Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sharing advice for bands

Greetings, All!
Recently, I tried publishing some items on a local blog on things bands can do to help themselves. I did this becaue i truly believe musicians should help each other out.
What I got in return was a bunch of crap published by bitter, jealous a-holes who had a personal ax to grind with me. Since then, I have declined to participate in that forum, since I really didn't need the aggravation. But this here is MY blog and I can do what I want with it, so I'll start putting stuff here and at Hope this helps someone out there!
I subscribe to a number of online newsletters, an especially good one being the Musician's Cooler ( written and compiled by Dave Jackson. It's easy to subscribe to and there are some pretty useful ideas for everyone in there. Here is the latest I received. Use it or lose it as you see fit.
Making an Entrance
By Dave Jackson

My band always meets and greets the audience as they
arrive. In the beginning we used to "disappear" about
20 minutes before the show. Why? Because we wanted to make an entrance. After all,don't "the big boys" do that?

"You wanted the best and you got the best!" recognize
that? It's at the beginning of every Kiss show. They
don't have any big "ooh ahh spooky wooky" music.

I've only see two bands who had NO big entrance. One
was Metallica (who walked through the crowd to the stage nobody even realized it was them, till they started waving). Ted Nugent also walked out on stage with the "house lights on." Then a bikini babe brought him his guitar. The lights went out and the show started.

What you are trying to do is build anticipation. Howard Stern broadcast over 40 hours of a heartbeat (and not much else) before his first day on satellite radio. It worked ... I listened off an on over the weekend, just checking to see if anything had changed.

Don't Blow It

I once watched a band who had spent a pretty penny on
a big ooh ahh spooky wooky music intro only to have it end, and the guitar player ask "How about some Zeppelin?" and launch into Whole Lotta love. Anti-climatic at its best (worst?).

Reality Dave - Reality

OK, so you're a folk band, blues band, dance band, and big spooky music doesn't work. It doesn't have to be that. It could be as simple as:
A) Having someone say "Ladies and Gentlemen (your band name ).
B) Putting a clock on stage with giant hands and a sign that says "Show starts a 9:00 PM). I'm not sure if they make these but a digital timer with a countdown clock
C) Have a the members of the band come in separately. So the drummer starts, then the bass, then the guitar, then the singer.

By having a definite "starting point" you build anticipation so people stick around to see what's coming, and when you start people know it's time to clap and have fun.

Every "big" band I see does this, and why not imitate those who are "doing well?"


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