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Using a music stand

IanN 02 Jan 03 - 09:58 AM
Naemanson 02 Jan 03 - 10:03 AM
mooman 02 Jan 03 - 10:09 AM
Kudzuman 02 Jan 03 - 10:41 AM
dick greenhaus 02 Jan 03 - 11:07 AM
Sorcha 02 Jan 03 - 11:09 AM
Jim Krause 02 Jan 03 - 11:38 AM
John MacKenzie 02 Jan 03 - 12:07 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 02 Jan 03 - 12:28 PM
van lingle 02 Jan 03 - 12:31 PM
black walnut 02 Jan 03 - 01:09 PM
Zhenya 02 Jan 03 - 04:01 PM
Kudzuman 02 Jan 03 - 04:04 PM
Clinton Hammond 02 Jan 03 - 04:13 PM
Cluin 02 Jan 03 - 04:49 PM
Clinton Hammond 02 Jan 03 - 04:55 PM
fiddler 02 Jan 03 - 05:06 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 02 Jan 03 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 02 Jan 03 - 07:13 PM
Banjer 02 Jan 03 - 07:16 PM
Cluin 02 Jan 03 - 07:32 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 02 Jan 03 - 07:39 PM
Mudlark 02 Jan 03 - 07:41 PM
dick greenhaus 02 Jan 03 - 07:47 PM
CraigS 02 Jan 03 - 07:50 PM
Malachy 02 Jan 03 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,Bill Campbell 02 Jan 03 - 08:06 PM
Big Mick 02 Jan 03 - 08:43 PM
Cap't Bob 02 Jan 03 - 09:17 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 02 Jan 03 - 09:53 PM
Mark Cohen 03 Jan 03 - 12:02 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 03 Jan 03 - 12:22 AM
Steve Parkes 03 Jan 03 - 03:39 AM
GUEST 03 Jan 03 - 06:35 AM
Allan C. 03 Jan 03 - 08:23 AM
black walnut 03 Jan 03 - 09:48 AM
Willie-O 03 Jan 03 - 10:16 AM
fiddler 03 Jan 03 - 01:53 PM
bbc 03 Jan 03 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Mac Tattie 03 Jan 03 - 02:23 PM
fiddler 03 Jan 03 - 02:31 PM
Allan C. 03 Jan 03 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Paul S 03 Jan 03 - 02:50 PM
C-flat 03 Jan 03 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,Claire 03 Jan 03 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 03 Jan 03 - 04:01 PM
Musicman 03 Jan 03 - 04:01 PM
Kudzuman 03 Jan 03 - 06:34 PM
Spartacus 03 Jan 03 - 06:51 PM
SlickerBill 03 Jan 03 - 10:56 PM
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Subject: Using a music stand
From: IanN
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 09:58 AM

Recently I've noticed a lot more artists than I have in the past using music stands and referring to sheet music & lyrics when playing. I've always thought this was frowned upon and as such have strived (without much success) not to rely on them myself. I feel much more comfortable with something to refer to
and, although I hardly look at my notes, it makes me much less nervous and therefore perform better.

The calibre of artists I've seen using a stand recently makes me wonder if I should give up my quest to be "stand-free".

Thoughts?

Ian.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Naemanson
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 10:03 AM

Lou and Peter Berryman use a stand. I was amazed to see it but they didn't worry about it at all.

Once, at Mystic Seaport, I saw one of those high caliber musicians using a cute little stand that sat down low, about ankle level. It was unobtrusive yet kept the words available for emergency use. The musician? Rick Fielding.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: mooman
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 10:09 AM

I don't use one myself but Lady McMoo prefers to have her words to hand as she always worries about forgetting them. As Naemanson describes for Rick, she uses it set low down with the words printed nice and big so as not to be obtrusive or to form a "barrier" with the audience.

