You mean theres more to a show than just singing?

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You mean theres more to a show than just singing?

Postby home free » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:35 am

Excerpt from Behind the Curtain, chris' semi regular blog from Home Free:

OK, you've got a pretty good collection of songs. Your VP is great, the soloists can wail, and you all have neat matching fedoras. Well, what do you need to take the show to the next level? Ill start with two simple things that can offer immediate improvement - basic staging, and banter/flow.

So, for all of these great songs you're singing, are you doing ANYTHING other than standing in a semi circle? Seriously, you gotta do SOMETHING. I'm not talking full out Pitch Perfect level dance choreo, but even basic movement makes a world of difference in the show. We always joked around on the sing off that we did our best work just on stools, which is great for a portion of your show, but you also need to vary it up. Do some finger snaps here...a bit of step touch there. Maybe change the formation halfway through the song. Everyone turn and face the soloist...or perhaps you move to the front of the stage for the big power chorus at the end. There are a surprisingly large amount of little things you can do to make it visually interesting. It really doesn't take much, but you start adding a bit of eye candy into what you're doing, and the ear candy immediately sounds better too.

And the banter - are you singing just song to song to song with nothing in between? Give the audience a SHOW. Before almost every song, come up with an anecdote about it...perhaps some back story on the song itself, or why the group chose to do it. Have you introduced everyone in the band yet? Brief story on how you got started maybe. Or how about that time in rehearsals when so and so did that thing at the place with the stuff...so funny! So and so is such a character! PLEASE have a few jokes handy as well, hopefully ones that vaguely relate to the song at hand even. And spread it around, don't have just one person do all the talking...the audience likes to get to know everyone up there. Adding in that sort of banter makes the audience at ease and helps to break down the 4th wall so it feels like everyone is just having a good time together. Its the difference between a B show, and an A show.

It's really not enough to just sing songs...by adding in these two basic elements as well you really heighten the whole experience for the audience (and perhaps distract from a few out of place notes here and there in the songs too!) Take it, run with it, own it...and let's turn your show from a solid B to an A+.

-Chris

Chris Rupp Director/baritone of Home Free www.homefreevocalband.com

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Re: You mean theres more to a show than just singing?

Postby Jordan » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:18 am

Wow, THIS.

Without a flow, a story, or a message, a gig turns into a choir concert really fast. My addition is that while stories about the band and members are great, be careful not to get too "inside joke"-ish on stage. If it's an aca-crowd, feel free to make aca-references, but for a general show keep it real for everyone who might be hearing a cappella for the first time. It's neat to have multiple people talk, so if you haven't been the front man (or woman) yet, consider a two-person dialog with the normal talker to ease into it. And, if you're the talker, find ways to draw another member in.

I keep a stable of clean, family friendly jokes in my back pocket so there's always a chance for the group to take a breath without trying to ad lib.

Founder / Director - King's Post

Director - Blacksburg Middle School TiTones

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