1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Where do you stand on stage?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by TigerInATrance, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. My current band has moved from a rehearsal studio to a sound stage in the effort to rehearse "as if we were playing a show" and I'm having trouble figuring out where I need to be. It was easy in the past because I was doing trios, but now I'm in a 5 piece that is all about nuance and dynamics and melody and I'm having a hard time figuring out where to position myself so that I'm hearing the right things.

    Currently, I stand sort of next to the drummer on the opposite side of the stage from the rhythm guitar and I feel like I'm missing the kick and rhythm guitar which seems to be getting me lost in the more improvisational sections of the music.

    I've also been told to turn up, but where I'm at I already feel like I'm dominating the mix. When I get to a volume level that seems to please the rest of the band, I can barely hear the rest of the band. I'm thinking that the best possible move would be to stand in front of the drums nearer to the rhythm guitar player while leaving my amp & cab on the other side, but I'm not sure I want to navigate the labyrinth to get to the amp and tune or make small adjustments.

    So I suppose what I'm looking for is a broad spectrum of ideas as to where you like to be in relation to the other instruments and your amp. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I am in a 5 piece. The lead singer obviously stands at center. I am to the drummer's right (left if you are looking at the stage). The guitarist and keyboard player are on the other side. If you were in the audience from left to right you would see me, the lead singer, drummer, guitarist and keyboard player.
  3. SubNoizeRat3691

    SubNoizeRat3691 Lovin' the lows

    Feb 1, 2010
    Davenport, IA
    I have always been told to stand on the Hi-hat side of the drummer, because it is the most consistent with the rhythm. But if you're worried about hearing the rhythm guitar, idk what to tell you.

    Are you not using monitors or anything like that??

    Maybe try facing the amplifiers inward toward the stage from the sides?
  4. Keithwah


    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    I have always based myself on the stage right side of the drummer which allows me to get a good visual on his feet for locking in with the kick moments. But I'm only there long enough to do what I need to. Otherwise, I am hanging off the front of the stage in yo' face, and stand is not what I'm doing either. As a lead singing bassist, I wouldn't be much fun to watch if I "stood" there all night.
  5. i am also in a 5 piece. personally, i think you should practice where you can hear each other and worry about the positions on stage later. every stage will be different and you will be able to hear everyone better than you can when you are in rehearsal. of course, i'm making a couple assumptions here about your rehearsal setup and your venue you'll be playing at.

    that said, my preference is to be to my drummer's left so i can hear and feel the kick/hi hat/snare and feel like i'm more "connected" to it. that may be all in my head, but that's what works for me.
  6. Mtnman


    Jun 5, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'm in a 5 piece as well. The singer/lead guitarist is front/center. Rhythm guitar and keys to his right. I am to his left. I chose this location so as not to whack him with the headstock of my bass. My rig is on the back wall next to the drummer's hi-hat.
  7. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    Left of the drummer.
  8. We're a 5 piece also.I'm (from the audience's perspective) front left center, I do the most of the "chatter" and a good bit of backup vocals. Our setup from overhead (facing the audience) looks like this

    Lead Singer Me

    Lead Guitar Rhythm Guitar


    Lead guitar steps up for solos and Rhythm guitar does a good bit of jumping around. Works for us.
  9. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    I stand by hi-hat. Ask your guitarist to turn his amp more toward you. Do the same if you are asked to turn up and/or do turn up and go more to the front of stage to find better mix balance for you. I prefer to put my rig rather further back, if possible, to let the sound 'develop', if that makes any sense :)

    Consider getting molded earplugs, search for ER15 or ER9 (that's what I use). Costs the same like one better fx pedal and will save your hearing in the long run. Constant ringing in ears 24 hour a day is not fun.
  10. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    Think it depends on how much singing you do. If you sing a good bit up to the front you go. If you are just playing only I don't think it matters much.
  11. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    We are 6 (drums, bass, guit X 2 and 2 singers). I always try to be right beside the drummer on his high hat side 'cause it's where I can communicate with him best.
  12. 4001

    4001 Inactive

    Sep 29, 2004
    Lake County, IL
    Usually left of the drum kit.
  13. parsons


    Feb 22, 2008
    I prefer the drummers left (assuming he is a right handed player) but my last band the gui**** stated that was his spot so all I get now is a little kick drum and some snare from the drummers right.
  14. gearhead1972


    Feb 21, 2012
    Kent NY
    yeah like most people I am on the hi hat side, and I can see his kick foot pretty good from there also. When I need to hear the lead singer/rhythm guitarist, I just step out.
  15. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    I prefer to set up on the ride side of the drummer - that way, I hear more kick/less snare... I also do vocals on about 80% of our songs, so I'm at the front of the stage most of the night...

    - georgestrings
  16. Doug R

    Doug R

    Jan 27, 2011
    Spokane, WA USA
    I have always been partial to setting-up to the left of the drummer. The lock-in with kick drum & hi-hat is good for keeping the rhythm section together.

    The exception is when I'm sitting-in with new people or following a guitarist on new stuff. Moving to stage-right can give you a better view of what the guitar player(s) may be doing.

    Playing on the right side of a drummer usually gets hard on your hearing because you get those cymbals right in your left ear, sometimes to the point of hearing damage. Also, if it's a small stage, your bass keeps whacking into drum & cymbal stands.

    As for having your bass sound too loud in the on-stage mix, I often try to set-up so my bass speaker is not right behind me. If you have a separate amp & speaker, just put your amp on a little TV table or stand to your right, maybe on the drummer's monitor or something, and run a cord to your speaker box on the other side of the drummer. You get a better overall mix of the back line - may even have to turn-UP! (Also a big help with bass feedback if using an acoustic or upright bass)
  17. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    It doesn't matter where you stand, as long as you can hear what you need to hear. maybe I'm odd, but I focus different things for different songs. I might listen to the kick on one song more or the snare on another song. I almost never focus on the high hat. I also have a click in my ears most of the time, though.
  18. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    It is a church. I am on the right side of the drummer who has half of a shield up. In the other former choir cutout across stage are the guitar, keyboards and violinist with the three singers center stage between us. I can't see the high hat at all but have a perfect view of the kick and I also key on the ride and drive cymbals.
  19. LeoSash


    Feb 13, 2012
    I'm in a jazz band and i have jazz classes (like college ensemble) and i stand in the middle in between the pianist and drummer and the horns up front. It changes varying on the people im with but i have a video to show for what it looks like:

  20. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Leave your amp where it is. Turn it up. Go over by the guitar player to play. Problem solved.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 1, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.