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  #1  
Old 11-07-2018, 08:15 PM
Toclemen Toclemen is offline
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Default Counting off the song w/banter

Hi All,

I have an issue... I start out every song when the entire band comes in. However, our lead singer (LSD) has constant banter, he doesn't stop for a second, in fact, he's still talking after we start the song! I find it intrusive to the music but more importantly I can't concentrate on the feel of the song before my count in. I only ask for a second or two but I don't get it. I'm curious if any drummer on here had that happen or any advice on how to deal with it. Is it just me? or does that seem a little messed up? The other guys in the band tell me to just start the song while he's talking and I'm finding it hard to do on every song. I mean when do I interrupt him while he's talking about his day or his wife or saying hi and talking to friends. Probably the worst part is when the guitar or keyboard player start the song and I can't hear where they are in the intro. I've been playing a long time and never heard constant banter like that.

It's driving me crazy!
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2018, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Start playing drum solos over his banter.
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  #3  
Old 11-07-2018, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

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Start playing drum solos over his banter.
This. He will quit eventually when he gets the hint. I would also just tell him frankly the audience doesn't care about his day...
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

It's not that unusual, as long as it's agreed upon with the singer and band. Just make sure you have the rest of the players' attention that you're starting, so the band is tight.

It doesn't generally happen in the bands I'm in, except occasionally where the singer also plays, and comes in on their own while talking. It's usually the same each time, everyone knows where to come in.

Bermuda
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Get a grip, man.

Stage banter is one of the best ways to keep an audience engaged between songs or while guitar players fiddle with cables or tunings. A good front man doing banter is like a good salesman on a pitch. It's your job to back up his efforts unless I suppose they're met with cricket noises because he's simply not good at banter to hold anyone's interest.

So buck up and ignore what he's saying and just play your part as if he's not talking. Think of it as a personal challenge instead of getting upset about it.
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  #6  
Old 11-07-2018, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Disagree Watso. Tell the guy to shut his gob...or at least reign it in.
I mean really, it sounds obnoxious to an audience...constant chatter. I don't want to hear about the guys wife or kids or new car or what happened to him at Walmart...boring....play the next damn song.
Of course my request to the vocalist to stop this would be less terse than my post.
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

I tried to say that it's pretty obvious when it doesn't work, but if the audience is digging it and the guy is good at it, don't let yourself get so hungup that you can't play your part simply because he's talking. Hell, I can play most of the parts I've written while I talk. I'm just not seeing how this is getting in the way of the drumming.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:42 PM
Toclemen Toclemen is offline
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Thanks for the comments, a good mix. Iíve asked him several times to tone it down but it gets worst, especially when he drinks a lot. I think his friends all like
The banter but some people tell me he talks too much, so not everyone enjoys it. Some of the stuff he says is just point less. But I couldnít be a front man myself. He talks over great guitar solos too, inconsiderate.

Heís a really good singer though, Iíll give him that. But he knows it too, that where the LSD comes in😉
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

I can't really get on board with talking during solo parts... Maybe this guy is a problem after all! I've done the quiet vamp while people talk thing before, but talking over someone's solo?
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Personally, I've done it. Say, for example our keyboard player is changing a patch. The lead singer engages the audience with his his/her banter, and when the keyboard player is ready, I count off the tune, banter still going and the band kicks in. Personally, I kind of like it.

Also I've played a beat, while the singer talks over it. Say, for example, the drum into to "Billie Jean" or "Hella Good."
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2018, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

There's good banter and bad banter. If it's bad, stay or leave are your choices. You have a case of the classic lead singer syndrome on your hands, it sounds like anyway. Is it worth quitting over? It might, just asking. That's your decision.
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2018, 11:56 PM
Toclemen Toclemen is offline
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Hey Drummerca35, did the singer have you stop and restart because he was talking? I can get that too, not a lot but he does it. Very embarrassing. I would quit the band but the band does very well. I know what your thinking, well he canít be that bad but the truth is, his voice is that good, if that makes any sense at all.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2018, 12:11 AM
DrummerCA35 DrummerCA35 is offline
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

