Where do you set up relative to band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by chaosMK, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I am curious where everyone physically sets up or stands on stage.

    In my last serious band, I would practice/perform on the drummer's left side (near hi hat). This was an ideal position for making eye contact and all in all probably gave me a little more influence in the song writing. When it came to performance, the drums were usually set up pretty far back on the stage and I would end up in the middle front.

    Current band is a little different. I end up taking stage left or middle depending if we have a second guitarist. When we rehearse, I am on the drummer's Ride side and communication isnt as easy (there is usually a china between my face and his). The guitarist has the coveted hi-hat spot.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't care where I'm set up as long as I'm positioned first in line to get paid at the end of the night.
  3. mwm70


    Oct 27, 2004
    Right side, but nothing blocking my view.
  4. Bass=high hat side. Always. Period.

    Tell the guitar player to pound sand.

  5. ladros2


    Jun 2, 2005
    Usually center. Singer plays keyboards, soundmen like them on the side, guitarist is stage shy. I'm a little offset to allow the drummer a view of the audience.
  6. chris4001asat


    Dec 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Warehouse Manager : Reverend Guitars
    AGREED! Always hi-hat side. It just doesn't "sound right" anywhere else
  7. I always stand on the toms side of the dummer. Just the way its always been. Guitarist out front, and keys on the highhat side.
  8. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    With my main band, I'm on the drummers right, for good reasons.

    I'm right-handed, play right-handed bass, and run the sound. I stand with the audio rack (small board on top) right next to me, on my right.


  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't get why some are so adamant about being in a particular spot onstage. Let's face it, you're not always going to get the spot you want in every band you're in. You can't just waltz into a band and demand to be put somewhere. Well, you can, but good luck keeping the gig. If you can't communicate with the drummer without being in a certain spot, maybe it's not the spot.
  10. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    How utterly flexible.
  11. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    All i ask for is to not have my amp next to the lead guitarist, due to his leads throwing of my rhthyms (he wants to be jimi hendrix, so he plays all weird imo). This usually leaves me and the rhythm guitarist on the left side, my amp being closest to the drummer, and slightly titled towards him and located behind him. I personally take center stage due my band having stage fright, and me not. I could honestly go anywhere, except next to the lead guitarist, we tried it once and I kept getting thrown off.
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Either side of the drums.

    This usually isn't a problem but I did one trio gig (bass/drums/keys) and the keyboard player wanted me to set up between him and the drums. Possibly the dumbest way we could've set up... me forward of the drums with both of them behind me. Me front and center with a spotlight on me... and I'm just playing bass. I was sitting in and it made it look like it was my band. Add to that the fact that I constantly had to keep turning my back to the drums or keys to see what the heck the other guy was going to do. Visual cues work so much better when you can actually see them :rolleyes:

    The keyboard player was clueless as to how goofy the whole thing was.

    I did another gig with him a week later and told him that wasn't going to happen again.
  13. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    It depends on the situation. If it's someone else's gig and my opinion isn't asked, or is overruled, I set up wherever I'm asked to set up as a rule. Given the choice, I set up next to the drummer, on the hi-hat side.
  14. 4x4Given


    Jul 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Now see, this is something I would have gladly gone along with. I guess maybe it's because I sing a fair amount of leads in any band I'm in, but I absolutely hate to be forced to stand in the back behind everyone else. I do backup gigs where for obvious reasons I'm forced to stand in the back, but I absolutely hate it. For some reason, some bands think I actually want to stand in the back next to the drummer, but I couldn't care less about standing in the back so I can communicate with the drummer better. My communication with the drummer doesn't rely on eye contact or close proximity. I do agree that it's silly for a guy sitting in to be placed front and center, especially if he doesn't sing, but since I do, then it's fine by me ;)
  16. clanner

    clanner Token Black Guy.

    Apr 27, 2005
    ummmmm, marietta GA
    amp setup next to high hat aimed slightly inward. me, left center stage and everywhere else. just need to get my guitarist to have some more energy. (it's hard when you started off playin punk and go into some alternative stuff with humble people
  17. FriscoBassAce


    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    I was reading through this thread, and I started to think about something. (Dangerous, I know!). Anyway, I stand on the hi-hat side near the drummer. One guitarist is to my left, and the other guitarist is on the opposite side of the stage.

    What I was thinking about was how many famous rock bands that are four-pieces usually have the bassist on the ride side, and the guitarist on the hi-hat side. Some examples:

    Van Halen
    Motley Crue
    The Who
    Led Zep

    See what I mean? All these bands had the bass players on the left side of the stage.

    So, does it really matter?
  18. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    I try to be on the drummers right. If not, on the drummers left.
    It SHOULD go: Rythm Guitarist, Me, Singer, Lead Guitarist
    Lead, Me, Singer, Rythm.
    (mirror sides if you have to)

    The problem is, the lead singer thinks playing in a band is a popularity contest and ALWAYS tries to be in the centre, hence, kicking me out to the side away from the drummer.
    I've even started getting instances when i'm next to the drummer, and mid gig (even if I hang back to give the lead guitarist his solo minutes of 'fame') he'll swap his pedals around with mine and move over to the middle!!
  19. hammer2748


    Feb 22, 2002
    Hartford, CT
    When given the choice, I take my time to see where I'm most comfortable in terms of where I can hear everyone best in the mix. And actually, in most of my long-term band situations, everyone's been pretty flexible on this point.....up until my current band situation where our keyboard/guitar player is always on the right, always the same layout, always all the same gear, no matter how large/small the venue. His "office" space always needs to be the same. I'm on the drummer's right side. It's all good anyway, as the drummer and I have been working together through 3 bands over 13 years. I'm not sure it would matter where on the stage I am relative to him, as long as we hear each other.....and even when we couldn't hear each other well, we still knew where the other was heading.
  20. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Well, I have actually thought about this over the years. I am more comfortable on the Tom (Stage Right) side of the stage, but I have played on both. We have gotten into a club where there was no room for me on the "Normal" side, so I set up where there was room. In general, my idols and the bassists that I have watched for eternity have all stood on the Tom side as well.