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  1. #1

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    Just going out now to do a show with my two vocals - one guitar duo. It occurs to me that when my partner reacts to what I sing, or comments on the lyrics as I sing ("yeah" "oh boy" etc.), then I get thrown off the lyrics I'm trying to sing from memory. Also she looks at me when I sing. Don't look at me, look at the audience, I think.

    In general, when my fellow musicians react visibly or audibly to what I do, it makes it harder for me to work. Focus on the crowd, not me!

    This may be a minority opinion, I realize. What say you?

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  3. #2

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    It might be more your own insecurity..... I think it’s great when the band reacts to what I do! I love it.....!
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  4. #3

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    When the band members are looking at the soloist they are calling on the audience to focus on the soloist.

    Notice the interaction of the musicians in this video a lot of the time the band is looking at the soloist not the audience.



    That is one of the things I was taught when I attended my first Western Swing camp with Johnny Gimble some 10 years ago.

    Work on getting used to it. It is good for the audience.

  5. #4

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    Yeah in general I think it's good when the other band members focus on what you're doing, though singing is a special situation.

    I can barely sing and strum in time, so I can see how that might throw me off, at least until I was more experienced doing it.

    I would love to be able to play AND sing, but G-d in her infinite wisdom decided I should stick with stringed instruments, and leave the vocals to others.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    Yeah in general I think it's good when the other band members focus on what you're doing, though singing is a special situation.

    I can barely sing and strum in time, so I can see how that might throw me off, at least until I was more experienced doing it.

    I would love to be able to play AND sing, but G-d in her infinite wisdom decided I should stick with stringed instruments, and leave the vocals to others.
    Sounds like you need a new gig more than anything!

  7. #6

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    Honestly, I love to see rapport between players...

    If someone looking at you throws you off that much, maybe you need to know those songs better.

    I mean, and now I'm ragging on ya, but...that's kind of unprofessional ragging on your bandmate to a bunch of strangers, dontcha think?
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
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  8. #7

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    Look at the way Billie Holiday reacts to the soloists, especially the other side of her heart beat, Prez:



    If you don't get that reaction, you're not doing it right ;-)

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Honestly, I love to see rapport between players...

    If someone looking at you throws you off that much, maybe you need to know those songs better.

    I mean, and now I'm ragging on ya, but...that's kind of unprofessional ragging on your bandmate to a bunch of strangers, dontcha think?
    You're right, if I know the songs super well, I won't get thrown. It is on me, no doubt!

    You aren't strangers, I regard you as counselors, coaches, advisers, analysts.

  10. #9
    Do the group have a facebook page ?

    Create a false account and post a comment saying "the band was great ! but why the chorist was looking the guitar player when was singing ?".

    Or just say it to her, would be too bad ?

    If she is inexperience, this could be a good advice from you that she ahve to look the crowd ! Sometimes some singers/chorist really doesnt know what to do sometiems on stage, and they doesnt look the crowd because are neverous or doesnt know how to make a show. Its not that bad anyways, some are less scenic.

    "it makes it harder for me to work", hm, so the problem is you, but or try to get over this, or, talk with her to look the crowd.

    Good luck !

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Look at the way Billie Holiday reacts to the soloists, especially the other side of her heart beat, Prez:



    If you don't get that reaction, you're not doing it right ;-)
    Her reactions, yes. But also a fabulous performance. A classic blues lesson for anybody.

  12. #11

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    IMO when you're on the bandstand you're going to get reactions, and you should make yourself open to giving reactions too (obviously trying to keep them positive). Part of live performance is 'letting go' and this applies to your reactions too...it's part of the magic. It can be disconcerting at first but you get used to it. Used to be that any positive reaction from 'better' players would knock me out of any 'zone' I was in, but it seems to affect me less now in part because I'm deeper into the music now...and anyways that's my problem not theirs...it's on me to be able to play through that stuff.

    Disclaimer: I have no idea what it's like to be a vocalist...maybe it's different than for us instrumentalists in this area.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil59 View Post
    Her reactions, yes. But also a fabulous performance. A classic blues lesson for anybody.

    Agreed. An education for transcribers. It's one of my favourite videos.

  14. #13

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    It's a concentration thing. It always amazes me how actors do it.

    I always felt that being sincere and non pretentious is the best stage precense. You just have to bear in mind that it's the audience that you play for as well, and in the end, the real experience of music is what you all create together.

    Personally the only thing that annoys me in band members is them not being concentrated in the music, talking, etc., which happens sometimes, especially in corporate type gigs, but it's a slippery slope.. only exception allowed should be looking at someone particularly good-looking in the audience (which can be the downfall of many gigs.. but that's for another thread.. ).

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Honestly, I love to see rapport between players...

    If someone looking at you throws you off that much, maybe you need to know those songs better.

    I mean, and now I'm ragging on ya, but...that's kind of unprofessional ragging on your bandmate to a bunch of strangers, dontcha think?
    Nah, unprofessional would be ragging on your bandmate and exposing their name. Otherwise it's all hypothetical for us strangers.

    But maybe the OP has a point. Interplay between band members happens organically, or need to be rehearsed. If not, there could be awekward moments.

    But hard to judge, I'm not a singer, and never had aspiration to be, so if I had to sing, I would welcome any good natured reaction from anyone.

  16. #15

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    The whole area of interpersonal relationships can be as important as musical competence, or more so, I think, looking back over 45 years of playing in public. I could have been way better in this department.

    I remember in my rock-band days, our new lead singer - a guy I'd barely spoken to during rehearsals - ostentatiously HUGGING me during some of my solos at our first performance together. My reaction: WTF?!, Get the h__ off of me!, etc. Possibly he had been inspired by photos of Rod Stewart with Ron Wood, or other 70s rock showmen acting boisterous onstage. Funny, in retrospect.

  17. #16

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    Look at the crowd, and no one else. That's who is paying you.

    They will look back at you. You want that.

    Everyone else on the stage can make their own scene.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by dickbanks View Post
    Look at the crowd, and no one else. That's who is paying you.

    They will look back at you. You want that.

    Everyone else on the stage can make their own scene.
    Not much of a show there! Musicians looking appreciatively at each other are more than likely giving the audience their money's worth. The audience is hardly paying for eye contact.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz View Post
    Not much of a show there! Musicians looking appreciatively at each other are more than likely giving the audience their money's worth. The audience is hardly paying for eye contact.
    Depends upon the genre, I guess.

  20. #19

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    Carl Verheyen talking about advice Max Roach gave him regarding stage presence... Starts at the one hour 4 minute mark of this video. Interesting...

    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    Carl Verheyen talking about advice Max Roach gave him regarding stage presence... Starts at the one hour 4 minute mark of this video. Interesting...

    Interesting video. Several things...Gary Burton asking students to imagine the change in energy at a gathering where a group of people talking amongst themselves all suddenly turn and address you.

    Chick Corea podcast I've posted elsewhere, he says one of the first things he thinks about at a venue is sight lines for the musicians, he said something similar during a North Sea Jazz Festival talk last month.

    Taking a beer mat to the nose from the drummer because I was looking at the set list taped to the floor.

    I also remember being at Stan Tracey's 75th birthday celebration in London many years ago, the whole (Big) Band straining their necks to watch Clark Tracey on a riser at the back of the stage play a drum solo ...