Peace

mooman


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Kudzuman
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 10:41 AM

I never use one anymore except at Christmas since I only sing those tunes during a short period every year. I never understood why it seemed such a horrible thing to use one among folk music performers. I remember using one early on for reminding me of words and another performer said, "Great set. Get rid of the stand." I saw Tom Paxton use one once and nobody complained to him about it, so go for it and poopoo on the snobs.

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 11:07 AM

Nothing to do with snobbery. If you're communicating with the audience through a song, reading from a printed copy is obviously an impediment. If you're just trying to show off the beauty of your voice or instrument, go ahead and read. Or, in other terms, think of performing a folk song as a fom of acting. It's nuch more difficult to be convincing when you're reading from a script.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Sorcha
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 11:09 AM

Depends on the venue. Almost always at Christmas because the only Christmas songs we "know" are the over used ones. Almost impossible to use a stand outside in the wind.......


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Jim Krause
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 11:38 AM

I habitually don't use a music stand because I can't see well enough to read such small print at that distance. I memorize like crazy. I have thought about using a music stand of some sort to prop up my set lists. I have abandoned that idea in favor of affixing them to the side of my guitar where I can surreptitously look down and remind myself of the next number in the set.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 12:07 PM

I bought one last year, still can't get a note out of it!
{I'll get my coat now!}.....Giok


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 12:28 PM

The only time I've ever used a stand is at open mike sessions or song circles when debuting very recently written songs. I've always prefaced such use with something like, "I just wrote this yesterday, so I don't really have it memorized yet. I'm gonna use this cheat sheet because I'd rather do that than screw it up." It let's the audience know that it is the exception rather than the rule. Even then, I will only do so with my own songs. If I'm going to do someone else's song in public I'll be sure that I have it thoroughly memorized first.

BTW, the best song memorization technique I've ever found is singing-while-driving. I go through the song at home with the lyrics sheets enough times to get it to the point where I'm confident that all the words can at least be dredged up from memory. Then, while driving, I'll sing it until I get stuck, figure out what comes after the sticky point, start over again, get stuck again, etc. By the time I've made the 80 mile round-trip into town and back I've got it down.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: van lingle
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 12:31 PM

I use one when I'm accompanying someone and I'm not too familiar with the material. I place it at my right just slightly ahead of my guitar at about a 90 degree angle to the audience so it's not too obvious. I try to keep my head pointed toward the audience and just roll my eyes to the stand as needed. Other than being described as "shifty-eyed" by a friend it seems to have worked pretty well. vl


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: black walnut
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 01:09 PM

I think that the audience would rather that I have the words there on a little stand, and not use them, than to not have the words there and need them.   

I used to think it was a big problem and would get in the way and that someday I'd better give up the terrible habit, but then last year David Francey told me that he always has his words with him (on a stool beside him), just for security, and that made me feel much better about it. He told me just to ignore those who say that it's wrong. Who am I to argue?

(good one, Giok)

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Zhenya
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 04:01 PM

I saw John Renbourn use one at a concert a few years ago with Robin Williamson. (who didn't use one.) I remember being a little surprised at this (probably why I recall the fact at all), having had it drilled into me in tin whistle 101 that I should memorize every note. But really, it didn't detract from his performance at all. So if you'd rather use one, you're in good company.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Kudzuman
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 04:04 PM

I noticed Maddy Prior in a concert some 8 or so years ago had all her music on a stool. An occassional glance didn't make me feel like she wasn't interacting with her audience enough as Dick Greenhaus mentioned. She wasn't "reading" from her lyrics, just seemed to use them from time to time as a reminder. I suppose when someone like Pavarotti uses sheets to sing an operatic theater piece (definitely should be some audience interaction there since it is "high" theatre) he should be chastised most roundly. Ah well, as I said I never use one anymore and thus new songs sometimes sit around until they are firmly entrenched in the memory with no chance of skipping a verse (some of those 20 verse English and Celtic Ballads are a challenge though!). I've seen some great performers lose lines of a song and I wouldn't have minded if they had had their music there as a backup. Just my 2p.

