Discreetly positioning sheet music.

michaelg

Member
Where do you place your charts/sheet music if your trying to hide it from the audience that your reading ?

I usually place mine on a stand under the hats but its not ideal as my head ends up looking down a fair bit.
 

basset52

Senior Member
I'm the same as you - I keep looking down too much as well, but I figured it is the lesser of 2 evils. ie I don't like the look of a high placed stand. I don't mind people see me reading though. I'll be interested in responses.
 

Bozozoid

Silver Member
Where do you place your charts/sheet music if your trying to hide it from the audience that your reading ?

I usually place mine on a stand under the hats but its not ideal as my head ends up looking down a fair bit.
Wow..you to. It's where I put my cheat sheets for new tunes now and then. Ya know what though..if I make a sheet it ends up like training wheels and I sometimes fear forgetting it..it makes my brain dependent and lazy.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I rarely use music, but when I do, my only consideration is that it's positioned so I can see it clearly. Same for set lists. In one band, I have the sheet pinned to the wall next to me at eye-level. Anyone walking near the stage can see the list, but me seeing it is all that really matters.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
If its a single sheet I blu-tak it to the top of the bass drum. I often put set lists there too.
If its a folder on a music stand I place it over the left side of the hihat.
I have sometimes placed a low music stand sligtly across the floor tom, depending on where the cymbals are.
 

Bozozoid

Silver Member
I also at times..well? Many times used my hihat rod to hold the sheet by pushing a hole through the paper at the bottom using the rod as a hole punch sliding the paper down with the rod (in the back) of the paper making a hole in the top..sliding the paper down and I'm all set to rock the tune. I do however have to use readers from Dollar Tree..150's to see it clearly.
 

MG1127

Well-known member
Why do you care if the audience sees you reading a chart?

It's what musicians do

No one cares if you are reading a chart.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I like to see a drummer reading music.
How about getting another floor tom to put it on.
I write set lists on the snare in pencil. I also write on the snare when working on new originals.
 

Bozozoid

Silver Member
Why do you care if the audience sees you reading a chart?

It's what musicians do

No one cares if you are reading a chart.
We actually had a band MEETING! On our horn section using charts. The semi kinda sorta band um leader? suggested it looked to unprofessional. using the analogy that Chicago wouldn't use charts on stage. This subject came up more than it should have.
 

s1212z

Drum Expert
The audience perspective is relative w/ many types of audiences. I kinda like it watching a jazz show, maybe someone wrote a quick little ditty and we going to see some sight-reading that will take off into uncharted improv. So I think musicians in the audience don't mind it, in fact it feel it promising that I might hear something interesting. But I'm trying to imagine a KISS show where the whole band is reading music with classic music stands :unsure:. Then there is also a whole lineage progressive music with some unspoken rule of never reading music on stage where it probably would be extremely helpful but is refused. In some instances, I've seen it as a crutch....we were a well rehearsed as a band but it was like a binky blanket that made some comfortable. I felt once the music is memorized you can start focusing other details to polish the material but we had no audience whatsoever and the music was difficult so not a big issue.
 

Armor of Light

Senior Member
I like to see a drummer reading music.
How about getting another floor tom to put it on.
I write set lists on the snare in pencil. I also write on the snare when working on new originals.
Other than dirty stick tips..it's a fine idea. Historical documents!
 

Armor of Light

Senior Member
We actually had a band MEETING! On our horn section using charts. The semi kinda sorta band um leader? suggested it looked to unprofessional. using the analogy that Chicago wouldn't use charts on stage. This subject came up more than it should have.
Oh shit..not a meeting! Ugh.
I only sing like..6 songs. I still need a sheet. I have a big 14" tom right in front of me, and I put it up there. I just either don't drum on it, or drum carefully on it! I have not figured out a good solution for my smaller kit, other than taped right under my left-side crash..on the stand.
 

