Playing or singing in front of an audience.

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56
votes
10answers
2k views

How do professional accompanying musicians (seem to) figure out songs instantly?

Sometimes, when I'm watching any TV show which has a live hired band for accompanying and they have a musician guest, the host will ask for them to sing something on spot (that wasn't really planned), ...
49
votes
19answers
11k views

How to play a song without making mistakes?

I have played keyboard quite a while and now I'm starting to practice some classical musics like Fur Elise. When I see a live performance of any musical instrument, there seems to be no error at all. ...
39
votes
16answers
9k views

How can I overcome the fear of performing in front of an audience?

I have been learning how to play Spanish guitar for more than two years and half. Every time my friends ask me to play something, I get scared and my hands start to shake. How to break this fear? I ...
37
votes
16answers
8k views

What do you do when a string breaks or you drop your pick on stage?

One of my nightmares when I'm on stage is breaking a string or losing my pick. The former has happened to me before once, and also once right before I had to go on stage. Are there any tips my ...
28
votes
11answers
4k views

Pay-to-Play Gigs

There is a local open-mic where I live that charges its musicians to play on stage for 10 minutes. The amount of money is trivial ($2), but I have the gnawing sense that, no matter how you coat it, ...
25
votes
6answers
4k views

How do jazz players communicate while playing?

When a jazz group is playing and improvising, how do they communicate so as not to produce cacophony? Somehow, one player's choices and intuition need to guide the other players so that they can ...
21
votes
5answers
362 views

How do I keep my concentration going to the end and not get distracted thinking about how well it's going?

Often when I am performing a piece of music and it's going really well - all that practice really paid off! - I start thinking, "wow, things are going really well. This sounds really good!" But as ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How do you determine if you're ready to join a band?

I've been pondering joining a band for some time now, but I usually get stalled at deciding whether or not I should spend more time learning to play first. I don't want to go through potential ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Do ear plugs have a big effect on ability to hear the music?

Ear plugs are likely a good idea for anybody performing amplified music (or even enjoying amplified music). But what is the effect on the ability to hear your fellow musicians when playing in a ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

How to prevent a string from breaking during a performance?

Especially for the guitar, but also for other relevant string instruments, I've had my string break while practicing. I feel like such things could happen at any moment, this made me wonder... How to ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance

Two questions in one here. Often when rehearsing or at gigs, I'm asked to turn up my volume "'Cos we can't hear you!" when the band is already quite loud. Very rarely will the others turn down to ...
16
votes
3answers
412 views

How can I tell when music is live and not recorded?

I was walking past a bar the other day and heard music coming out. I could immediately tell that the music was live, being played in the bar at that moment. This is something I have often noticed, I ...
15
votes
9answers
6k views

How to select a key-signature for a song

There are so many songs in pretty odd key-signatures like 4,5,6 sharps or flats. At least this is my impression when I listen to songs on the radio/net while trying to follow them on my piano/guitar. ...
14
votes
9answers
400 views

Keeping time when tired

When I'm playing late night gigs, I find that my drumming is generally a lot slower. The timing is consistent throughout the songs, but I just start them slower. When I'm playing early gigs or had a ...
14
votes
7answers
795 views

How do you organize your set list for a gig?

To performers out there: What principles/guidelines/methods do you use when you make the set-list for a gig? How do you decide what order to play the songs, when to talk, how to deal with transitions ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What exactly is the act of playing behind the beat?

I am a guitarist trying to improve my rhythmic feel and have been told to play a little more behind the beat. This is in a studio setting. How should I approach this to be more consistant in playing ...
14
votes
4answers
976 views

How do you successfully share another drummer's kit at a show?

The typical indie band showcase has 2 or 3 bands on a bill, and it usually makes logistic sense to share a backline (drums, bass amp, and maybe guitar amps). Some stage managers, or entire festivals, ...
14
votes
2answers
545 views

What is the difference between Overdrive and Distortion?

What's the difference? They sound vaguely similar to me and I can't tell a distinct difference sound wise. What is the difference in tone, harmonics, etc.? Are they the same? Which one is better and ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Synth sounds that make good solo instruments but don't mimic pianos, organs etc?

I have played a lot of piano, some organ and a fair few synths in my time, and have yet to ever find a synth patch that makes a good solo instrument (i.e. like a piano, you can play an entire ...
13
votes
3answers
450 views

Why do I get more tired when I play on stage?

When I practice guitar on my own at home or with my band, I can play for ~1.5 to 2 hours without getting really tired. When I am on a stage and we play a gig, I get really tired on the first half ...
13
votes
3answers
784 views

What is a reasonable price for a performance?

I am a musician myself, mainly playing piano and marimba. Up till now, I did not do much performing, mostly playing by myself or in front of family and close friends, as well as playing in an ...
13
votes
3answers
261 views

Is it acceptable to play the same note simultaneously on different strings on cello?

For a piece I am performing with a local school orchestra, a final open A is to undergo an "insane" crescendo to a Fortissississimo, which our conductor interprets as "as loud as possible." A fellow ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Tips for playing outdoors in cold weather?

A few years ago our church band had a gig playing early in the morning to a volunteer crew to get them pumped for the day ahead. It was about 7AM and in the 30s F. It's a good thing I was only playing ...
12
votes
9answers
399 views

Should I worry about painful fingertips?

I just started to learn playing the (electric only for now) guitar, and I love it! I've read on a few pages that it was normal for my fingertips (those that I use on the fret board) to hurt in the ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

Basics of stage presence for guitarists

Where do I start to develop a good stage presence as a guitarist? While guitar-specific stunts (like the guitar spin, etc) are good to know, but I'm more interested in knowing general rules for ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Practice before a gig - bored of material

I'm doing a gig soon, together with a friend. We will play songs written by myself, at a small local venue. The last couple of weeks, I've been practising a lot. I now know the songs flawlessly, ...
11
votes
4answers
333 views

Who plays the chords during a live performance when lead guitarist is soloing?

