Question about position of band members on stage

stratman89

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,084
There seems to be different ideas from members of our band where everyone should be positioned on stage. We're a six piece band and have been setting up mostly like this.
band_zpseqytpcx0.png

Does this seem okay?
 

plato67

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
241
Looks good to me; other than shoving your bass player into the back next to the drummer. What did he/she do wrong?

We go: Drums

Keys bass

lead (lead vox) guitar
 

ksandvik

Member
Messages
6,328
There are no rules.

One practical thing, as a bass player, is to be close to the hihat to easily hear the tempo.

I like how Adrian Belew and others shuffle the drummer far right, bass player far left and Adrian in the middle.
 

TJontheRoad

Just Wanna Be Misunderstood
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,776
There seems to be different ideas from members of our band where everyone should be positioned on stage. We're a six piece band and have been setting up mostly like this.
band_zpseqytpcx0.png

Does this seem okay?

I'd go with...

___________ Drums _ Bass ___________

Lead guitar _ AC guitar _ Lead singer _ Keys

This way you will be in position to look across the stage and better see the fretboards of guitars and bass (assuming they are all right handed). If you're on the other side, you'll be looking at their backs unless they turn towards you. This can be a big help if you're have trouble with monitoring during the show. You'll be able to keep better eye contact with your band mates and see what they are playing if you can't hear what they are playing.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
29,023
I don't like standing next to another guitar player. Sometimes it can be hard to tell who's doing what. I'd put the singer between the guitar players, but it really doesn't matter if it works for you.
 

sturge

Member
Messages
691
6 piece (Two guitars, keys, bass, drums, lead vocs)...bass is always to drummers left (that's where he likes to be). Keyboards is always one end or the other...takes up some real estate so he goes where he fits best. The guitars are always on opposite sides of drums/bass to balance it out.
 

Dubious

Member
Messages
2,233
KEYS | DRUMS | BASS
ACCOUSTIC | SINGER | GUITAR

if the keyboardist or bassist is more musically active than the acoustic dude swap em
 

tribedescribe

Member
Messages
859
As a guitar player I prefer to be on the right so I can look at my fretboard and see the band members on my left. Although more important to me is communication on stage. The band leader needs to have eye contact with everyone to lead the band. Often times this is the singer and putting them out front makes sense. Also I find it helpful for the guitarist to be next to the keyboard player so they can communicate about parts and chords voicing's. This all depends on the band and style of course.
 

bgood

Member
Messages
951
When I was playing bass I liked to be in a position to see my drummers bass pedal foot. Otherwise it didn't matter. As a guitarist I tend to be out front but really that's only for backup vocals and monitor proximity.
 

eddie knuckles

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,787
We do: 5 piece - although I'm lead guitarist and backing vocal, I like to stand near drums to follow accents and dynamics (wish our bass player would). I have no need to be out front. There are personalities in every band.
Lead guitar/ bk voc (me) - Drums
Lead vocal - Bass - Rhythm guitar (2nd vocal)
 

RustyAxe

Member
Messages
3,012
I'd go with...

___________ Drums _ Bass ___________

Lead guitar _ AC guitar _ Lead singer _ Keys

This way you will be in position to look across the stage and better see the fretboards of guitars and bass (assuming they are all right handed). If you're on the other side, you'll be looking at their backs unless they turn towards you. This can be a big help if you're have trouble with monitoring during the show. You'll be able to keep better eye contact with your band mates and see what they are playing if you can't hear what they are playing.
That's pretty much how we set up ... but we have an electric rhythm guitar, not acoustic. In this band I'm on bass, and always prefer to be on the high hat side of the drums, and behind the keys (especially if we're doing something we haven't practiced) where I can watch his left hand (and kick him in the ass if strays too far into the bass area ... ;) ). All of us except the drummer sing lead and harmonies.
 

3dognate

Member
Messages
6,096
Mix it up every show for a while and figure out what actually works in practice... I like being stage left... for no particular reason than short cable runs to the mixer. but my band mate will set his stuff up in a heart beat there if he happens to get to a show before me... I don't know why he covets my spot... I don't really care I'll happily setup on the right and never say a word to him... but next show. I'll setup stage left as is typical... and he'll roll in and be like "I thought I was always supposed to be stage left... I thought we agreed on it last show.".... pssht... baby...
 

saneff

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,392
There's a cool app called StagePlot Guru you guys should try. Helps you lay out everything on stage.
 

RustyAxe

Member
Messages
3,012
I do my stage plots in a simple drawing program (Apache Office), labeling everything. I give it to the sound guy (preferably in advance of the gig) when we aren't doing our own.
 

ripgtr

Member
Messages
12,718
Who Sings? Who is active, visually?
I have played bass and like standing back by the drummer, on the hat side so I can see his foot.
Guitar, I sing, so on the front line.
I have played with keyboard players that have stood on a riser back by the drums or been out front. Sometimes in the same band/dif stages.
Do you need eye contact with the keyboard player? I've been in bands where we had been playing together so long, we could be in different rooms, we knew our parts. I am working with a country band, the steel player has been playing with them a while, he queues me with a look. I need eye contact.

For visual interplay, I would switch the singer and acoustic maybe, if you guys have some stage interplay. It just really depends on what the visuals and interplay is on stage. but singer/lead guitar interplay is pretty common. If everyone just stands there, then where they stand is not a concern for that. Then, it is just where everyone is comfortable.

Your setup is OK? I can think of a dozen variations that are also ok. It just depends.
 

jrjones

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,837
When my band plays as a trio, me and the bass player will swap spots, depending on the stage. When we add keys I stand front/center, bass and keys to the sides, drummer back and center all times.
 

Laurence

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,412
Who's the "spark plug" in your band and where do they need to be to get everyone else together?
 




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