Musician and friend to Barefoot Music Group Steve Patterson is a gifted finger pickin’ guitarist whose own music is like a soothing salve that heals open wounds on the heart. Steve’s chops come through the spirit of who he is right down through his fingers transposing all that soulful emoting right on to his fretboard.
As a writer whose focus is often music I am fascinated with the ways other musicians think and find ways to use social media as a tool to suss out questions in the music industry, especially the Independent music scene.
So Steve asked…….
” What qualities should a local band have to keep an audience happy, in a club situation? And, what is your biggest complaint about live music in the same situation…..”
……and so they answered.
Marvin ~ Play more upbeat songs…i hate to hear nothing but slow sad ballads.
Ruth W ~ I would love it if local bands would choose a club where the audience goes to listen to music and not drink all the beer on the planet. And if those local bands could play original music, it would be heaven.
Madalyn ~My one complaint is musicians playing so loud that you cannot hear vocalist. When it’s all instrumental cut loose. I really love nuanced pieces showcasing different instruments.
Robert H ~And sing-along songs (John Prine – Dear Abby, etc
Gayle ~ Play different songs…Hearing the same songs week after week gets old…
Sue B ~ My biggest complaint is the loudness issue; drums mic’ed in small rooms; instruments too loud for the vocals–and don’t turn the vocals up, turn the instruments *down*. I do not want to have to lean over to yell in a friend/companion’s ear to be heard or vice versa! Loud does not equal better.
But it’ll still be 100 bucks a gig for time immemorial.
A big complain is when there is no connection between musicians. The audience perceives it and is not good. I’m in a band where we talk at each other just by looking at the other. And we make the craziest arrangements on the fly, when someone makes a mistake we all manage to cover and make it look like it’s part of the trip. Musicians need to have fun on stage so that the audience will have fun too.
Amanda S ~ As a member of a touring band.. We try very hard to keep the balance of relevant music, classic favorites, and our own originals. I love a good original, but too many times you see bands playing originals that aren’t really that good, nor is it fun, ear catching, or indicative of the music the band’s style reflects. I also think it is important for a band to have a “look” one that isn’t just a group of people who randomly come together by happenstance. You don’t have to be a size 6, as s female, to be attractive on stage, nor do you have to be in a suit or khakis to be pleasing to the eye. I also try to make sure that we tell a joke or have good rapport with the other guys in the band. I like to see the banter when I am seeing another band. There should always be a show, within the show. Just my two cents, and yes venues should pay more.
I wish folks who turn out for live music would listen to the music and save their chatting for another time.
Steve P ~ Yes!
Steve G ~ I have been playing for the public since the early 70’s and it didn’t take long to figure out that MOST people don’t care if you perform great guitar solos or if your song selection is made up from super hard songs. MOST people don’t really come for the music. They want to hear familiar songs at a reasonable volume.
All the songs that musicians hate to play.
They notice if the vocals sound good but MOST could not tell if you made a mistake or nailed it.
Being TOO loud is the biggest complaint. People want to be entertained, have interaction with the band, and be made to feel special..
Todd K ~ To be sure to know the genres of music the crowd enjoys. If you play covers, I assume that would be especially important. And I think it would be equally as important if you play your own stuff
Peter D ~ VARIETY! VARIETY! VARIETY! The band member that usually does the “TALKING” etc. needs to be very interactive with the crowd but also don’t forget the other hand members…and the biggest pet peeve of mine would be….transition time between songs…lag time loses people’s interest….that’s my 2 cents worth! 😄😆😝😜😀
Angel F ~ Mix up the tempo. Play some originals but also play covers so people can hear some songs they know. Don’t talk between every song. Always use a set list. I like to dance, so dance-able songs make me happy. And my pet peeve is when the bass is mixed in too loudly. It drowns everything else out.
Brenda D ~ In some cases drums screens.
And a guy that can sing like Gregg Allman.
Johnnie H ~ MORE COWBELL !!!
Lorraine R ~ When you can’t hear the person singing because of other instruments. Then of course people talking while you are playing.
JD Talor ~ Costumes ….would be great ….maybe each gig could have a theme… Lol
Arlene T ~ Usually the same set, maybe have different playlists or something new your working on. You can see how a live room reacts. You might get more new faces in to expand your following.
Hello lovely Music Tribe ~
Excellent shares! Thank you so much to everyone for expanding your thoughts that became this fabulous dialogue. Loved this thread and saw great merit in the comments and posed topics as incredibly valuable sharing for the world of independent music and artists for which Barefoot Music is a steadfast advocate for.
A shout out of massive love and gratitude to musician and superb human Steve Patterson, from who this piece was inspired by
Stay Peacefully in tune ~Barefoot Music Group