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Stage Presence Tips/"Going Off"

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by ErikKrueger, Nov 1, 2002.

  1. i play in a heavier type music band and my guitarist use to always rant and rave about going off onstage and how much it gets the crowd going. i use to just disregard this as pretty futile and pointless, so i didnt move around, abnd i played lots of hard/complex (for me at the time) basslines, so it was rather hard to jump around too. but now with lots of practice, and really getting into our music lately, i have found myself to be "goingoff" the most in the band now, jumping off of large stage moniters, jumping around, running around, etc. heh it is pretty fun also and it is a good excercise. just wondering what all of you thought.
  2. its hells good..........
  3. I want to be able to be wild and crazy on stage but still be able to hit my parts just right. If theres anyopne who rocks hard on stage but still manages to stay musical and on top of the song will u please spare some advice or some storys about your experiences. I appreciate any responses.

  4. I think it can help, depending on what type of music you play, but you may want to look at it a little different. "Going off," to me means, "manufacturing some stage presence." Running around and looking like a dork is just that- looking like a dork. I would look at different musical performers and try to analyze what gives them their mojo. Being active on stage can be a part of it but also looking relaxed, looking into the audience's eyes, interaction with the rest of the band, etc., can add a lot to the stage presence your wanting to achieve.
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Music first, actin' the fool second.

    Moved to our newest forum.
  6. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I would imagine the first tip would be to know the song perfectly and to play it well standing/sitting still. Then do your jumping and other antics while practicing.

    I wouldn't know really, I move very little on stage, too little probably.

    Practice makes perfect, or so I'm told, though I obviously have done too little of it... :)
  7. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    I play in a hardcore band where strong stage presence is mandatory. If we don't project the energy, the people will not either, but regardless, the music has to come first.

    One thing that has helped me maintain the music whilst still being able to "act the fool" is keeping my strap height reasonably high. That way I can move around all I want and the bass stays in relatively the same position. I can spin and jump and flail around like a maniac and still hit the song note for precious note.

    Don't overrate silliness either. We have a song called "Living Dead" that instantaneously switches back and forth between soft & pretty and loud & heavy. During my most memorable performance, I ballet danced during the soft parts and immediately went hardcore thrash during the heavy parts. People ate it up, and I even had a girl throw her lingerie at me! :eek: ;)
  8. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I agree strongly with Anders. The better you know your material, the less you'll have to think about it while playing. And the less you have to think about playing, the more you'll find yourself getting into it.

    Moving around while playing requires practice in itself. This is something that you can do at home in front of a mirror if you are entirely shameless.

    Remember that most of your audience will always likely be non-musicians, so being able to entertain with your performance and not just your music is always a plus.
  9. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000
    I'm more reknown for cool stage moves than my playing :rolleyes: ...

    Don't force any action. If movement doesn't suit the part, then don't go out of your way to move. Overacting looks as bad as shoegazing.

    Make eye contact with the audience, especially to emphasize parts. Think ahead in your lines to see where you can free up one hand or the other. Got an open string note or two in a row? Perfect time to do something with your left hand off of the instrument. Is there a dramatic slide to a note you could emphasize by sliding up the fretboard with your *right* hand rather than your left? Etc.

    Move your feet. Dance to the music, use different stances for different songs. Turn to the drummer and interact with him, move away from, or to, the guitarist when there's a solo, or just move a bit when going from verse to bridge to chorus.

    Watch established bands and take notes.

    And remember that what might seem like a big move where you're standing, doesn't look so big from 10, or 100, feet away. And what looks like rock star clothing at a formal dinner doesn't look so fancy when you're onstage. Point is to magnify everything to actually stand out - small gestures don't carry to the crowd.

    Primarily you have to keep the groove, so think about that first and listen to the drummer rather than thinking ahead to your next move. With practice and with knowing your parts well, the rest will come. Just make sure its natural.

    And if your band in general has problems with presence, talk to them about it. My stage presence came alive only after switching from working with a very reserved drummer to a very dynamic drummer. As with all things, it must be a group effort with group interaction.
  10. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I've merged the Stage Presence and "Going Off" threads, as they seemed to be about the same thing.

    Have a nice day :)
  11. yup, i know all about that stuff. the muscle memory in both my hands is perfect in all of our songs and i caqn do pretty much every maneuver and such while onstage and still hit the note every time. its pretty cool, i like being in a band where yhou can move aroundalot and go nuts :D
  12. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Maybe this is the wrong way to look at it, but I never really "went off" during a gig, because the crowd was never into it enough to get me into it. When the crowd is psyched and ready to rock, so am I. When the crowd just sat there and stared at us after every song, I would have rather been anywhere else and it showed.
  13. I agree it's really hard to put on any form of stage presence if the audience isn't into it, but I think it works the other way too. The audience is probably less likely to get into the music if the people on stage are not getting right into it.

    Now even if the audience sucks at least I jump around or groove or whatever. If nothing else, at least I'm having a blast.
  14. from how the gigs ive played ( not a whole lot )
    it seems the opening band really sets the stage for a gig.

    and all that total jumping around running **** makes you look like a moron if you play heavy metal

    watch cliff...all i can say.
  15. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000
    Play each show like you are trying to blow away 80000 screaming fans. No matter how many peolpe are there. A band that rocks with only a few people in the bar will be remembered and those few people will come back with friends next time. Otherwise they'll just say "Yeah, I've seen 'em, they were kinda lame."
  16. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I agree with that
  17. Yup. I went to a concert last night and while 8 out of the 9 bands that played got an A for effort, they were all pretty bad. I'm willing to bet quite a sum that most of them hadn't been practising for more than a month. But the last band that played was bloody awsome, now they weren't the best players, the did a couple of Bach pieces and they messed up here and there, but they had an amazing stage precence and got the crowd fired up so it didn't matter.

    Plus they were the last band and pretty much ruined the stage in the last three songs. :D
  18. as the band, you are like the hosts of the party. So you set the tone. If you are shy and reserved, the audience will be too. If you are having a good time, whether you are shuffling your feet or doing David Lee Roth splits, the audience will react. Just going on stage to play takes HUGE cojones (remember your first few gigs)so going that little extra cant hurt.
    Also the audience wants you to be a rock star ( if you're playing rock). They want to see a show.
    My band were playing for a Neil Pryde windsurfing competition on am island between Taiwan and China and we were rocking hard and mocking every rock tradition. Some of the windsurfers climbed up the light rigging and started jumping up and down. I can still hear the crack as the bolts sheared off and the entire light setup across the stage came crashing 15 feet down. One of the guys landed on his back on the edge of the stage and then flippied another 4 feet to the pavement. The keyboard got flipped through the air and smashed on the ground. WE didn't drop a beat, the kb player jumped off the stage and started playing his keyboard which was still plugged in (Roland, amazingly indestructible). WE were lucky noone got nailed but those windsurfers will never forget that show. Oh yeah, and we got on ESPN.
    The lights and all that was pretty dangerous but the point is they loved it more because we put on a show. It's supposed to be fun, right.
  19. Well said!
  20. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    and always remember, never yank out the cord you are using.

    ESPECIALLY if you are borrowing it from me!


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