If you are an inexperienced band vocalist, you may not think much of band banter as necessary to your performance. But once you start feeling fidgety and nervous on stage during those short breaks, unable to break the eerie silence in-between songs, you may soon feel doubly anxious for those silences can quickly become deafening to you!
If you don’t have the flair for engaging in small and lively banters, you might find it hard to initiate such band banter. You might decide to remain silent during the intervals. Yet, silence would not help your band’s cause. As a bandleader, you got the task of getting the audience engaged and enthused.
If you don’t have that suave and engaging personality and don’t know how to fill the gaps in-between songs, you need not worry, for you can learn how to do it. Even if you need to scribble your thoughts on your palm or sticky note before going on stage, you should do it if it would help your band.
Tips and Techniques to Fill the Gaps In-between Songs
If you feel uneasy and unsure as to what to say in-between those songs, don’t you worry, for there are techniques that you can use to make those intervals great moments in your performance. Remember that everything can be learned. Hence, we are giving here some useful tips on how to handle those moments in-between songs:
1) Make a Short Introduction About Your Band!
When we were young as a band, we thought our audience should only focus on our songs instead of focusing on our personality. We were ill-advised then, for the moment we first stepped on stage, we were open to prying by the audience. Since then, we’ve grown enough as a band, and now, we now know that a good introduction would make us look courteous and endearing to our audience.
It will be useful to lighten up everything for you if you can introduce yourself and each of your band members to your expectant audience.
If you are the front act, for example, it is imperative that you introduce yourself. Your audience deserves to know something about you. If you’re the main act, however, then your audience may already know more about you. Thus, you can use the time to banter with each other or with the audience in such a case.
2) Share Anecdotes and Stories!
Fans would surely love to hear about you and know you more. So, if you can prepare a story about your band, your fans will appreciate it well. For example, you can say something about how you were able to compose your song or about the inspiration behind your piece.
You don’t need to tell a long narrative that gets your fans bored. An anecdote would do to jumpstart your performance or to while away the time in-between those songs.
On my part, I always enjoy the time I would explain how we came up with a good song. Such a moment always keeps our audience glued to us, and I know it gets them animated about our songs.
3) Banter with Your Bandmates
I have watched the black and white videos of the performances of the Beatles before, and one thing I’ve noticed was that, during their early days as a band, they were so endearing and enlivening to watch. They engaged in small banters in-between songs, which further endear them to their fans.
Of course, you may not look like the cute young John Lennon or Paul MacCartney. Yet, you can learn a lot from how they behave themselves during their youthful days.
So, if you want to enliven the gaps between songs, you can engage in small talks with your bandmates like what the Beatles did. Poke fun with each other and make sure that you are enjoying your moments on stage.
Such a suave behavior on stage is not inborn, but you can acquire it as you gain more confidence in your band and yourself. At first, you may feel uneasy and awkward, but you can better your banters and small talks as you become experienced in dealing with different audiences.
If you’re not good at bantering, then admit it to your audience, but make sure you tell them that you are working on that skill.
4) Tell Your Audience about Your Future Gigs
Another thing to do in-between those songs is to tell your audience about your future gigs and endeavors. Tell them the venues of your next gigs and where they can check you out in the future. Moreover, these intervals are your best ways to make connections with your fans. So, it would be best to use some of these intervals to keep your fans updated.
5) Present Your Songs
If you belong to a new band that thrives in making original compositions, you can use the intervals to introduce your new songs. My band before made sure that we will never cover other band’s songs. Well, we were fortunate that we got tons of original compositions, and in every gig that we had, we inserted one or two new songs in our lineups.
We also made sure that each new piece was properly contextualized and introduced. With a good backgrounder on a song, I had noticed that the audience felt more engaged in listening to our new song. So, it will be useful to present your songs before singing them.
6) Thank the Other Bands, the Staffs, and the Audience!
You can use the intervals to thank the other artists who played before and after you. You can mention their band’s names or the artist’s name. Always remember that it is a pleasant thing to do to build friendships and respect for other bands.
I remember a time in one of our gigs wherein one of the bands who played with us made fun of another band’s performance. I think such a very brazen act should never have any place in any show, and the least thing you can do for other bands is to support and respect them.
You can also use the time to thank the staff and the fans. Moreover, you can again thank the people who contributed to the success of the event. Thank the sound technicians for their great works. Thank the staff likewise for the venue and the great welcome.
Additionally, thank the audience for gracing the occasion. Gratitude always engenders a positive response from those who were accorded such appreciation.
Aside from the abovementioned tips, you can also employ these additional tips to ensure that there will be no boring moments or silences during your performance:
Prepare What You are Going to Say!
Nothing beats those who are well-prepared. If you are the bandleader, it will be useful to prepare your script or ideas and write them down if your memory fails more often. Write down the pertinent information you want to convey to your audiences, like your band’s name, current album, new songs, social media accounts, next gigs, and other things you would like to discuss.
You can write these pieces of information on a sticky note for easy grabbing. Such a note will prove useful if you are forgetful or nervous.
Show Some Emotions!
Once you step on the stage to perform, you are already branded as an entertainer. As an entertainer, you can use all the different types of techniques to enthuse your audience and make them remember your performance. For example, you can use your emotions to endear yourself to your audience. People are emotional, and if you can manifest your feeling to them, you can convey much to them.
Don’t be afraid to let your emotion come out when you perform. But make sure that you keep your feelings in check. Remember that you can surely spruce up your performance with a little drama. Remember that if you could make the audience laugh and cry, you would have certainly won their hearts.
Remain Real and Authentic
The first time I stepped on a platform to perform, my voice went a note higher whenever I spoke. Well, that is pretty natural if a person is nervous. Yet, as you become a more experienced performer, you will be able to manage yourself on stage consistently.
Moreover, it will be useful to remember to remain authentic when you are on stage. People will feel your authenticity once you stay authentic.
Of course, you can sport a different stage character or persona. Yet, if you could be authentic, your audience would surely love you. Nevertheless, being authentic may also mean that you will become subject to the scrutiny of your audience. But it pays well to be authentic on stage.
Performing in front of an audience opens you to the scrutiny and judgment of your audience. You suddenly become a public figure when you perform on stage, which makes you susceptible to being pained and hurt. Yet, if you know how to carry yourself well on stage, you will find your every performance gratifying and memorable.
As a bandleader, I got my fair share of being liked and embarrassed on stage. Yet, the show must go on. However, as a caveat, it pays well to be prepared with your ideas and little banter on stage. If you can rant extemporaneously on stage without antagonizing nor alienating your audience, well, that would be nice as long as you communicate with your audience and avoid those eerie silence during breaks in your performance.