I recently watched the live performance of 'Stairway to Heaven' by 'Led Zeppelin'. I had a question while watching that song but it even applies to other songs. See during the section of the song ...
10
votes
5answers
533 views

Keeping rhythm when performing live without a drummer

I'm a member of a small band, and a common problem that arises when playing faster-paced music is keeping everyone in sync, rhythm wise. It goes without saying that one person falling out of time can ...
10
votes
5answers
608 views

Can't feel meter when playing

I can't feel the meter when playing along very well, sometimes not at all. Note I can feel the "pulse" just fine. I have no problem tapping my foot to the beat in time but I can't feel where the one ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How will a long break affect a singer's voice?

If a singer takes a long break from singing, be it many weeks, months, or years, how severely will it affect his ability to sing (vocal range, singing technique, etc)?
10
votes
1answer
518 views

Getting rid of performance 'tics'

I have a habit of visibly chewing my tongue when concentrating on a difficult section of music, and I make some rather strange faces as a result. It's something I've known about for years but not ...
9
votes
7answers
7k views

How is electronic music performed live?

I produce electronic music like electro house/dubstep. I am releasing it on the internet for some time, and I think it's time to do a couple of live performances. How can I perform it live?
9
votes
10answers
234 views

Caffeine / Alcohol Before or During Rehearsal

I have been rehearsing an average of once a week most recently. We have a decent stock of songs, but are continually adding new candidates. I find that on the days where I have been drinking coffee, ...
9
votes
2answers
213 views

Do classical and rock musicians train with different goals?

I expect most musicians aim to master the instrument they play. But articles & interviews I've read suggest that: Classical musicians: Place importance on precision and theoretical knowledge ...
9
votes
3answers
136 views

Tied Db in Liszt's Consolation No. 3

In Liszt's Consolation No. 3, the Db in the bass (e.g. bars 3-7) is notated as a single tied whole note which lasts five bars. But in all performances of the piece I've heard, the performer repeats ...
8
votes
5answers
372 views

Instrumental Live Performance

In two weeks time I have to open up for a huge Metal Festival, and I have to perform with my instrumental one man band. I never had in mind to play live since I record instrument by instrument and ...
8
votes
3answers
387 views

What are the challenges I might face when I switch from electronic drum-kit (Yamaha DD65) to an acoustic drum-set?

I currently play drums on a Yamaha DD65. Never played on an acoustic before. So I was wondering what kind of issues I might have when I switch. Is there anything I should keep in mind when I play on ...
8
votes
2answers
970 views

Is it easier to play on a Grand Piano than an Upright Piano?

I was just wondering if it's easier to play on a Grand Piano comparing to an upright ? Like can someone play well on a grand if he's used to an upright... I also wanted to know if the keys weight on ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

common mistakes made when singing

What are some of the most common mistakes made by people singing without the ability to get a vocal coach? Although I don't like my voice all that much, I would like to make it tolerable since its a ...
8
votes
3answers
383 views

Baroque Performance Tips

What are some recommendations for performing Baroque music? My studio professor seems to think that I can improvise in the Baroque style as easily as breathing -- which is sadly not true. The ...
7
votes
3answers
288 views

What are good tips for remaining composed during one's first public performance?

One's first public performance can be daunting in terms of the amount of anxiety involved. How should first time performers who have never been on stage (or performed in front of unknown people) deal ...
7
votes
3answers
407 views

Playing keyboard at a wedding

I will be playing keyboard (mainly piano and organ) at a wedding in a couple weeks. Is there anything I should keep in mind (i.e proper etiquette, etc)? I've done a lot of concerts, so I'm used to ...
7
votes
7answers
386 views

What are some resources for applying my computer skills to augmenting my musical performance?

I'm a professional software developer and a perpetual novice guitar player. I've also recently started to learn to play (piano) keyboard. I enjoy my playing, but even after years of torturing my ...
7
votes
2answers
257 views

Is there a pan flute type with fipples?

Has there ever been a pan flute with Fipples? If so what is this called? If not, what might be the easiest way to create such an instrument? NOTE: I asked in chat if this question was appropriate ...
7
votes
4answers
361 views

How can I rehearse and perform with PDF scores on screen instead of paper scores?

As a chorus and opera singer, I have gotten tired of lugging thick opera scores everywhere. Most of the music I sing is public-domain, and the scores are freely available in in PDF form. I am working ...
7
votes
1answer
100 views

What is M-Base and how do I play it?

M-Base was a style of music played by Greg Osby and Steve Coleman. Steve Coleman over the years has been...cryptic about the principles of M-Base. What can you tell me about M-Base that will enable ...
6
votes
8answers
924 views

Dealing with different tunings on stage

I play guitar in an acoustic trio (vocalist, steelstring-guitar, double bass). Currently I use 7 different open tunings in the setlist. So I have to retune quite often, and we have to deal with the ...
6
votes
4answers
455 views

Overcoming “tracking nervousness” when recording a take?

I'm in that nasty position of becoming nervous when I hit the record button. I can be in my own little studio, no pressure whatsoever, playing perfectly, but as soon as I hit that record button, my ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Covering songs by other artists - does money change hands?

Many bands cover songs by other bands, unofficially at concerts, or usually on live recordings (for example, Kurt doing Man Who Sold the World by David Bowie, at an MTV unplugged concert. I always ...
6
votes
2answers
146 views

How to make a career out of music?

I have a full-time job but I am also very interested in making a part-time career out of music. The aim would be to continue learning as well as making some money out of this passion. So what would ...