Does your lead singer use a lyric book onstage?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Wyatt Martin, Apr 15, 2019 at 12:51 PM.

  1. Wyatt Martin

    Wyatt Martin Member

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    Mine does. Is it wrong that it irritates me?

    I was the lead singer in my old band and I could memorize 4 hours worth of material so I know it can be done but not everyone's level of dedication is the same.

    Our singer has a music stand stand with a 2 inch thick 3 ring notebook about I foot from his face with 3 little clip on LED fishing lights clipped to the top of his stand, mic stand in front off center from his stand with a cup holder mounted to it. He plays acoustic guitar also. And from the crowd looking at the stage his set up looks so busy and cluttered. He would almost be better served with a podium instead. It's kinda funny but with his lights lighting up his face on a dark stage he looks like an old guy reading a book in a recliner even though he's standing.
     
  2. DennyDream

    DennyDream Member

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    IF he's going to do that, at least get an ipad or something and software for the lyrics/chord charts. Then he doesn't need a light or some big binder.

    Best yet, learn the material.
     
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  3. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Yes. In the band that makes $80 - $100 per man per gig.

    No. In the band that makes $300+ per man per gig.
     
  4. Pidgin English

    Pidgin English Member

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    The band uses an iPad these days.

    I get the irritation. I worked hard to memorize both lyrics and guitar parts at certain points in my life. But I'll be 50 this year. The rest of the band is in their early 50's. I know I don't have a very sharp memory anymore so it's nice to have the iPad just in case I need to remember some chords, particularly for the originals. And being a foster/adoptive parent and having step kids, I just don't have the time anymore to get the stuff down like I did when I was a bachelor. My wife and kids are just too important to me.
     
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  5. Wyatt Martin

    Wyatt Martin Member

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    3 years ago he bought an iPad just for this. He couldn't get his wife to set it up for him so he scrapped that idea.
     
  6. rizla

    rizla Member

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    It would irriate me. I would feel embarrassed by it even if I shouldn't.
    If no one else in the band cared about it I would just learn to accept it.
     
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  7. Wyatt Martin

    Wyatt Martin Member

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    Lol been accepting it for 9 years now! I know there is no changing it now!

    It does irritate the others but what do you do? Come here and vent I suppose.
     
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  8. DennyDream

    DennyDream Member

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    It's actually pretty easy to set it up with something like OnSong. He had to get his WIFE to set it up? Why not take the time and do it himself or have a somebody else do it for him. I'd bet he already has all the files on his computer (unless he just prints from the web page).
     
  9. rizla

    rizla Member

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    Well done.

    Ha!

    9yrs and you just felt like venting now. I'm impressed
     
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  10. aiq

    aiq Supporting Member

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    The real truth is as people age they have diminishing memory. I used to bag on music stands when I was young too.

    The question is if someone want to keep playing are aids ok? I don’t really know. My last gig where I had to sing I did use a pad. Example: Four verses, four words on the screen to prompt each verse, pad down between the rails of pedal board. Many pros have help too as many have documented.

    I will be long gone and floating around the world’s oceans but I rhetorically ask the younger folk if they will quit playing when they need one? Along with all those who say older people should not play certain styles. Will they fall on their swords as well?

    I am probably done but I think anyone should get out and play anytime if they want. With whatever production.

    No one guaranteed an audience however.
     
  11. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

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    Seeing someone relying on lyric sheets bothers me a lot more as an audience member than it does as a band member. When I go see a band, I expect them to look like they've got their stuff together...no lyric sheets, no chord charts, no music stands (something like an orchestra is an exception to that for me).
    That being said, we don't use cheat sheets in my band...but we don't play covers either, and it would be really embarassing if we couldn't remember lyrics that we wrote.
     
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  12. chillybilly

    chillybilly Member

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    I 'liked' the post even though I greatly dislike the scenario it describes. Unfortunately, it's happening in one of my bands - and this is the THIRD singer who won't learn the bloody words. No instrumental parts to learn, no intros/outros to nail down, no tuning changes, just lyrics. Those can be practiced in the car going to and from work or even in the car during work (eg sales calls)! There really is no excuse.

    And then there's the drummer...who's still using the same kind of binder up on a music stand with charts in it. Are you @#*&% joking? These are 3 minute pop songs, not Beethoven's 5th Symphony.

    Why am I putting up with this? Dunno but I am so I have nobody to blame but myself I guess.

    If you're reading you aren't performing. You are reciting. You are not delivering, interpreting, conveying, storytelling or any other synonym for artistically presenting the material, cover or otherwise.

    That said I am all for a discreet iPad - preferably a Mini - as a safety net but it shouldn't become a hammock.

    For God's sakes with X amount of rehearsals of these songs I don't see how anyone can AVOID learning the words cold in spite of themselves.

    There is a huge difference between 'I can't remember lyrics' and 'I won't commit the lyrics to memory.'
     
  13. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    Happened to me once....it shows a huge lack of respect for the guys who did their homework. I will not ever allow that again. I will unplug and go home when the set is over.
     
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  14. Wyatt Martin

    Wyatt Martin Member

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    It's not until I see videos from the audience's perspective that it just looks bad and unprofessional. His area looks like a hoarder!

    Our bass player bought him the battery powered LED lights. Prior he had an electric light that he had to run off an extension cord to operate. That additional cord dangling off his stand looked ridiculous lol!

