Miserable guitarist

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Flanging_FredFlanging_Fred Frets: 1303
We got someone to video our gig on Saturday night and I just checked it out.

Oh dear.

I look so bloody miserable and grumpy and stressed. I'm not exactly a social dynamo at the best of times but wasn't aware that I look  that awkward.

So does anyone have hints or tips about how to relax (or at least look like it), look like a normal well adjusted human being and engage with the audience.

I think I might need a big mirror and some gurning lessons...
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1092
    Hold a smile and get botoxed!
     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 7593
    edited May 15
    Look up. Smile (if not playing miserable music), tap foot, nod head, remember you're playing guitar in a band and that makes you better than everyone else.
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  • equalsqlequalsql Frets: 2723
    Drugs, booze and hoes...before the gig. B)
    (pronounced: equal-sequel)   "I suffered for my art.. now it's your turn"
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1300
    How comfortable are you in playing without looking at the fretboard?
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  • Flanging_FredFlanging_Fred Frets: 1303
    Roland said:
    How comfortable are you in playing without looking at the fretboard?
    Not very, clearly something I need to work on. 
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  • ZenOvertoneZenOvertone Frets: 43
    Arrive early, setup and relax... Interact with the other band members...share the odd on stage joke :-)  
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  • nick79nick79 Frets: 92
    Can't help with advice mate, but i'm exactly the same! I was a bit shocked when i looked back at video of me playing, i look like i was not enjoying it at all, which is the total opposite to how it was. 

    i think maybe it's a case of exaggerating everything?
    Dunno, but i could do with some advice too..
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 720
    Practice ad know your part to build confidence, then when playing make a point of looking at the audience at least once per song then build on this.The old adage of playing to one person really helps
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 1955
    I agree with @stickyfiddle with a bundle of what @Roland says too.
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  • RocknRollDaveRocknRollDave Frets: 4196
    Do you do backing vocals? If not, DO IT! This gets you looking up, engaging with the audience and also builds confidence. And bands with BV's are better. Even if you can't look at the audience, at least doing BV's will make you look "busy" rather than "mardy" :)
    And if your singing sucks, just make sure the mic is off or down!

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  • Flanging_FredFlanging_Fred Frets: 1303
    Do you do backing vocals? If not, DO IT! This gets you looking up, engaging with the audience and also builds confidence. And bands with BV's are better. Even if you can't look at the audience, at least doing BV's will make you look "busy" rather than "mardy" :)
    And if your singing sucks, just make sure the mic is off or down!
    Yeah, I'm doing some BV's.  I'm trying to add them a bit at a time though because, well, I'm not very experienced at it and trying to build up my confidance. You're right though, it does help get your head up. 
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 785
    Remember Bonehead from Oasis' retort to a US fan who criticised him playing...

    Fan: "Dude I watched you the whole show and all you played was F, G, D and C!
    Bonehead: "It might have been all I played, but I was up there f**king playing it and you were paying to watch me..."
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 1660
    edited May 19
    We got someone to video our gig on Saturday night and I just checked it out.

    Oh dear.

    I look so bloody miserable and grumpy and stressed. I'm not exactly a social dynamo at the best of times but wasn't aware that I look  that awkward.

    So does anyone have hints or tips about how to relax (or at least look like it), look like a normal well adjusted human being and engage with the audience.

    I think I might need a big mirror and some gurning lessons...
    So, how about posting some vid clip links and then we can at least see you before commenting & giving tips?  You're probably just being a little self conscious and not anywhere as bad as you think!  It's always weird seeing yourself on vids - kind of like hearing your recorded voice - you think you sound odd but to everyone else you sound completely normal!  
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • vizviz Frets: 4295
    edited May 19
    Practise in front of a mirror; practise your stage moves in your band rehearsals; do a group hug before you go on stage and shout YEAH to each other; look at some imaginary people just beyond those at the back and smile at them; occasionally do the odd guitar motion, such as pointing it upside down to the audience, or doing the status quo motion, or even playing behind the back of your head if you feel like it; lean back a bit more and dig in; wear makeup and stage clothes; sing BVs; get a sprung wah pedal and stamp on it; if none of that works, just wear a costume with a mask. 
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  • Loadsa musicians look miserable when they play. That Jonny from Radiohead, and......the rest of Radiohead.

