#1
I'm a pretty simple acoustic guitar and vocals cover guy with a few originals mixed in. I've played talent show type settings and the coffee shop small crowd type of deal. The other day I was contacted by my school about playing at the '24-hour dance marathon' upcoming this fall. They want me to do a 45-minute set, and that's fine by me, but I'm kind of worried that my music might not be the best to dance to.

Here's a few of my covers: https://soundcloud.com/acuestick

I was wondering if anybody has ever seen this done effectively or had tips for me on making my music danceable because after all, that is the whole idea of this event and why I'm playing there.

Thanks!
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#2
Anything with a percussive edge is sure to get the audience somewhat moving. Newton Faulkner, for example, usually has enough of a percussive thing going in some of his songs and covers to get an audience doing something other than standing there and maybe just bobbing their heads at most.

Here's his cover of Bohemian Rhapsody - take a look at the audience at 3:50 onwards:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2_41H1Mtsk

They're not quite dancing, but it's the closest example I can think of.
*insert trying-too-hard-to-be-ironic link to my crappy music here*
#4
I listened to your cover of Isn't She Lovely, and you're mixing rhythms in a way that is interesting but impossible to dance to. I don't know if you're going for a syncopated thing or what, and again I understand it as a choice, but the simple truth is that you need a strong, clearly rhythm for people to dance to, and you're destroying it with the way you're melding the phrases in the vocal line against the chords.
#5
Quote by HotspurJr
I listened to your cover of Isn't She Lovely, and you're mixing rhythms in a way that is interesting but impossible to dance to. I don't know if you're going for a syncopated thing or what, and again I understand it as a choice, but the simple truth is that you need a strong, clearly rhythm for people to dance to, and you're destroying it with the way you're melding the phrases in the vocal line against the chords.


Man to tell you the truth I'm not really "going for" anything. I taught myself how to play guitar and sing, I'm not really that sophisticated musically

edit: Can you explain the last line? I don't understand what "melding the phrases..." means

/noob
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Last edited by Gibson06 at Jul 8, 2013,
#6
People dance to percussion and bass lines. I don't have chance to listen to your music (no headphones with me) so this is more of a general comment, but if I were to try and make acoustic guitar and vocals music more "danceable" I'd try introducing simple bass and percussion.

You could get a bass player and a percussionist, or try and do it yourself. To do it yourself, try to play a simple root-fifth bass part with your thumb on the lower strings under the chords/melody, and get a foot-drum (or any type of percussion you can play with your foot whilst playing guitar and singing) and just tap a basic 4 beats per bar along with that. Deadly simple but will instantly give what you're playing movement and groove.
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#7
I dunno, man.

You've got to listen to what you're actually doing. I wasn't trying to use sophisticated terminology, I was trying to describe what I was hearing. If it wasn't intentional, then I've got to say that you've got rather HUGE issues with timing. Now, ISL is a really hard some to sing and play, but listen to your rendition of it.

Try this. Count beats. Just listen to your recording and count "one two three four, one two three four" etc.

Notice how it's almost impossible to keep counting once you start singing. The guitar and vocals are out of synch. You are RACING with the vocals, getting way ahead of the guitar.

People can't dance if they can't feel the beat. And they can't feel the beat if you're giving them two inconsistent beats.
#9
listen to some latin, reggaeton, salsa.

don't forget dances need slow songs, too, so don't go and scrap your whole set.

i'm on my phone so i can't listen to your music tho so
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Last edited by Hail at Jul 9, 2013,
#10
Quote by HotspurJr
I dunno, man.

You've got to listen to what you're actually doing. I wasn't trying to use sophisticated terminology, I was trying to describe what I was hearing. If it wasn't intentional, then I've got to say that you've got rather HUGE issues with timing. Now, ISL is a really hard some to sing and play, but listen to your rendition of it.

Try this. Count beats. Just listen to your recording and count "one two three four, one two three four" etc.

Notice how it's almost impossible to keep counting once you start singing. The guitar and vocals are out of synch. You are RACING with the vocals, getting way ahead of the guitar.

People can't dance if they can't feel the beat. And they can't feel the beat if you're giving them two inconsistent beats.


Ok this makes sense, I just didn't really understand what you meant.

I'm gonna practice playing with a metronome or some sort of percussion and see if I can't "catch up" my vocals with the music.

I really appreciate all the input, y'all have given me some stuff to work on! Thanks guys
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#11
Now that I'm thinking about it I can see where my timing issues have come from. I've been playing guitar for about 9 years, and for a long time I would just play guitar and jam along to CD's and whatnot. After I started singing, and became focused on developing my voice and becoming a decent singer, I totally abandoned jamming with friends, playing along to tracks and all of that. Because of my limited vocal range I am always changing keys with the capo and thus cannot play and sing along with recordings to develop the sense of timing in a cover.
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#12
Hold up.

Do you dance?
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


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#13
Havn't listened to any of your music but good dance music has a well defined beat (every beat is accented almost).

So try introducing some percussion like a bass drum maybe or like mentioned earlier try getting a bassist and percussionist.
#15
Quote by Gibson06
Poorly

Well, it's better than nothing. Draw on what makes you want to move. Something like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jArV3US6xno

In general, rhythm is your biggest priority. The melody is there too keep things interesting and listenable.
But honestly, being one guy with a guitar trying to be rhythmic can be exhausting, especially for 45 minutes. Maybe try to play in a way suitable slow dances so you don't have to be as rhythmic the whole?
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#16
Quote by Aays
Here's his cover of Bohemian Rhapsody - take a look at the audience at 3:50 onwards:
***Video link***

They're not quite dancing, but it's the closest example I can think of.


I think that has more to do with how famous that particular song is. Once I was at a music festival and Bohemian was played in between bands. The CD player literally upstaged the next band.

As mentioned above people dance to a beat, bass and drums are the beat. Shameless plug for my own acoustic band https://www.reverbnation.com/brotherbemusic
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#17
Hi
had a listen and you have nothing to worry about. your versions of those songs have a really nice swing to them. nice vocal also.