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Gigging with a music stand.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by RevMike, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. RevMike

    RevMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    How do you guys feel about gigging with a music stand? I've always tried not to, but a couple of the guys in my band do it. I don't see the big deal. The people we play for don't seem to care. But I've heard some flack from other musicians about it. One drummer I've played with gets really bent about it saying it looks totally unprofessional. I guess I think its more unprofessional to screw up the song, because you don't have it committed to memory. I know that I've been guilty of scooting over to the other guitar player's book and peekin' at a chord or something. I'm curious because I just bought a really nice, collapsable (not the flimsy metal crap) sturdy stand....that comes with a case. I haven't brought it to a gig, but I've been considering it, since we just decided to take on a bunch of new covers.
     
  2. JBennett

    JBennett Tele-Afflicted

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    I say thumbs down to music stands on the stage. They belong in the home and the studio, (unless you're in the string section it works there for some reason). Not on the stage. I guess I see a music stand on stage and I think... "that guys not really into it" or "must be a hired gun". If you think you might screw up the song....practice it 60 more times.

    If you must use a stand... you need those old school podium boxes from the big-band era to pull it off. :)

    Or, use the old Dylan trick of hiding your music/lyrics on a pedal steel or keyboard in front of you.
     
  3. Post Toastie

    Post Toastie Poster Extraordinaire

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    It worked for the Laurence Welk Orchestra.
     
  4. emu!

    emu! Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have one, but it won't jam with me...it just stands there.




    (sorry, couldn't resist)
     
  5. RevMike

    RevMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm also the band's keyboard player...and while I have never used a stand.... I have on rare occaisions taped crib sheets to my Synth.
     
  6. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I don't use one. Some guys I play with do...I think it's more a confidence thing than actually looking at the charts. But I could be wrong.
     
  7. soul-o

    soul-o Friend of Leo's

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    Music stands are for rehearsals and music students. I'll use one for a special request or something, but singers who go on stage and know the lyrics to less songs than the audience are a drag. I've seen tons of people with their heads buried in a book when all they'd have to do is look up and read the lips of all the people not getting paid to know the songs.
     
  8. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    If you don't care how it looks, use it.
    It does imply that you ain't ready, IMO.
    I ain't sayin' I ain't never used one, mind ya.
    Why have extra stuff on the bandstand?
     
  9. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    I don't use one, I find I play best when I really have the music internalized.

    But.... I am a complete rank amateur playing bars and coffee shops with other amateurs. My friends who use stands could care less what other musicians think. They are plumbers, insurance agents, medical company CEO's, computer programmers, AND... part time musicians, softball players, bowling league members, water skiers, etc...

    We pack in the crowds and never, NEVER, have one of our audience commented on any music stands.
     
  10. superlightweigh

    superlightweigh Tele-Holic

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    I use one. Everybody in the band already was when I joined, so I started doing it too. 1st time for me. I write a lot of **** down that I know I won't remember, like if I'm singing root, 3rd or 5th on a particular harmony, stuff like that.

    It sucks getting old(er) when you can't remember
     
  11. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Friend of Leo's

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    Who cares what other musicians think?

    Especially when you're playing a gig and they're standing in the back with their arms crossed.

    Guitar players seem to be the only ones obsessed with this issue. The horn guys in my band use them all the time.
     
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  12. TeleTim911

    TeleTim911 Friend of Leo's

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    If these guys can do it, so can you:

     
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  13. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    Agree. If you must use a stand, try not to keep your head down all of the time.

    I sometimes use a small music holder that clips on to my mic stand. It's only about the size of an index card and is hardly visible on stage.
     
  14. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I used to have firm opinions about this. Then I went to a concert and saw the teleprompters in the floor.... In our band, we just revamped our play list from 175 old country songs to about 30 new country songs (keeping the old ones, just modernizing to improve the quality and quantity of gigs) and since I am the youngest guy in our band by almost 10 years... vision and memory are issues... so, two of the guys use stands and one uses a 'hidden' crib sheet... I don't use anything, but because I play in a couple of bands and several songs 'cross over' I do ask for keys before the count....

    To me, the old days of 'professional music' or 'rock'n'roll' are mostly gone... Our guys are pretty professional, we've all been gigging at least 30 years and the way they go about it is pretty nondescript... so, I say, the style council can just take a deep breath and enjoy the moral high ground where nothing grows anyway...

    The downside of bands who HAVE TO HAVE cheat sheets and charts is that a lot of them are 'typing' the song rather than playing it.... and that has a negative effect on the music....

    if it is mostly lyric sheets and a quick glance at a progression... eh, I'm okay with that... it beats clanging away or dropping lines...

    should folks be better rehearsed? sure. Is the reality of the truly semi pro musician who isn't playing 5 nights a week with consistent sets a dictate for adaptive devices? you bet.
     
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  15. JBennett

    JBennett Tele-Afflicted

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    But that's because horn guys get those cool little clip on music stands! (and because no one is willing to pay them to come to rehearsals and they are so in demand that they play with eight bands and could never memorize all those sets!)
     
  16. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I detest how stands look onstage with a band, for all the reasons mentioned above.

    However, I am at a stage in life where not only can I not lift amps as easily as before, but I can't remember cues and special things that we put into a song. And for a long time, I couldn't remember the backing riff to SRV's So Excited. Ditto with Killing Floor. I would have one of the other guys sing it to me. Well, this is pretty bad. If we practiced more, and if I practiced the tunes more, it wouldn't be the problem that it is.

    I feel really bad that I am as shaky and lazy about this, but I sure wouldn't want to use a stand onstage. It doesn't look real, spontaneous, or committed. Maybe we could have one set of standards for young guys with strong backs and plenty-o- brain cells, and another for those of us near 60. Could we do that? That would work for me. That way I get to criticize everyone younger than me and cut myself slack. Yeah, that's the ticket.

    Seriously, tough call, and I empathize.
     
  17. Red Square

    Red Square Friend of Leo's

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    I won't criticize those that use them, but in my opinion it looks pretty shabby and weak.
    I'd think if you needed it in a modern band type setting, that you weren't properly rehearsed. I would be mortified using one. If I can't remember the chord changes or lyrics, then I'll realize it long before the gig, and I for sure will rehearse them until I have them down.
     
  18. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Friend of Leo's

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    That describes the percussionist/singer in my band. He only does a lead vocal on about 6 songs and back-up on a bunch of others and he can't be bothered to remember that few. What's worse he he doesn't just glance at it to remember the first line of a verse, his head is buried in the book.
     
  19. Joefish

    Joefish Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't use no stinking stand ... I put my book on my keyboard

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Classical pianists used to memorize everything in solo recitals. But now there are chinks even in that tradition. Where I teach, however, piano students are expected to memorize 50-60 minutes of music for a recital. Recitals get re-scheduled, and degrees deferred, when the memorization is not solid. Every field has its standards, and memorization is the standard for pianist's solo recitals. But, as I said, it is eroding.
     
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