    No but really, there are loads.
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 1955
    Smile at your mates on stage, crack a few in jokes (even silently while playing) and it soon becomes infectious. Have a stock of corny jokes to scatter throughout the performance, people smiling causes people to smile! Look at the audience once in a while (or just into the gloom if the stage lights are bright). It becomes habit after a while and makes so much difference.
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  • RavenousRavenous Frets: 1133

    Imagine the entire audience are in 100% clown costumes and make-up, head to foot.

    And they've brought Poodles in Silly Hats with them. (That might make a usable band name...)

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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 1660
    And if you want REALLY miserable - look no further than Morrisey.  He makes Marvin the manically depressed robot from Hitchhikers GTTG look positively euphoric!  Separated at birth perhaps? 

    Image result for morrissey


    Image result for marvin the manically depressed robot
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • cruxiformcruxiform Frets: 1360
    Voxman said:
    And if you want REALLY miserable - look no further than Morrisey.  He makes Marvin the manically depressed robot from Hitchhikers GTTG look positively euphoric!  Separated at birth perhaps? 

    Image result for morrissey


    Image result for marvin the manically depressed robot
    Maybe, but he's an inspirational singer and songwriter.
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 15789
    Who says it's a prerequisite to look happy? Eric Clapton never looks full of the joys - I think looking bored/pissed off lends a certain gravitas to a performance. People like Bucks Fizz smile all the time....
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26316
    Really, who cares? If happy doesn't come naturally then maybe just try to look impassive and not stressed.

    Whatever you do, avoid the temptation to do clichéd rockisms, let alone gurning... you'll just look like a twat. Worse, if it isn't natural you'll just look like you're actively trying to be a twat.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 5964
    I think it's important to look at least interested. If you appear to be more interested in your pedalboard or just bored looking it sends a negative message. 
    Smiling whilst playing is fairly unnatural for me, I end up biting my lip and looking like a chipmunk  or possibly like I'm recieving anal sex. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 131
    Engage with the audience, sing the words to them, tap your foot,  nod your head, make a visible movement that you're into the groove with the music. I used to start out the same, always looking down at my shoes and be more concerned with my tone. No one cares in the audience on your tone, they just want to have a good time, so if you come across as bored or miserable they'll pick up on it!
    These days I'm a bit of a lunatic, doing silly poses, throwing things in the crowd and stagediving. Its great fun and people love to see that stuff!!
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 720
    cruxiform said:
    Voxman said:
    And if you want REALLY miserable - look no further than Morrisey.  He makes Marvin the manically depressed robot from Hitchhikers GTTG look positively euphoric!  Separated at birth perhaps? 

    Image result for morrissey


    Image result for marvin the manically depressed robot
    Maybe, but he's an inspirational singer and songwriter.
    Really?.....
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • harpdoodleharpdoodle Frets: 42
    Get a few wigs, some crazy glasses and a few inflatable plastic guitars. 
    I am pretty shy by nature, so onstage I adopt a 'joker' role and hide behind silly wigs and funny eyewear. 

    At gigs I encourage the punters to wear my wigs and glasses, and there is always someone up for playing plastic air guitar after a few pints. This makes their evening too, they entertain themselves. 

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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    Get a few wigs, some crazy glasses and a few inflatable plastic guitars. 
    I am pretty shy by nature, so onstage I adopt a 'joker' role and hide behind silly wigs and funny eyewear. 

    At gigs I encourage the punters to wear my wigs and glasses, and there is always someone up for playing plastic air guitar after a few pints. This makes their evening too, they entertain themselves. 

    You are Krusty the Clown and ICM $5
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 1955
    Get a few wigs, some crazy glasses and a few inflatable plastic guitars. 
    I am pretty shy by nature, so onstage I adopt a 'joker' role and hide behind silly wigs and funny eyewear. 

    At gigs I encourage the punters to wear my wigs and glasses, and there is always someone up for playing plastic air guitar after a few pints. This makes their evening too, they entertain themselves. 

    This is a good call. Many years ago as a spotty teenager I used to have a bag of hats (jumble sale specials) and would simply pop another one on for each song. Some would be appropriate like a bright woolly hat for Jamacan feel music or a cowboy hat for eagles etc. but others were ladies hats of baseball caps etc. and it was a feature of our performance. After a year or so I stopped doing it because confidence had grown and I could engage with the audience better, but it was my way of entertaining and being on stage.
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