How do you like your stage?

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How do you like your stage?

Postby bosco » Sun Nov 27, 2005 1:56 pm

I also take a 3/4 inch 2 foot square mat with me for added cushion... I like to stand and play.

The above post by Big Daddy gave me an idea for a thread. The lead guitar player in our band, Cliff, has been a performer for well over 30 years. At every performance, large or small, indoors or out, he rolls out a 3' x 5' rug with a southwest american indian design and hangs a leather lanyard with beads and a couple feathers from his mic stand. He keeps a mojo bag in a small leather pouch as well. I know he runs cables from his pedals and tuner under the rug and he likes the way it cushions his feet...but I get the feeling it's all part of a larger ritual and vibe he has going on.

How about you? Do you use a rug or a mat? Like to sit or stand? Stool or chair? Use a backdrop or banner with a design or band name? Stage lights or small table with a lamp? There are those who will say that all of these trappings are a distraction from the music. There are those that feel that stage sets add to the percieved entertainment value. And what about the mojo factor?

Let's hear what your preferences and rituals are-

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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby dgdgbd » Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:26 pm

I'm fine anywhere as long as I have a simple, firm seat at a comfortable hight - a kitchen chair is perfect, and I have a couple of cool folding tripod stools I carry with me for most of my "al Fresco" shows.

I do walk around my playing area - whether it's a stage or a street corner, a Market or a Bar, to see how it looks and get a feel for the acoustics

(yes, people look at me like I'm batty when they see me walking around clapping and making hooting sounds to check out the reverb - until I start singing.)
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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby savage » Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:30 pm

I like to play standing up when on stage. It makes me feel more attentive to everything thats goin on around me (i dont play solo live). Also I feel more mobile when standing (duh, that was a dumb statement, but you know what I mean). I also like to stand stage left so I dont have to turn different directions when I need to signal to them. A quick toss of the head over my left shoulder and I can easily communicate with each member. I had never really thought about this stuff before, but its kinda interesting now that I look at it. Cool topic, bud. When practicing I guess I like standing in more of a circle. This helps everyone to hear what the audience is hearing (to prevent anyone from turnin their volume up too high or drowning out eachother).

I know what you meant when you said mojo, but I usually practice in the drummer's garage (as you would imagine). And his garage aint the cleanest thing there is. There's just enough space for us to practice (though it has been cleaned up a bit since we 1st started playing... back then I almost had to stand on my amp). I'm sure when I clean out my garage and set it up for recording and what not I'll spread my strange voodoo all over the room, but until then I suppose playin in a forced environment has made me focus soley on the music (as you stated), and this has basically carried over to my performance experiences. I'm sure a more free environment would result in such things as banners and designs spreading accross the stage.
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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby oleman » Sun Nov 27, 2005 9:24 pm

Our current stage is 5 x 10 and so covered with cords and cables it resembles a bowl of spagitti, flashing neon beer signs, Big flat screen TV on one end [always on], bAD acoustics and less than ideal really. Small bar, Small stage and another great feature is that the bar patrons have to walk thru the stage to get to the johns. I love the conversations with the customers as they pass thru. This "intimate" atmosphere is trying at times but in a way affords contact with the audience that I find "real," though distracting. This house band experience is a first for me and even with all the BS, I love it!! We play Friday and Saturday and handel open mike on Tuesday. I expect the romance of the situation to wear a bit thin soon!!
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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby jaybee » Mon Nov 28, 2005 7:03 am

in front of as many people as possible :D
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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby watertore » Mon Nov 28, 2005 7:08 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Nov-28-05 AT 02:08 AM (EST)]I have been on so many stages, that I if I had a nickel for every one, I would be a millionare :). In an ideal world, I like it to be a few inches off the floor, and offer enough room room for me, or if I am with my band, to be comfortable. I like to sit down on a basic chair, where my feet touch the ground easily. Through 25 years of doing it 300+ nights a year, you learn to make every stage your home for the evening. The main thing is to have some folks out front to bounce off of. Walter
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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby lightninboy » Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:27 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Nov-28-05 AT 05:29 AM (EST)]I don't like carrying too much gear around.
After a while, it becomes a chore.
However a good backdrop is essential, as it makes the act look better, and tells everyone who you are.
Lights? of course! Need at least six cans!
I also like a good seat, as I get a sore left cheek after 3 or 4 hours.
(Acoustic gigs, Electric gigs I always stand up).
A drum stool is great, nice and soft, and easy to carry.
I agree with you Bosco, good stage mojo is important.
However, as Walter pointed out, some stages are so small, its elbow to elbow, and its hard to fit too much gear on.
I've had to play in some ridiculous spots!
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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby boogiechillun85 » Mon Nov 28, 2005 7:33 pm

