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#1
I did a quick search, and there was a thread about practicing stage presence, and mentions of it a few other odds and ends, but nothing that showcased YOUR styling.

So, do you rely on stage presence, and if so, describe it. Is it as integral to your performances as your playing ability, or not?

A little bit about me -- I rely heavily on it. I consider myself a power chord/rythem player with spurts of greatness. That is to say that I am still climbing the wall, and know damn good and well that I will not stand alone in a group of gutarists on my skills alone. I learned to work the corwd, tell jokes, (works for me, im in a humorus power trio) and live in the momment with stage antics such as jumping off the stage, hanging over the railing, etc, etc.

Whats your stage presence like? What do you do? Is it planned, natural, or a combination of the two?

I hope that this thread can give some first time gig-ers the insight into a very valuable tool on the stage.
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
#2
I'm lead singer/rhythm guitarist, so when I'm singing, I need to basically be at the microphone, so I can't do much in regards to on-stage antics, but I do have some stage presence, I've noticed that I can keep an entire audience with their eyes on me while I'm doing a slow song, and not moving around much at all, the audience gets into it if you get into it, and if you sing the song from your heart (cheesy, I know), well you'll no doubt have the facial expressions to go with it which help capture an audience.

With more upbeat stuff well I kinda dance around a little and sing at same time, can't do a whole lot since I'm playing guitar at the same time.

Stage presence means a LOT though, I don't have much stage presence at like karaoke though for some reason, since there's a screen and the screen is like a drug it's hard to break away from for me.

But with no screen, you got no choice (unless you're one of those bogans who brings the lyrics with them when you play live) but to look at the crowd and stuff..

I can't wait until my "band" is all good to go to start gigging and stuff, it'll be great, will be great for improving my stage presence as well.

I tell jokes and stuff while sometimes, sometimes I'll play the Under Pressure bassline, everyone seems to think it's Ice Ice Baby and laughs, it's fun to just have fun in the moment.

There's only one person in my area who actually jumps around and crap when he sings, but his voice is bloody horrid so it's a win-lose situation anyway.
#3
bass player, here. never stop moving, play with my whole body, the higher up the neck i go, the more violent i get.
#4
Quote by assparade69
bass player, here. never stop moving, play with my whole body, the higher up the neck i go, the more violent i get.


Is this dan? My bass Player!?

LOL! You sound just like him. He tells me that the heart and soul of bass isnt in the notes at all, its in HIS rythem.
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
#5
stage presence is very important being lead guitarist there are some bits where i just cant move to but when i can jumps thrown in there and general throwing myself around abit
but our vocalist bassist and rhythm guitarist all do it aswell so it gives us an overall good presence i think
i recommend confidence in talking from the vocalist
that should be sort of planned like a few things written down that they have to say
eg band myspace, next gig, demos, merch etc

ALSO from experiece ghaving other members singing besides lead vocalist goes to great it seems more proffesional even if it is just simple woahs and stuff i try to get to completely different lines going on at once one fast and quiet the other slower louder and more powerful
make sure another band member can sing before tryign and that their confident enough to
#6
there's a series of classic moves to begin with, and generally the easiest (which, i doubt anyone could find difficult to do, in front of a crowd or not) is the knees slanted slightly, rocking back and forth as you play. Sorta gives a little bit of a groove, but makes you look like you might just somehow be enjoying this.

Of course, i'm almost certain that youtube will have more than enough footage of more moves, but i figured that the above was more than a competent starting point.

Myself, well, i so far have only played one gig as a guitarist, having only just switched from drums in my old band, to co-singer/guitarist of my new one, but i think i did alright. The key for me is to think to yourself, if you were watching you, would you believe you look like your having fun?
Last edited by AwesomeDrummer at Aug 19, 2009,
#7
Stage presence is integral and essential to successful live performance. The audience have come to be entertained. If they just wanted to listen to music they would stay at home and listen to their Ipod. It's a lot cheaper and they can be certain there's no screw-ups.

