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stewblack

Left or Right or Not Bothered?

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I was surprised when my keyboard player set up on the wrong side of the stage the other day. He then said he preferred to be next to me when we play. 

Well I always play stage left I said. Do you he said. Yes I do I said. (the dialogue is always this riveting). 

I tell people I stand stage left because that's hi hat and snare side so I can make easy eye contact with the drummer  and so I don't clobber the singer with my headstock every two minutes.. 

But now I wonder if it's just a habit/ritual /superstition/OCD thing. What about you? Do you even care? 

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I prefer stage left for the reasons you outline. I also prefer to not be next to the keyboard player, as we cover partly similar sonic ground and it can get a bit confusing! Not a problem if you’re using IEM’s I know.....

Having said that, on some gigs it isn’t always possible to set the way you want, and we just get on with it. Can even be a refreshing change 😀

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Yep I gotta be stage left too, become a habit now.  Means I hit the pa speaker with headstock in Small venues instead of the singer 😜 

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I tend to stand on the right facing forward. Not a conscious choice, but one made for me by the lack of space in a lot of the venues we play.

It doesn't really bother me where I stand as I cant hear much anyway. 😂

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3 minutes ago, gt4ever said:

Yep I gotta be stage left too, become a habit now.  Means I hit the pa speaker with headstock in Small venues instead of the singer 😜 

being a lefty I always stand on the right for this reason, but I've noticed on multi band bills the bass amp is nearly always on the left

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8 minutes ago, gt4ever said:

Yep I gotta be stage left too, become a habit now.  Means I hit the pa speaker with headstock in Small venues instead of the singer 😜 

Yes! I always do a swing test just before we start to see what I'm going to hit 

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Virtually every band I've been in I get stuck stage right so playing right handed I'm always close to hitting a cymbal with my headstock. I suppose if I was stage left I'd probably be given so little space I'd just be hitting the headstock against the wall instead...Currently in a 5 piece so I'm directly behind the rhythm guitarist which now limits how far forward I can set up. Like playiung in a rabbit hutch for half the gigs so far but it's hard finding venues with suitable space these days.

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Ideally stage left for the aforementioned Drummer Contact thing, but in the trio I play with most, I'm usually stage right, which suits me, because if (when) the Singist/Guitarist gets 'creative' with the setlist and chucks stuff in we either haven't played for an age (or, on some choice gigs, we've never played at all) I get to watch his left hand for the chords...

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47 minutes ago, stewblack said:

Yes! I always do a swing test just before we start to see what I'm going to hit 

LOL, me too! We do mainly theatres, and every now and then the black curtains at the side of the stage (legs I think they're known as in the theatre dahling) turn out to be solid, meaning if I catch my headstock on them it can be quite a jolt. Likewise trying to part them when walking offstage can be embarrassing too. 😄

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I prefer stage left but one band insist on me being stage right... and you know what, it's no big deal! 30yrs of superstition for nothing :D

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I don’t mind where I’m position, as long as I’m as far away from the lead guitarist, their back line and monitor as possible. Nothing against what they play, but I can’t remember playing with a lead guitarist who is unable to have silly stage volumes. 

Being placed at the same side as the hi hat is often sensible but depends on the drummer, some of them I really don’t want to look at 🤪

 

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Just now, Muzz said:

Ideally stage left for the aforementioned Drummer Contact thing, but in the trio I play with most, I'm usually stage right, which suits me, because if (when) the Singist/Guitarist gets 'creative' with the setlist and chucks stuff in we either haven't played for an age (or, on some choice gigs, we've never played at all) I get to watch his left hand for the chords...

Good point! In my acoustic duo I tend to sit to the right of the guitarist for that reason. However, with some of the chords / inversions he can play it's not much use to me to be honest 🤣

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I prefer to be on the drummer's hi-hat side, however, I'm often just going where I can fit in.

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I don't care. As I use headless basses almost all the time, there isn't an issue with some stupid ugly heavy lump of wood at the far end of the neck, not unless I shove it into the singer's ear.

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No real preference to be honest. The keyboard thing is an issue tho. When keys player next to me his backline tends to drown me out at times. We have discussed this after last gig and he's gonna move next to guitarist. Bet the guitarist won't be chuffed :laugh1: I have issues with a lot of keys players when they start doing the bass art with their left hand.

Current keys player was brought in to provide some keys backing during guitar solos and maybe provide specific sounds like sax but..............mmmmm enough said.😜:D

Dave

 

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1 minute ago, dmccombe7 said:

No real preference to be honest. The keyboard thing is an issue tho. When keys player next to me his backline tends to drown me out at times. We have discussed this after last gig and he's gonna move next to guitarist. Bet the guitarist won't be chuffed :laugh1: I have issues with a lot of keys players when they start doing the bass art with their left hand.

Current keys player was brought in to provide some keys backing during guitar solos and maybe provide specific sounds like sax but..............mmmmm enough said.😜:D

Dave

 

I've played with a couple of keys guys like that. Can be very annoying, especially when they don't get the correct lines that you're playing and it ends up just wrong. Then when their big solo arrives, the left hand goes surprisingly static...

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Must be the left for all the reasons you provided. Having line of sight of the drummer's hands and feet has been a life saver in times where on-stage sound is poor.

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1 hour ago, oldslapper said:

I don’t mind where I’m position, as long as I’m as far away from the lead guitarist, their back line and monitor as possible. Nothing against what they play, but I can’t remember playing with a lead guitarist who is unable to have silly stage volumes. 

Being placed at the same side as the hi hat is often sensible but depends on the drummer, some of them I really don’t want to look at 🤪

 

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I prefer stage left (right handed) so I've got a clear view of everyone else and so I'm not twatting the singer round the head with my bass.  She's a good sort but isn't really into that kind of thing.

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Lefty player so I always used to set up stage right. I would think stage side opposite your handedness if you get the choice would be the norm. Not set in stone 'cos everybody's different, but in the absence of a good reason why would you do otherwise?

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Stage right for me, so I can hear / feel the bass drum. If you look at Billy Sheehan,  Rudy Sarzo, Michael Anthony and bass players in rock bands of that type, they will usually be stage right with a right sided drummer. I used to insist, but a bit more adaptable these days. 

I'm usually the same side as the keys player if there is one, mainly to keep the guitar and keys separate. 

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1 hour ago, ezbass said:

I prefer to be on the drummer's hi-hat side, however, I'm often just going where I can fit in.

Ideally for me, too, but the most important thing is to be at the back, next to the drums so we can maintain eye contact.

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Stage left for me too almost always, mainly because I once read that the bass should be on the same side as the drummer's hi-hat to aid hearing it for timing, and I was young and impressionable.  Okay, maybe not young...  I did swap to the right on the one gig we did without our keyboard player and didn't find it any problem, though.

With regard to keyboard players straying into our sonic space, I did have this problem once.  I addressed it by (1) asking him nicely keep his left hand under control, and (2) setting up a high pass filter on his PA channel to take a lot of the low frequencies out.  I think (2) was more effective!

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These days wherever there is room for me, Helix and computer mounted on a keyboard stand. Ideally not too far from the PA stage box for the computer DIs.

I don't really mind which side of the stage I am in relation to the drummer, as in a previous band I did a lot of gigs supporting psychobilly bands with upright bass who would set up on the drummer's right hand side so they would be facing him when they were playing.

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