My band is playing in a Battle of the Bands in two months. We are planning on playing 2 originals and then a cover of Stacy's Mom by Fountains of Wayne and Carry the Zero by Built to Spill. We played it in it last year and had a solid performance but unfortunately didn't win. We have improved a lot from back then though. Does anyone have any tips in general on how to win and how to get the audience to have a great time? Another thing is whenever I get up on the stage I get shaken up and really nervous (I sing and play guitar). Does anyone also have any advice on getting over stage fright?
play your heart out and work the crowd. Depending the pecking order when you hit the stage, watch the other bands and the crowd while the other bands play, see their reaction. Playing g'tar and singing needs good coordination, are you lead or rhythm? Whatever you do, don't do spandex and glitter, my opinion only.
Last edited by Rust_E_Stringz at Dec 8, 2015,
Be tight in every way. Go from one song to the next with no big gaps or looking like you don't know what you are doing. Forget the long winded intros, nobody cares they just want you to play. Be realistic about your original material. If it isn't that good don't do it. Figure out the set list and practice it top to bottom over and over just like you plan on doing it. No stopping. It's a show look like pros and you'll be treated that way. Good luck.
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That won't do a thing for the stage fright and will make him paranoid on top it. That brings up a good point: No one plays better drunk or stoned. I have been through it all in my 40 years of playing and it never has a happy ending (and I was a big offender including alcohol rehab). It makes it a lot more fun for the band but sucks for the audience and anyone in the band who is taking the competition seriously. Do it at practice or goofing off but leave it out of any serious playing gigs.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Dec 8, 2015,
Quote by Hoolian
My band is playing in a Battle of the Bands in two months. We are planning on playing 2 originals and then a cover of Stacy's Mom by Fountains of Wayne and Carry the Zero by Built to Spill.

Unless your originals are good (and they probably aren't, since most bands' originals are not as good as they believe), don't play them.

If you are playing covers, play songs that people will actually know. Playing pop songs in your band's style is the single most asinine, douchey, horrible, worthy of being damned to hell without passing Go or collecting $200, worse than genocide thing that you could ever do as a musician... but unfortunately people love that for some reason, so do that.

Stage presence is important as well.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
Depends how winning is determined. I remember when my band did that sort of thing in high school, having a shit ton of friends show up was the decider since voting was done by text and the results were calculated from that. Even if people were into your band, of course they'd vote for whatever band their friends were in. Bringing a bunch of friends who will be your cheerleaders no matter what certainly won't hurt your chances either.
If it's truly a legit battle of the bands judged by well-credentialed judges and truly qualified sound personnel then you'll want to pay very close attention to your stage mix and how to best translate that stage mix into the live sound environment. This is typically the first differentiator between the garage bands and the pros. Get control of your mix on stage so that all the instruments are balanced and vocals are clearly distinguishable and you'll get the judge's attention right off the bat.

Beyond that you want to make it seem effortless..like you've done this a thousand times before. That comes from being well-rehearsed. Know exactly how you're going to transition between songs, and how to make those transitions very smooth. As someone mentioned earlier, don't babble on the mic. No one is really that interested in what you have to say. If you really feel like you need to intro a song, make it quick and make sure the band knows the cue for starting the song. Play with passion and excitement, but don't let stage presence overtake musicianship. Precision and accuracy are vital, but it shouldn't appear that it's dominating your concentration.
Dunedindragon makes a good point about paying attention to your stage mix. If you are using a house PA system with a sound engineer running the PA let him/her do their job by reducing and balancing your on stage volume. If your amps are too loud and the drummer is bashing away as hard as he can the sound engineer won't be able to mix your band at all. Give him (or her) the benefit of a doubt and assume they are experienced and know what they are doing. Keep your volumes in check.

If it's your own PA don't overpower it and start putting microphones on things you don't normally put through the PA just because all of sudden someone thinks it needs micing up. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
My old band got 1st place out of 30ish in Dallas once, and I agree with pretty much everything previously stated (except the not drinking thing..I usually get a few beers down before I go on but not more than that). Plan out your set order and get the transitions DOWN. Awkward pauses will make everyone roll their eyes. It's inevitable sometimes, but it's very avoidable with the proper planning. A simple "thank you, this next song is called _____" is plenty. Nobody is gonna care about a big speech at a BOTB.

Stage presence is also very important, but don't force it if you're not feeling it. Not sure what kind of music y'all are playing so jumping around might not make sense. Insincere stage presence is just as bad to me as no stage presence at all.

If ticket sales/attendance is a big part of the judging (which our was) then try to bring EVERYONE you know. But most importantly, have a good time with it! Playing shows is the shiz. Good luck and I hope y'all murder it!
Last edited by AlexUDH91025 at Jan 12, 2016,