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Originally Posted by Toclemen View Post
Hey Drummerca35, did the singer have you stop and restart because he was talking? I can get that too, not a lot but he does it. Very embarrassing. I would quit the band but the band does very well. I know what your thinking, well he canít be that bad but the truth is, his voice is that good, if that makes any sense at all.
No, the singer has never done that to me in our band. Yeah, I could see that being totally embarrassing. And I understand what you're saying...it's hard to quit if the band's doing well. Good luck with this!
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  #14  
Old 11-08-2018, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Live banter is very important but the banterer has to have a rhythm to his banter. If they are just blabbing, it's like talking to those lonely, non stop talkers who won't take a pause so you can squeeze in and say something.

When it's time for the song to start they need to give a cue so we can count it in. It sounds bad when the song cuts off the banterer. It's even worse if the vocals come in on the first note.

It should be simple. We (drummers) are sitting back there, ready and waiting. Say what you want to say, give me a simple and consistent cue and lets do this thing.

What I hate is small talk between songs in rehearsal. I don't really care who played what instrument on what song whenever. I just wan't to rehearse our parts on our songs right now dammit.
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  #15  
Old 11-08-2018, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

One somewhat unprofessional band i play with make counting off very difficult for me.

they talk among themselves between songs trying to decide what to play next, and I'm always the last person to hear what song it will be.
I've mentioned a set list but no they don't want a set.

It takes me about 3 to 4 seconds to grab a tempo from memory but if someone is noodling on guitar or making noise i can't hear myself thinking.
The bass player has this habit of tapping his foot loudly or tapping his bass strings for a tempo before i count it in ???? I don't need any help thank-you.
And his count in are always too fast and frantic.

Tough going, I think its actually a type of nervousness or hyperactivity on their part.
Not saying I'm perfect either but i dont noodle between tunes right up till the count in.
Shame as they are great guys otherwise
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  #16  
Old 11-08-2018, 03:54 AM
Toclemen Toclemen is offline
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Wow Michaelg, talking and no set list! Iím feeling a lot better about my situation. Just kidding, that sucks. At least I know Iím not the only one who canít concentrate while talking is going on, on stage.

New trick, I actually asked the singer to give me a que when heís done cackling and then I can start the song, weíll see how that works out. The one thing Iím worried about is we may have him talking a minute after every song, seriously!
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  #17  
Old 11-08-2018, 04:48 AM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

While at it...anybody here have 2 guitar bands, and both guitarists tune incessantly and at length after just about every tune? Oh and to boot - they need to click on and adjust a few pedals, all for a total of what seems like eternity.
Ya we are obviously not pros, but I have made a comment that all this tinkering makes for too long between songs. Maybe WE need a banterer
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  #18  
Old 11-08-2018, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

I used to cut off my old lead singer all the time by counting off and starting the song.

No one needs that much banter.
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  #19  
Old 11-08-2018, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

In several past & current bands, I used to have many of these problems. Here are a few useful ideas that helpled:

#1 - The band should treat song transitions & banter just like it does learning songs themselves. You have to practice them. Focus on transitions, practice them, find places to fix, tune, change sticks, etc. that are not taking 15-30 seconds between songs (an eternity). The best way for the entire band to get feedback and concentrate on transitions is:

#2 - Buy a Zoom H1 recorder for $100 (https://www.guitarcenter.com/Zoom/H1-Handy-Recorder.gc). This is money well spent as you can record personal practices, band practices, band gigs, etc. A great tool for improvement. Use it to record gigs - turn it on at the beginning of the evening and off at the end and have the whole night in one easy recording. Then listen to your band's song transitions - how long between, what the banter is like, what works, what doesn't, etc. This is the best way for criticial feedback on what the band sounds like at gigs from the viewpoint of the listening audience (instead of a busy band member) . After the gig, I use audacity (https://www.audacityteam.org/) to cut specific songs out of such recordings and have also cut out major chunks of songs leaving only beginning, ending & transitions between songs so you can listen to these from a 3 hour gig over a short time frame. I'll analyzed how long between each transition, writing down the amount of seconds between each song - the goal generally being as short as possible 3-5 seconds with slightly longer breaks after bunches of 5-6 songs. The goal, in general, is to play fluidly through the set, with very, very little down-time. Keep people engaged & dancing. Don't give them an opportunity to leave the floor or the club.

