Performing Tips

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lapsedmuso

Guest
Hi all, just keep doing what feels right inside you.  I don't usually sing or play "set" arrangements but like to jump in jam sessions where we improvise.  What I learned from Master drummers from Nigeria and Ethiopia and Kurdish drummers was always listen to the others, feel it deep inside and that it is very good musical manners to leave 'spaces" for others to do their thing, then throw the beats and note row around. When it gets too  complex just drop back to the basic support or drone on the tonic.  I perform at an open mike about every fortnight run by committed youngsters producing original material.  First two years were scary in this setting but now have an accepted possie.  For those on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria Australia the session is every second Wednesday Night at the Balnarring Hall.  We have some very good youngsters producing original  material in the blues format amongst others.  It's great to go along to watch their musical development and to be invited to join in.  Come home feeling marvelous.
 
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Garymcm

Guest
Gday lapsed
was re-reading these posts and saw your comment, well said.
Funny thing was that as soon as you said "possie", i knew you were an aussie, even before the Mornington comment, i dont know of anyone else that says that!. dont you love our way of talking!!!lol
Welcome and might drop in one day although live in WA, but get to Vic quite a bit.
cheers
Gary
 
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seafoam_green_66

Guest
If things ever come apart I make eye contact and get hooked up with the bass player.   You can do no wrong when hooked up with him.   The drummer will be there because he can hear the bass player better than the rest of the band.  The bass is driving this bus... :eek:
 

JohnF

Blues Junior
On the question of "when things seem to fall apart" I've found that the audience doesn't always pick up on the situation. If the vocalist doesn't come in right away sometimes this gives the band the chance to stretch out. We have 2 guitarists and if one of us misses his part it gives the other guy a chance to fill in or the piano player. I think the key is to not panic. If you miss part of your solo keep going. We do Cream's Sunshine of you Love and I can play half of the solo note for note and the rest is close. Most people don't know the solo isn't exact, only you know. We've had crowd knocking over mics, guitars and pianos being unplugged and singers forgetting lyrics. musicians in the audience have done and seen the same thing before. As far as unwanted criticism, I've found most comments come from family. Fellow musicians are more understanding.
 

TonyS

Blues Newbie
I'd like to hear from those of you that play in bands.
When you are playing a song, and let's say that the soloist doesn't come in when he's supposed to. How do you handle it on stage?
1) Stay on the chord until he starts
2) Wait for the chords to "come around again"
3) Keep going and let him catch up.

We normaly just keep playing as normal and he will improvise and jump in.  I think if you all start changing stuff in the middle of a song on stage then everybody gets confused and you make the mistake obvious to the audience....unless you are a very closely knit bunch that can tell exactly what people are doing
 
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AlexMc

Guest
2 basic rules that work for me

1. Know  pentatonic scales back to front all over the neck without looking.
2. Know the key the song is in before the song starts. ;D

Oh, and a few stomp pedals helps.
 

CJ_Allan

Blues Newbie
Although this seems to be a pretty Dead Topic ..
I've Found what I believe will answer just about anything & everything ya want to know about Starting jamming......at least for me it was WELL WORTH the few bucks laid out...

Check This Out.........
I Love it. :)

http://truefire.com/techniques-guitar-lessons/jam-survival-guide/

Hope it helps you like it has Me... :)

Let us know.....

.
 
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Garymcm

Guest
Thanks CJ
Will have a good look at this, looks like it migt be what I'm after.
cheers
Gary
 

EJG

Central NJ
From the Jazz Guitar faq:
"Great players can play simply, and make amateurs sound like pros. Egotists can over play and make it difficult for you."

I can certainly testify that the first part is true.  I have a group of guys that gets together every week in my basement and we play old blues tunes.  There's only one good musician in the group, but he's not on "his" instrument (he's a very good clarinet player, but with us he plays keys).  We sound like a bunch of hacks making noise that occasionally sounds like music.

