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Gigging with a music stand.

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

  1. Joe-Bob

    Joe-Bob Doctor of Teleocity

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    Just because a band uses charts does not mean they are not making music, or being spontaneous, or connecting with the audience. That simply does not make sense. :mad:


    In any case, think what you will, but I've gotten a ton gigs because I could read music and follow a chart.

    Do you guys suggest I should have turned them down because I thought that people who can read music are "posers"?? :confused:
     
  2. Norton72

    Norton72 Tele-Afflicted

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    No way, I admire the ability to read music. I marvel at people that can pick up a piece of sheet music and play it correctly without actually knowing the piece. You rightly so should get the gig for having that ability. Mostly I was puzzled at the comment that a well rehearsed, tight band were akin to trained monkeys, still am.
     
  3. guitarbiker

    guitarbiker Tele-Holic

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    To clarify, having a chart and the ability to read on the fly allows the band to repeat a solo chorus, or to correct on the fly if the singer does a bridge at the wrong time or does two verses rather than one. This kind of on stage change doesn't work out so well if the so called "tight" band has memorized the form to the degree that an error by one person throws the tune into a train wreck. Having the chart handy lets the band do alterations on the fly. I've seen entire 60 piece orchestras make up for a soloist's mistake this way.

    Of course a really "loose" band that knows the songs inside out can go anywhere with an arrangement with or without charts.
     
  4. Norton72

    Norton72 Tele-Afflicted

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    I guess I don't know the definition of a tight band, and I don't guess I've ever heard of a loose band until lately. My expectation of a band is just what you said at the end -- to know the song inside out to the degree that adjustments can be made immediately should the guitar player decide to take an extra lead or the singer hits the bridge at the wrong time.
     
  5. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My band changed up arrangements all the time without anyone getting lost, that was half of the fun. Sometimes somebody would suggest a song that all of us were familiar with, but had never played together as a band. We could pull that off, too. This was done in a bar in front of a crowd, too, not during a rehearsal.
     
  6. OceanBoy

    OceanBoy Tele-Meister

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    I agree. I guess it depends on the type of music you're playing too. I wouldn't insult the country players on this board by calling myself a country player, but In my experience, country players are typically very good at adjusting on the fly without charts. Maybe it's because the song structures are usually fairly straight forward.

    I admire anyone that can sight read on the fly. Especially chords :D I guess it just depends on the environment you're in. If I was a pit musician in a Broadway play I would most likely need charts.

    A friend of mine did some crew work for the Merle Haggard concert in town last week. He said there were teleprompters everywhere. He was told that Merle has a list of over 600 songs to pull from. I can definitely see a need for teleprompters in this case, but that's not a music stand. Music stands just stick out like a sore thumb IMO.
     
  7. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

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    I figure that I did 1800+ gigs without a stand. Of course that was playing rock country or pop stuff in bars or folk gigs at the coffee house circuit.

    But for jazz gigs, having a fake book on a stand helps and big band stuff requires charts.

    It no longer bothers me either way.
     
  8. bikeracr

    bikeracr Tele-Meister

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    I play in a large church and never play the same set two weekends in a row. Our catalog is nearly 80 songs deep.. We play many of the songs in different keys depending on the lead singer, and as guitarists, we often play different roles (rhythm vs lead) from one Sunday to the next. I have most of the songs memorized, but still use a stand for reinforcement. No it doesn't kill the feel.
     
  9. telequacktastic

    telequacktastic Tele-Afflicted

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    Before I could read music, or played 4 hour gigs. I would go on and on about how non-pro it looked.

    Now I can read and I know more songs, licks, and instruments for that matter so there is more information to swim through to find what I need to play. haha! I say, use it if it helps.
     
  10. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    Over a year into this thread and nothing's changed. We might be able to sum up these eleven pages with a slight reworking of the Bull Durham movie line:

    Sometimes you use a stand, sometimes you don't use a stand, sometimes it rains.
     
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  11. Marshall_Stack

    Marshall_Stack Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    So let's play two!!
    (Does it start with just the drums or...)
     
  12. Diagoras

    Diagoras Tele-Holic

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    I say use a stand if you want to, and don't give a hoot about what others think. It's the music that matters, not the minutia.
     
  13. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I think if you're playing in an orchestra it's fine. Otherwise, save the stands for rehearsals
     
  14. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

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    IMO in a gigging band it's on a par with karaoke.

    Years back one of my bands did a birthday gig for a girl who was in the Irish Chamber Orchestra, so the audience was largely made up of classically trained professional musos.

    We figured we'd probably make a fool of ourselves since they obviously would see right thru us.
    After the gig it was made known to us that they pretty well all were shocked and intimidated because we had just played several hours...including several requests played cold...WITHOUT SHEET MUSIC, and they couldn't imagine how.

    I found that hilarious.
     
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  15. Boxla

    Boxla Tele-Meister

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    It looks totally unprofessional to your buddy because it is. How many times do you go see a professional band and see music stands on the stage? For me, it's 0 for the last 200. Of course you always see it in orchestras but that's always indicated to me the difference between band musicians and orchestra musicians. We can memorize music in the band. In fact when I played viola all through high school, I memorized most of my parts. I could sight read just fine but I was a guitarist in a band as well and was very used to memorizing my music because there was no way I was going to drag a music stand on the stage with my band. It's not ideal with an orchestra because most of those players are so mechanical that their heads would explode without the music but that's the difference and they all need to play exactly as written

    THIS is what made the Grateful Dead so Great. While many bands try to "perfect" their songs so they could repeat them note for note each night, the Dead said, this is a musical exploration performance not a Broadway musical. What we don't want is to be perfect each night and be locked into some sort of perfection box. I certainly always prefer the bands I go see play all over the place and improvise. It never ceases to amaze me how many bands play the same set over and over tour after tour. Jimmy Buffett is a perfect example. Jimmy could easily do a different set each night but out of laziness they don't. I saw him back to back at Wrigley Field (as well as about 75 other times). I would have bet money he'd do two different sets but he did the exact same set both nights with one song change. That's inexcusable. That's lazy and walking the tightrope fully strapped in with no fear of getting out over your skis. These bands have to get bored out of their skulls. All 4 bands I've been in in my life we changed it up nightly and very rarely have set lists. Audiences don't want perfection unless they are at a play.
     
  16. Paulie_Boy

    Paulie_Boy Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Are you paying a bass player? They're holding your hand by supplying the root and the 5th of the changes. Listen to the bass player and the cycles. That's their job!
     
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  17. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    +1
     
  18. Jimmy Dean

    Jimmy Dean Tele-Afflicted

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    The last band I was in (I played bass & sang lead on half a dozen songs) the other 2 players both used stands, I did not. I use a stand at home for practice, but never use one on a gig.

    My reasons are:
    1) I have always prided myself on my ability to remember many songs.
    2) trying to concentrate on my voice, my fingering, mic placement & paying attention to what my bandmates are doing makes having a music stand just one more distraction on stage for me.
     
  19. Paulie_Boy

    Paulie_Boy Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Jimmy Buffet does a "show." He knows the songs that his rank and file fans want to hear. After 75 times you're probably burnt out. You referenced the Dead. They were a "Jam Band." Completely different animal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
  20. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I do my best to never use a music stand on stage.
     
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