the Front Man
October 18, 2011
You've heard me mention before the different jobs band members should take on. Like promotions, contacts, handling the website. But there are parts you must play when you're performing. It's not just a matter of having good music and being able to play it in time. You're on the stage to entertain, and every band member has a role in this to make it the best show ever. So here I have a few dos and don'ts to make your show a successful one.
First you need to pick your front-man. It's obvious that it should be someone who is at the front. It looks pretty bad when a drummer controls the scene. Ideally the singer should be the front-man. So no offense to everyone else but that's who most people are listening to. You other guys are just going to have to accept that, and if they suck, give them your support so that you all look good. So if the drummer just happens to be funnier then the singer write them some jokes. Now just because I said it, doesn't mean it's set in stone. The bassist and guitarist can also be the front-man, sometimes they're one in the same. Don't be afraid to pass along the speaking if you need a break from vocals.
Don't play from a sheet! Memorize your songs for Pete's sake. Playing from a lyric sheet kind of gives the feel that you don't care enough to know your own music so why would you care about entertaining the crowd. Memorizing you music makes you more free to move around stage, start dancing and really get in the groove of your song.
Last but not least, face your audience. Let them see you and prove that you're having a good time and so should they. If you feel the need to be head banging in the direction of the drummer at least have a nice ass. Give them something to remember you by.
As for stage fright, I have some awesome tips to overcome your fear. I myself used to be really shy in front of crowds, and now it's like a drug being the center of attention. Start out with your eyes closed, but maintain your movement. Then it looks like you're just really feeling the song emotionally. Take some improve classes, the more experience you have thinking on your feet in front of other people the better your performance is. Karaoke is great practice too, there are always other people there and no one cares if you suck, because most of them do anyways. Then when you're actually good, these drunks will let you know that, and it's a huge boost for your confidence. A tip for all of you, practice how you play. I can never stress that enough. The better you know your ques your lines and music, the easier it is to overcome obstacles and recover from a blunder. Make sure that when you're practicing you are including recoveries from the wrong note, which means keeping your cool and just continuing the song like nothing happened.
In the end, you just need to say screw it, I want this and I'm going to do it!
- Julie JD -