Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Performance Banter


JimboK

Recommended Posts

Greetings,

 

Background: 6 piece rock/funk/pop 80's-00's cover band. Playing 4 hours shows. Currently doing bars, working towards casino work. We have lots of instrument changes (several singers, drop tuning, acoustic guitar/bass changes, a bass turned horn player, soon to be keytar [bought a alesis vortex, but that's for another thread]). So we have to kill time to cover for those changes.

 

So what do we do to fill the time? We have 8, minimum time-killer moments. We could use more but those are the unavoidable ones.

 

My thoughts thus far:

1)Have everyone take a turn talking.

2)Create "assignments" for each person but prevent the need for actual scripts.

3)Assignment examples: (aka: my plan at the moment)

- Band Intro (great to be here, great crowd, name the band)

- Venue Intro (OMG, Place X is SO amazing.)

- Social Media Plug (Do a facebook friend contest. 3rd add get's a drink.)

- Special Guests/Events (birthdays, out of towners, Singers new girlfriend, etc.)

- Band Intro #1 (do in two parts). Done while bass player chugs the beginning of the next song

- Band Intro #2 See Band Intro 1.

- Bar/Establishment plug (tip your waitress, try the pork)

- Social Media (or drunken banter as this should be after 12:15pm.

 

I figure you have each person with a plan but they can freelance each run to take into account the drunk guy in the back of the room or the chick hitting on the guitar player.

 

Any other tips? Ideas for stall subjects?

 

 

 

Korg Kronos 2 61, Kronos 1 61, Dave Smith Mopho x4, 1954 Hammond C2, Wurlitzer 200A, Yamaha Motif 6, Casio CDP-100, Alesis Vortex Wireless, too much PA gear!
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 24
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Your approach is solid: having scripted bits that you can either use as-is, or use as jumping off points.

 

If you have multiple people doing the bantering, just make sure they know not to talk over each other. I've been in situations with three singers, all of whom were severely ADD and apparently incapable of experiencing a thought without saying it on mic, regardless of what else was happening. So there were times when all three of them would be babbling about something different at the same time, which was highly irritating and made people want to leave. Don't do that.

 

Also, as you try out your bits, pay attention and see what works, and either lose or revise the ones that don't. That may sound obvious, but a lot of bands don't do it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Anyone come a long way?"

 

"Can you hear us at the back?"

 

"Here's one Elvis never did."

 

"If you could get into groups for a Strip The Willow ... no ... no one for any Scottish Country dancing ...?"

 

"Taxi for Smith. Anyone order a taxi?"

 

"For those of you looking to crash the wedding next door, the stovies are being served."

 

"Anyone find a set of keys? Can you look at your feet and round the tables and seating areas please."

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Special Guests/Events (birthdays, out of towners, Singers new girlfriend, etc.)

Your singer has a new girlfriend that often? Singers...

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your approach is solid: having scripted bits that you can either use as-is, or use as jumping off points.

 

If you have multiple people doing the bantering, just make sure they know not to talk over each other. I've been in situations with three singers, all of whom were severely ADD and apparently incapable of experiencing a thought without saying it on mic, regardless of what else was happening. So there were times when all three of them would be babbling about something different at the same time, which was highly irritating and made people want to leave. Don't do that.

 

"apparently incapable of experiencing a thought without saying it on mic"

 

A bit OT, but tangentially speaking:

Absolutely drives me crazy... I work ( hardly any longer, but sometimes I need the money ) with a singer who would repeat ANYTHING just about, that I would say to her on stage! I cannot recall examples - post traumatic disorder!- but I used to say to myself, "say something absolutely outrageous to her.. either disgusting, repulsive bathroom or feminine hygiene quip, or whatever, and see if she will repeat it!! She has repeated some very annoying, inappropriate, or embarrassing things to the audience. Epic fail!

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our banter is a bit unconventional...

 

"Don't forget to tip the band..."

 

"So who here has genital warts?"

 

"Good evening, we are the Phlegm Tones, and we are so excited to be here tonight,"

 

"Our bass player was arrested today by the FBI, so sitting in tonight is..." (True story)

 

"Has anyone seen our guitar player?"

 

"Paging Jimmy Roberts, your car is being towed from the parking lot"

 

"We just received a request for Brown Eyed Girl... If you can't find a girl here with brown eyes, then piss off!"

 

But seriously, one person should be responsible for banter... And please, keep it to a minimum... especially if you are delusional enough to think that you are a comedian (like me),,, see how pathetic it sounds just reading it? Imagine how much you would like it if you had to actually hear me say it....

'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You really need to find ways to reduce the need for the banter. Ask yourself if the song requiring the instrument change is worth the disruption to the show. Do everything you can to group and arrange songs in such a way that the show doesn't have to stop. You can do things like start the next song playing Key bass while the guy puts down the horn and puts the bass back on, etc. Change arrangements of songs so that the instrument changes can happen without stopping the music.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You really need to find ways to reduce the need for the banter. Ask yourself if the song requiring the instrument change is worth the disruption to the show. Do everything you can to group and arrange songs in such a way that the show doesn't have to stop. You can do things like start the next song playing Key bass while the guy puts down the horn and puts the bass back on, etc. Change arrangements of songs so that the instrument changes can happen without stopping the music.

