my stage presence... help.

tbmills

Gold Member
i need some help...

i have a problem with my stage presence. i look weird when i play. i seem to have blank expression on my face almost always, and when i improvise, i look like i am thinking too much instead of feeling it. this shouldnt matter, but it does. i want to be able to know that in the pictures people take at our shows i look normal and comfortable behind my kit. ive noticed that my favorite pros all look good and normal while playing...

any suggestions? tips? similar experiences?
 

aydee

Platinum Member
I shouldn't be the one to talk, cause my stage presence doesn't light up any christmas trees, but I got some great advice from a great performer once who said " if you really love and feel every note you play, that love always shines through to the listener."
 

aydee

Platinum Member
Stage fright can actually motivate you to overcome it. Lots of famous actors had severe stage fright.

PS- mods have a bit pf a problem with the Fword, bud. Lots of 12 yrs old lurking here too..
 

tbmills

Gold Member
...if you play something like metal music or hard rock...
hardly, and thats part of the problem. i have been playing 4 hour cover sets for a few years now with mates that i have a hard time respecting as musicians. this summer however, i have been invited to join an original "new"grass band (1 1/2 hour sets) for their summer tour around the southeast. i have alot more fun with these guys, maybe itll show through...

oh, i dont really have any stage fright...
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
The first thing that you have to do is stop thinking about what you look like! You can't fake stage presence! The audience will now if you are trying to put on a fashion models pose! Do simple things like when you reach for a cymbal look out at the audience and smile as you hit it. Look at other members of your band as if you are signaling each other. Sing along with the song now and then. Look down at your snare for a while and bob your head slightly as if you are in deep concentration. Keep slowly scanning your gaze in different directions. Don't clench your jaw! Let your mouth relax and stay open slightly.

The most important thing of all is this. You must become one with the audience! You must feel deep inside that the audience is your closest friend! You must feel that the people out there like you and you like them more! If you feel good then your aura will project positively all around you!

Just watch Papa Jo! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrKShqNkcnI
Doesn't he make you feel like you are his best friend?
 
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Average

Senior Member
The first thing that you have to do is stop thinking about what you look like! You can't fake stage presence! The audience will now if you are trying to put on a fashion models pose! Do simple things like when you reach for a cymbal look out at the audience and smile as you hit it. Look at other members of your band as if you are signaling each other. Sing along with the song now and then. Look down at your snare for a while and bob your head slightly as if you are in deep concentration. Keep slowly scanning your gaze in different directions. Don't clench your jaw! Let your mouth relax and stay open slightly.

The most important thing of all is this. You must become one with the audience! You must feel deep inside that the audience is your closest friend! You must feel that the people out there like you and you like them more! If you feel good then your aura will project positively all around you!

Just watch Papa Jo! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrKShqNkcnI
Doesn't he make you feel like you are his best friend?
This is pretty good advice. The other thing to do is to pay close attention to the soloist. It is a conversation. If the soloist throws something out, see if you can figure out a complimentary idea. Help the soloist build and resolve tension. He/she will really appreciate it because the solo will be better. The whole band will be better. You'll enjoy yourself more and so will the audience. The last thing you want to be is bored on stage.
 

synergy

Senior Member
When I look back at my first few shows- I chuckle a little,

I had 5 cymbals all out infront of me so that no-one could see me!

I am now down to 3 cymbals that I use all the time but I have them low so that I can see the audience.

I make sure I am making eye contact with as many people watching as I can.

As with stage presence I just try to enjoy what I'm doing and try not to overthink what I'm doing-

Hopefully, that comes through in my presence onstage
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I had a similar problem when I was 21. I thought I looked like I was into the music, but when I saw a video of myself, the expression on my face said "I don't want to be here" and I looked like I was trying to crawl under my snare stand. Not at all what I thought I was projecting.

So I worked on it. On stage, I thought about what my head was doing, what my facial muscles were doing.

A little later, I joined a band where the whole band rehearsed in front of a giant mirror. We weren't trying to be a cheesey visual band, but we were aware that people go to SEE a show, and not just HEAR one.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I once read a quote that I think came from Pat Boone that went like this "People Hear What They See" There is a great deal of truth in that statement.
 

jwildman

Senior Member
You got to get the spirit of drumming in you. Move around while you play, headbang and stuff like that. Before you play listen to the song Bulls On Parade by Rage. Grab some sticks and try to air play to that. That always gets me jammin.
 

mcbike

Silver Member
It helps to wear sunglasses when you play if you can get away with it. especially at outdoor gigs because you can look at people and they can't see you plus you look like a cool drummer. I also like to wear hat so I can block the lights if they are in my face. I saw a bunch of pictures of me playing with my eyes all squinted up because of the stage lights.

There are some venues I play that are just awkward with like people sitting down at tables in front of the stage and I just like to stare over their heads to the back of the room.

you have to try to keep a smile or half smile on your face all the time and look like you are enjoying what you are doing, unless it's metal or hardcore. try to bring the audience into what you are doing. try to get them clapping along if you have a break in the song or somebody is doing an intro. sing along on the choruses too it will.

another thing that will help you at shows if you have breaks between sets is to go talk to people in the audience try to make friends with people. I used to hate doing this but it really helps if you can meet people every time you play. If anybody says good show make sure you get their name and introduce yourself. try to remember their names too because if you do it will mean alot to them. There are a bunch of tricks to remembering peoples names.

It makes it alot easier in the second set if you can connect with people in the crowd.
 

Baddstuff

Senior Member
it all depends on just how important that is for you and what you're trying to achieve. I can think of four drummers I've seen that don't have a whole lot of stage presence, aside from their chops of course, ha ha.
Dennis Chambers, Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl and Virgil Donati just to name a few.They all pretty much just play drums, no stick twirling or Tommy Lee-like showmanship. Chambers chews his gum, smiles and kicks all kinds of butt. Works for me! :)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
TB, If you want to sound better, listen to recordings of yourself, if you want to look better, look at videos of yourself. Simple as that. You just have to have the guts to confront yourself and make changes. I'm sure it will reveal things that you may not realize, because you can't look at yourself when you're playing. I haven't done this yet, but I did just recently score a video recorder, so I'm gonna put it to good use. I don't want to look like a tool either ha ha
 
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