FDP Forum / "Entertaining"/ 25 messages in thread.

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SecondHoneymoon

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Columbia, SC

Aug 3rd, 2016 06:49 AM        

I've been playing in a band for the last 15 years, and for the most part it has been a blast. The usual downsides take their toll after awhile, but I still make the effort because I know i'll miss it. However, my good buddy and playing partner is suffering health problems that seem to have a cumulative effect, and I see we aren't going to be able to continue much longer, if at all. <br /> <br /> I've always leaned on him for the pyrotechnics, but at the expense of letting my own chops suffer. However I've been trying to remedy that recently, because more and more he's not there when I need a good solo.<br /> <br /> My issue is that lately I've been trying my hand at a local open mic, sometimes alone, sometimes with other friends. When alone, which I don't mind, I'm finding that my usual reluctance to talk to the crowd (my old cohort is great at it), is something I need to correct. I'm just at a loss as to what to say, even though I have no problem face to face with people. I never can remember good jokes, although I guess I ought to treat that the same as learning lyrics. I can "be myself", but I want to really work on making myself more "entertaining" between songs. Even if I'm only up there for three songs, I want to be the best I can, and I don't think I'm cutting it right now.<br /> <br /> No one has ever made a comment, so this is probably me trying to polish a turd, but that's where I am. Any suggestions are welcome!



5Strats

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Edmond/OKC

A Man of Constant Sorrow
Aug 3rd, 2016 07:02 AM        

You can't change who you are, but if you put together some prepared things to say or at least outline some ideas, you might be able to improve.



MLC

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It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Aug 3rd, 2016 07:16 AM        

I can relate. I've always felt a little uncomfortable with the whole "talking to the crowd" thing.<br /> And I've been the lead singer in a few band, so it is something I think about. I've also been in bands where others took the lead in that roll. Some people are really good at that sort of thing, others, not so much.<br /> <br /> Over the years I've learned to relax a little more. I still don't talk all that much - mostly just introduce the songs and the occasional, "We're going to have Bob sing this one."<br /> If you're playing original material, a little story about how a song was written works. <br /> I don't worry about telling jokes or any of that kind of thing. Actually, the drummer in one of the bands I'm in does to stand-up and he comes up with some great lines once in a while.<br /> <br /> Something as simple as talking over the mics between band members about any old thing that's happening on stage can bring the crowd in and be entertaining - and when it's the guys *I* play with, things can get a little goofy up there. (;^D)<br /> <br /> In the end, though, it's about the music. Mostly, I just let that carry the night.<br /> <br /> And nobody has ever come up to me after a gig and said, "Hey, you guys are pretty good, but you need to talk more between songs."



Dolemite



What It Was!

cross-dressing for Rodan
Aug 3rd, 2016 07:19 AM        

A combination of Self-deprecation & music trivia can go a long way in filling the gaps.



professor

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North Gnarlyington

Aug 3rd, 2016 07:19 AM        

Patter can be anything, as it fills the silence gap which can otherwise be a real attention and vibe killer. Talk about the song you just played or are about to play- how you learned it, who wrote it, any anecdotes about it. "Makes my fingers hurt" or "It's only three chords!" or "When Mark Knopfler did this....I'm not Mark Knopfler..." Talk about tuning your guitar. Talk about your guitar. Tell the audience to tip, generously. Get the waitress/bartender names and say "Be sure to tip Brian, as he mixes a great drink and he's still paying off his student loans" or "I'm not drinking now, but when I'm done I'm going to ask Betty to mix me a very dry martini, with an olive". Make stuff up.



5Strats

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Edmond/OKC

A Man of Constant Sorrow
Aug 3rd, 2016 07:56 AM        

I often speak with NYC Yiddish accent and tell the audience when just got finished playing the Catskills.<br /> <br /> At least my band members laugh. (:oD



SecondHoneymoon

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Columbia, SC

Aug 3rd, 2016 09:22 AM        

"I often speak with NYC Yiddish accent and tell the audience when just got finished playing the Catskills."<br /> <br /> Ha! I grew up in the Catskills, not far from all the famous resorts, and my wife is Jewish, so she can help me with the Yiddish! <br /> <br /> Great suggestions, all. I already know some of this stuff, but it just doesn't roll off my tongue, however I can work on it. I'm 64 now, so new tricks come harder than they used to!<br /> <br /> Actually, just saying it out loud helps a little. I know I'm not alone. Thanks!



Peegoo

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Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Repeat
Aug 3rd, 2016 09:32 AM        

"We take all requests, but we might not play 'em."<br /> <br /> "If you write your request on a 20-dollar-bill, that moves it to the top of the list"<br /> <br /> "I showed Mark Knopfler how to play that lick."<br /> <br /> "Bob doesn't know it yet, but I'm going to ask him to sing this one." [Bob has to look really surprised for the joke to work]<br /> <br /> "If you know the words, sing along. Just don't sing too loud because it pisses me right off." [smile]<br /> <br /> "Here's an ancient rock classic. Apologies to anyone older than 55 because it's from the 1960s."<br /> <br /> "What? 'Why don't we write our own songs?' Because Chuck Berry already wrote all the good ones."<br /> <br /> etc.<br />



professor

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North Gnarlyington

Aug 3rd, 2016 09:34 AM        

"The more you drink the better we sound"



swampyankee

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olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Aug 3rd, 2016 10:00 AM        

Just be careful about being P.C. <br /> <br /> My old band mate did a great impression of an "effeminate male" as part of that mic banter. So good, he got propositioned by a guy more than once.<br /> <br /> NTTAWWT



Peegoo

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Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Repeat
Aug 3rd, 2016 10:16 AM        

When you're good--you're GOOD.