#3 - Some longer banter (between bunches of songs) is good but as others have said, it depends on how it's done. The only way to really know how it comes off is record it at gigs, then email it around the day or two after the gig for all band members to hear, critique and find/suggest ways to improve.
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

James Brown used to do entire songs of banter: Escapism, the longer album cut of Sex Machine. And the grooves on both is in the pocket all the way. But that's next level sh*t.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
While at it...anybody here have 2 guitar bands, and both guitarists tune incessantly and at length after just about every tune? Oh and to boot - they need to click on and adjust a few pedals, all for a total of what seems like eternity.
Ya we are obviously not pros, but I have made a comment that all this tinkering makes for too long between songs. Maybe WE need a banterer
So inconsiderate. Just for once, I'd love to be a problem to these kinds of people, because they are a problem to me. I just want to shake them. If it were my band I'd levy heavy fines anytime that happens. This might be one situation where I wouldn't verbally hold back, and damn the torpedos. Noodling to other's detriment (band members, audience members) should be the butt of ridicule until it ceases completely! I especially don't like when a guitarist noodles on the chords for the upcoming song, giving it away before it starts. If I were a bandleader, there would be a fair amount of standards to adhere to.

Let's start an international campaign to stamp out noodling, starting with our own bands. I say use genuine cutting ridicule, not joking ridicule. Get mad. Squeaky wheels and all. It's completely
unacceptable, period.

Maybe when they noodle, drown them out with drums. Every time. You'll stop if they will.
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  #22  
Old 11-08-2018, 03:36 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Banter is necessary, so is tuning. but not EVERY song.

My band writes our set lists usually in groups of 2 or 3. That means 3 songs work into the next song... Every few songs there is about a minute or less of banter to allow the guitar players a QUICK tune, and me to possibly adjust a drum or stand etc. Also. tune BEFORE you get on stage.. if you have to tune ever song, you need to relook your playing, technique, or crappy gear that won't hold a tune for 3 minutes... This goes for guitar or drums.

These bands who do stuff for 1 minute after every song or even longer lose my interest right away. or noodling.

The thing is, you can't just have someone wing stage banter and hope it works out. My vocalist practices banter at jam. On the break between the 3 song runs he is saying roughly what he will be saying a the show. "hello xcity, yadda yadda, this next songs called x" and other stuff.. he's not making it up on the fly. That is where it gets awkward for everyone.

It's also good if you either have a solo planned, a grove with a bass player, or the singer can kill a few minutes when a string breaks. or have the guitarist bring a spare.


I was in a band for a while and the banter was almost the main part of the show. It was like a stand up comedy act with a side of music.. Very fun band.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

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I especially don't like when a guitarist noodles on the chords for the upcoming song, giving it away before it starts.
.
I used to tell guitarists to turn around and face the wall so the audience can't hear them practicing the next song or solo. It usually takes them a while to get it.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
While at it...anybody here have 2 guitar bands, and both guitarists tune incessantly and at length after just about every tune? Oh and to boot - they need to click on and adjust a few pedals, all for a total of what seems like eternity.
Ya we are obviously not pros, but I have made a comment that all this tinkering makes for too long between songs. Maybe WE need a banterer
There are ways to make tuning less of an issue, but as a guitarist I will tell that I am not going more than two songs before tuning. And because I play in small clubs and bars I rarely get a soundcheck, meaning after the first song I usually have a bunch of changes to make. Tuning is just part of having a guitar in the band. They are incredibly unstable instruments, and even being a few cents out makes a huge difference. Most rock bands have a tech that hands them a new guitar every song, smaller bands obviously dont have that luxury.