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 04:13 PM

I have a great music stand, that I cobbled together from old clamp-on-the-mic-stand mic holders and such... It hold my 5.5 X *.5" lyric book just nice between me and the mic stand, just below the boom hinge... Looking at the pics of me using it, it puts the book, laying nearly flat on it's back, just below guitar level... The print is usually about 14 or 16 point TImes New Roman, so I can easliy read it if I need to... I looked all over trying to find one like this, and when I couldn't find one, I had to make it...

Hopefully sometime in the next few days I'll have pics up of it on my web site...

There's one local guy who SITS behind a short almost 'podium', with his binder nearly at eye level... his eyes glued to it the entire time he's singing... that's over the top if ya ask me...

But he gets gigs, so he can't be that bad eh...

:-)


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 04:49 PM

Depends whom I'm playing with. With some guys, who can take a bit more improvisation, I prefer not to use the hard copy. You definitely play better when it's in your head and heart alone.

But when I play with others, (like our 5 piece band, Blarney), I use one, more as a road map than anything, since none of the stuff is that difficult to play by ear. But these guys are pretty stuck on hard arrangements and get flustered if you don't stick to the plan...

"Okay, we open with a fiddle intro as the last two lines of the chorus, then sing verse, verse chorus, verse, vhorus, fiddle break as a verse, sing another chorus, last verse and chorus, a capella chorus, then one more chorus and the fiddle takes us out with 4 more bars..."

Same thing every goddamn time. You'd think I could set it on autopilot and go, except we don't play that much and the leader likes to change the sets around a lot.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 04:55 PM

"You definitely play better when it's in your head and heart alone."

Abso-frigg'n-lootly mate!

^5's!


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: fiddler
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 05:06 PM

Depends on the gig! (I'm with you Sorch)

The folk 'genre' does tend frown on them - most learn music by ear (or lots anyway). Performance can be different without them -depands on what why wher and how!

Me - I've got classical roots and was taught never to learn music but to use the dots and the notes therin to blah de blah de blah!!! so I'm open to anything! I use one for Barn dance Celidh Gigs often.

I play better without dots but can't get my head round it - my music teacher left some legacy then.

Also NOTE even with dots don't play drunk - After new years eve - don't even take instruments :-) or should it be :-(

A


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 06:50 PM

Those folks and these folks will take a stand
And many see dot to play in the band
Then there are those who will Harrumphingly grumble
Just waiting and watching for sight readers to stumble...

Like artists who paint with a modern conception
Proven performers get better receptions
But when you ask of me advise or O.K?
"The judgemental resent all that 'stand' in their way"!
ttr


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 07:13 PM

I don't think it's always harmful if you use it as a device to trigger a verse occasionally. Reading the whole song off the page is more problematic because the focus isn't on communication.
I think Dick is right, it's best not to use it if you actually don't have to.

What I find problematic are song sessions where people bring out songbooks to sing from. This takes away from the listening to one another particularly if people are singing together.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Banjer
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 07:16 PM

With my short memory I'm lucky to remember where I put my stand!!! Also in some jams I've seen a stand kept handy just in case someone says let' do such or such and the rest reply that they don't remember or know that song. Out comes the sheet and on the stand for those who would like to follow along. That's how we learn sometimes!


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 07:32 PM

Good one, Thomas.

And yeah, the book is usually nearby to grab whenever there's a request or desire to do a certain song which isn't locked into the memory.

I've blanked on the next verse or flubbed a line or chord progression more times than I can remember. But it's never been a great tragedy as far as I can recall. It's just part of the performance and you can often make it work for you. Sometimes it can be the thing that really connects you to your audience. Had lots of people come up to me on the break and either commisserate laughingly or offer encouragement or say how much they were enjoying themselves. Anybody who's going to carp on your little blunders is probably unreachable anyway.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 07:39 PM

Yeh... like folk music is for people to sing along with... Who are we fooling? Folksongs are all about being quiet and paying strict attention to face muscle nuances and party line politics... of who knows who, and big money influences... if anyone is caught even glancing in the general direction of any written material whatsoever,... ?^)

When Pierre Bensusan 'used' a music stand for his encore in my local city of Seattle, after playing some of the most beautiful and technically excellent guitar I've ever heard, ... the hecklers came off rather badly...


