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Dead time between songs ideas???

Rex

Legend!
I was going to type my two cents' worth, but everything I was going to say has already been said by someone else.
 

MicFarlow

Veteran
Thanks all for chiming in!

Agreed, there should be no gap, unless your singer wants to talk to the crowd.
The drummer drives this seamlessness. When we start a set, we do not stop until the set is over.

Mick, are you playing in a band???
Yep... kinda'ish.... I play acoustic for them for a few songs. We gig 2-4 times a month.. mostly in bars or restaurants with bars...

These guys are excellent musicians and like every great band, they are looking for ways to tighten things up and take it to the next level. For the most part, the only dead times we have are when someone is changing an instrument or having to tune and even those times aren't too long.

I met these guys a couple of years ago when the guitarist bought a cab. We all became friends and the wife and I started going to as many gigs as we could because they really are that good and it never hurts to observe my gear in the wild as it were... market research! :)

So yeah.. at 51 I finally joined a cover tune band and it's been a blast.
 

TG3K

Veteran
Since it was briefly mentioned, I personally hate applause in most situations. I want my music to be an element, not the focus. Of course it depends on the gig, but nothing disrupts the flow with that one person clapping which causes others to nervously start clapping, and now everyone who was just chilling is looking at the stage like something happened.

If I’m hired to be the focus that’s different. But most of my gigs aren’t that, even full band typical bar gig I don’t think of it that way. We provide atmosphere and energy. Don’t clap for me please.
Our band is pretty much the exact opposite. Our crowd is typically there to hear us, not just background music. The applause is payment for the music. The money from the bar is payment for moving our equipment.
 

Tahoebrian5

Fractal Fanatic
Depending on the crowd and venue, some down time might actually be appreciated if people want to talk for a few minutes about how good the fractal setup sounds
 

Rick

Fractal Fanatic
I don't mind brief pauses, but it's awkward when there is too much time as a matter of course. There are times when a longer pause can add a little theatrical suspense if your band is doing a genuine production, but otherwise a decently constructed set list that has a good rhythm and flow is a great asset.

Oh, and if players can get over themselves and their "preparation." That's a big help too. I find it beneficial to try thinking like I am a hired player in someone else's band and I'm going to lose a lucrative gig if I can't keep up. It keeps the focus off of me and on the show. Once you start thinking "it's my way or I quit" you cease to be a professional and start the diva dive.
 

warlockII

Veteran
No dead time at all. Learn the applause cycle and follow it religiously. I use to teach a seminar on this very subject. There is a tension and release to your entire performance. Learn how to build momentum in your shows. PM me if you want to discuss this in more depth. This is something that all successful bands learn.
It would be awesome if you had the time to give some pointers here or in a new thread...I'm rather obsessed with the topic.
 
Great topic! I have a world fusion band and I use 3 different electric tunings. Standard, Open D and a Sitar tuning in C. And sometimes I use a acoustic too. So there are breaks for the changing of guitars and tuning. My violinist usually fills the space with her "Peace, love and empathy" dialogue and song intros and it usually goes well. But there is definitively room for improvement. Something I need to think about and get the band all on the same page. I do have a bassist that loves to noodle between songs and it drives me crazy! I hate telling people what to do, so I leave it be for now but eventually I'm going to have to put a stop to that. Pick your battles.
 

favance

Veteran
So, we actually thought about hiring a comedian to step in when we had a technical issue or just needed a few minutes to compose ourselves and decide on the next tune. I agree with others, plan your set... If you can can focus on creating "a feeling" with 3-4 songs, break, planned interaction with the audience, etc., you will be much more entertaining. If you're not interested in entertaining...then what's your purpose for playing live. Other options include: jam band, dance band, bar band, etc. The important part: "think about your audience", what's going to turn them audience!
 