That being said, we practice all of this in rehersals. We always have a break after the first song where the singer does some talking while I fiddle with my pedals. Then we have tuning breaks built into the set. We practice not only when the breaks are, but what the singer will say. Its not necessarily scripted, but it follows a logical progression. He has some cool ways he introduces things and it stops the show from becoming a standup routine.

Last edited by eclipseownzu; 11-08-2018 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

As long as the singer's banter is not rude, obnoxious, or downright boring, I would welcome his actions. Like radio, silence between songs is uncomfortable for the audience. They love good banter. I've been in a couple of bands where the singer was very good at banter, and I could see the bond that it created between the band and the fans. It humanizes the band and makes them accessible to the audience. One of my bands had two front men who were great at doing jokes, conversing with the audience, and playing hijinks between each other. The audience felt free to talk back and converse with the singers, and it was easy to see the positive results.

Again, the success of on-stage banter is totally dependent on the personality of the person doing it. Forcing the humor or pretending to be accessible will result in a train wreck and make the situation tense for everybody involved.

As far as moving into the next song, I agree with the suggestions made by others - discuss with the other members how to develop signals that it's time to start the next song, and make it clear to the singer what those signals are and that they signify to him that it's time to reign in the talking and work on the song. Calmly discussing the issue with all band members is essential. And the guy who leads the discussion needs to have the same type of friendly, non-confrontational kind of personality that we've been discussing.

In short, your front man can be a tremendous asset to your band if you can establish a clearly-understood SOP that everybody is committed to abide by.

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  #26  
Old 11-08-2018, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

OMG, the TUNING TUNING TUNING!!!!

So tired of it. To be fair, we play outside a lot, and the heat and humidity have been more present than usual this entire summer. I really don't think it's their fault, but these guys use their phones to tune, and it drives me absolutely bonkers. I know they don't care, but it looks so incredibly unprofessional to not only tune between every song, but to use that stupid tuner on your phone. I mean, come ON!

Back to the OP:

I think banter can be a good way to get between songs, but I get what you're saying. One thing that I do is that I sing part of the chorus in my head right before counting in. Heck, even sing or hum it a little to yourself if no one can hear. This should help you get the right tempo.
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Banter can be great and it can be terrible, you have to get the balance right.
Talk about it together, it’s probably not the case (then again it might be) but maybe he thinks he’s doing the right thing and filling dead air and he could be on a singers Forum now moaning about how he likes to talk as songs get counted in so that he can hit the mark as his part starts but his band mates never catch on. Like how radio DJs talk until the vocals of the song or an advert start.
If he’s entertaining to the audience then it becomes your choice of whether it’s worth putting up with, I made a similiar choice once and left, there are times I regret it but all I need to do is watch an old video on YouTube and I come out of it. If he’s not entertaining and people are glazing over and making excuses then it needs to be discussed.
And re the many comments about tuning, every guitarist I’ve played alongside and every one I’ve seen playing in pubs in my neck of the woods has either a tuning pedal or a pedalboard setting that mutes the guitar while tuning the strings. Guitarists can be their own worst enemies and they’ve admitted to me that often they’ll be in doubt and knock a guitar out of tune to tune it back up rather than risk it slipping in the next song but it’s not a gear issue because I’ve seen and heard it happen with probably a dozen brands and sub brands of guitar over the years.
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

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OMG, the TUNING TUNING TUNING!!!!

So tired of it. To be fair, we play outside a lot, and the heat and humidity have been more present than usual this entire summer. I really don't think it's their fault, but these guys use their phones to tune, and it drives me absolutely bonkers. I know they don't care, but it looks so incredibly unprofessional to not only tune between every song, but to use that stupid tuner on your phone. I mean, come ON!
OK, you are absolutely right on this. Using a cell phone to tune in a live environment is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard in my life. Every band I have been in the guitarist has a pedal. They are quick and easy, and (the best part) they cut the guitar signal so you can tune in silence. The fact that they dont have them is almost unforgivable, and in my book is one of the most unprofessional things I have ever heard.
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:57 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Honestly if your guitar players don't have tuning pedals, or rack mount tuners you shouldn't be playing gigs.. I NEVER want to hear that at a gig, or jam for that matter but at jam I can tolerate it. At a gig if they are tuning to their low string that doesn't mean they are in tune with each other.. YOU NEED tuners.

