SYNTH ZONE
Visit The Bar For Casual Discussion
Page 5 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5
Topic Options
#148345 - 01/20/07 09:39 PM Re: Laptop holder
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 15883
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
Let me ramble a bit.
My number one piece of advice: Watch the audience. See how they react to different songs, genres, tempos. Do they dance? Are they listening? Are they straining to talk to each other (indicating the music may be too loud in certain circumstances). If you can get them involved with you and your music, you're home free.
If you are playing in a restaurant, ask yourself if the establishment needs the tables to turn over, or do you need to try and hold the audience that is there. If you are playing where alcohol is served, see if the patrons are ordering drinks or sipping slowly. You must not keep them on the dance floor constantly. Make them dance to get them thirsty, then give them a chance to sit down and order drinks. It's all BUSINESS.
Different techniques and strategies are needed to fit the venue where you are performing. If it's a dance club, your job is to keep the music going almost without pause.
Be very careful about inviting requests. You'd better know a LOT of songs before you do.
I have literally thousands of songs that I can play or sing in some fashion, either live, midi file or MP3. I still don't invite requests very often. However, when you get comfortable with playing requests, the tips are usually quite nice. You must be sure that one person or a certain groups doesn't monopolize your performance by requesting all fast, or all slow, or all of anything. You must stay in charge.
Now, more than ever before, you WILL get people from the audience wanting to sing. You must learn to handle that with diplomacy and tact. Be ready ahead of time--it will happen. Many assume we are doing some sort of karaoke anyway. I go out of my way to show them I am NOT. Sometimes you just have to tell them! It's a whole other subject being able to back up guest singers. If you're just starting, DON'T try. They will make you look like an amateur unless you are really good at dealing with them
My typical night consists of maybe 2 or 3 midi files and the rest live, using the arranger. I have thousands of midi files and MP3s available for situations such as Dave described. If you ever need them ONCE, it is worth having them.
One time I got to a job and found I had FORGOTTEN MY KEYBOARD, of all things. I played midifiles from the laptop and sang.
They didn't care. All they want is to be entertained. They might not even know that, but it's true.
I've been doing this for more than 30 years full time, and I'm still learning. A couple of weeks ago, a friend (and SZ member), Joe Lee Richards, videotaped my entire 4-hour peformance. It was very revealing and showed me several areas in which I need to improve.
I've always recorded myself, but never had seen this much video. I recommend it. It will either drive you to improvement or drive you to retirement or drive you to drinking!
DonM
_________________________
DonM

Top
#148346 - 01/21/07 06:38 AM Re: Laptop holder
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 14498
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
When it comes to requests, and you will get them, an old friend who still saws a great bluegrass fiddle at age 87 provided me with a great tip. He has a ragged piece of paper that he carries with him at all times. The titles of a couple dozen songs are written on the page in blue-ink pen, red-ink pen, black-ink pen and pencil. Some are written, some are printed, some are scrawled. When someone requests a song, he merely points to the sheet of paper and says "I'll be more than happy to do the song just as soon as I get all these other requests out of the way first."

As for the wannabe singers, I merely tell them I only have one mic--my headset mic, and I do not allow anyone else to use it. As Don stated, the wannabe singers can really make you look bad.

BTW: I learned a lot from Don while on my whirlwind, 4,200 mile trip to the sunny south. Anytime he gets to rambling you should be listening carefully and taking notes. His playing skills are pure magic.

Cheers,

Gary

------------------
Travlin' Easy
_________________________
PSR-S950, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, and lots of other silly stuff!

Top
#148347 - 01/21/07 07:30 AM Re: Laptop holder
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 15883
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
Gary,
That alone may be reason enough to get a headset!
However, I have a patron or two whom I can count on for a $100. tip every time they sing a song.
Luckily for me, they aren't terrible, and they don't show up very often. Now is that lucky or unlucky?
DonM
_________________________
DonM

Top
Page 5 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5

Moderator:  Admin 



Help keep Synth Zone Online