Tom Morris

Forum Addict
The band I’m in is the worst cluster you have ever seen in your life. Im left hanging after the end of almost every song waiting for the female singe to talk nonsense for 30 seconds then I'm supposed to telepathically read her mind as to what song she would like not to do next. Also im standing there twiddling my thumbs while the other guitar player is tuning then plays 12 riffs from songs he does in his kiss tribute band. On top of that its a dash to the rack of 6 guitars I use to cover all the tunings we do, then make sure that guitar is actually in tune ( no thanks to you Florida heat ) then make sure I'm on the right preset. I don’t think this band could look any more less professional if they tried. Oh and in the last set I have 7 guitar changes. FML!

OK rant over. :mad:
 

Muad'zin

Forum Addict
The band I’m in is the worst cluster you have ever seen in your life. Im left hanging after the end of almost every song waiting for the female singe to talk nonsense for 30 seconds then I'm supposed to telepathically read her mind as to what song she would like not to do next.
Don't you guys have setlists? Or are they just suggestion sheets?

Also im standing there twiddling my thumbs while the other guitar player is tuning then plays 12 riffs from songs he does in his kiss tribute band. On top of that its a dash to the rack of 6 guitars I use to cover all the tunings we do, then make sure that guitar is actually in tune ( no thanks to you Florida heat ) then make sure I'm on the right preset. I don’t think this band could look any more less professional if they tried. Oh and in the last set I have 7 guitar changes. FML!

OK rant over. :mad:
Thing is, while you may or may not be able to have a normal conversation with your bandmates, depending on how big their egos are, you can however streamline your rig to be as efficient as possible. Maybe you can eliminate guitars by using a Morpheus or Drop pedal to handle songs that require downtuning? If your guitar has a tremelo and you need to change tuning to drop D, why not install a tremelo stopper? You may no longer pull up, but you can still dive bomb and going drop D becomes a lot easier, just like on a hard tail guitar. What if you ever were to get a gig that required you to travel by air? You can't travel with 6 guitars, well you can if you're willing to pay for it, but chances are that it will cost you your band's entire earnings and you're lucky to bring one, maybe two along. Maybe you should try to find out if you can play a whole show on a single guitar? You could try streamline your presets using the setlist function? Or just note down your preset number next to each song on your own setlist paper? When I still used pedals I always listed things like BPM tempos and which key pedals to use for each song.
 

Tsunamijuan

Inspired
My band still has issues with Momentum at times. What we have done to reduce this is put some medleys/fills between stuff, So that we can go between songs, and give an opportunity to do tuning/patch changes. While keeping the show momentum going. This has worked well with both playing through applause, and interfacing with the crowd. We have no dedicated singer/front man. Everyone kinda fills that role.

This works well for now, as we tend to know portions of the crowd. I am not sure how well this will work for a audience that has never met us before. But I am sure we will find out soon.

From a audio engineer point of view/FOH. I would say part of it comes from reading the crowd. If your hired to play for 4-5 hours and keep people drinking and on the dance floor. Then I would expect the band to break it up some more and read the crowd some. You need some breaks so people can get a drink, or maybe cool off a bit from dancing. But it greatly depends on the music you are playing too.
 

Stratoblaster

Fractal Fanatic
Don't you guys have setlists? Or are they just suggestion sheets?
I played with a singer who would make sets lists and never stick to them; he would continually modify them on the fly since he was 'reading the crowd' and 'managing the vibe in real time'. He would call 'audibles' (like a football play) all the time, throwing off the flow of the band from song to song.

The net effect was dead spots between songs most of the time while the keyboard player furiously brought up the right preset(s) at a moments notice, and I sometimes had to take a few seconds to do the same. He didn't really engage the crowd with witty, clever banter to fill those holes either, and would get bent out of shape that we were always 'taking so long'...all in all I found it frustrating and quality suffered.

Suggestion sheets indeed...
 

Tom Morris

Forum Addict
Oh yeah we have the same set list in the same order they have been doing for years. Ive been with the band 9 months. Whats been happening as of late is we are dropping songs because our female vocalist party's way too much and just cant sing song she picked in the first place any longer. She has the same routine so much so that people are mimicking her like a parrot. For people that have never seen the band before they love her, and in her defense she is good at what she does and pretty damn hot to boot. However after the third time seeing us the stale sets in. We have had 3 new songs everyone was supposed to learn when I joined the band the beginning of 2018, they still haven't learned them.