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Mudlark
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 07:41 PM

I use a stand when playing in sessions because the range of music isn't all "mine," but "ours." But for songs I sing alone, I never feel emotionally with them, the good ones, until I can sing them easily "by heart"-- a very descriptive phrase, if you ask me.

It is also surprising to me that using song sheets, even for months, I don't learn the song...still have to refer to wordsm chords. Seems, for me, there is no other way than slogging thru memorization.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 07:47 PM

The on;y real rule is "whatever works " and the only judge of that is your audience.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: CraigS
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 07:50 PM

I sometimes find it difficult to remember the words of songs I actually know if I haven't sung them for a long time, so if someone asks for them I write them out in a quiet moment - not in full, but the first couple of words of each line, and the rhymes at the end are usually enough to block amnesia. The thing about a stand is that it says in so many cases that the performer hasn't learned the song, and so is not in a position to give his full attention to the interpretation. And incidentally, Kudzuman, you will never see Pavarotti working from paper in public - he can't read music well enough!


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Malachy
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 08:06 PM

I've never used a stand..and dont really like to see others use them.That's just my opinion.
But then again... there is always one song that you have a mental block with (or is that just me?)..so I am guilty of sticking some 'prompts' on the guitar myself.
In the end if you're performing you need to do whatever makes you comfortable.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: GUEST,Bill Campbell
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 08:06 PM

I agree with Dick Greenhaus above. That is this - is it about showing off how well you can sing/play or, is it about establishing communication with your audience? Kind of like Shakespearean actors running about on stage with scripts in hand. They won't forget their lines, but something is lost in the communication with the audience. Learn the words/notes before you try to perform. If you can't get off the music, don't play.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 08:43 PM

We have a reputation for having great rapport with our audiences. I usually work with a standoff on my mic stand that I picked up at Elderly. It is just big enough to hold my 5" x 8" note cards. On those cards are time signature, key, capo position/chordshapes (if applicable), chord progressions if needed, and key words (memory joggers) for each verse. I also have a Peterson music stand that has full size verses and chords. I usually only use something in this book if it is a song that is so new that my memory joggers won't do the trick.

For those that use full lyrics with chords appropriately placed above the lyrics, I would advise that you don't do this. You never really learn the chord progressions this way. You become fixated on the words instead of hearing the changes.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 09:17 PM

I use a music stand to hold things such as the capo, song list, harmonica, etc. I have the same problem as Jim K. ~ not being able to see the words unless wearing my reading glasses and they make me sort of dizzy.

BOB


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 09:53 PM

Although I'd like to be much better at connecting/communicating with the audiences I encounter on a personal level, the stark reality of my performances is a form of connection. I'm more interested in connecting with the audience with the music that in being a standup comic with a guitar... No offense meant, cause I do love standup comics! I am content with the subliminal charge that people often get from the focused and heartfelt performance of deeply shared feelings. I have achieved this with a music stand, especially with a freshly written song...but much more often without any music stands anywhere nearby ...(unless firmly mounted to the roof and wired in as a TV antenna)...ttr


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 12:02 AM

This discussion keeps coming up, and people keep coming up with new and interesting points of view and ideas. (A good argument against the "Just go back and read the old thread" school.) But one idea keeps coming up that I wish would stay down: "If you can't get off the music, don't play." I think it's reasonable to suggest that it's helpful to learn songs and not depend on music. But if somebody has trouble memorizing songs, or gets stage fright, and sometimes forgets lyrics and chords...and if she enjoys playing and singing, and if people enjoy listening to her play and sing in whatever place she and they choose to come together...then who among us has the right to say to that person, "Don't play"?   

