Stage Presence for Guitarists

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by Obfuscator, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    I jump, shake my guitar around, point at people, hold my guitar up next to me (actually helps me with part of a solo!), go up to my bandmates, shoulder shrug, and I've done short instances of "The running man" for kicks.

    This is in Arkham Dispatch - I'd be a bit more limited in Slugeater.

    Your music better absolutely amazing if you're not going to move :squint:. Most bands don't have music so powerful that they can stand still.
     
  2. Zeno

    Zeno SZ Hunter

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    And this is why you don't attempt this without straplocks!

    And I've personally always found guitar spinning kinda idiotic. It's just begging for stuff like this to happen. I once bruised the f@&K out of my shoulder spinning my guitar.

    And how you act onstage should in part depend on the music. If I go see Roger Waters or David Gilmour, I expect everyone to stand there, playing their music, with a little movement, not going DEP crazy.

    Conversely, when I go see Unearth, I want to see them running around, jump over each other, and all the other stuff that makes up their awesome shows. It's all dependent on the kind of music.

    As for how to get into it yourself, just go with it. Have fun. Don't do what I did for my first time performing, and awkwardly shuffle around the stage.
     
  3. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    I think guitar spins are cool :yesway:.

    The first time I really tried one, I was drunk and put a 1in. diameter hole in my singer's acoustic... :ugh:

    Nice to know I can do them (at least with that guitar.. which is for sale) and I'd love to put it in live.
     
  4. shanejohnson02

    shanejohnson02 Hammer of the Gods

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    To me, a lot of people confuse "stage presence" with "back flips" or "playing behind your head" or whatever.

    My idea of stage presence is someone like Paul Gilbert. When he walks on the stage, you just get the feeling that he owns it, and you're in for a pretty awesome show. Someone who just projects that kind of aura has awesome stage presence.
     
  5. Zombie13

    Zombie13 Guitartist

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    Fuck that, I still headbang as hard as I used to when I had long hair. :hbang:
     
  6. RevDrucifer

    RevDrucifer SS.org Regular

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    I grew my hair long just so I COULD headbang and not feel like a twat.
     
  7. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Oh walk on like you own it.. but don't just stand there. I'm not paying $15 to watch someone stand still - I can have way more fun listening to the album at home for free.
     
  8. Nathaniel

    Nathaniel Expendable Crew

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    A few of my own tricks:

    Go wireless! That way you don't have to worry about where the cables are and you can wander to the other side of the stage and kick the bassist.

    Make eye contact with the crowd.

    Smile and look like you're having fun.

    Play what you know. On stage is not the time to try something that you suck at. Play the stuff that you're good at and make it look easy!

    Know your parts cold. Be ready to fill in the blanks if one of the other instruments has technical difficulties. If you feel timid about the parts you're playing you'll look timid.

    Share the spotlight. When your mate is soloing, step back and let him hog the glory for a moment.
     
  9. Dan_Vacant

    Dan_Vacant Hi I'm Dan.

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    A local guitarist, that died not to long ago did the guitar spin with one of his parkers. The guitar went flying, and broke but it was fixed thank god.
     
  10. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    A bonus is to be able to fill in for the other parts, to a certain extent. Especially if they're integral to the overall composition of the song i.e. hocketed melodies et c.
     
  11. -42-

    -42- Nothing to see here

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    It's simple, just play in Baroness.

     
  12. CrazyDean

    CrazyDean SS.org Regular

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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned SRV. He didn't do anything crazy but had great stage presence due to the feeling he displayed while playing.
     
  13. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    What is that guitar? It's a beaut!
     
  14. somniumaeternum

    somniumaeternum SS.org Regular

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    That and he borderline dressed like a pirate...

    I mean.. I love listening to him but I'm pretty sure the substances did the thinking for him when it came to his wardrobe in the early to mid career days.
     
  15. Darkstar124

    Darkstar124 Strongman

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    See Dillinger escape plan and the ocean. Throw your guitar around, move your legs for reasons undefined, and make lots of silly faces.
     
  16. CrazyDean

    CrazyDean SS.org Regular

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    :lol:
     
  17. Auyard

    Auyard SS.org Regular

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  18. Dead Undead

    Dead Undead Thundercrafter

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    Well Jens has a look to him that would keep you from criticizing anyway :lol:
    That said
     
  19. jordanky

    jordanky Contributor

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    I don't understand what's going on from 1:40 to 2:00 haha
     
  20. Oxidation_Shed

    Oxidation_Shed Nightman.

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    A lot of the stage energy should be coming from the frontman/frontwoman
    That said, if you have a great frontman with a guitarist who is just staring at his fretboard, it does bring the performance down.
    Don't spend too long in one place, even if it's cool. Everyone thinks that one foot on the monitor is cool; the other guitarist in my band does that to death. You get board watching him even though people think it looks cool. The most important thing is: keep moving.
    Throw your guitar around if you can - not necessarily over your head or swinging it, just make sure people can see it move - make every movement exaggerated so that the audience can more easily understand it (as someone mentioned earlier, this is used in theater a lot), keep engaging the audience - make them feel like you know them and they're more likely to get into it.
    Finally though, look like you're having fun! No one wants to see a bored performer, if you look like you're having fun, it will rub off on the audience.
     

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