Music stands

c1ferrari

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
154
Prince and the New Power Generation, leaning on a music stand that apparently ruins their performance. You see the big ol' music stand at ~ 1:48-2:02, 2:45, 3:53-3:58, and again at 4:17 (as the crowd goes crazy).

A music stand or prompter isn't automatically a problem, and it's obviously not the line between a pro's performance and a hack's. It's just another stage tool. If it serves a need on your gigs, you put in the work to learn to use it deftly.

If you haven't noticed charismatic stage pros using prompters or stands, it's b/c the ones who use them well have put in that work.


That was smokin'!
 

stevesherbert

Member
Messages
192
If the choice is someone rocking out amidst clams and brainfarts or a relatively reserved performance that gets the music right, which in all honesty it often actually is, I'll take the latter every time.

Making the live show as good as it could be requires getting the music right.

Now ideally you wouldn't need the stands so you could Iggy Pop the crap out of the audience, if that's your band's style.

If you show up for a paid gig and don't know your parts, this is a problem, whether you use a music stand or not.
 
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20,524
I've used charts on the floor.

What made that acceptable for me (aside from worrying about forgetting what I was doing) was seeing Robert Palmer doing it with lyrics. I practice what I'm going to play. A lot. I get worried about being underprepared- every single gig.

I did a show doing some Beatles songs with a guy who is more of a Beatles fanatic than I am. It's easy to get lost in the lyrics and changes and we did- regardless of how many times we played it, or however many hundreds of times we've heard it and sang along in the car and in the shower- it just gets different on stage.

I think I would use an unobtrusive iPad or music stand if I needed it.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,886
I understand that. But somebody suggested that singers couldn't put a song across while reading lyrics.
It happens in the studio often with good results.
I said the performance would suffer. Paul Stanley could read about wanting to rock and roll all night and party every day, but how would it look if he were reading from a stand on stage?
 

Flyin' Brian

Member
Messages
30,424
I said the performance would suffer. Paul Stanley could read about wanting to rock and roll all night and party every day, but how would it look if he were reading from a stand on stage?
Gotcha. To me performance pertains to music, not side shows.
But I realize that it's my perspective and not everybody's.
 

stevesherbert

Member
Messages
192
Gotcha. To me performance pertains to music, not side shows.
But I realize that it's my perspective and not everybody's.

But this is about the music. If you show up for a gig and don't know the music, your performance is going to suffer. This is exactly the same as someone showing up for a theater production and not knowing their lines.

What is so strange about this thread are the folks on here who don't think that this matters. How in the world can you be authentic when you yourself can't even remember what you're trying to say?
 

Atmospheric

Member
Messages
4,086
The thing is, no-one's forcing you to have music stands on your stage.

If someone else wants to do that, so what.
If it really downgrades the show due to the many reasons cited in this and countless other music stand/shorts/clip-on tuner/backing tracks threads, then your non stand/clip-on tuner/shorts/backing track employing band will really shine forth and the $100/man bookings will flow like Tupelo honey.

"Wow--look at that band go! Those pants! That clean head stock! The stand free zone! How much of this stuff do he think we can stand! So much rhythm, grace, and debonair for one man!"

But, you'll probably find out that most audiences....just don't really care, so you're just pleasing yourself, which is certainly enough reason to do it my book.
Funny. I use a clip-on tuner because my pedalboard is very modest and I don't have an open slot for a pedal tuner. But I clip it on backwards (all the audience sees is a small black square), and I remove it before each song. Where do I put it? On my music stand (if I'm using one).
 

Atmospheric

Member
Messages
4,086
But this is about the music. If you show up for a gig and don't know the music, your performance is going to suffer. This is exactly the same as someone showing up for a theater production and not knowing their lines.

What is so strange about this thread are the folks on here who don't think that this matters. How in the world can you be authentic when you yourself can't even remember what you're trying to say?
OK, what’s the largest number of songs you've had to learn for a gig in the shortest amount of time?

Mine was 30 originals and very stylized covers in 3 days. No charts. I had to transcribe everything myself. I worked for 3 solid days and boiled my gig cue sheet down to a single page. Oh, that was playing bass in a trio, so there was NO place to hide.

But please, enlighten us. Tell us your story. How many? How much time? How many had specific parts? What sort of parts were they?
 
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mudster

High Prairie Wrangler
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,731
I don't think Lucinda Williams or Bob Dylan are amateurs, nor do I think the appear amateurish when they use stands to recall lyrics from a deep catalog. There are a lot of big acts using teleprompter type things for vocalists. It's not a big deal to me when it comes to vocalists.

I wish I had a band with musicians capable of reading complex charts, it's a hard thing to find in the rock world.
 

stevesherbert

Member
Messages
192
OK, mister 122 posts...

What's the largest number of songs you've had to learn for a gig in the shortest amount of time?

Mine was 30 originals and very stylized covers in 3 days. No charts. I had to transcribe everything myself. I worked for 3 solid days and boiled my gig cue sheet down to a single page. Oh, that was playing bass in a trio, so there was NO place to hide.

But please, enlighten us. Tell us your story. How many? How much time? How many had specific parts? What sort of parts were they?

I've had to memorize 30+ songs for gigs, that's just called "being a gigging musician" around here. I'm not going around bragging about it, because that's literally just doing my damn job.

Listen, I'm not above using cue lists, or even lyric sheets for last minute gigs like the one you've mentioned. I don't have a problem with new band members or hired help using music stands, provided they are inconspicuous and not being stared at the entire time.

But if you're a full-time, regular band member, learning the songs is basically your job description. A full-time band member with a music stand is like an adult riding a bicycle with training wheels. It's hard to take someone seriously as a professional if they're too afraid to step up out of the 'beginner' realm. I'm sorry but that's just how it looks, and your band's presentation matters, as much if not more than the actual notes being played.

If you don't have the time / willpower / ability to learn the material you need to do your job, you don't deserve that job, I'm sorry. Please note that this applies to literally every type of job everywhere, in the entire world.
 
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gtrdave

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,922
theyre not unprofessional

just look dorky

I'll agree with the dorky look. Even before the time of iPads, tablets, etc...I used to hate the look of a music stand on a rock band stage. As an alternative, I had one of those little single page stands that would mount off the mic stand in an effort to be as discreet as possible. I also wouldn't use notebooks, but instead use single pages.
Today, technology has given us better options. iPads, even an old iPad 2 like I use, is a more discreet look on the stage and can store 1000s more songs than any notebook on a music stand could, so I can't see why that wouldn't be the way to go.

That all said, I know full-time pro musicians who lug their music stand and filled 3-ring binder to most every gig and they have no problem getting constant work. Dorky or not, it seems to work just fine for some people.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,664
Imagine the MC5 using music stands but then imagine Wayne Kramer being Red Rodney's cellmate at the Narco-Farm in Lexington, KY.
 

Tahitijack

Member
Messages
4,472
Sitting in the audience i prefer a band without music stands.

But, I recognize some musicians might be hired for a gig and need charts. I just entered the world of keyboard and there seems to be a strong preference for charts and music stands and the use of large tablets.
 

Festus

Member
Messages
1,565
It seems those that disapprove of music stands on stage are the same guys standing at the back of the venue with their arms crossed because they don’t have a gig.

For the record, many gigs these days I don’t use a music stand. Some gigs (20 tunes to learn in a week) I do use charts. I get paid either way. The guys that hire me aren’t the mooks standing along the back wall with their arms crossed.
 




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