Quai34

Junior Member
In my former rock band, one male singer only, everyone was asking me why he has is head always looking down at the floor....Because, even after singing the songs for years, he has never made the effort to learn songs and then, he's reading the lyrics.
With me, as a band leader in my new band, only one type of Members must avoid to read, because they are the focus of the show, they make the show, and they are the singers!!!!
Is Madonna's reading her lyrics? Are any Pop rock singers reading their lyrics and then, are stuck to one place while they are supposed to dance and moove and interact with the public?
The rest? If you have a set of 12 songs only, one hour, well, maybe you could know everything by Heart but even that, a chart for the musicians is like a little cheat sheet for all the special stuff the singer has asked them to do, not too slow, here, give the clue, there, singer what's the bass to do this etc... Especially if the singer is the band leader.
So, recap for me, musicians who support the show, when they have 50 songs minimum for 3 or 4 hours of show, yes, they could have a book or an iPad?
But singers, no way, you learnt poetry by heart when you were little, learn your damn lyric too, it's part of your job!!! But other than them, of course you could have charts...With charts, I can play a show of any number of songs immediately with no practice at 95% within mistakes, the 5% are when the band changed a bit the song compared to the original and this, I have to know it, but the rest, Charts...
After a while, I don't even look at them anymore, only to check which changes I have to do on the keys for programs, even if they are all programmed by Midi, it's better to have your programs in your head:
Imagine starting "Jump" with a patch of symphonic strings?
For horns, if it's a jazz show, they would have a music stand/desk, with the name of the band in it and it's perfect, all big bands have that.
If they don't have that many songs to learn, in rock guitar driven band, they could learn them, if they are in a show with songs ala Bruno Mars, when they are supposed to "be one" with the singers on specific songs, they have to learn them as well, the rest, "pupitre" is ok, they will have the charts in front of them and no one will notice...
But for singers, you are the center of the show, so, do your part, learn the lyrics!!!
 
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Are any Pop rock singers reading their lyrics and then, are stuck to one place while they are supposed to dance and moove and interact with the public?
Axle Rose and Ozzy have been using teleprompters for decades. AC/DC caught slack for using one at the 2015 Grammys, which offers teleprompter usage to all performers if they want it. It's not unusual any more.

Aerosmith:
aerosmith_teleprompter.png

Miley Cyrus:
MBTaGtL.jpg

Celine Dion, Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, and Bruce Springsteen use them also.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I have played in all sorts of situations, from classical chamber music and theater (everyone's on book, full score, 100%) to the big rock show where looking at music would definitely be a distraction to the audience. Two questions to ask: (1) is visual performance an important part of the act? and (2) how complex is the music being played?

When people go to listen to classical music or recitals, they are there 100% for the music, and while a little exuberance on the part of the conductor might be entertaining to the audience, it's not required or necessarily expected. In musical theater, only rarely is the band/orchestra even seen. In these cases, I position the music where I can see it and not have to turn my head too far away from the conductor/director, and/or any monitors I might need to be watching.

In a rock band situation where the visual motif is crucial to audience engagement, you won't see a music stand near me with a binder full of music. More likely, you'll see a setlist taped to my drum rug, or possibly on a tablet near me. Any complex bits to the music might be notated in short bullets on the setlist, but typically there's been a LOT of rehearsal and it's there as a guardrail, nothing more.

Generally speaking I have the title and key of the song on my setlist (and in one of my bands, who sings the lead). I can remember one rock show in the last 20 years where I used a color chart system to keep track of arrangements (green = verse, red = chorus, blue = solo, etc) because it was a pick-up band with two hours of music and we'd met once to run through the set. But remember, the visual is a BIG component of a rock show! You don't want to be rooted to the spot in front of a music stand, your nose in a score! Even as the stationary drummer, movement and projection of your emotion is what the audience wants to see.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
iPad (with music, we use iReal pro) mounted to a cymbal or hi hat stand.

 

Quai34

Junior Member
Axle Rose and Ozzy have been using teleprompters for decades. AC/DC caught slack for using one at the 2015 Grammys, which offers teleprompter usage to all performers if they want it. It's not unusual any more.

Aerosmith:
View attachment 108155

Miley Cyrus:
View attachment 108156

Celine Dion, Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, and Bruce Springsteen use them also.
Oo, I didn't know, I said Madonna because she's dancing in all of her songs all over the place with her two other dancers/singers and that's why I cannot imagine her reading at the same time. Ok, so don't say anything to my singers ok??
 
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