I am the lead guitarist and co-lead singer of my current band, but have been playing in a multitude of bands over the last ten years, of vastly differing genres.The most important thing for me when playing live is to make eye contact with the audience. Keep guitar staring to a minimum. By the time you play live you should know your parts as muscle memory, and not need to really think about them at all. For me it's gotten to the point where if I look at my hand, I'll start thinking too much and screw up the part, which wouldn't have occurred if I had been looking at the audience. You should also note that staring at your hand for an hour is BORING, for the audience AND yourself.

I generally move around and get into the music on stage - when it's on it's on and you can't believe how good your band as a whole sounds that it just engulfs your entire body and you move naturally. It's an amazing feeling that rubs off on the audience. At that point you can say any dumb joke into the microphone and it goes down well.

On these "highs" I have improvised lyrics about what bbqs would be like if bread wasn't invented and a song about being dumped by Big Bird. They both went down really well, but they wouldn't have if I didn't engage the audience, otherwise I'd just be some fool with a microphone.

I'd go with the natural approach to stage presence. However this requires eye contact and movement of some form, so practice at home in front of the mirror (so you don't look directly at your hand) and then start walking around the house while playing your guitar once you're comfortable with not staring at your hand. These simple exercises will start grounding the basic techniques to achieve good stage presence.

(Wow that was quite a rant! I'd better get back to post-grad work)
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#8
I mentioned Bono on another thread, and what annoyed me about him, was that he was in a 1K capacity club, and was performing as if it was 100K stadium. He has obviously done very well since, so there you go. At about the same time. I saw David Byrne--T-Heads(Remain in Light tour). He had a much different approach. When he first came out, he was like a deer in your headlights, he looked just plain scared. By the end, he was all over the place, very high energy. I guess what I'm trying to express is, there is no single formula. How you relate to an audience depends upon you. Once you hit the stage, you are not just a musician, you are an entertainer.
#9
Tell me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D9rw2VZbCQ&feature=channel_page

Most of the band is pretty stiff... I'm the one singing with the silverburst Les Paul. You can't really see me but I think I'm starting to get comfortable rocking out in front of people. This was only our third gig! Wait until the song kicks in... I was having tuning issues on the intro because of my guitar's crappy nut!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l59-OdDYKkw&feature=channel

In this one I'm the guitarist on the far left playing the brown Les Paul.
Last edited by Superstrat101 at Aug 19, 2009,
#10
My band is pretty quiet in terms of stage presence. My guitarist and bassist pretty much just chill and move with the groove, nothing fancy. For the really explosive parts, they move around. And of course, my drummer is limited, but he looks pretty into things.

As for me, being the frontman, I have more leeway. I like to dance during the grooving parts, and kind of express myself that way. When I'm singing and I don't have a guitar part to play, I use my hands, like one would when talking. Sometimes it's moving in coordination with my vocal lines, sometimes it's just resting on my head and fiddling around with my hair. I like to avoid looking very egoistical when I'm up on stage, so no fancy 'rock' moves, and I smile quite often. I like to present things in a 'as a matter of fact' way.
DANNY

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#11
I have absolutely terrible stage presence! I kind of bob my head a little bit or walk around and look at the crowd but in general I'm really stiff. For some reason all of my bandmates are pretty much like this too. I think we're all too embarrassed and shy to start grooving out and headbanging and such...
#12
Quote by RobinTrower12
I have absolutely terrible stage presence! I kind of bob my head a little bit or walk around and look at the crowd but in general I'm really stiff. For some reason all of my bandmates are pretty much like this too. I think we're all too embarrassed and shy to start grooving out and headbanging and such...


Sounds like you're one of the other guitarists in Superstrat101's videos above.

Practice at home and at rehearsal. Doing spontaneous things during live performance usually ends up in tears.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#13
AlanHB, you mention Procal Harum, and Robin Trower 12 shows up. Pretty cool.
#14
For those that may not be confident in their stage antics, here are a few silly examples that I have. If it makes you laugh, great. If it helps you embrace your own inner rockstar, better!



