Amount of Time Between Songs Live

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by Rawkmann, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    also to add to what the other guys are saying, do not introduce each member of the band. Nothing says Im a newbie more than introducing each guy of the band. If you have a guest from another band to come to play one song, then yes, do so, but for the rest no-one cares about your names, and no one would remember either.

    Keep it as short as possible. Dont aim for a singer/frontman chat, allow for a song change and let the singer fill the gap if any. Just quick and simple before he starts to improvise if that makes sense. Its all about confidence, if he starts to "think" then he lost the audience as it shows hes waiting for the band to be ready.

    The badn should be ready for him to shut up, so as soon as he finish the last word the band should start right away. If he finish speaking and turns around to nod or count or give a signal then that 4 second gap feels like a eternity to the audience as its a silence. In a way it must feel that the band almost interrupts the singer, he comes in latter during the song so dont wait for him to signal, start playing

    way way later down the track when you actually build an audience and a follower. Then there you can chat more to the audience as now they are "your" people, plus the singer would have gained more experience by them.

    also be nice to the other bands. And thank the main act who is letting you play at "their" show, if thats the case. Worst case scenario people would get hype one you ask for some excitment about the main guys
     
  2. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    10-30 seconds...30 if you have to tune... and something better be happening, either BS'ing with the crowd or some other noise. One band we have is weirdo-spazz-tech-metal and we go hard, so there are several tuning breaks, but I try to keep people engaged. Our other band plays entirely to a click and we have between-song interludes that play between each track, so the song ends, and there is immediately something else happening while we grab some water, tune, do a quick adjustment to our monitor mix or something. Our vocalist does crown engagement stuff during the interludes or spaced out intros. Keep it moving.
     
  3. VBCheeseGrater

    VBCheeseGrater not quite a shredder

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    I agree with this, as long as it's done in a way that does not keep the crowd waiting. If a band can pull it off without having to plan it, great, but for the most part these sort of breaks should be planned, mainly so you have groups of songs where the transition is pretty much instantaneous. but if your frontman can keep things flowing without a plan, even better - probably pretty rare outside of axle rose on a good day.

    I think a good baseline is if band members are looking around wondering if other guys are ready yet to start the next song yet, you have a problem. The way you pull it off, to keep the crowd engaged and look professional, can vary I guess.
     
  4. Mo Nodehi

    Mo Nodehi SS.org Regular

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    It depends on your style, genre, audience, artistic choices, etc. etc. But generally I believe it should be continuous and congruent. Even if there is 1 minute of awkward silence, it has to be for a reason, and it has to be used as a part of the performance. People are there to be entertained, if there are 30 seconds of nothing happening, then in my opinion that's insulting to them. Someone must at least converse with the audience, tell them a story, crack a joke, tell them to buy drinks, I don't know something. I find those unplanned unused times between songs similar to commercial breaks, they're annoying and kill the flow.
     
  5. noUser01

    noUser01 Still can't play.

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    Depends on a lot of things, but as long as your audience isn't bored or feeling awkward, then you're good.
     
  6. 4Eyes

    4Eyes SS.org Regular

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    I would say it depends on the songs and how you plan your set. try to go for as short brakes as possible, if you need longer brake for tuning etc make it and intro for the next song, talk to audience. learn how to jump from one song to another, with introducing next song while it's starting, you don't need to stop playing to introduce the song etc. think about how you build your set, don't go full throttle all the time, let people rest for a while, but don't get them bored while resting.

    it's not that complicated. watch live shows from big acts and learn from them
     
  7. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    You're absolutely in the minority here. If an average song is, say, 5 minutes, then a minute between songs means 20% of the set is silence.

    Taking the occasional break between songs to banter with the audience is fine, but I'd only do it one or two times a set, and the impetus here is to be engaging with the audience, not giving them time to buy a beer. Basically, the whole time you're on stage, you're performing. Every single thing you're doing on stage should be done with the aim of connecting with your audience, and with that in mind you want to keep downtime between songs to the absolute minimum. A few seconds is fine, but by the time you're up to 10-15 seconds, unless there's a reason you need that time - instrument switch, whatever - you're wasting your audience's time.
     