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 12:22 AM

Aloha Mark! Beautifully put, and I could'nt agree with you more. Are'nt we supposed to be bringing people out, rather than turning them away? ttr


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 03:39 AM

I have the problem now that best position for the music/words would put it in the "dead ground" of my bifocals. But I don't like using words anyway (I have no probs learning tunes), as it's too distractng for me and must be off-putting for everyone else. And I find that, if I take my eyes off the paper, I have to stop and search for the place, so it's far from being a help as an aide-memoire. I always carry a list of keys & capo positions, and maybe I should include 1st lines too ... or maybe I should practice more!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 06:35 AM

Thank you also Mark Cohen.As a 'closet' guitar and banjo player, acknowledged by my immediate circle as pretty good, nerves and a seeming inability to memorise lyrics (probably caused by the nerves)and the attitude of "if its not down tight- don't play in sessions" prevents me from taking part or performing in public.
However that's my problem and I've givien up trying to resolve it.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Allan C.
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 08:23 AM

I have to agree for the most part with Dick Greenhaus, Cluin and others that it seems difficult (to me) to portray the sense and sentiment of a ballad, for instance, while reading it from a sheet. I agree in part with Sorcha's comment about Christmas music. We only sing them a very few times per year and so they are not planted very firmly in our memories - except for the ones that are inculcated through repetition since childhood. I had two new-to-me seasonal songs that I wanted to perform recently and tussled with whether to use a cheat sheet. I opted to all but beat the songs into my head instead and was glad for having done so.

I admire Mick's compromise of the mini-stand attached to the mike. Somewhere among my collection of stuff, I have a device that hooks onto the sound hole of the guitar. Because of the manner of leverage it uses, it is even sturdy enough to hold a normal size book. It can also be equipped with a small reading light! If I were to use it or the device Mick mentioned, one thing I would include in my notes would be the first word or two of the song. I can't tell you how many times I have played the introductory notes to a song whose title was firmly in my mind but then fumbled when trying to recall the first line of the durn thing!

If I can unbury the book holder thing, I will post the info on where I found it.

Should these devices be used? It depends greatly upon the venue and audience, I am sure. In the old days, I would have been laughed out of the Cellar Door Sunday night hootnanny had I appeared with notes in hand. However, Janie and I readily used hand-held lyrics at the Getaway without suffering censure.

I am sitting here chuckling out loud at the memory of the story about...well...

For those of you who haven't heard it, I will quote from a post made a couple of years ago by Ferrara:

Here's another classic piece of Getaway evening concert silliness which I have heard mentioned on folk radio programs in far-off areas. Bill and I weren't at the Getaway that year. Before our time, dammit.

A singer got up to do a long, obscure and not too tuneful or exciting ballad. Worse, he hadn't thoroughly learned it. So he taped the very long lyrics sheet to the mike stand and started reading and singing the song. He had gotten through two or three verses when Nan Goland, in the front row, casually reached up with her cigarette lighter and set the bottom of the cheat sheet on fire. Not a sound from anybody but the singer til he got through another verse or two and suddenly realized his lyrics were on fire. The room - including the singer, I think - broke up. End of song. Beginning of legend.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: black walnut
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 09:48 AM

Well said, Mark.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Willie-O
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 10:16 AM

Allan, that killed me--and I can comPLETEly see Nan doing that. What a wicked sense of humour she has.

But generally I'd say, if you're grievously offended by the sight of a music stand, you should exercise your option to turn around and exit by the same door you came in through. Don't forget to ask for a refund, and tell the door person why.

What, are we all supposed to remember every line we ever knew? Good on ya if ya can, but most of us are getting to the age where the opposite is true...

...

now what the hell was I talking about?

W-O


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: fiddler
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 01:53 PM

As for dots in a session - never - never - but thats only me!!!

I've never noticed any - I don't sing in public anymore - but I'd never use words for that!