Good guitars can go a few songs without tweaking... good drums stay in tune longer. having your guitar setup will help that too. That's why it's good to not do banter on every single song... every 2, keep it short, allow the guys to tune silently, and away you go.

Its VERY easy to tell a band who plays gigs often, or a new band.

a 10 minute gear swap verses 20+,,, that's a good way to piss off every band after you, tuning on stage, unscripted banter that goes nowhere and gets awkward.


I honestly suggest practicing the banter at jams.. play the set in the same order, and have the singer say what he will say at the gig. Practice "pretending" to break a guitar string, or fix a broken pedal. Things happen, your singer NEEDS to be able to do some banter.. on the fly that can get UGLY!
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Old 11-09-2018, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Iím surprised by the split in opinions. Anything beyond ďhow yíall doingĒ and ďthank youĒ is amateur. Itís the sign of a bad wedding band and/or a narcissist with a mic.

While playing in One of the best bands Iíve ever been in, we mutually decided against stage banter, to let the music do the talking. It was one of the best decisions we made. We really like how it felt, ending one tune and after an appropriate rest/pause starting the next one. We all played better and enjoyed every gig much more.
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Old 11-09-2018, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

We're playing a new club this Saturday night and got the gig because we don't pollute the stage with endless banter. An employee from this club saw us at another gig and approached us at break and said we would be great for her place because all we do is play songs, no endless talking between songs. I gave her a business card, a booking flyer and demo CD. Stopped by her club a week later and got booked. All because we keep stage banter to a minimum and just do what we're paid to do - play music. I'm not saying we completely ignore the crowd, but other than "Good Evening", "Thank You" and dropping the band's name, website, etc. once (and only once) per set, that's pretty much it.
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  #32  
Old 11-09-2018, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Our bass player plays whole uncalled for bass solos in between songs in a desperate bid to prove that, while he can play the bass parts to Hot Pants and The Boss, he is in fact far, far better than that and not only that, listen to how great I am as a jazz fusion bassist. 'Yeah, I can play like Bernard Odum and Bootsy if I HAVE to but listen to this Jaco Pastorious solo everyone. I'm much, much better than all this James Brown nonsense that I never listen to anyway.'

Drives me effin' bloody mental.
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:10 PM
Mustion Mustion is online now
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

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Originally Posted by hawksmoor View Post
Our bass player plays whole uncalled for bass solos in between songs in a desperate bid
I'm trying to picture this. Like what do the rest of you all do when he's Jaco'ing off?

I swear it's like some musicians who get the privilege of playing on a stage have never themselves seen professional bands play live. When I was 14 in my first band I realized quickly that inbetween song stuff other than (silent) tuning and short banter wasn't cute or enjoyable for the audience whether at a paid gig in a concert hall or jamming at a backyard party. Shut up and play...
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:24 PM
Woolwich Woolwich is offline
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

I think we need to recognise that neither option is always right.
In my Classic Rock band we have the bare minimum of between song speaking, partly because our singer is very shy. Thereíll be a couple of times through the set, particularly the last few songs where sheíll thank the audience, introduce the band or, very skilfully given how shy she is, do a thank you, see you next time, etc. over the final song intro and time it so she finishes up just as she starts singing. But as a whole we bang from song to song and have several groups of 2 or 3 songs with pre arranged segues to keep things flowing.
In our Glam Rock band the 3 guys at the front are all genuinely hilarious and there have been times when I couldnít play for laughing. Not meandering stories, just one liners and observations. To be honest weíre probably still cracking through songs quicker than some bands who donít talk between songs but weíre there to entertain and the Glam Rock is more conducive to a party atmosphere than Classic Rock.
That being said, sometimes certain members of the audience can get carried away and think theyíre part of the show, when that happens and they donít take the hint it becomes time to count in a song and let the singer mouth that he canít hear what theyíre saying and start singing.
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:53 PM
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hawksmoor hawksmoor is offline
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

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Originally Posted by Mustion View Post
I'm trying to picture this. Like what do the rest of you all do when he's Jaco'ing off?