 

This.

 

SSM

Occasionally, do something nice for a total stranger. They'll wonder what the hell is going on!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 11STEPS band has tried to reduce the banter and speed things up a bit, and this has really improved the sense of it being more of a "performance".. it's pretty lame waiting for 2-3 minutes between songs while the guitar player changes guitar or changes tuning or sets up his effects pedal etc.. Now that I use the setlist function in my Kronos, switching from one song to the next is a touch away.. and when we do need some time between songs we often "intro" songs with some a suspenseful kind of a jam, so for example if my guitar player has to change guitars, I might pull out some upper drawbars and play some upper notes and get my leslie spinning whch is a kind of cool effect, and I do this in the proper key that the next song will be played in, the drummer does some cool, cymbal builds, and we can futz around like this for 30-90 seconds and then someone counts in the song and bang we're all in.. or the guitar player just starts the riff/groove over the crazy pad that's been created.. It's a neat way to kill a minute without the awkward silence.. people will stay on the dance floor waiting rather than sitting down, and it gives a sense that we never really stopped.

 

Just one idea to try..

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2-3 minutes ? If a band needs to go through that much trouble between songs, they should probably revise their set list to be able to play as many songs as possible before they have to stop and change instruments or effects, and try to group the songs so as many people as possible can change instruments at the same time to keep the flow of the show going.

 

 

If the band must talk between songs, the guy doing the talking better be really interesting or amusing.

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah most of it really comes down to thoughtful setlist planning. In my old band, I played keys, rhythm guitar, and sax. Pretty straightforward - don't play a song that starts with keys right after a song that ends with sax or rhythm guitar. Or, revise the next song to start with drums for several measures, and maybe talk briefly over the drum beat until the one doing the instrument change is done, do a little fill and everybody comes in. Everybody has to be in touch with what's going on and be able to respond to cues. These are the sorts of things that separate the men from the boys when it comes to putting together a tight performance, as opposed to just a band standing up there trying to get ready for their next song. If you want to play casinos, you'll need to be polished in that way.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2-3 minutes ? If a band needs to go through that much trouble between songs, they should probably revise their set list to be able to play as many songs as possible before they have to stop and change instruments or effects, and try to group the songs so as many people as possible can change instruments at the same time to keep the flow of the show going.

 

 

If the band must talk between songs, the guy doing the talking better be really interesting or amusing.

 

The 2-3 minutes was an extreme example obviously!! That's the kind of situation where you have some kind of equipment failure etc.. hopefully the point of my suggestion was clear.. if necessary just improvise a musical bridge between songs that's nothing more than a brief jam that builds a little tension.. that will easily get you through a guitar change.

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With a 6 piece band you have a ton of options for starting songs during instrument changes. I would focus your energies on arrangements, not complicated banter routines. What you have in mind sounds something like those stilted awards shows where several people each speak a line in succession off a teleprompter. It's sometimes so awkward it's painful to watch.

 

Out of 6 pieces there's got to be someone with good mic skills. I've always been a fan of just putting your best guy up there and letting others chime in when needed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the input. Yeah, we're really working to minimize the transitions and delays but there will still be some unavoidable dead spots as our Bass Player is also our Horn guy. There just isn't much we can do to avoid these changes, shy of killing the sax. I don't see that happening.

 

And my planning for the banter is more about preventing folks from getting nervous on stage and repeating the same thing over and over again. For some reason, folks have a tendency to become repetitive during the banter or they try to wing it with a bad joke. By providing some structure, I am hoping to tighten things up a bit. (And I cannot cast any stones for I live in a glass house!)

Korg Kronos 2 61, Kronos 1 61, Dave Smith Mopho x4, 1954 Hammond C2, Wurlitzer 200A, Yamaha Motif 6, Casio CDP-100, Alesis Vortex Wireless, too much PA gear!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pretty straightforward - don't play a song that starts with keys right after a song that ends with sax or rhythm guitar.

 

I'm usually pretty consistent in that I'm either familiar with the "conventional wisdom" behind most of the things I read on the forum - or quickly have one of those "I can see the logic behind that..." moments after reading most of the posts I read. This one however has me stumped. What's the reasoning behind not using keys to start tune after playing something that ended with sax and/or rhythm guitar?

The SpaceNorman :freak:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think i mentioned that I played keys, sax, and Guitar. If a song ends with me playing guitar, it's not smart to do "Don't stop believing" next, because everybody's waiting for me to take of the guitar (or sax), put it on the stand, and get back to the keys to start the next song. It would be smarter to play a song that starts with drums or something where keys come in after a few mesures to give me time to switch.

 

In the case of the bass player switching from horn to bass:

1) who's playing bass while he's playing horn, and can he continue playing bass at the beginning of the next song until the other guy switches?

2) even if you have to go without bass, the drummer can lay down a beat, and it will make the banter (over the beat), seem less like stalling and make things flow better. Dancers can keep dancing while you talk if there is a beat. Plus you can always fill with some key bass.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...