It's just the dots thing - but I am getting better - then again as I get older that gets harder!!

ho hum

a


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: bbc
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 02:22 PM

I've been following this thread w/ interest. From the perspective of a person who does not perform professionally & is a relatively inexperienced instrumentalist, I had recently come to the conclusion that, if I took a stand w/ me, I might actually play in song circles. I have several songs I like & might be able to play, but I lack the confidence to try w/out words & chords in front of me. Since I had recently seen some professionals I respect using stands, I figured it would be ok for me, as well. Here's the dilemma--for those of you who find stands unacceptable, it's fine to say I should master the music before I perform it. Practically speaking, though, it probably won't happen or, at least, not w/out the preliminary step of me starting to sing publicly & having a positive experience to build on. The most probable result, if I come to the conclusion that I can't sing in folk music circles w/ a stand is that I won't sing there & will continue to limit my music to church & school, where I feel that I *can* use a stand. Although I could see the humor in the story Allan C. related, putting myself in the singer's position, I found it devastatingly cruel--the kind of thing that might stop me singing altogether. After enduring the ballad, saying a word to the singer privately would have been much kinder. Just my 2 cents'.

best,

bbc


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: GUEST,Mac Tattie
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 02:23 PM

Memory joggers and lists of songs and tunes are fine BUT if you are incapable of, or can't be bothered, LEARNING the words or tunes then DON'T inpose yourself on an audence. If you haven't learned you haven't understood. If you want to sing from a book or notepad then sing to your self, or bring enough coppies of your songs to hand out to your audence so they can read and sing allong with you. See how you like being the other side of a papper wall. If you want to sing WITH an audence leave the book at home. cheers


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: fiddler
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 02:31 PM

Hmm.....

Different Music but some really moving Arias and big orchestral bits are perfromed from the scripts and scores!

Folk folk were alwyas tolerant - lets keep it that way! for some it works for others not for some it is no more than a prop that they will leave behind!

A


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Allan C.
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 02:41 PM

Just a follow-up note on the flaming lyrics story. It is not at all something I would have done nor would I have condoned. Perhaps I should have posted it to the Laughing at Inapprotriate Times thread. Had I been the singer, I am not at all sure how I might have reacted. Had I been in the audience, I am certain I would have laughed inappropriately.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: GUEST,Paul S
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 02:50 PM

Bunch of snobs.



I have a pretty good memory for chords and lyrics, so I've never felt the need to use a music stand on stage - but so what if I did? If someone needs to jog their memory once in a while, but pulls off a good performance while doing so, why should any of us care?



There are some people who just can't memorize things. They still have a right to perform without suffering ridicule, scorn, or some arsehole burning their lyrics.



I thought folkies were supposed to be tolerant.




Paul


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: C-flat
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 03:06 PM

It's perfectly acceptable to see a jazz quartet doing their stuff with their heads buried in their music but I suppose it's the instruments that are talking. For a singer/musician it's a slighty different situation. An element of personal communication is required to successfully deliver a song, which you're not likely to accomplish through the top of your head.
I've no objection to seeing music stands, as long as they don't get in the way of the music, but I think the user has to be well disciplined to avoid staring at a piece he or she probably knows anyway but can't resist the lure of the "safety net".
To bbc I would say, if it gives you the confidence to play in public then go for it! Song Circles are the grass roots of music and should be supportive of anyone prepared to share their music with them. It's a different matter if you're paying to see an established performer who hasn't learned their act well enough, maybe then there's reason to gripe.


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 03:10 PM

I have to admit to having a very strong preference for No Stand, both when I perform and when I watch a performer.   I feel that I do not "have" the song, or truly understand the song, until I know all the words. This is really important to me, so I typically sing a song many many times til I bring it "out" and then I will sing it for someone I know - and by golly the words are still rough off the tongue. Then I practice more.

If I mess up the words, both I and my audiences seem to be pretty forgiving. But, I take percautions by being well prepared and singing through every song for a gig within 24 hours of doing the gig - even for songs I have sung hundreds of times. That said, I have a book with all my songs, and if someone desparately wants one that I am unsure of, then I will use the book for cues. The type is small, 10 pt, and I will also use it (rarely) to remind myself of the lyrics, before I sing a song on my own.

