Too much time between songs on stage?

singleordoubleheads

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
1,929
Reaction score
365
Location
south of the 'burgh
Sorry, but I need to vent. Anybody else here who plays out regularly have this problem? My band is pretty good & I like everybody well enough, but it drives me INSANE when it takes us what feels like forever to start the next song on the list. I can understand giving the guys a chance to catch their breath a bit or switch guitars (if needed), but I usually start the songs anyway, and immediately start to "zero-in" on the tempo for the next tune. I'll lightly tap the hi-hat and just when I start to count us in, I almost always have to wait while somebody starts blabbing over the mic about something, or "wait--I have to tune up". Again??? You've tuned that damn guitar 10 times already!!

I hate to see a nice full dance floor empty out while they d*%# around unecessarily all the time! I hate to hurt anybodys feelings, but COME ON!!!!! LET'S GO!!!!
 

Thumper

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Messages
932
Reaction score
44
Location
California
My group is guilty of this from time to time, however...

even pros have some equally long intervals at times but they are MUCH better at covering them up by using a story, a song or player introduction, etc.
 

zildjian@consol

DFO Master
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
3,084
Reaction score
135
Location
Katy,Texas
We are on the other end of the scale.A quick look and we're going again.Breaks are planned in the set list and don't last to long.I couldn't play in your band.
 

RIDDIM

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
3,813
Reaction score
620
Location
MD
Record or video the whole set, upload to YT, and send the links to the rest of the band as an unpublished file. The problem should fix itself.
 

Doof

DFO Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
1,722
Reaction score
96
I hear you - that used to drive me crazy!!!! The guys I am with now will put a set list together factoring in such things a guitar changes. Example, a song with an extended drum and bass intro while there is a switch from acoustic to electric. Unfortunately tuning you can't plan for, but a guitar player should at least have the common sense to take an opportune moment during a song for a quick adjustment rather than hold up the entertainment. Or a lead singer should be able to cover a brief moment between songs with some nonsense to engage the audience.
 

FunkyCrime

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Messages
942
Reaction score
36
Location
NJ
Try having planned breaks for tuning, guitar changes, talking to the crowd etc about every 3-4 songs, and no other breaks in between. I've been doing this with my bands for a while and it really helps.
 

tim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Messages
241
Reaction score
12
Location
Boston, ma
You have to really beat it out of them. Tuning between songs is a nervous habit, as is bad storytelling
 

Boomer

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
4,355
Reaction score
98
Location
Louisville, Kentucky
The band I was in for ten years had this problem, specifically, it was the lead guitarist tuning his axe after EVERY FREAKING SONG! I love the the guy but this drove me nuts.

I subbed 3 gigs with his current band last month while his drummer was on vacation. Yep. Still the same. Old habits die hard.

My current band takes some time between songs, but we're getting better.
 

bellbrass

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 11, 2005
Messages
6,951
Reaction score
857
Location
Bluegrass of Kentucky
This is a good topic. My band had a discussion about this many years ago when we were first beginning to gig regularly. I was from the school of "engage the audience and talk to them, even introduce the next song." I always liked it when I went to concerts and the singer (or other band members) did that. But the singer in my band strongly believed in rapidly moving to the next song without any chatter whatsoever. In fact, we have developed a style whereby we go right down the set list, unless the audience clearly is not ready for the next song (i.e., they are loving our fast stuff, and a slow song is next, etc.).
Anyway, back then, I made the argument for engaging the audience, and he said (I'll never forget this): "No. This isn't a jazz gig." I now see the wisdom in avoiding delay or banter. We have even gotten compliments on this ("Wow, you guys get right down to it; the last band tried to tell jokes, and cleared the dance floor").

This has spilled over to guitar tuning, grabbing dropped sticks, etc. We all do it as fast as we can. It has even resulted in an ongoing inside joke: at one gig, we were chugging along, and I forgot that we went immediately into the next song, with no stopping...I forgot altogether, and ended the song. The other 3 guys turned around and looked at me, as I was adjusting my earplugs. The guitarist smiled, and said loudly, "Next song, dumbass!"

It's now a motto of ours. :)
 

DanRH

Old guy, getting younger
Joined
Oct 31, 2005
Messages
22,373
Reaction score
2,072
Location
SF Bay Area
Yes, great topic. Drives me crazy! But we are getting better at it. My Petty tribute band leader does all the talking which he is real good at. Knows a ton of Petty related trivia and it works out.
 

Tilter

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
1,404
Reaction score
135
Location
New Hampshire
Take the stage, greet the crowd, kick ass. I've always appreciated bands that work like that and that's how we always played.

Keep the folks who ponied up to see you engaged, but most of them don't want to hear the back story to every single song in the set. Just rip it up and make the stage wish it had never been built. :headbang:
 

glynch

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
2,349
Reaction score
162
Location
Texarkana, TX
It drives me nuts too. My current band is much better in this department but some bands I've been in previously seemed to take forever between songs. Really got on my nerves.
 

dharma bum

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Messages
1,461
Reaction score
41
Location
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Excuse me, where's the end of the line on this topic? Oh, here it is.

I have recently been pushing this topic even more than usual with my main band. We don't play with set lists, we just plan the first three tunes, then call them depending on reading the crowd. But no one but me thinks we should move quickly. Let's stop, tune, chat, think then have our singer say, nervously and loud enough for the mic to pick it up, "So ... what now?"

Meanwhile I'm trying to call or start a tune because people are melting away from the dance floor .... TOO LATE!!! They're all gone, it'll take a couple songs now to coax 'em back.
 

Geardaddy

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2014
Messages
802
Reaction score
95
Location
Minneapolis
A band I worked with for 20 years playing clubs had a ten second rule between songs. If it took longer than 10 seconds to start into the next song, it was too long (unless there was some prepared banter between songs). 10 seconds of dead air is an eternity if you have a crowd on the floor and they are waiting for another song. Try it some time when you have a crowd on the dance floor. When you finish a song, start counting. By the time you reach 10 seconds the crowd will be starting to leave the dance floor. We structured our sets with 3 or 4 song blocks where we literally didn't stop between tunes. It was kind of like a DJ beat mixing tunes together. So there would be a 3-4 song block, a little prepared banter, then into the next 3-4 song block. Our one hour sets would have pretty close to 58 minutes of music in them. It was a lot of work for the whole band, but it kept us working consistently for 20 years. I'm not saying every band should do things the way we did, but I do think that the 10 second rule is pretty valid overall.
 

MustangMick

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
1,832
Reaction score
125
Location
Dundalk, Ireland
Play songs in groups of three.

Slow to fast
Key changes going up in each group of songs unless you are going for a slower set of songs.

Mick
 

Roch

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
4,686
Reaction score
522
Location
Ottawa Valley, Ontario
In the main band I play with we have started to string groups of songs together. Some medley style and some just rapid fire. This gives us a pretty good block of straight uninterrupted music during each set. After a few gigs you remember what is coming next and how to go into the next one.
 

Latest posts



Top