I swear it's like some musicians who get the privilege of playing on a stage have never themselves seen professional bands play live. When I was 14 in my first band I realized quickly that inbetween song stuff other than (silent) tuning and short banter wasn't cute or enjoyable for the audience whether at a paid gig in a concert hall or jamming at a backyard party. Shut up and play...
We're always calling him out on it. Imagine if I did it: 'Yeah, I can play like Jabo if I HAVE to but I'm just gonna play Bonham's intro to Rock And Roll in between all those soul and funk songs.'
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Old 11-09-2018, 07:55 PM
Toclemen Toclemen is offline
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Since I started this thread, you would think Iím talking about a novice band. But Iím not. Weíre fortunate enough to do Casinoís and big festivals and get paid well. A lot of the success is due to his voice not his banter. I know I sound like a horrible unappreciative person since he really is the most important person in this band and Here I am dogging him. But telling the crowd your trashed, talking over the music and in between most every song is annoying as hell. Especially when most of it is pointless and not though out at all. And, do you really have to shove merchandise down the crowds throats several times a night? I guess Iím using this thread to vent, if I do it anymore in the band Iíll be fired. Unfortunately I know itís unlikely Iíll get another successful gig like this at this point in my life.

Itís good to know that some people would find it annoying too.
I know banter can be great but it can be way over the top too.
Thanks everyone.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:06 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

It sounds simplistic but, just talk with him? He might not be aware that his actions are disruptive to the flow. If you are striving for perfection/greatness, the details are important.

I think I know where you are coming from. As a drummer who counts in the songs, I am always looking for the right time to do so.I. 'm making sure everyone appears ready and I'm waiting for a natural break in the banter so I don't step on it.


This band thing is a team sport and everyone should work together.. Ideally, the banter has some flow, like a normal conversation. I think the beginnings (and ends) of songs are important.

A after the gig, I will point out some places where the front people stepped on the intro and they will make a mental note of it.


Crap....I already replied to this thread :)
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  #38  
Old 11-09-2018, 09:13 PM
Mustion Mustion is online now
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

I guess the big question is:

You guys get these decent paying casino and festival gigs where the lead singer acts embarrassingly on stage.

After that, however, do these same casinos and festivals call you guys back/refer you to others?
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:43 PM
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Ben Tama Ben Tama is offline
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

Do you have a clip/recording of this happening? Would love to hear it, maybe one of your friends can record this during one of your shows. Put it up on youtube and let the comments section decide, if it's bad he can read what people say about him.
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:30 PM
moxman moxman is offline
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Default Re: Counting off the song w/banter

A few things.. if the band wants to call audibles off the set list I just say 'fine - you count it in'. Otherwise I work from the setlist and am prepared prior to the end of the previous song for what's coming up, what the lyric /melody is, what percussion I nneed to use for my left hand etc. and in the 3-4 seconds between song I'm ready to count off at the right tempo... I just find calling it on the fly kinda amateurish... one or two here and there is okay but the whole night of that can make the band look like they don't know what they're doing... (unless the band really knows their stuff and can wing it on the fly. I do that with some older crowds where we just call out old rock n roll tunes and we all know them in our sleep so it's not a problem.. but if there's any discussion or noodling - forget it!

If the guy is talking to the crowd.. after 4 seconds you lose the dance floor so no matter what the guy is saying I just start counting in.. and that is what the rest of the band encourages me to do.. just ignore whatever he's talking about and count in.. he'll eventually figure out he has to make his banter short and sweet.
Unless its a planned thing .. like after 6 songs Fritz does the story about the monkey and the microphone.. etc.
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