  8. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    ^^ thats a pretty good response

    1- dont do that, no-one wants to hear your story about nothing related to you should be playing a song now

    2- nope nope nope, you are not and you wont be funny, and good chances are the joke would be too cheesy, you are trying too hard here

    3- yeah sure, imply that your band/song is that boring that please make your way to the bar and dont pay attention to the stage, or that the break is so long that it would give you enough time to walk/ask/pay for the drink

    4- yes, something else, but not the above. Remember you are trying to build/keep the hype going and thats it

    although yes, be really careful with those. Take some pointers and scale them down to the bare minimum and only use it if necesary. Remember something, those big acts already have "their audience", those people actually pay big $$$$ to see only them, they know them and love them to dead. They can do whatever they want on stage and get away with it, even tell the cheesiest joke and everyone would laugh. But you are just starting on a band, people dont really know you yet, they dont fully trust you, so sadly they would be judging you more easily. Chances are they are there waiting your set to be over to listen to the next band they came to see or any other scenario
     
  9. xwmucradiox

    xwmucradiox sweep.tap.sweep

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    My bands only have two breaks where there isn't anything going on in our sets. One after the first few songs and then one before the last song or two. All the other time is either direct transitions between songs or some sort of loop that lets us tune. But the idea is a cohesive set where there isn't time for the audience to talk or get distracted.

    When Im on tour the worst thing I see local bands doing is taking a 2 minute break between every song. It pushes their set past 30 minutes which is a bit ridiculous for most shows, especially if you are the opener. Id say if you are breaking between every song you could put a lot more effort into making your set a true performance rather than a bunch of songs played in whatever order you picked that day. Otherwise you look like an amateur.
     
  10. Mo Nodehi

    Mo Nodehi SS.org Regular

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    I think you missed this very important part:
    Everything has to be congruent and glued together, including your jokes and stories. Obviously if you tell a stupid story/joke, specially if it doesn't have anything to do with your band's image, it's gonna sound stupid. But my point was that if you have to have a long break, let's say to change guitars, tune up/down, etc. then you need to communicate and converse with people in a way that keeps your image intact, and at the same time doesn't distract, and/or disconnect the audience's attention, or even better in a way that creates more hype and anticipation.

    Also you're forgetting one thing, people who come to see your show, and like your "Songs", actually like your Personality/Performance + Environment + Alcohol, and maybe, just maybe your actual song. People just want to be entertained, and story telling is entertaining IF you know how to tell a good story, specially if it's inline with your band's sh1t. That's much better than only playing a bunch songs that are so loud and unclear that no one can really understand.

    If you are going to have a long break, then it's(more than) ok to do that, and in no way it suggests that your band is boring etc. etc. UNLESS your band actually is boring(regardless of telling them to get a drink or not.) It actually shows your respect for people, the venue, and those who work there. Again, obviously everything has to be said and done as a part of the performance and not in a "Sorry we don't have anything to do, so go grab a drink while we jerk around" way. If you just say "Go buy a drink" then that sucks no doubt, but if you have an effective way to tell people to go get drinks that encourages them to get drinks, and they actually do go get drinks, which by the way helps the venue make some more money, and helps the audience become drunker and as a result enjoy the show even more, then that's a win-win-win-win situation for you, the audience, the venue, and the other bands playing that night. Human beings are simple creatures who LOVE to be significant. Show them how significant they are in general, and how even more significant they are if they go grab a drink, and not only they will do it gladly, but they'll talk about that 1 minute break for days.

    Anyways, I can't completely disagree with you @A-Branger, because there's no denying that if you tell an irrelevant and/or stupid story or joke, and/or your performance doesn't have people's full attention, energy, and respect, then these things will most likely have a negative effect, just as you've already mentioned. BUT done properly these can be very powerful tools to make friends with people.

