Re: Quote of the Week nomination
- From: "Benj" <bjacoby@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 20 Aug 2006 01:33:15 -0700
Guns: Hold some semi-auto handgun too loosely and they'll jam constantly.
It's called limp wristing, a bad habit learned (I think) from watching too
many movies. Or worse (mostly with handguns) - focusing on the target
instead of the gunsights. Some people do both things perfectly, and never
get past them. They almost need to be whacked upside the head with a 2x4 to
get them to listen. The first problem involves simple physics, but 54% of
the population is...you know....drool. The second is just something you
have to believe when it's told to you, because it's not intuitive.
Gosh, I always thought that proper semi-auto form was to hold your
taped "9" horizontal and empty it in the direction of the rival gang!
Seems "intuitive" to me!
Ok! This is precisely one of the major problems with our band. The
drummer's timing is all over the place. One of the things I tried to
impart on the band was that people come to see live bands for a
reasons....and mine usually are that I can dance to a song, or I can
sing to it. Otherwise, what else is there, really? So when we play the
song too slow or too fast, I try to get them to notice the dance floor
and see the dancers (or lack thereof). Sometimes a song is just not a
dancing type song, in which case its a 'listening song'. Example, we do
Meet Virginia by Train. While it's a great song, it doesn't necessarily
translate to a great dance song, such as a rocker like SRV's House is a
Rockin'. Other issues are like taking as much as 2-3 mins between songs
which have the dancers bailing out of the floor. Admittedly, we cannot
keep up a torrid pace all nite so strategically placed slower songs give
us a break and keep my fingers from 'smokin' on the fretboard!
I'm not sure if you mean "tempo" or "timing" but I've said this here a
million times but I'll say it again. When it comes to dancers, TEMPO
MATTERS! Emptying the floor is a SURE sign your band is clueless! A
human body has MASS. You cannot move it around at various speeds the
way you can flip the keys on a sax or work the pick on a guitar.
You'll find, therefore, that most every dance song has a sweetspot
tempo which the dancers find especially easy and motiviating to dance
to. A band that fails to learn this lesson that is being paid to keep
dancers dancing, rather than to be putting on a concert does so at it's
Let me also say something about the order of songs. This should be more
or less obvious if you go listen to the better bands, but far too many
bands ignore it. The band needs to take a longer view than just how a
single song is going. Often bands will disect each single song working
one phrasing, dynamics, how the whole thing "flows" etc. and that is
good. BUT you should also be aware that a SERIES of songs is in effect
a "show" and is also making a statement. The series doesn't need to be
an entire set of songs, but we are talking more than one here.
If you want to understand this, think about having sex. You start with
a song(s) that flirt with the audience and get them interested. Then
you play around with them a bit and as you move to other songs they get
faster and more exciting and you build to a big climax of your "house
rocker" number (whatever that particular thing is for your particular
band) and then when everyone is exhausted and ready to relax and have a
cigarette, you say, "and now we are going to slow things down a bit"
And you use that to change the mood, reset the audience and get ready
to do the whole cycle again. I would also point out that you should
follow a similar formula on a longer time scale setting the pace for
the ENTIRE evening! Go watch a few plays and see how it's done in
theater. Same goes for your band. Bands that just pick songs at random
are going to have a random response from the dancers/audience! Remember
that "stage presence of a garden slug" thing? Well this is also part of
it. You are trying to grab the audience and pull them right up to the
band's face and say, "Listen to this!" and then have them do it! It's
(Who suggests that one should think about making out and then in the
middle get up and take a 2-3 minute break and see what it does to the
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