Questions about rocking out (moving around) when you play at bars

wrxplayer

Gold Supporting Member
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7,448
I'm wondering if my fellow cover band musicians "rock out" and move around, even if only a constant head bob, when they gig.

If they do, does it come naturally or is is part of the show?

I ask b/c I don't tend to move much when I play but many performers do. I guess the second part of the question is whether you all think that bar patrons enjoy the music more when the band is moving around enthusiastically when they play.

Thoughts?
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,891
I'm wondering if my fellow cover band musicians "rock out" and move around, even if only a constant head bob, when they gig.

If they do, does it come naturally or is is part of the show?

I ask b/c I don't tend to move much when I play but many performers do. I guess the second part of the question is whether you all think that bar patrons enjoy the music more when the band is moving around enthusiastically when they play.

Thoughts?
In my experience it's not about moving around as much as enjoying yourself. The band is there to be the life of the party. If you look and act as if you're having a great time or if you look like you're bored and want to be somewhere else, the audience will respond the same way. Jumping around looks goofy to me if it looks forced, but if it's a natural part of having a good time it's a good thing.
 

bob-i

Member
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8,769
I don't move as much as I used to, but staying engaged is the key. If you're staring into space or at your feet it doesn't project a sense of enthusiasm.

I remember seeing Chicago a few years ago. James Pankow was hanging next to the other 2 horn players exchanging solos, just holding the trombone, he had a big smile on his face and reacted to every riff the other guys play like it was the most amazing thing he'd ever heard. He'd probably heard those same riffs 1,000 times but without moving a muscle you could see the air of respect for his bandmates.
 

jimmyj

Member
Messages
5,556
When we're hitting the groove I can't help but move with it. If not, I can't fake it. Luckily, I play with a great drummer and bassist so they're very consistent.
Also, I like to look at someone or across the room or have my eyes shut and face out while soloing. I find it easier to "listen" that way and it looks better than staring at the neck, imo.

Edited to add-------
Oh yeah, as bob mentioned above, I like to listen to the other players and react to them, too. As I said before it helps if you enjoy your bandmates playing.
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,367
The audience takes their cue from the band. When the band is moving and having a good time, the audience will follow suite. When the band just stands there and looks bored, the audience will too. A live performance is just as much about the visual aspect as it is about the auditory. Everyone is listening to you play, but they're also watching you perform. That means playing the music is only one part of your job as a live performer. Stage presence is an incredibly important, and far too neglected thing among musicians.

This doesn't mean you have to be dancing around the stage. It often means simple things like keeping your head up, looking at the audience, smiling (or mirroring the emotion of the music in your facial expressions), moving, having energy.

if there was no visual component to a live performance, they would just use a jukebox. You're there to be an entertainer. Which means the full package, not just playing the notes.
 

Yer Blues

Member
Messages
8,584
I move a lot on stage....

-"you guys are too loud"... I run over the turn down the overall volume
-"I need more monitor" says the singer.... I run over to turn up the monitors
-monitors feedback.... I run back to turn singers channel down in the monitors
-"my vocals are too loud" says the bassist... I run over to turn his overall volume down

By the 2nd-3rd song I can finally focus on playing the guitar. :)
 

clarkram

Member
Messages
3,062
In my experience it's not about moving around as much as enjoying yourself. The band is there to be the life of the party. If you look and act as if you're having a great time or if you look like you're bored and want to be somewhere else, the audience will respond the same way. Jumping around looks goofy to me if it looks forced, but if it's a natural part of having a good time it's a good thing.
I think this is important, and it's not just for the audience. Your band mates will pick up the vibe and your enjoyment can be contagious.

I remember at one of our first gigs about 8 years ago the front guy turns to us and says "can you guys at least pretend you're enjoying yourselves" he was right and the lesson stayed with us.
 

michael.e

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,530
Not a cover band, but I did a bit of moving around in the small bar in my avatar.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,754
I'm wondering if my fellow cover band musicians "rock out" and move around, even if only a constant head bob, when they gig.

If they do, does it come naturally or is is part of the show?

I ask b/c I don't tend to move much when I play but many performers do. I guess the second part of the question is whether you all think that bar patrons enjoy the music more when the band is moving around enthusiastically when they play.

Thoughts?
There are people who like to see a band move, and there are those that don't.
There are musicians who like to move when they play, and those that don't.
Some types of moving turns some people off, some doesn't.

I watched the Stones "Some Girls" tour movie, the DFW '78 show last night. I really like the Stones, but I don't think there was a single visual aesthetic choice made that evening that I approved of. The clothes, the moves, the facial expressions, Mick grabbing his package, Ron's package, whipping band members with towels, etc.

Crowd seemed to eat it up though.
 

tenchijin2

Member
Messages
3,031
Also not everyone expresses their enjoyment the same way. Some of us, mostly on the introverted end of the spectrum, are really enjoying it but outwardly not expressing it. This is hard for most people to accept and it's not really their fault as most people DO express their enjoyment outwardly.

As a result I have to consciously remind myself to make some basic expressive body language. Maybe it's rocking a bit, or smiling and head nodding, but it's got to be basic and not too much or it seems awkward and forced (which was mentioned earlier).
 

CharAznable

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,017
I've gotten feedback to be more active onstage instead of just looking down at the strings.

But it's hard to headbang to 15/16
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,891
I watched the Stones "Some Girls" tour movie, the DFW '78 show last night. I really like the Stones, but I don't think there was a single visual aesthetic choice made that evening that I approved of. The clothes, the moves, the facial expressions, Mick grabbing his package, Ron's package, whipping band members with towels, etc.

Crowd seemed to eat it up though.
I think Mick's a good example of it seeming forced. Maybe in his day, but these days it just looks goofy.
 

sws1

Member
Messages
11,190
I've been really working on this. Step 1 - stop looking at the strings. This is more a habit than anything else. If I look elsewhere, I can get distracted. Nonetheless, I've gotten much better.

The bigger issue is that for some songs, my body knows what to do. Other songs, even if I'm in the groove, I don't have a cool move. There is a certain tempo that m body likes. Too fast or too slow, and all I end up doing is tapping my feet. I need some cool moves.
 

Goku13

Member
Messages
619
It also depends on the type of music how much "moving around" is appropriate. Like others have said, it shouldn't be forced or cheesy or whatever, but people just want to see that you're having a good time and enjoying what you are doing...which will make them have a good time and enjoy what you are doing. :)
 

GuitarGuy66

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,201
Point at the crowd now and the. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width if you can.
 




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