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> Stage Presence, lead singer and guitarist
norules
post Apr 7 2013, 08:59 PM
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hello people

does anyone have any good advice on stage presence? im lead singer and lead guiatrist of a 3 piece punk reggae band. i'm busy constantly as i'm playing lead/rythm nd singing and ive been told i need to improve my stage presence. the only thing i can think of is to smile and make eye contact with the audience. any other tips please?
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The Professor
post Apr 7 2013, 09:02 PM
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Bruce Dickinson talks about singing to the people at the back of the audience. So if he makes a movement with his arm he makes it a bid movement so that anyone in the whole place could see it. So singing to the back of the room, for them to see, rather than the front row might be helpful.

I teach Performance Practice at a Uni and we work a lot by watching videos of great singers and studying what they do and then emulating it, like you would with any musical idea from a guitarist etc.

So check out the great performers, Freddy Mercury, Axl Rose, Brian Johnson etc. the guys that really owned the stage and see what they do on stage.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 7 2013, 10:21 PM
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The Professor give the best advice that you would receive ever. The best way to learn how to do this is learning from the masters. How? Watching dvds, live shows, videoclips, going to concerts. Front-man attitude is very important, and even more in Punk, Rock & Metal styles.
I saw The Hives live some days ago and I was blown away by their singer's attitude. The audience went crazy.


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Spock
post Apr 7 2013, 10:53 PM
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Being that your playing guitar and singing, Dave Grohl has excellent stage presence, watch a Foo Fighter show. I've never been much on the weird stances, like Lemmi with his mic inches from the ceiling so you have a good shot of his nasal cavity, or James Hetfield with his mic positioned around his belt buckle so he has to do the splits to get to it, but, different strokes for different folks. Billy Joe Armstrong has good presence too. Also watch Jerry Cantrell, he sings and plays as well.

This post has been edited by Spock: Apr 7 2013, 10:54 PM
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Bogdan Radovic
post Apr 7 2013, 10:57 PM
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My advise would be to learn from the masters by watching and analyzing what you like to see on stage.
It is also a good idea to practice in front of the mirror. I know a lot of people who do this, especially singers. Having good stage presence and performance is something that needs to be practiced same as playing or any other skill. With experience and practice, you do get better.

After some time you'll start to get a preference and feeling for it and also derive some rules.

For example, here is a random check list from my observations over the years :

* Don't turn your back to the audience
Its cool to jam with the drummer and have fun with band mates, but always have in mind that you are performing for the audience so having your back turned to them for anything over 5-10 seconds is not really good idea

* Make eye contact with the people in audience
Its always good to make contact with the people in the audience, especially in the first raws.
Way better then watching the reflector lights up in the ceiling smile.gif If you are a singer, sing few phrases to the girls in the front raws while looking into their eyes, it will make them feel special and you will feel the special energy and connection with the audience.

* Don't ignore people in the audience
Some people will try to get your attention during the performance, cool solo etc... Acknowledge their presence by looking at them and nodding your head or something. If you see them, don't look to the other side.

* Try to make the show interactive
Singers like to sing:) ....but stepping back and letting the audience sing a cool chorus or part of the song instead will make the show so much better for the fans.

* Make connection between the songs
Tell interesting stories about the songs, make observations and short statements. Audience likes this!

* You are in command
When you are on stage, you are in charge! You can make things happen - its all in your hands. I have seen a lot of bands who walk up a bit depressed and uninspired on stage and then the audience behaves the same. If you are energetic and enjoying the show - the audience will as well. Important : what you do will dictate how audience reacts. Experiment with starting to jump on stage during some cool percussive song parts, try raising your hands and clapping - you will notice that the audience will copy what you do and follow it (and it will spread like fire)! Group psychology thing smile.gif They are there to get entertained and expect from you to make the show fun.

* Be relaxed and yourself
If you don't feel the music - audience won't too. Don't be stiff on the stage, its not an audition. No need to play perfect (no one will notice the mistakes) or anything during the show except for the rule: have fun and enjoy yourself! If you are moving with the music and truly enjoying it - everyone else will feel it!

EDIT: doing some of this stuff may feel a bit "weird" at start or even "corny" but with time and practice (mirror) - it will feel much more natural.

Those performers we see on stage have been developing there stage presence and skills for years!
Everyone has to start somewhere.


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norules
post Apr 7 2013, 11:12 PM
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cheers guys i really appreciate the advice. thats loads of good points. got a gig friday so i'll put it to the test
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PosterBoy
post Apr 8 2013, 08:38 AM
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Video your rehearsals, so you can see what you look like.

Anything you do needs to look natural and not forced, this doesn't mean if you take a few moves from the dvds you watch and you don't look natural doing them you stop, you just rehearse it more until it does.

Small subtle movements won't be seen, it's like tv acting vs stage acting, on stage every thing has to be bigger!


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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 8 2013, 10:04 AM
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Hey man smile.gif Well, I am learning too and as yourself, I am asking myself what sort of things should I do there when having to be THE FRONTMAN

- always be confident - people sense lack of confidence in yourself and especially in your music. I think that Dave Grohl is one of the best examples in this case. That dude sings like his life depends on it and like each gig is his last on this earth...

- find a friendly face in the audience smile.gif When I want to communicate with someone, I really do it by choosing a friendly face and feeding off the energy that person transmits.

- illustrate the lyrics - when your hands are free (or not) think of the lyrics that can be illustrated by a gesture or accent when singing. For instance when you would say 'I' you can grab your t-shirt and pull it a bit to accentuate that you are singing about yourself - that sort of stuff smile.gif
It's just an example, but there can be as many as the lyrics offer wink.gif

- analyze the stage before going up and performing - see the places you can climb on and jump from.

- work on choreography with the whole band - which are the key moments in each song? What can you guys do together to make things look uber flashy? Jump and land on beat one? That kind of stuff smile.gif

These are a few things that I like to do smile.gif let me know how it will be on Friday and try to incorporate the things above into your performance!

Cosmin


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