The first step in cultivating stage presence, IMO, is to fully embrace the moment within the song. Were covering Smashing Pumpkins Zero here, asking the crowd if they “Wanna go for a ride?” Starting out, I always assumed that the music would carry me, I was dead wrong. Fans react to your excitement. On that note, nothing says Im lovin it more than a Big Mac, well…Maybe a classic 80’s Back to Back pose!



One thing to consider is stage outfits, or more importantly, how you dress. In this show the idea was to dress like a stereotypical douche-bag, and I think I captured that well. This won’t work for all bands, it did for me. But then , were a humorous cover band, and that styling is what makes it all go round for us. Plain and simple, dress like a rock star, or at least make a statement.



These are all just ideas to dwell on, things to think about. How you look, how you move, the excitement on your faces, the emotions in the song. Think about the bands that blew you away, what did they do so well?
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
#15
I'm a guitarist trying to get a decent band together, and IF I was gigging right now I think I would be very mellow, sort of Slash-esque (except for my playing lol), and leave the "pizzaz" to the frontman or even the drummer (not the bassist, ew).
IT'S JEFF

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#16
Quote by chokmool
AlanHB, you mention Procal Harum, and Robin Trower 12 shows up. Pretty cool.


Sounds like a reunion is in order. No hard feelings about the House of Lords eh?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#17
Okay, Alan, now your going beyond the Pale, even whiter.
You'll be a good lawyer. No stone left unturned.

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#18
i like to grab the mic stand away from our singer in the middle of a quiet verse of a powerballad, kind of hurl one leg over the side of it, and give it a firm but gentle hump several times over.

...kidding.

I do your standard "rockstar" moves... one foot up on a monitor leaning into the crowd for a solo, various forms of the "head bang"... tried get everyone up to a synchronized jump with my last band, but that ended in disaster... our bassist was a really clumsy fat guy.
#19
Every time I step on stage, there I am.
Gear

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#21
I played bass in a reggae band, so presence was pretty much required....haven't been back in a band for a little while though
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Reggae Bass Covers mahn!!!

#22
Apparantly, when the band I was in were practicing, we had good stage presence. Probably cause the drummer is a metalhead, and we're all good pals, so we goof off, we'd move around, maybe a wee dance or so :P Apart from the singer, who just stood :P
#23
Quote by JamieMcMe
Apparantly, when the band I was in were practicing, we had good stage presence. Probably cause the drummer is a metalhead, and we're all good pals, so we goof off, we'd move around, maybe a wee dance or so :P Apart from the singer, who just stood :P


Thats a shame about the singer. Some singers are like logs, and some arent. Zach De La Rocha and Henry Rollins come to mind as great stage presence singers. I love Oasis, but Liam Gallehger just stands there like a tree sometimes. It seems sometimes that very, very famous musicians have a severe lack of stage presence. I saw James Hetfield in the power stance, and that was about it. But his presence alone was greater than anything any of us can achieve.

I must admit though, I think it would have been cool to see the old James Hetfield, with the swinging hair and crazy antics. I suppose as bands get bigger, the antics can decrease as well.
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
Last edited by Jonny Ryan Mac at Aug 20, 2009,
#24
Quote by Jonny Ryan Mac

I must admit though, I think it would have been cool to see the old James Hetfield, with the swinging hair and crazy antics. I suppose as bands get bigger, the antics can decrease as well.


Well that and as people get older they stop doing silly things. Or they injure themselves and don't want to do it again. Something like that.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#25
Quote by AlanHB
Well that and as people get older they stop doing silly things. Or they injure themselves and don't want to do it again. Something like that.


that, or they figure, "eh, i'm in one of the biggest bands in the world. i don't need to cover other people's songs anymore, infact other bands are covering this one... tickets sold out hours after they were released... this one's pretty much in the bag. I'll save the antics for when we're filming for the DVD box set."
#26
Quote by GrisKy
that, or they figure, "eh, i'm in one of the biggest bands in the world. i don't need to cover other people's songs anymore, infact other bands are covering this one... tickets sold out hours after they were released... this one's pretty much in the bag. I'll save the antics for when we're filming for the DVD box set."