    For the longest time he carried at least 50 extra xlr and instrument cables, extensions cords and speaker cables in duffle bags and big tool boxes. After he would get set up he refused to take the bags and tool boxes off the stage. He would keep them close to his feet in case there was a malfunction and they were readily available.

    Problem was he would just throw the bad cables back in the bag without separating it from the good ones. So at the next gig he would end up using the bad cables again. I finally had to inject and told him he had a whole bag full of bad cables and that the rest of us carry enough working spares to bail us out and the bags and boxes needed to be left backstage. It was like taking a child's security blanket! He seriously pouted!
     
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  15. gennation

    gennation Member

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    It doesn’t bug me that much. I use an iPad to the side for reference. All the songs are in setlist order too so I use it as my setlist too.

    Most people I know use some type of tablet and rarely do they have a music stand with a book but it still happens. Many of the players I work with are working in 3-4 bands regularly and also do pickup gigs, so it’s not like we are out playing the same music every night...our sitting in rehearsals memorizing music.

    I’d rather have someone glance at a lead sheet than screw up the song.

    I also do reading gigs where everyone is reading and sometimes it’s a chart we’ve never seen before. In that case, you BETTER have your tablet or your music stand and book!

    Back in the day you could play with one band playing one venue 5-7 days in a row every week. In those cases it was easy to memorize. These days working musicians aren’t stuck in one band playing the same music every night. Every night is a different band at a different venue, playing a different setlist of different styles, we have the technology today to make that easy, and we use it.

    Until us “little bands” can afford a TelePrompTers that sits by our floor monitors (like the pro bands), the iPads and music stands are going to be around.
     
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  16. Pidgin English

    Pidgin English Member

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    I was watching some live footage of the William-Duvall/Jerry Cantrell-fronted Alice in Chains and even they are using iPads. There are iPad holders that can be attached right to your mic stand and it's streamlined and unobtrusive.
     
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  17. Wyatt Martin

    Wyatt Martin Member

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    He bought the iPad holder as well lol!
     
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  18. Hamer95USA

    Hamer95USA Member

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    Having played many cover band shows with vocalists who use their smartphone/tablet/iPad mounted on a mic stand onstage, here are my opinions & observations about tablets/iPads onstage at a show:

    Lyrics: They should be committed to the singer's memory, not looking from the tablet/iPad. Here's a tip on how to memorize your lyrics: Listen to the song, write down the lyrics on a pad of paper and a pencil. You will learn them much faster and know the song structure intimately.

    If you're looking at the lyrics because you didn't memorize them and then they're singing them at rehearsal or onstage, he/she might as well be at a karaoke lounge singing along to a backing track. Since they're reading their lyrics off of the tablet/iPad device onstage, singers are not going to engage their audience or do any kind of choreography to entertain their audience since they're busy staring at their screens, scrolling it up/down with their fingers for the next song or looking at their set list to see what the next song. How can you dance onstage or engage the audience when you're looking at the screen for your lyrics?

    Visuals: The 2 or 3 tablets/iPads mounted on mic stands across the front of the stage looks terrible & ridiculous! The devices block the view of the stage from an audience point of view. If I'm a customer and am watching the band onstage, the last thing I want to see is their devices on the mic stands. I don't want to know the brand of your device or the silly stickers that you put on them either! I'm ok with music stands, if the musicians are using charts, that's ok, but the vocalists don't get the free pass with me. I was viewing an older video of a band that I worked for with a vocalist that uses an iPad onstage and the visuals was ruined because the vocalist that I was working with was the only person who had his iPad mounted on the mic stand onstage. It looked big, ugly, and view blocking in the video. If I was a booking agent, I would think the band is amateur night with the tablets/iPads and would have booked another band that didn't have tablets/iPads onstage. Very poor visual presentation!\

    Cellphone reception/WiFi: Please do not use your cellphone/tablet/iPad to get lyrics from the Internet when the area has poor cellphone signal reception/no WiFi. About 50% of the time, the lyrics posted online are incorrect as well. I had a female vocalist try to pull this stunt at our gig, didn't have cellphone reception at the club we were at, and it backfired on her. She had to depend on the other singer's iPad for the lyrics. :(

    Maybe I'm old school, but all of the talented vocalist that I've worked with in the past have been able to walk out onstage, nail their vocal parts, engage/interact with the audience, do choreography, and didn't fiddle with any tablets/iPads onstage. Do you see any Broadway actors or movie screen actors using an tablet/iPad device onstage or on screen to read their scripts? No because they memorized them!

    Guitar George
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 4:59 PM
  19. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    Nearly every major act I see uses them now, so I can't buy in to the purist/ holier-than-thou position, especially at the bar band type of level (say sub-$300 per person as outlined above)..

    Better to do it without. But it's more unprofessional IMO to forget something (lyrics, changes etc.) than to use something discreet like an iPad.

    I have a holder than goes on my mic stand sitting at around waist level. It's not disruptive and will have to do til I can get one of those great in-floor big-screen TV size monitor rigs that I see the big acts with. With my monitor in the floor, no one will see that I'm doing what the major acts and even bar bands do, just on different scales. :cool:
     
  20. godotzilla

    godotzilla Member

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    Singer in my old band used to lug a thick, 3-ring binder to gigs - and very prominently display it on a music stand on stage.

    It irritated the crap out of me. He'd use lyric sheets for songs we'd been flogging for years - including any original tunes that he didn't write the lyrics for himself.

    He was a trainwreck of a lead singer for many reasons, but his laziness and lack of memory were a central pillar of his inadequacies.
     
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