. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    When my singer would go off on a tangent, the drummer would get us into the next tune. 1,2,3,4 SHUT UP AND SANG MAN!
  11. Not yet

    Not yet

    Mar 26, 2012
    Wish to hell I could get my singer to talk more, I'll trade ya
  12. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    There's the answer...just start the next song when the last one is finished.
  13. Mudcat35


    Feb 21, 2009
    Austin, TX
    If you're near the mixer, pull his fader down or hit the mute button. I mixed from the stage in my last band, and when our guitarist got out of control one night, I hit MUTE and he was done until I decided he had gotten the message.
  14. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    We have a similar problem. Great female lead singer, and she has a lot of charm, but it's her first time as the front person and she thinks she needs to have "banter" to play the role properly. A couple of shows she's shown up with jokes printed out on sheets of paper to read. I think it's just nervous over-prepping, and hopefully will stop soon, but if not we'll need to have a talk.
  15. Raudsarw


    Feb 26, 2012
    I have the opposite problem. Vocalist is absolutely amazing musically, but sucks as a frontman. She is too scared to talk to the audience, so I have to do the talking.

    Nothing I dislike more than a band that just talks too much between songs though. I talk only when the guitarist is switching guitars and it would be awkward if I didn't. Playing attaca gives the performance a kind of energy. Sometimes I just say good evening in the beginning and thank you at the end, and nothing else is needed.
  16. gjbassist

    gjbassist Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2005
    Kansas City, MO
    Apparently someone has never seen Caddyshack?
  17. 4StringShooter

    4StringShooter Banned

    Jun 26, 2011
    London, Ontario, Canada
    GBX Member #1
    What I did when I lead and fronted a Cover Band was to do 3 songs...bang,bang,bang...THEN say something while the Band prepares for a slow song.
    It worked great.
    Is he nervous, and using the talking thing as a " comfort " tool?
  18. BassmanSBK


    Mar 31, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Just be straight with him. "I noticed that audiences are getting antsy between songs. too much down time. I think that you could get even better reactions if you played 2 or three in succession, then talked with the audience of a bit. then back to quick-fire numbers, etc." Make it about taking the band to the next level, rather than about him making an error in judgment.

    Me, I'd just tell our front lady, "Ginger, hurry it up. Too much dead air." But we have a working relationship that will tolerate this.
  19. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Talks too much for you?

    Talks too much for the audience?

    Talks too much for the venue owners?

    These distinctions matter.
  20. eee


    Jan 17, 2009
    Kill him

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