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Some bands want there singer to memorize the lyrics , others are ok with the lyrics on stage .I have seen professionals, now older using monitors on stage..

My thought is if your young and can memorize the lyrics then go for it , but when your in your 50s and older it’s not that easy .As long as the lyrics are not in front of your face , why be so fussy , I really don’t think anybody in the crowd is going , OMG .. they have lyrics on the stage...

It’s what comes out of those speakers that is most important ...Thoughts .??
 
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It may not look profesional, but .. meh.
Singers in both bands that I play in have music stands.
One of them has his lyric book out.
They other, same. She also keeps her toys on there. Maracas, cowbell, tambourine etc.

When I went to see Keith and the New Barbarians play the Benefit for the Blind show (Oshawa '79), there were music stands all across the stage.
 

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Years ago, I thought it was bush league.

I've changed my mind now. I prefer not to use one, but because of that, I only sing about a dozen songs (all I can remember the lyrics to).

I know it allows bands to extend their song list from perhaps 50 to a few hundred, so win-win for both the band and the audience, especially when they're nice enough to send up requests written on $10 bills. My other guitarist has one on stage mounted very low. I like it because I can see the words to harmonies I'm supposed to be singing. Much better than 'la-la'ing my way through them, eh?
 

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It's not an issue for me. Orchestras require them, lots of pros use them...

Most of the time I keep mine well off to my left because I don't need it full-time. For whatever reason I don't have an issue with chords very often but remembering lyrics is a bitch. I always suspected I had some sort of undiagnosed learning disability, or too many concussions, not that either affected any of my careers as far as I'm aware. Everything is familiar, if not memorized. In my early cover band years I had everything memorized, but that was then, this is now. I'm older, wiser, but my mental reflexes ain't what they used to be. Now, I play a fair number of one-off gigs where I read almost everything so a stand is an absolute necessity...these shows don't pay enough to make me memorize anything.
 

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99% of the time it takes away something from the performance. There are perfomers who can use lyric sheets or tablets effectively but most can't take their eyes off them, and that makes for a very disengaged performance.

I have used cue sheets - basically the first few words of each verse - on songs I've just learned, but I find that the best way to memorize lyrics is to forget them in front of an audience. :-D
 

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I think that for a casual jam at a buddy's BBQ sure, no problem. However, there's nothing more unprofessional than a paid band with a singer reading lyrics on any medium. I mean really, everyone else memorizes their guitar parts etc. Why should the singer be held to a different standard? Besides, the singer is generally the front man and it's kind of hard to connect with the audience and ENTERTAIN them with your face in a piece of paper or looking at an ipad. If I see a pro band with a singer reading lyrics I would ask for my money back and walk out. How hard is it to learn the lyrics and arrangement to a song you, presumably, have played 100+ times?
 

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Depends on the gig. If you're a local bar band, hell no. If you're taking all requests at a retirement home, go for it. If you're an original band, stay home and practice til you know your stuff.
 

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Twenty years ago I would have said no. Now I can't remember the lyrics to songs I write let alone covers. I do try to just use them to cue me. I like to look at the audience as much as possible.
 

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I’ve got no problem with it provided it is discreet and one is not hiding behind a wide music stand and binder.

I use an iPad and keep it waist high so to not obscure view.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Just about everyone I know has lyrics on stage in some form or other. A band I used to play in the singer has an empty cabinet of a big monitor that used to house a 15" speaker. In it he has it connected to a laptop and he remote controls the lyrics. From the audience it looks like another monitor.
The band I'm playing in now the singer is 68 and insists on memorizing the words. He's pretty good at it but I think he runs out of room in his brain storage to remember some of the arrangements.
 
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Is it age or process? When I was young and wanted to learn a song I had to first buy the record. Then play it over and over, lifting the needle back to get the words written down. I would then rewrite the words again once or twice to have then neatly written on 1-2 sheets of paper. By the time I was done, I would pretty much have them memorized. Today I just print them off, so there are no memory triggers, just another page of text.
 
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Mid 80's. We fired our singer 3 days before a gig.
I had a shit load of songs to memorize.
I'd remember the words, but would get the verse order mixed up. lol
I wrote a few words of each on the set list we taped on the floor monitors.
 

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Is it age or process? When I was young and wanted to learn a song I had to first buy the record. Then play it over and over, lifting the needle back to get the words written down. I would then rewrite the words again once or twice to have then neatly written on 1-2 sheets of paper. By the time I was done, I would pretty much have them memorized. Today I just print them off, so there are no memory triggers, just another page of text.
I agree. The process you describe gets it into your head better than printing it off. Although we also know that memory declines with age so both factors are at work. But you also have to “work” on a song to the point where you are wearing it and not just reading the lines as you go along.
 

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Speaking for myself, i cant remember words to any of the songs i have been doing for over 20 years. So i need lyric sheets when playing. I really dont care what people think about it as its usually musicians or signers that will comment on it and we all now how fussy we are.LOL.
 

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Someone told me once that the one difference between a professional and an amateur is that the professional knows how to cheat better.

I'm definitely in the amateur side of the game but when I got one of those mic stand iPad holders, it was a massive game changer. I'm all for it. And I do a lot of presentations at work, I bring notes too. People will know if you are reading, so I think the difference is between a singer reading the lyrics, or singing the song; not whether there is a computer, iPad, music stand, or notes on stage.
 

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Our goofy old guy band has one guy still using paper on a music stand. I showed him a pic from a gig, and how you couldn't even see his guitar. Everyone else has an iPad, and they're far less distracting.

I sing only about 7 or 8 songs, and I'm at the point where the iPad is a safety net. I don't refer to it at all. I hope I can continue that. I agree with the comments about not wanting to watch someone read an entire song. There's no audience connection.
 
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