OTOH, I am the sound man for my son's band.  The guys in that band are all very good, seasoned players (my son is 22, and has been playing in clubs since he was 13).  Once in a while they let me play a few songs with them.  Its an amazing experience.  Its hard to describe, but you feel like you're part of something that's seamless and more than the sum of the parts.  They always leave some room for me to solo, but if I start to screw up, my son senses it and will jump in and double my line on the difficult parts.  With his band behind me, I feel like a halfway decent player, even though I know its them and not me.
:)
 
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John_Overton

Guest
I'd like to hear from those of you that play in bands.
When you are playing a song, and let's say that the soloist doesn't come in when he's supposed to. How do you handle it on stage?
1) Stay on the chord until he starts
2) Wait for the chords to "come around again"
3) Keep going and let him catch up.

I have performed celtic music since the early 80's and have used all three of the above methods to cover errors. However I think no. 1 would screw up a 12 bar blues so maybe substitute the following: 1) have the lead guitarist quickly put in a lead solo until the 12 bars come around again. If the vocalist misses the cue the next time just kick him in the arse.
 
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djr29hx15ty

Guest
I'd like to hear from those of you that play in bands.
When you are playing a song, and let's say that the soloist doesn't come in when he's supposed to. How do you handle it on stage?
1) Stay on the chord until he starts
2) Wait for the chords to "come around again"
3) Keep going and let him catch up.

I like Kamandu's solution for dealing with the vocalist. I did play in a band once where the vocalist 'did his own thing'. I'd been asked on several occasions to join this band, each time I refused because of the vocalist. I joined on the understanding that he would get his act together (which he did during rehearsals). He reverted to his former self during the one and only gig I did with them. If I'd had the Roland VK8 organ instead of the Korg BX3 back in the 80's, in the amplifier section I'd select TYPE ll (characteristics of tube amps favored by hard rock guitarists), turn overdrive to MAX, volume pedal to the floor and give my best ever Jon Lord impersonation regardless of whether it fit the song. If you play keyboards or drums it's difficult to quit during a gig (sure you can walk off stage but you've got to leave your gear onstage and there's nothing to stop your ex-colleagues from pouring beer over your stuff). With that in mind, just play out the gig the best you can (using options 1,2,3), make sure you take all your gear home and phone the next day and say that you're quitting the band, you can always use the old chestnut 'musical differences'.      
 

bpschumacher

Blues Newbie
I do Sunday mornings at a small community church (drums) along with a very talented keyboard player. Sometimes it can be a real challenge. Last Sunday our special guest wanted to sing a real nice jazz style Christmas song. Started song, Intro, verse all good then bammm! Our guest singer came in early on the down beat into the next verse, what a mess and no eye contact with our guest singer. So we quickly re-adjusted then comes end of verse 2 this time out late and on down beat heading into the chorus.  Our guest didn't have a clue there was any problem. Well we got through it everyone clapped and we grinned. We thanked our guest singer and told her she did a great job. I have found out that even when the whoppers are made you gotta have a great sense of humor!  For the most part when mistakes are made you just play through but there are always those exceptions. 
 

MikeS

Student Of The Blues
Staff member
Guys pick on me on this forum.  George your timing is off, work on solo #2 more before you move on to solo #3.

George, I'm sorry that you feel that we are "Picking" on you. Most people (myself included) want constructive criticism of their recordings. Other people often hear things in our playing that we don't hear.
If you don't want to hear about the areas that you need to work on, just say so  when you post your recording. E.G. "I know it's not perfect, no need to tell me that." And all suggestions for improvement will stop.
 

