dead time on stage?



it usually always happens with us...
so my question is:
How do you guys prevent having dead time on stage?

Dead time on stage.. .sucks, big time. It's almost always avoidable.

I detest watching bands fiddling around between numbers. It's un-cool & very amateurish/unprofessional. Like a middle-school band playing their first school gig.

We always plan as well as is possible & hit the audience, from the off, usually three in a row, then say hello & get back on it.
If you play good music why not present it well. Very well.

Remember you're on stage, not in a rehearsal studio.
Never ignore the audience. entertain them with your music, presented in an entertaining way.



Senior Member

I detest watching bands fiddling around between numbers.
So do I for the obvious reasons you stated.

I detest it even more if the band plays good music because then it is a case of disrespect towards the audience.

It is also very unprofessional for every member of a band to hide themselves behind their music sheets, reading them as if they were playing the tune for the first time and not communicating at all with the audience.

Such bands may have the excuse of their inexperience but someone has to tell them that the stage is not a rehearsal studio.


Yes, but most, if not all, bands do that already and have since the beginning of time. But you just can't keep doing that over and over again, can you?

That would get very repetitious and awkward after the first couple of times. I know, cause it's happened to me and my band mates in the past. You need to change it up quite frequently, especially when you have some really dedicated fans that follow you to each show.

Though, it shouldn't become a major factor if you just try to keep an "even flow" on stage. It's like most everything gets easier, the more you do it. ;-)
I do agree with you on that. It would get very repetitious. Another idea you could do is ask the audience questions. For example, I was at a Metallica concert in Newark New Jersey and after the song One James said "With a show of hands, how many of you guys are Metallica Virgins. This is your first Metallica concert. (pause) Welcome to the family." I thought that was really cool but of course I won't copy him. I am just giving ideas.


Gold Member
I'm seeing a bit of stress from this . . . It's important, but it's not SOOO important that the relaxed atmosphere of the band be compromised.

We kind of meet it in the middle. It's a Guitar based show, SOOOO, there HAS to be time for Guitar changing, so the bass player has his things to say.

Also, no set lists. A MASTER list does the trick for us. The leader of the band knows what he's ready for as the next tune, he also takes the crowd into account. He pretty much knows the next tune before we end the one we're on. We know to expect SOMETHING, so we're ready. It makes for a different show every night. Ends the "staleness" of the same old set list.
See, in the one project I am in (an acoustic project, more ear candy than dancing), we do the master list thing. However, it can take a few seconds to half a minute to pick the next song (our master list is over 150 songs and grows weekly). I think it's good to have a set list for every show...however, keep it a UNIQUE set list for each show. That way, you don't have the staleness of the same old set list, but you get to avoid the "What's next" moments on stage.

Of course, it also helps to all be comfortable with each other and know that you can read the audience. If we have a crowd going crazy, and a ballad is next, any one of us can audible to a good crazy song instead. However, we usually try to do this DURING the song before, so there is still no dead time.