Episode 015: 10 Stage Mistakes to Avoid

When you’re on a gig, how do you make a good impression? Start by refraining from these on-stage boo-boos.

Music: JahzzarPlease Listen CarefullyspinningmerkabaUrbana-Metronica (wooh-yeah mix).

Show notes

Dave: Mostly this episode is a collection of ideas on what not to do on stage.

What’s the worst habit you ever broke about your stage behavior?

  • Dave
    • 1. Showing concerns on the face – Poker face…
  • Paul
    • 2. Noodling! Following sound check, staying on stage and fooling around playing notes that anyone else can hear.

What’s your biggest pet peeve when watching other bassists that drops your level of respect, even a little?

  • Paul
    • 3. Introversion — not making any connection with audience or band members.
    • If you’re looking at your fretboard all the time, you’re not watching your musical director, or your band leader, the soloist, the drummer, or whoever’s leading.
    • Music is a conversation and you have to participate
  • Dave
    • 4. Excessive stage banter
      • In jokes
      • Frittering time, distracting

What are some other avoidable behaviors?

  • 5. Undercutting the team — comments, grumbling, angry looks. The audience should see harmony as well as hear it. Mistakes? Smile or laugh them off.
  • 6. Being late — to call time, sound check, or any before curtain prep. A team is made up of people who help each other. Pitch in, be there when you’re needed.
  • 7. Milling around in stage area for bigger gigs. The audience should be anticipating your appearance. Don’t give them early previews.
  • 8. Wearing house clothes to a show unless that’s literally the band’s intended look. Dress for success. Even local bands should dress like they’re being paid to be there.
  • 9. Showboating if you’re not the featured player or lead. Don’t distract from the centerpiece of the act. You’re there to make them look and sound great.
  • 10. Not being in shape to play. Keep the partying to a minimum until the show is over. You’re being paid to do a job, not attending a barbecue party with your friends.

If you’re not already a pro, don’t wait until you’re paid like one to act like one. People want to work with people who are easy to work with. Be easy to work with!

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