Peegoo

Contributing Member
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Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Repeat
Aug 3rd, 2016 10:22 AM        

You can also customize the tunes you play by changing the name of a town in the song to the town you're playing in, or the name of a local college, etc.<br /> <br /> Obviously there are some tunes where this wouldn't work, e.g., <br /> <br /> Start spreading the news<br /> I am leaving today<br /> I want to be a part of it<br /> Pacoima, Pacoima<br /> <br />



littleuch

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Florida

Aug 3rd, 2016 10:44 AM        

I worked with a singer who was his own version of Foster Brooks, except it wasn't an act. Some of the lines I remember "Here's a Gaye song for all you Gaye lovers" (going into "Ain't That Peculiar). "Let's have another cocktail and relax, shall we?". "Goodness, gracious my balls are on fire"(Ed Sullivan voice). "There's room for one more couple on the dance floor"(empty dance floor). <br /> <br /> I don't recommend some of these at corporate gigs :-o



Juice Nichols

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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Aug 3rd, 2016 12:44 PM        

"A combination of Self-deprecation & music trivia can go a long way in filling the gaps. "<br /> <br /> Bingo! It's what I do most of the time. I'll joke around and say stuff like "here's one I wrote on the way to the gig", and then play like a Beatles tune or some other well known song. <br /> <br /> Some gigs I'm just providing back ground noise so I don't say much of anything in those instances. If the audience isn't paying much attention to you it's hard to interact with them.



Rob Jai



Calif Cap City

"Jai" pronounced "J"
Aug 3rd, 2016 03:38 PM        

Sorry to hear about your playing partner and his health issues. It's hard sticking with performing when poor health robs you of your ability to continue. (I speak from experience). I wish him the best and hope that he can continue to enjoy music at some level. <br /> <br /> If it turns out that you have to end your present band situation, I also wish you the best in finding your way. You will, if you want it bad enough.



SecondHoneymoon

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Columbia, SC

Aug 3rd, 2016 08:52 PM        

"Sorry to hear about your playing partner and his health issues."<br /> <br /> Thanks Rob. It's a long story, and he almost bought the farm 4 years ago. He lives to play, but his many problems are getting overwhelming to deal with. I'll always play with him if we get the chance, but reality is a bi!ch. <br /> '



shunka



Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Aug 5th, 2016 11:55 AM        

While you can't change who you are, you CAN role play for a few hours. I try to think of the guys who I admire as good "front men"and put myself in that mode. Unfortunately my humor tends towards sarcasm so I need to be careful.



mroulier

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Suburban MD.

Are your prayer beads maple or rosewood?
Aug 5th, 2016 12:50 PM        

Best joke I ever heard onstage was from bassist extraordinaire Stu Hamm:<br /> "We're all VERY excited, we just got a new record deal from Columbia House..." <br /> <br /> Crowd of course, applauds...<br /> <br /> "We're getting 8 CD's for a dollar, and then we just have to buy 5 more CD's at regular prices..."<br /> <br /> Crowd then groans because they got suckered in.<br /> I think this even got a rimshot from the drummer.



Tony Wright



Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Aug 6th, 2016 12:00 PM        

The last band I was in had a wonderful male vocalist...I always liked his style and tonal qualities...<br /> <br /> We were still fairly "new" as a 3 piece (no drums at the time) and we were playing a small pub/restaurant in a nearby town. <br /> <br /> I had a vocal mic (nope, don't sing, but sometimes I mouth the backing vocals but am careful to NOT let any sound pass my lips)...<br /> <br /> The place was not very full and the few patrons appeared to be far more interested in their beverage or meal...So, between songs, I leaned into the mic and said:<br /> <br /> "Ladies and gentleman, if Sam Cooke and Smokey Robinson could have physically had an illegitimate love child, the voice would have been my friend and band leader, Slick Willie. To prove my point, we will do the next two tunes."<br /> <br /> I immediately started the intro to "My Girl"...<br /> <br /> Next we did Sam's "Having A Party".<br /> <br /> For some strange reason, people started to participate in the music more than their meal and you could see several 20-30 yr old couples start to relax a little and enjoy the music.<br /> <br /> One guy came up and dropped a $20 and said, "I have never heard it done that way (guitar, bass and harmonica) and really have a new appreciation for the song."<br /> <br /> At our break, Willie grabbed me and taught me "Just My Imagination" in like 3 minutes, back on stage with my scribbled notes and we nailed it.<br /> <br /> We got asked back several times...just talking to ourselves over the mics, visiting with folks..."Hey, glad you came back. We were sure we had run you all off after the last gig."<br /> <br /> One liners work. Keep them simple and PC does not hurt anyone from the stage. If you owned the venue, you would fire anyone who intentionally insulted a customer...and you work for the venue when on stage, so be nice.<br /> <br /> It is fund to slip in a little dig about Texans or Sooners, but only on game day in Stillwater.<br /> <br /> THAT kind of humor is probably reasonable. But you might forget about any tip from one or two tables.<br /> <br />



Peegoo

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Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Repeat
Aug 6th, 2016 12:33 PM        

Good point, Tony. The audience usually has to feel like the performers care about them before they'll reciprocate.



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