One thing I've always wanted to do was to be able to play in pretty much any situation, be it bar/club/street corner or sitting/standing on a stool. Open mics in the beginning really helped alot with that, cause you don't have much of a say in the matter. It's usually just "go" and you don't have time to say "well, just allow me a moment to roll out my rug and hang my beads." I started out and got used to playing sitting down in a chair. That worked for awhile, then I ended up going someplace where they only had stools. Wow, that was hard the first time. But I got over it, and then eventually ended up playing at a place where they only had stools with arms. Awkward! So I put a guitar strap in my case and solved that problem.
I guess overall I prefer sitting down in a chair on a floor w/o carpet. If you get it right the mic stand will pick up the sound of your feet hitting the floor that way. Great. But standing can be fun too. Last resort I'll used a stool, but it's all good.
My only real complaint is if it's too hot onstage.
Jim
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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby houndog » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:05 pm

Hello,
1/ Sitting down, both feet on the stage.
2/ two guitars on stands behind me.
3/ monitor nearer the other guy
4/ me contolling the pa.
5/ plenty water.Hopefully an extractor fan on full.
6/ I don't tend to talk on stage, dress in black mostly.
7/ If the applause is good I hold up my guitar in thanks to the mob
god.
8/ I have mojo rituals,but they won't work if I type them.

adios,
Lovat
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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby jeffl » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:19 pm

I jus' like to be able to see everybody in the band. I love stage communication,especially the humour in the signals and "looks" from the frontman,bassist,etc. Friday nite,there was a big chested girl dancin' in front of the stage (stage wuz 2 steps up) who had a "cleavage" blouse on. Our frontman apparently got an eyeful once,and turned around and gave me a look that had me spittin' thru my harp. I thought he wuz gonna jump off the stage right on top of her. BTW,I love Lightnin' Hopkins' tune, "Get offa my toe",lol! I get a sore back from standin' all nite long,but I've never felt like I had good wind control sittin' on a stool; you gotta sit up real straight to utilize your diaphragm properly,and IMO, sittin' up that straight on stage looks weird.
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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby bosco » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:39 pm

Open mics in the beginning really helped a lot cause you don't have much of a say in the matter. It's usually just "go" and you don't have time to say "well, just allow me a moment to roll out my rug and hang my beads."

LOL...That's a hoot, Boogie! Yup, they'd probably frown on that at your standard open mic. I can hear 'em now, "Who's this wanker think he is?" "Prima Dona!" "Whatha?" And that's just your fiends...wait til the other musicians see you!

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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby dgdgbd » Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:06 am

"you gotta sit up real straight to utilize your diaphragm properly,and IMO, sittin' up that straight on stage looks weird."

Nah - it's a matter of sitting poised and balanced, as opposed to slumped forward. It's more comfortable, and looks fine.

I was initially taught to stand when singing, but the Delphi is flat out too heavy to be any fun on a strap after any lenghth of time.
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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby jeffl » Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:35 am

My Junior High band teacher musta steered me wrong,Dan,lol!(But,I'm definitely brainwashed on that one,bein' an old trumpet player.)
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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby stratman_27 » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:15 am

I like the stage to be cozy but with a little room to move around without knocking things over. A big stage always kinda threw me a curve because we didn't have very much equipment and it looked empty. I like enough room to not feel claustrophobic but not so big that it looks like my band is poorly equipped. Does that make sense? As for actual playing I prefer to stand up unless I was doing an acoustic solo piece or something.
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RE: How do you like your stage?

Postby lorilu » Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:53 pm

At this brewery it's kind of warehouse like but the stage is nice. It's unassuming with lots of those old oriental type rugs on it. I thought the sound wasn't too bad either. As a drummer I will never leave without a rug again. My kit slid around cause I didn't know what surface I would be playing on and was not prepared. But that was only one part of that nightmare.
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