GuitarGeorge

Blues Newbie
Mike sort of tounge in cheek sarcastic, my only point was you don't have to be a master, just get out there and have fun.  And hey on solo 5 BGU I saw Griff make a mistake he even said oh I made a mistake, every one does just play through it.  Have fun.
 

ronico

rainyislandblues
Although I've never got up on a "real" stage I've had the pleasure of jamming with friends at some good sized campfires and parties. Gratefully, the players with the most talent are really helpful to those of us who have to work a little harder at it! Never hear any non constructive criticism only good tips which if you're smart enough to pay attentoin to can really make a difference. As for the captive audience, as long as there's lots of ice in the cooler and toys for all in the percussion bag ,it's smiles all round! Not ready to quit the day job yet but sure having a good time. Just got my BGU stuff in the mail so hoping to sneak a couple of surprises in next time we get together. In the end it's about getting together, kickin' back, and having fun. What's to worry about eh?
 

TonyS

Blues Newbie
I'd like to hear from those of you that play in bands.
When you are playing a song, and let's say that the soloist doesn't come in when he's supposed to. How do you handle it on stage?
1) Stay on the chord until he starts
2) Wait for the chords to "come around again"
3) Keep going and let him catch up.

It depends what the soloist does.  If he comes in next bar or so we carry on.  There's usually a look or two that may say go round again.  It's all really a feel for the situation on stage at the time.
 

TonyS

Blues Newbie
I know its personal choice and all, but I'm wondering how good a person should be before he/she performs in front of family. I've got a couple uncles who I know are going to point out any little thing I might do wrong. Is there a way to say "up yours" or "I don't see you up here" not outright, but with some style?  :-?
I would say as soon as you are comfortable to have a go and when the chance arrises just go for it.  Don't worry about mistakes and stuff if it's you family and friends.  You'll find you can laugh it off quite easy.  If you get some comments from the uncles just hold the guitar out and say 'Your turn!'  That usually shuts them up the guitar is passed around and everybody has a great time.  The more people who have a go and play something the more every guitarist there will learn and the more the family will enjoy themselves.
 

PapaRaptor

Dental Floss Tycoon
Staff member
If you get some comments from the uncles just hold the guitar out and say 'Your turn!'  That usually shuts them up the guitar is passed around and everybody has a great time.

That has to be the best comeback to the situation I've ever heard!
 

dougbriney

Blues Newbie
The advice attached says it all. Your hands will shake, you'll make mistakes, and sometimes it just won't go well. But hang in there, the more you play in public, whether on stage or at a jam, the easier it will become.

I especially like the part about attitude. The "I don't care attitude (about what people think, not about your playing)" will get you through it.

PS - When I started going to my local blues jam I was very intimidated. I'm more of a rythm guitar/singer type. The first jam I focused on being just that and it helped. I picked one song from the jam and went home and worked out a simple 12 bar solo. I played it over and over and over. The next jam I took my 12 bars (shaking hands and all) during that song, then returned to singing and rythmn. Afterwards I received postive comments about my solo. Nobody cared that it was the only solo I played alll night.

The moral to the story is to take baby steps, build a little each time, and play, play, play.

Good Luck!
 

ingog

Started in 2009
Our first performance was at an open mic at a blues bar. Us beginners were 3 guitarists, one bass and a drummer.  We practiced with leader who is very experienced.  He went on stage with us. At our last practice we actually tried to simulate the real experience. We got in our positions.  We got lights in our eyes.  We learned how to listen and how to view cues in our new positions.  Very helpful. We were introduced as first timers (we are all in our 60's and relatively new with our instruments). The audience was extremely supportive.  We were just OK but we were invited back again. They even asked for an encore.
Our leader made it appear that our song choices and leads were extemporaneous but they were all planned. We did Kansas City, Mustang Sally, Rocky Mountain Way and Sympathy for the Devil (they loved that one). Our next goal is for each of the beginning guitarists to sing also.  Brown Sugar, Smoke on the Water, Can't Get  Enough (of your love), Fulsom Prison, Spooky, Walk Away, Take me to the River and Satisfactions are our current songs we are practicing.  Our third performance goal will be to perform without our leader playing with us (ouch). Then tour, lol. 
 
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