    Thank you for mentioning the potential risks these can have though @A-Branger, definitely good points to consider.

    Mo
     
  11. 4Eyes

    4Eyes SS.org Regular

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    I meant it mostly from professional perspective - you can notice there is very little space for improvisation, everything is planned, everybody know what to do and when to do, they have planned phrases between songs, jokes, when they play a bit with audience, when they tune, change instruments etc etc.. preparation is the key. if you watch various shows from the same band from one tour you'll see that live shows are very much the same, they change songs a bit, but the core is there, dialogues do not change that much, jokes do not change etc.

    pay attention to details, plan your setlist, if you're not famous, consider if it's worth to have every song in different tunning while having only one guitar on stage and 5 songs in the set. you don't have to introduce song names during breaks, you can do it during beginning of the song, think of it, it will reduce breaks and it will help the "flow" of the live show. if you're not good at stan-up comedy, don't tell jokes. there is nothing worse like a guy from not known band who is trying to be funny for about 3 minutes, while other members are standing and praying for him to finish this lovely moment
     
  12. wheresthefbomb

    wheresthefbomb SS.org Regular

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    none. use a tuner pedal while your amp and delay pedal pummel the audience's puny brains into submission. they can have a break when you're good and finished.

    don't just dick off though. practice your transitions so it looks like you know what you're doing. I've been able to change a string during transitions with nobody noticing.
     
  13. Kryss

    Kryss Your new god!

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    none most of the time unless crowd is really freaking getting into it or gassed out and needs a minute. I generally like as a guitar player to sustain notes til the band is ready , if I get more than a few seconds of dead air thanks to the other peeps. it's really easy for any person in the band to keep a crowd into things, drummer doing a couple quick fills, guitar player doing a quick riff, or singer thanking people etc. really should be very little dead air time in any show. I have always preferred the bands live that say virtually nothing. NIN is a great example reznor says nothing and just plays his stuff as fast as possible and it's fantastic. no one is paying to hear a bands bs just see them perform so as an artist with limited time and energy on a stage just give that to them. time goes by super fast once you start.
     
  14. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    The first and only time I saw Suicidal live I wanted to kick Muir in the groin for spending half the show talking nonsense.
     
  15. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    if I was at a show and the singer said "go buy drinks", I'd walk out and go home
     
  16. jase

    jase SS.org Regular

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    My band plays a 8 song set these days, and we have four 20-30sec intros to use before a few songs. They are just cinematic sound effects (no music, no dialogues) to set the mood for the song that follows. The drummer triggers these from his sampler.

    Some songs we can go straight to the next one without any dead-air, some we leave a few seconds to say the song name and count in, and we always leave around a minute or so in our set to thank the bands, venue and organisers.

    We try not to have any dead-air in our set, but give some breathing spaces for the audience with the intros and minimal talking.
     
  17. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I really struggled with this at our last show. I was ready to run songs together, but it seemed like there was always something interrupting my momentum. Some things I totally understood, like the bass player needing a drink, or the drummer scratching an itch, but other things kind of got me frustrated, and it seemed like there were only two transitions of the dozen or so that went smoothly. Several times, I started the song, then no one else was ready to come in on time, because of the plethora of distractions happening. I'm not upset with the guys in the band, of course, since none of it was their fault, I just wish I had been more prepared to handle such a thing. I thought we still had a great night, and the fact that people were rushing the stage was probably the best sign of that, but I found out just how much of a weakness this was for me, to have my momentum taken away over and over, after so many shows where I got to just keep riding the wave.

    After previously having been so preachy in this thread, it was humbling to have a show where I seemed to have no control whatsoever over the flow of songs from one to the next. If I had been more flexible all along, I think things could have went even better.
     
  18. RaulThrashMetal

    RaulThrashMetal Metal Maniac

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    We completely struggled with the time between songs in our band days...to the point our singer ended up learning some juggling tricks to keep the public entertained.
     

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