I also memorize my songs in the car - as a carpooling mom - that is often my only free time.

A word to bbc. Try practicing only one song until you are truly comfortable with it. Then take only that song to the song session. I don't think you will need your music stand.

One more thing. If you are singing with a band, you have the added responsibility of communicating through body language with the band. That is almost impossible if you have your head stuck to the page.

For those of you using stands.... more power to you, for even getting out there and singing or playing in the first place. It is just not my cup of tea.

Claire


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 04:01 PM

I think it's preferable to sing from memory but not always an indicator of the best performance of a song. I have seen exceptions when a well-rehearsed performance becomes mechanical and a lyric sheet attached to a mic has created an exciting reading. I believe this has more to do with the experience and artistry of the performer than it does with the process of memorizing.

But I think it's important to memorize as much as you can, since generally speaking, it helps you internalize the song.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Musicman
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 04:01 PM

Music Stand???

i use it...
damn.. my song book is 2-3" thick!!... can't remember all those songs... specially when you get weird requests...

the trick i've found is as stated above.. to use it as a reference and keep your head out of it as much as possible....
i keep mine ahead of the mic stand and up high enough (not too high) that i can glance down at it without moving my head noticably... (works out just above waist high i think)... and often i'll make having it a part of the 'routine' of communicating with the audience...

what i find is... . if you are relaxed about it.. your audience will be relaxed about it....

I've seen both (stands and no-stands) dosn't make an impression on me....

as Dick says: whatever works.. do it..


my $.02CDN worth....

musicman


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Kudzuman
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 06:34 PM

For all those who condemn the use of stands, I wish they would run up and tell Maddy Prior or Tom Paxton that they really shouldn't use them and that their set sucked because of it. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm?

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: Spartacus
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 06:51 PM

I condemn the use of stands. I would tell Tom Paxton and Maddy Prior to knock it off if I could.   (i just woke up from a nap, I'm a little grumpy) I don't think a set would "suck" more or less as a result of it, it just shows me that you didn't do your homework.   In the words of Bob Dylan..."I'll know my song well before I start singin'" Bob never used a stand. (that I know of)
Down with stands....unless you're 68 and you have a reason not to remember the words.   I saw a guy at a Dylan tribute show come out and bring the Bob Dylan Lyric Book....he sang "hurricane" and when he got to the end of a page...he stopped cold, turned the page, and kept going like nothing happened. Music stands are for people who play popular covers and cant possibly remember all of the words to the millions of 1-4-5 covers they play on any given night...and they seem to play every night and everywhere, too. I must be the only guy in the tri-state area who is so sick of "brown eyed girl", "friend of the devil", and anything by Jimmy Buffet that if we gathered up all of those recordings and left them on Galapagos Island, and they morphed into some sort of blue footed-overplayed-folk record-with a cheeseburger for a head, it would be the only thing that might make that music seem interesting again.
(whew....sorry....had to get that off of my chest)

Spartacus


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Subject: RE: Using a music stand
From: SlickerBill
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 10:56 PM

Some of us are blessed with great memories and piles of confidence..and some of us are not. I've struggled with the stand thing for ages, preffering for the most part to go without but write large print cheat sheets and lay em out on the floor around me. I've gotten away from that as I've found that as I go on it seems more of a distraction. Having said that, being able to bring some cheats along got me up there in the first place. So, go on bbc and use a stand if you like and to hell with the purists with the great memories and intolerant attitudes. What I've found is that I need a stand to hold capos, picks, slides, harps, tuner, etc., so I have a stand low, forward, but off to the side a bit (about 11 o'clock) and flat so it's not that visible from the audience, and that from time to time I'll put little reminders for the odd tune I'm trying for the first time for example.

I do agree it is best to try to ween yourself off of the lyric sheet thing eventually for communication reasons cited above. But if taking a stand up will get you up there go for it. sb


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