How do you act when playing? Stage presence

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Just thinking ... if a player is putting 100% into it and is clearly passionate, that's always great to watch. I prefer that to smug "Hey, I can do this standing on my head" cheeriness. Horses for courses.
 

bigd

Silver Member
This whole thing about eye contact is a load of nonsense. Sure it's good but it's not what is truly important for the band to connect with the audience. I've been fully entranced by the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra and they don't look me in the eye.

A drummer can bring a new level of intensity to a band. I've seen it on the local blues scene here. They don't only support the others in the band . Two of the guys I went to school with. They can be extremely intense when it's called for. That's the difference between the professional drummer and the weekend warrior. Knowing how and when to bring the heat. They have toured and recorded with blues groups.
 

DrumDoug

Senior Member
My "presence" is something I always have to think about. Due to an unfortunate act of nature and genetics, my face is shaped in a way that makes people think I am angry or sad all the time. My neutral expression seems to put people off. I also have a tendency to stare at my snare drum or bass drum foot when playing. I have to make a effort to look up when playing. I have also worked with a mirror and with my wife to come up with a netural expression when playing. I have to press my lips together just enough that it doesn't look like I'm frowning, but not so much that I get a cheesy smile.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
To Mike M,

Thanks for all that. I admit I do get kind of tunnel visioned at times. I like to share what works for me, and sometimes I don't take into consideration other POV's. The music I play (blues) really dictates the approach I take.

For me I couldn't care less if I didn't get a solo, anytime. Don't need em. I get thrown some and I do try and do my best, but really...I prefer it if I don't get featured. I get my kicks by doing the opposite of what most drummers I see do, which is: not hot dogging, not needing to bring attention to my part, not playing for my next drum fill. I secretly work in the background concocting little nuances that make things feel great, and that go right by most people, they don't even realize why, but they just feel good. That fill I just left out...builds tension. Most drummer would have released there, but I like building the anticipation. That's my target. Guitarists think I'm a breath of fresh air because I can hold a beat during their solo without filling and crashing and releasing the tension after every 4 bars. I will build their solo, create and build the tension and ride with them to the peak of it then release all that built up tension at the exact spot that it feels the best, and totally compliment them at the solo's zenith, then ramp it down and transition back into the next part with style and grace, all without taking away from them as the focal point. I get off on making the others look great. Drums can do that like no other instrument. By doing so, I don't feel the need for individual attention, I know what I'm doing is important and appreciated, both by the crowd and the musicians. I definitely am uncomfortable being the center of attention anyway, the way I play has a lot to do with my personality.

That's my approach FWIW.
 

toddy

Platinum Member
For me I couldn't care less if I didn't get a solo, anytime. Don't need em. I get thrown some and I do try and do my best, but really...I prefer it if I don't get featured. I get my kicks by doing the opposite of what most drummers I see do, which is: not hot dogging, not needing to bring attention to my part, not playing for my next drum fill. I secretly work in the background concocting little nuances that make things feel great, and that go right by most people, they don't even realize why, but they just feel good. That fill I just left out...builds tension. Most drummer would have released there, but I like building the anticipation. That's my target. Guitarists think I'm a breath of fresh air because I can hold a beat during their solo without filling and crashing and releasing the tension after every 4 bars. I will build their solo, create and build the tension and ride with them to the peak of it then release all that built up tension at the exact spot that it feels the best, and totally compliment them at the solo's zenith, then ramp it down and transition back into the next part with style and grace, all without taking away from them as the focal point. I get off on making the others look great. Drums can do that like no other instrument. By doing so, I don't feel the need for individual attention, I know what I'm doing is important and appreciated, both by the crowd and the musicians. I definitely am uncomfortable being the center of attention anyway, the way I play has a lot to do with my personality.

That's my approach FWIW.
brilliant post man. i prefer sitting back and enjoying some singing (with a view). although i don't feel uncomfortable, i just much prefer playing music rather than playing solos.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Due to an unfortunate act of nature and genetics, my face is shaped in a way that makes people think I am angry or sad all the time.
Sorry Doug. I laughed. I was thinking of the human equivalent to a bulldog or bloodhound, in which case the Charlie Watts shtick may be your natural direction :)

Back to the topic ...


Most drummer would have released there, but I like building the anticipation. That's my target. Guitarists think I'm a breath of fresh air because I can hold a beat during their solo without filling and crashing and releasing the tension after every 4 bars. I will build their solo, create and build the tension and ride with them to the peak of it then release all that built up tension at the exact spot that it feels the best
Larry, I like your comment about building tension. That principle holds in other areas of life too ...

umm, back to the topic .....
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
My "presence" is something I always have to think about. Due to an unfortunate act of nature and genetics, my face is shaped in a way that makes people think I am angry or sad all the time. My neutral expression seems to put people off. I also have a tendency to stare at my snare drum or bass drum foot when playing. I have to make a effort to look up when playing. I have also worked with a mirror and with my wife to come up with a netural expression when playing. I have to press my lips together just enough that it doesn't look like I'm frowning, but not so much that I get a cheesy smile.
Dude you gotta post a pic
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I think Pol has made another conquest. Get in line lol.
Cmon Pol, let us all have a go, be a sport OK?

Toddy, how DID you make a post that says nothing? What did you do to become exempt from the 20 character rule?
 

toddy

Platinum Member
oh i see. does this mean i'm enjoying the picture i posted and you've got a whole heap of nothing? did i game the system?

take that 202020!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Picture? There's a picture? Not on my screen. There's a bunch of nothing. At first I thought you typed something, and changed the color to blend in. Pol does that sometimes. Yea looks like you've stumbled on a crack in the structure lol.

BERNHARD!
 

Drummertist

Silver Member
I act like an idiot and I know it. I get this look that's between using the restroom but it's not going too well and the "feel face". I also lean back and forth.

...but man does it feel good.

The best way to describe it is Buddy Rich in this video at 2:43 but instead of during soloing, I do it in the music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22XbdIIhhXw#!
 
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