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I'm becoming kind of interested in having a greater stage presence and aura, and while tricks like playing with one's teeth aren't exactly what I'm looking for, any general tips on how to look cooler while playing in a gig or something standing up would be greatly appreciated.

To me, it seems almost like a form of dancing; that is, there are generic things you can or shouldn't do in order to look cool or lame, but it's mainly up to the individual. However, if anyone has any advice on whether it's better to stand in one spot and "headbang" or pace around a bit, etc., that would be great!

Oh, and one more question I have is, if you headbang too much, doesn't it take a lot of effort and hurt your brain?! I mean, all that shaking around of the noggin...surely a few brain cells are liable to a painful, irreversible death?! XD
Try not to stare at your guitar...

It's okay to look at your guitar, but try not to look at it constantly.

I don't know, Walk around the stage abit?
Scratch the back of your head while playing legato with the other hand?

EDIT: Guy above

Tenacious D comes to mind. Co*k push-ups? haha.
Last edited by slayaplaya at Jan 15, 2009,
listen to angus young speak, that's why you shouldn't headbang so much
otherwise its just walking about the stage, getting into it and guitargasming when prompted
smile at the crowd and if your playing open strings at any point then point at people in the crowd, they love it lol.

oh and say funny **** between songs.

and if your soloing then go to the very front of the stage and play right in front of people.
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the crowd will get alot more into what your playing if they see that your into what your playing, enjoying yourself and having fun while your on the stage.
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headband (lightly if u wish) in power stannnnce, and put on a show for the audience by getting them involved a little
eg. walk to the edge of the stage point the guitar out to them watevs

make sure ur loose ay, be relaxed the rest is gold

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When you're playing lift the guitar above you hear with the neck pointing up, rapid random swings of your guitar.
Walking around always seems cool, getting the singer to let you sing a bit, come up with your own stuff
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Watch Zakk Wylde. Seriously, I think he's got great stage presence. A Soldier Stomp is cool but that can take some practice. Power stance, headbanging etc. Just mix it up a bit. It gets better as it becomes easy to play the songs. Good luck!
I've found playing whilst naked get's the crowd going

And i mean actually leaving
a little lost.....
Just do whatever's comfortable really, I know I hate dancing cos I feel clumsy and paranoid. Pacing, slight headbanging are all good. And AC/DC-esque solos where you slide to the front of the stage and lean backwards while busting out riff after riff... if you dare, you will get laid atleast 7 times for the rest of the day.
Two things............ Wear tight leather or spandex pants and stick a huge salami or rolled up tube sock down the front of them....................

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Be confident and comfortable
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Just be natural, tbh if you have to ask how, and try to be cool, you will never be.

be natural man, though obviously do something! lol
look like you're into the music you are playing. If the crowd sees you're having fun, they will as well.
pelvic thrusts and Vai and Gilbert guitar faces
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Whenever you hit a pinch harmonic put on a screaming face.

Or if you're doing a long legato run do a Gene Simmons.
Whenever you do a huge bend open your mouth and look at the sky. For small bends, just do the mouth part.

Don't look at your guitar.

Depends on what genre.
For funk, stay with the groove, move around a bit.
For rock, headbang occassionally, move around a LOT, ackowledge the audience.
For blues, stay still, and only move during solos.
For metal, open your legs up wide, and headbang like crazy.
For classical, you should be at a piano.
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Just be natural, tbh if you have to ask how, and try to be cool, you will never be.

be natural man, though obviously do something! lol

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Whenever you hit a pinch harmonic put on a screaming face.

That's actually natural.Same goes to wah wah-ing.

I'd just chillax, bob my head, and when things get heavier, headbang. Smile at the audience, that's important as hell.
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John Petrucci is the master of stage presence, if you can stand as still as he does they will love it

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For classical, you should be at a piano.

or sit with your right ankle bent, your left foot resting on it, your guitar resting with the rounded indent over your left knee and resting on your right knee
sit up straight

and to look cool do a "propper man's headbang" as my one guitar proffessor says, making fun of Andrew York
which looks like awkward headbanging in slow motion
(just watch, you'll see)

oh the glories of classical guitar haha

go to 6:35 and watch

Jimmy Page knew how to keep focused on what he was doing and still look pretty damn cool doing so.

learn to do that pelvic thrust/rock back and forth kind of deal
get some foot stomping in there too

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Watch the video "Cinderella - Nobody's Fool" and pay attention to the lead singer when he starts playing his solo. Hilarious/bad@ss/cocky all combined. Thats stage presence though.
throw picks into the crowd or away

stand on the bassdrum
i like to put my headstock into the crowd during solos
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Look worn out, heavily stoned, have a ciggy at the angle of Your mouth and generally look like you dont give a fck.
Seriously, I always thought that stuff like pointing at the crowd with the picking hand while soloing or bending Your back during errr...bends is close to the definition of rock
do it chili peppers style...only wear a sock, & let someone in the crowd have the privaledge of yanking it off

jump off your amp...or just have fun
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That's actually natural.Same goes to wah wah-ing.

Damn yeah! It really is natural! W played Time is Running out by Muse for a concert at our music school and during a bit where i used the wah pedal i was surprised to find that i really had to strain not to do it! It was unexpected cos i'd never really done it automatically before.
lol, my advice there is to just go with the flow. Feel the need to move your mouth, just do it, or you might risk hitting a few wrong notes!

you want cool.. check out slash..
Stand on the nearest object that makes people look at you other than the band...
and just tilt your guitar vertically and have a bit of a mosh...

check out this guy..
Watch the bassist ( on the right )
From 3:30.
It's probably THE lamest form of headbanging you'll ever see in your life.
Do EVH style split jumps if your guitar is light enough.
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Thanks for all of the (serious) responses! A lot of them were actually quite interesting to read through, so yay. I'm not quite sure about the naked playing suggestion, but most of the rest sounds pretty reasonable.

Just a quick question: I've noticed a few of you have said that it's not a good thing to stare at your guitar. In some live videos, the soloing guitarist kind of rocks out crazily while fully ignoring the audience and just concentrating on their guitar with their head down. Nothing specific comes to mind, but they did end up looking pretty cool. Is it more of a thing that works sometimes - e.g., for short solos - but it's not like you should ALWAYS be doing it? On that note, it feels a bit embarrassing and uncomfortable to just stare blankly into the audience, so I guess that eye contact or whatever is the first thing I should be trying to work on. Perhaps if you guys have good suggestions as to live concerts or songs to watch, that would work best.

Anyways, thanks again! I actually fully forgot about this thread until just then, randomly. XD
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