I figured when I joined the band to replace the other second guitarist with my lust for nailing tones and FX it would breath some new energy, direction into the group. Hasn't happened yet.
 

Muad'zin

Forum Addict
Oh yeah we have the same set list in the same order they have been doing for years. Ive been with the band 9 months. Whats been happening as of late is we are dropping songs because our female vocalist party's way too much and just cant sing song she picked in the first place any longer. She has the same routine so much so that people are mimicking her like a parrot. For people that have never seen the band before they love her, and in her defense she is good at what she does and pretty damn hot to boot. However after the third time seeing us the stale sets in. We have had 3 new songs everyone was supposed to learn when I joined the band the beginning of 2018, they still haven't learned them.

I figured when I joined the band to replace the other second guitarist with my lust for nailing tones and FX it would breath some new energy, direction into the group. Hasn't happened yet.
Have you sat them down and talked this through with them? In a constructive way of course as yelling only makes people defensive. Because partying so hard your voice suffers is bad. It should be a wake up call, not 'oh, lets skip a few songs then'. Less partying (as in no party at all) is in order, so she can spend the time developing new routines and learning new songs. Because routines, just like songs, need to be fresh. That's why bands learn to play new songs and put old songs to pasture. And it sounds like the other guitarist REALLY wants to be in that Kiss tribute band. He should really make a choice, either stick with the Kiss tribute band, or understand this is a different gig that requires no one person Kiss medleys. Unless its on the setlist of course. Although in theory it does sound like something he could do as part of a routine while you change/tune guitars.

If you have talked this through with them, in a constructive way, then maybe you should start to think is this the band for me? If yes, then accept that this will be the way things stay until it hits them in the face. If not then look for something else and leave. Or stay in the band while you do something else and make that your main project, while this becomes something you do on the slide for extra $$$$.
 
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Rex

Legend!
Have you sat them down and talked this through with them? In a constructive way of course as yelling only makes people defensive. Because partying so hard your voice suffers is bad. It should be a wake up call, not 'oh, lets skip a few songs then'. Less partying (as in no party at all) is in order, so she can spend the time developing new routines and learning new songs. Because routines, just like songs, need to be fresh. That's why bands learn to play new songs and put old songs to pasture. And it sounds like the other guitarist REALLY wants to be in that Kiss tribute band. He should really make a choice, either stick with the Kiss tribute band, or understand this is a different gig that requires no one person Kiss medleys. Unless its on the setlist of course. Although in theory it does sound like something he could do as part of a routine while you change/tune guitars.

If you have talked this through with them, in a constructive way, then maybe you should start to think is this the band for me? If yes, then accept that this will be the way things stay until it hits them in the face. If not then look for something else and leave. Or stay in the band while you do something else and make that your main project, while this becomes something you do on the slide for extra $$$$.
Lots of good advice here. And it points to a reality of life in a band. Every band will require you to make some compromises. Whether you can accept those compromises is a personal question with answers that might shift over time.
 

Nathan M.

Regular
It depends on who/what you are, the music you play, where you are playing and what is the event/situation. You have to know your crowd and be able to read them.

If they are just chillin' than you need to engage them between songs, briefly. A good singer who knows how to read the crowd will be able to do it, the remaining players should be facing the crowd, smiling, saying hello, waving , etc. This usually occurs during outdoor events where the people are there for leisure (beach, etc. where the band wasn't the main reason why they are there).

If it's a music event and the music/bands are the main reason that the crowd is there, then you have to keep it going, stopping only to acknowledge and show appreciation.

A solo artist, duet or small acoustic trio playing at a restaurant or other eatery should keep moving along. The people aren't necessarily there for you, they are there with their family and friends. It's a social event for them and they are there to talk and eat, don't disturb them. Show some appreciation but keep the chatter and engagement to a minimum, know your place.

That advice has pretty much worked since the 70's, people haven't changed that much although you might wonder.
 
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