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Good stage presence!?

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    Hey all,

    I am in a band and we have a pretty massive gig tonight (as far as our gigs go!). We normally get great feedback about our musical performance and if we pester people for criticism they normally say the main thing that could be improved upon is stage presence.

    Therefore, I want to ask you what you think makes good stage presence? Have you ever been to a gig and notably thought "their stage presence is good!" or conversely have you ever thought "their stage presence is horrible!".

    I mean, in terms of myself, I don't stand there like a plank, and I'm not shy or anything but I don't bounce about either as, in my opinion, its contextual... Like since I'm more than aware I'm in a pretty small-time local band I don't crowd surf or act like I'm some sort of rock god, but maybe that's where I'm going wrong?

    Should I just pose a bit, or should I jump about? Should I do this regardless of what the crowd is doing? I mean I've been to see many famous acts, especially when I was younger, and a few times I've been in the front row and seeing the band rocking out thinking "wow, this is such a good show" then I've happened to glance over my shoulder and see that the rest of the crowd is just standing, nodding their heads, almost lifeless! What I drew from this is that I enjoyed the band and their stage presence, even though the rest of the crowd wasn't exactly motivating or encouraging the bands to rock-out.

    Anyway, thoughts please!
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    Just have fun.

    When I'm on stage I'll dance a bit, move around so people can watch what I'm playing (regardless of whether they do or not) and prat about a bit with the other members of the band. Whatever takes my fancy really. I find having a couple of beers beforehand helps with that one - allows you to stop caring that people are watching you dance like a tard!
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    To an extent it depends what kind of music you're playing, but looking like you're enjoying yourself is always good - nothing worse than seeing a band who clearly wish they weren't there.
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    From my experience (which is admittedly in stand-up as opposed to music, but the advice might still help a little) I find that stage presence is all about owning the stage. I've seen a lot of comedians (myself included at the start) stand in the centre at the mic stand and not move from there. Whereas now I move around, make it seem as though I own the stage instead of the other way round and that really has improved my stage presence.
    I know it'll be a helluva lot harder to move around like that with instruments but if you can find some way to give that sort of impression it might help your presence.

    Hope this has helped a little

    Good luck tonight
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    (Original post by Mr Ben)
    I know it'll be a helluva lot harder to move around like that with instruments but if you can find some way to give that sort of impression it might help your presence.
    To add to this - if you've got an instrument - make sure you have a long cable and it isn't going to tangle around your feet. Otherwise, it ain't too hard to move around tbh.
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    (Original post by mikeyd85)
    Just have fun.

    When I'm on stage I'll dance a bit, move around so people can watch what I'm playing (regardless of whether they do or not) and prat about a bit with the other members of the band. Whatever takes my fancy really. I find having a couple of beers beforehand helps with that one - allows you to stop caring that people are watching you dance like a tard!
    doesnt always work though, i saw dragonforce live and the only one resembling credible stage presence was herman li, ZP Theart and sam totman both of whom were plastered were about as interesting as watching paint dry. It still remains the only gig i have ever walked out on through sheer boredom.

    David Draiman on the other hand, came out on stage raised two arms to heaven put one foot on a speaker and the entire crowd went nuts
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    (Original post by Mr Ben)
    From my experience (which is admittedly in stand-up as opposed to music, but the advice might still help a little) I find that stage presence is all about owning the stage. I've seen a lot of comedians (myself included at the start) stand in the centre at the mic stand and not move from there. Whereas now I move around, make it seem as though I own the stage instead of the other way round and that really has improved my stage presence.
    I know it'll be a helluva lot harder to move around like that with instruments but if you can find some way to give that sort of impression it might help your presence.

    Hope this has helped a little

    Good luck tonight
    Thanks very much for this advice! It makes perfect sense, the only query I have is how you think I might go about this? As a comedian I imagine you can walk while telling a joke or if you (for example) are telling a joke about running you can jog on the spot, etc, but how can I move about the stage to make it look "cool" or even so it doesn't look forced? Thanks a lot.
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    (Original post by mikeyd85)
    To add to this - if you've got an instrument - make sure you have a long cable and it isn't going to tangle around your feet. Otherwise, it ain't too hard to move around tbh.
    Thanks a lot for your responses! I have a very long lead so that shouldn't be a problem! What sort of dancing were you referring to earlier? Just like bobbing your head and moving a bit in time to the music or something more? To be honest I'm just trying to find the line between moving so it looks cool and adds to the performance as opposed to moving so it looks forced or so people stop listening and start wondering what the hell I'm up to. Haha.
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    (Original post by silverbolt)
    doesnt always work though, i saw dragonforce live and the only one resembling credible stage presence was herman li, ZP Theart and sam totman both of whom were plastered were about as interesting as watching paint dry. It still remains the only gig i have ever walked out on through sheer boredom.

    David Draiman on the other hand, came out on stage raised two arms to heaven put one foot on a speaker and the entire crowd went nuts
    So what do you recommend ? This ISN'T an advert, but if you WANT you can hear some of our tracks at www.facebook.com/silverbyskyline. If you don't want to check us out, the best description I can offer is that we are alt-rock, perhaps something like Paramore meets Bring me the Horizon??

    As I said earlier I've got no problems watching bands rock out even though the crowd isn't, but when I'm on stage it's a completely different matter, it feels like it would be ridiculous to move about a lot when they're not...
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    (Original post by SilverbySkyline)
    Thanks very much for this advice! It makes perfect sense, the only query I have is how you think I might go about this? As a comedian I imagine you can walk while telling a joke or if you (for example) are telling a joke about running you can jog on the spot, etc, but how can I move about the stage to make it look "cool" or even so it doesn't look forced? Thanks a lot.
    I guess the big thing is confidence, it's not so much about the fact that you're physically moving but more of the fact that you're comfortable enough to utilise the entire stage as opposed to sticking in a little area you've assigned yourself.
    One good thing to do if if there's a section of the audience who're particularly lively/getting into it then try to move towards them or at least gesture towards them, try to interract with them a little to get them even more into it.
    Conversely if there's a section of the audience who seem a little quiet, you can try to interract with them a little more.
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    (Original post by SilverbySkyline)
    Thanks a lot for your responses! I have a very long lead so that shouldn't be a problem! What sort of dancing were you referring to earlier? Just like bobbing your head and moving a bit in time to the music or something more? To be honest I'm just trying to find the line between moving so it looks cool and adds to the performance as opposed to moving so it looks forced or so people stop listening and start wondering what the hell I'm up to. Haha.
    I tend to dance as I'm enjoying myself. A bit of headbanging, some jumping, some throwing my bass around, a bit of bobbing and most of all, some awesome legmanship. :yep:

    Just have fun dude. It's the only way to look natural.

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Updated: April 16, 2012
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