Thats the thing I was thinking. Not that I'm all that mad about it. Its just they way it goes. I saw Flogging Molly live on video once, the only one that moved more than a foot was the drummer! But thats just the nature of the beast. They have great songs, and that seems to be enough I suppose.
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
#27
Quote by Jonny Ryan Mac
Thats the thing I was thinking. Not that I'm all that mad about it. Its just they way it goes. I saw Flogging Molly live on video once, the only one that moved more than a foot was the drummer! But thats just the nature of the beast. They have great songs, and that seems to be enough I suppose.


yeah, I can't figure out if it's a result of laziness or massive egos... or both.
I'll let you know when I buy the batmobile.
#28
Stage precense is nearly everything to me. I come alive when I get onstage- become something else- Master this because this is what separates you from some punk with a guitar, from a bonafide professional entertainer
#29
Since I'm both old and lazy, I move as little as possible. As a trio now, we're all trying to play and sing. I was thinking, for us money is less of an issue, so we should hire people to move for us, or maybe even just pay them carry us around the stage. That kind of move would also suit my massive ego
#30
Quote by chokmool
Since I'm both old and lazy, I move as little as possible. As a trio now, we're all trying to play and sing. I was thinking, for us money is less of an issue, so we should hire people to move for us, or maybe even just pay them carry us around the stage. That kind of move would also suit my massive ego


Its like- IM TOO GOOD TO MOVE AROUND YOU DO IT FOR ME!
#32
Does your amp go to eleven, do you have guitars that have never been played, or looked at? Sweeeeeet!

Clips of "Big Bottom"???
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
#33
You and GrisKy , I guess us TX guys have a similar sense of humor.

The drummer and I are working on a concept for a video. It involves hot chics and wheelchairs. One of the benefits of being older is we may be able to afford to self produce it.

Why stop at 11? I don't know how to set my amp anyway. My guitars are...what they are.

We're trying to write a song about Cougars.
#35
Steven Tyler wiped out in the middle of a stage move. He needed stitches to his head and I think he may have broken his shoulder or something. This was about two weeks o so ago.

I guess whe you're 61 or whatever he is, things get a bit risky even for the best of them. I've seen aerosmith a few times and he really does have awesome presence.

Then again, I saw Bon jovi who also has amazing stage presence and it was amazing how he could bring a room full of 12 000 people to their feet with merely a motion of his hand.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#36
Well, I only had one gig, and it was with the jazz band of the school. Being the only guitarist on stage while everebody was playing sax and trumpet, it was easy for me to move around. What all my friends noticed during my two improvised solo, is that i was ''moving'' my shoulder according to what I was playing, and that I was looking at the neck ''with passion'' as they said. Exemple, during slow and melancolic part, I was closing my eyes, during higher note, my both shoulder were raised at their maximum, etc. Also, my friend was the drummer during that show, and by looking at him, everybody could tell that he was having the time of his life. You know, when you put your heart into something like we both did that night, everybody notice.

(sorry for my english)
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#37
Just gigged last night as an opener for one of the biggest local bands in town. We hooked them up once and helped them out with thier gear in a rain storm, so they threw a few gigs our way.

You can get a good look at my stage antics/outfit from this. We had a blast. Played for over an hour!

1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
#38
I think the other important thing to mention in this thread is that its important to have the right amount of presence. If you're in an acoustic duo, odds are you shouldn't be headbanging all about the stage. But if you're in a metal band you probably should be.
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#39
I'm kinda like Kurt cobain on stage I just have fun screwing around with my bandmates (they do it to me to) and just talking to the crowd and being funny

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