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What to do with my hands?

Hi guys,

I've been playing/singing in bands off and on for decades, but always from behind a guitar. The latest band I'm in don't need another guitarist, so I'm strictly a front man, which I've never done before. We've only had a couple of practises so are a long way from gigging yet, but I just don't know what to do with my hands. I really enjoy the change in being able to just concentrate on the vocals and not have to worry about the guitar, but I feel a little lost at the same time.

Any suggestions? I've been watching videos of other singers that I like to try to see what they do, but I just don't feel comfortable flaying my arms around. Will it just come naturally with practise, or do I actually need to force myself to do it until I get used to it?

The type of music I'm singing ranges from quite mellow Eagles type stuff right up to AC/DC full on rock. It's a covers band.


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    That's a good one. I get to hide behind a drum set, so I'm not much help...

    You could bang on an acoustic guitar, not plugged in, or work the mic stand like Mick Jagger or Freddie Mercury.

  • WaynebWayneb Member Posts: 11
    Haha I'd love to work the mic like them but I feel like a tosser when I try. Perhaps it's something that will just come with time.
  • TobyasTobyas Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 9
    Be confident and believe in yourself! I find that when you're completely in the zone your body will express itself naturally and you don't even have to think about it!

    But I know what you mean. In rehearsals or the first few songs of a show you don't always feel "warmed up" and moves feel awkward and forced. I've got a few tips for countering this;

    1. Hold the mic in you hand. That'll leave you with only having to engage one hand!

    2. Prepare and practice a few moves for every song, especially your starters. A few examples are pointing, open hand towards crowd, ceiling or side, fist to the sky och gestures. If you do these in rehearsals, and allow yourself to get a lil cheesy in front of you band mates, then they'll feel more natural on stage, almost like they're part of the song, like koreography. Pulling off these moves during your show will also help relaxing you, getting you "in the zone" easier.

    3. Allow yourself to get expressive and even theatrical. A live show is about captivating an audience and while you might not want your show to feel like theater, you still want to make a powerful expression. Gestures and presence is key.

    Don't forget to have fun, don't take yourself too seriously and you're going to be fine!

    Good luck friend!
  • billthebaldguybillthebaldguy Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 54
    I smell what you're cookin'...I too have formed a new band and don't have to play rhythm guitar but on just a few songs; the other 30-something songs I'm just singing.

    The singing part is better since I don't have to split my focus but I feel like an idiot without something in my hands.

    So - been adding in percussion in songs where it sounds good (tambourine/shaker/rain sticks/cowbell); also been gripping/working the mic stand more but only when I the groove grabs me - I don't force anything.

    Lastly - +1 on studying Freddy Mercury, Mick Jagger and The Godfather, James Brown. Just little things they do with their hands/hips/feet/bodies in the right spots of the tune make a huge difference on the performance...
  • WaynebWayneb Member Posts: 11
    Thanks guys. Yeah it has got a little easier with time, although haven't had a gig yet just practice.
  • meghayadav045meghayadav045 Member Posts: 2
    This is good move all the best.
  • The mic stand is your new guitar.

    Peace, Tony
  • singing_veteransinging_veteran Member Posts: 11
    edited October 2017
    Listen, I had the same problem. When we got a guy to play bass so I could concentrate on signing I didn't know what to do either. First thing get a good wireless mic and a light weight stand so you can hold it however you want. Study other performers. As someone already said, let your body get into it. I'm going to post a link to a video of me in my old band. This is an original song from back in the late 80's, i'm the blonde guy singing of course. You don't have to dance around all over, little movements and actions go a long way. BTW the sound on this video sucks, the studio recording is much better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2Zro80jZyo
  • EpicRyderEpicRyder Member Posts: 14
    lot of great artist have great ways to deal with it,
    for example, freddie mercury uses his mic stand and uses it across the stage as a damn sword. Other use solely the mic (without the stand) and sing with both the hands on the mic.
    Well, if you're using a mic fixed to a place with a stand, you could just dance around it, and using your hands to show signs/communicate with the audience.
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