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paul

paulmiller



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Location: Lewisville, Texas, USA
No. 1 Posted on Nov 18, 2012 10:53 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I played out this week with the Les Elgart Orchestra, a 14 piece dance big band. Five saxes, three bones, three trumpets, guitar, bass, drums. No piano.

The leader sets the band up with saxes on the right, guitar and bass behind them, trombones on the left with trumpets behind, and drums in the middle between saxes and bones.

It's a pretty unusual setup, but I really like it. You can hear all the horns well, and have a better feel for the band's dynamics. It also makes the drums very visible to the audience, and almost a focus for them.

It's fun to be out front for a change.



The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely preferable to the presence of those who think they've found it. - Terry Pratchett

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pwc





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Location: Pattaya, Thailand
No. 2 Posted on Nov 18, 2012 11:32 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I once played in a dixieland band where I was really in front and horns etc were behind me. It was done because they had mics and I had none and I liked it a lot for that same reason of being able to hear everything.


Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
StillKicken





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Location: Buda, Texas
No. 3 Posted on Nov 18, 2012 5:41 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Playing in front/inline with the others is a plus, not that I wanna play in front it's just that you can hear everyone so much better. The amp's are behind you and you get to hear the same as the player. You can also feel the mood of the music so much better which relates to a more musically played rhythm.

Very seldom has that ever happened in the past; only when stage size dictates the setup.

sherm



K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple System
OldFart

Mapex



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No. 4 Posted on Nov 18, 2012 9:24 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I played directly after work one time. My band was just a 5-piece Rock outfit. At the last rehearsal before the gig, I had to explain my dilemma to the band and asked that they be ready such that upon my arrival we could move all the band pieces into place with little ado.

I expected to unload quickly once I arrived and move my gear and the rest of the band's amps and stands into place and require just a few very quick minor adjustments.

Well, the other four found the venue early enough to set everything up and were merely killing time, waiting on me - and I was nearly out of breath from rushing.

Except for the singer, the other three set up near the back wall leaving the drums just enough room to set-up way out front. We were all on a stage in an auditorium, but the other three found risers and quickly moved them into place behind everything.

My kit was in the place any singer would normally occupy - front and center.

The rest of the band was far enough behind me that I had great balance from everyone else, but the singer had to chose which side he was going to stand for each song.

Though the sound was good for me, I was out of sorts due to the radical change of the floor-plan. It was very ... awkward, I guess. I would normally get clues visually - but that was completely wiped out with this arrangement.


OldFart edited on Nov 18, 2012 9:28 PM

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paul

paulmiller



Posts: 2708
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Location: Lewisville, Texas, USA
No. 5 Posted on Nov 19, 2012 10:28 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Many years ago I played in a six piece rock band that would set up in a line across the front of the stage whenever there was sufficient room, and I loved it. Not only could we all hear the balance better, it was easier for all of us to make eye contact whenever desired. It also made it easier for me to m.c. the band, a task I often undertook.


The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely preferable to the presence of those who think they've found it. - Terry Pratchett

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Andy





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Location: Rockford, MI
No. 6 Posted on Nov 26, 2012 5:19 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I wouldn't like to be up front as it wouldn't allow me to see all the cues, changes, etc from the other band members.



StillKicken





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No. 7 Posted on Nov 26, 2012 5:25 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
That's a good point, I do like to watch the other musicians as they play, especially the bass player and if they know what they are doing they even help to do a little directing for breaks and endings.

sherm



K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple System
paul

paulmiller



Posts: 2708
Joined: Jan 23, 2005
Location: Lewisville, Texas, USA
No. 8 Posted on Nov 27, 2012 1:39 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Actually, setting up in a line enhanced my ability to see visual cues, especially if we curved the line slightly so I was a little deeper than whoever was on the end. And nobody has to turn around to communicate.


The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely preferable to the presence of those who think they've found it. - Terry Pratchett

Just Add Sticks


pwc





Posts: 9923
Joined: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Pattaya, Thailand
No. 9 Posted on Nov 27, 2012 8:14 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Luckily, in my case of years ago mentioned earlier, I needed musical cues rather than visual ones but In my trio gigs I do like to have that eye contact possibility and its easier to group on stage to allow that with just a trio of course. In the only big band gig I ever did, I just needed to follow the band leader acting as conductor


Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

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