Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger

Sleepy Rosie 17 Jan 09 - 01:04 PM
GUEST 17 Jan 09 - 01:13 PM
open mike 17 Jan 09 - 02:35 PM
Sleepy Rosie 17 Jan 09 - 02:40 PM
VirginiaTam 17 Jan 09 - 03:40 PM
Sleepy Rosie 17 Jan 09 - 03:46 PM
John Routledge 17 Jan 09 - 03:49 PM
Sleepy Rosie 17 Jan 09 - 04:07 PM
Richard Bridge 17 Jan 09 - 04:29 PM
Suegorgeous 17 Jan 09 - 06:23 PM
Gurney 17 Jan 09 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Richard Bridge elsewhere on his network 17 Jan 09 - 07:27 PM
peregrina 17 Jan 09 - 07:37 PM
VirginiaTam 18 Jan 09 - 03:47 AM
Spleen Cringe 18 Jan 09 - 06:16 AM
Sleepy Rosie 18 Jan 09 - 06:19 AM
G-Force 18 Jan 09 - 07:50 AM
Surreysinger 18 Jan 09 - 08:15 AM
Surreysinger 18 Jan 09 - 08:16 AM
breezy 18 Jan 09 - 09:03 AM
evansakes 18 Jan 09 - 09:13 AM
Surreysinger 18 Jan 09 - 11:16 AM
Artful Codger 18 Jan 09 - 04:22 PM
Hamish 18 Jan 09 - 04:27 PM
Surreysinger 18 Jan 09 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,Jon 18 Jan 09 - 10:16 PM
Sooz 19 Jan 09 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,Jon 19 Jan 09 - 04:14 AM
Marje 19 Jan 09 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,Jon 19 Jan 09 - 05:09 AM
Jack Blandiver 19 Jan 09 - 06:09 AM
Myrtle's cook 19 Jan 09 - 06:26 AM
The Vulgar Boatman 19 Jan 09 - 06:45 AM
Will Fly 19 Jan 09 - 06:52 AM
Phil Edwards 19 Jan 09 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Jon 19 Jan 09 - 07:17 AM
breezy 19 Jan 09 - 08:55 AM
the lemonade lady 19 Jan 09 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Richard Bridge 19 Jan 09 - 09:42 AM
Sooz 19 Jan 09 - 10:27 AM
Jack Blandiver 19 Jan 09 - 10:49 AM
evansakes 20 Jan 09 - 02:41 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 01:04 PM

I found these notes online, taken from a workshop at the Folk South West Easter School (which has been recommended to me by another poster). I thought they might be of interest to other beginners like myself:

Floor Singer Notes


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 01:13 PM

There is also this advice from Hamish Currie's website.

Floor singing for beginers

regards
Jake


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: open mike
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 02:35 PM

what's this mean?
" Shandy is good for maximizing fluid intake "


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 02:40 PM

Sounds like complicated sense to me.
A way to have a 'drink' while not dehydrating yourself with too much alcohol??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:40 PM

what zactly is a floorsinger? amateur or paid? standing up or sitting down?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:46 PM

Heh, heh, you beat me to it! ;-)
The notes are most sound...
...but what is a floorsinger?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: John Routledge
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 03:49 PM

The two sets of notes contain great advice.

Went to Folk SW Easter School last year. The atmosphere was wonderful.

Already booked for 2009!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 04:07 PM

It seems to me, further to comments about 'what a floorsinger is', that despite the title, these notes are pertinant to *anyone* wishing to sing, in however an informal a setting? Whether that be as a performer on stage, or within a less formal group situation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 04:29 PM

A "Floorsinger" is explained in some of the notes linked to above.

Those notes are mostly helpful. I would emphasise I think three things.

1. There will be others worse than you. Don't panic. That doesn't mean you don't need always to improve, but don't panic.
2. Pitch. If you play guitar find out exactly where you need the capo. Do NOT play it in G 'cos that's what the music said. If you are an unaccompanied singer, make sure you know the start note (and the next one) and get them off an instrument immediately before you start the song. It may help to be able to tell potential accompanists the key, too - but if you really really don't want accompaniment, say so.
3. Songs. These days you do not have to stick solely to folk songs (helps to have some idea about the 1954 definition and the US concept of contemporary folk eg Pete Seeger and the Weavers etc) but I think it is polite to demonstrate that you have some idea of what "folk" is and where it comes from even if you are going otherwise to do Dylan or acoustic Metallica. Sort of "paid my dues" type of ethos. So it may be good to make a point of doing at least one folk song.   The joke about the bloke (see notes, links above) who said he didn't know any folk songs and then did "House of the Rising Sun" is that it (probably) is an American tradiional song, and so folk, even if he learned it off the Animals with Eric Burdon.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:23 PM

hey John, me too! and I do believe we may have been in the same small group... :)

Fantastic course.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Gurney
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:37 PM

Try to get to a Vin Garbutt gig, buy one of his CDs that have the intro's on, or look him up on the web.
He is a professional, but I think he would be a perfect floorsinger, and probably once was.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge elsewhere on his network
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 07:27 PM

No, I woeuld doubt whether VIn would have been a perfect floorsinger - not from the way his gigs are now laid out. He spends a huge amount of time talking. A floorsinger is expected to get on with it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: peregrina
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 07:37 PM

Like all art and performance, I don't think there's an 'ideal' floorsinger.

People's tastes are so diverse--some people do not like the style or material of some technically excellent singers; some people are very moved by singers of a lower technical level who bring something unique to the song.

You choose to go and pay based on whether the main act appeals and hope the floor singers will too. If you don't like one--well, it's only a few minutes and it's part of the inclusive, participatory culture of a club venue.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 03:47 AM

"House of the Rising Sun" is that it (probably) is an American tradiional song

I thought I read somewhere... probably here that it was first recorded in the 1940s, performed by a 16 year old girl, daughter of coalminer (would be cliche if she didn't predate Loretta Lynn) in Kentucky.

Rising Sun being a brothel in Nawlinz to which the female subject of song would have to contract herself to pay for her husband's sin of gambling in same establishment. I have read also UK catters trying to give credit to English origins because Rising Sun is typical English pub name and that story dates back to England. Where's the proof?

anyway back on topic...

Floor singer - the key is practice practice practice. It helps to find ways to engage your audience. Like eye contact, providing some interesting info to song, cracking jokes about self or other known to group.

For example Richard Bridge is a bit notorious for singing songs with high death count (the subject not the audience). All I have to say is nobody dies in this song and everyone knows what I am talking about, everyone giggles or sniggers, Richard gives me a pointed glare and rumbles something about "a" song he did in which no one died.

Sorry Richard just borrowing scenario as an example of how to relax yourself and engage the audience.

Anyway, the idea is that first impressions stick with people, so if you have them laughing or intersted before you stsrt to perform, then mistakes tend not to be remembered.

Oh hell. Just have fun.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:16 AM

Do NOT play it in G 'cos that's what the music said

What's this "G" thing? Is it something to do with those books full of drawings of tadpoles?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:19 AM

I have a friend who always tunes his guitar to "the Key of Me", his timing is completely non-existant, but it's quite simply the best show in the world for unadulterated laughs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: G-Force
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 07:50 AM

My advice to the inexperienced is "get the key right". Practising quietly at home will mean you find yourself singing in far too low a key when you take your song out in public. Your audience may not be able to join in that chorus you've practised so hard. Practise in the highest key comfortable for your voice and remember it so you can ask for a note if you need it!

Also, pitch the song so you can manage both the top and bottom notes comfortably. Some songs start low and then shoot up, leaving you with nowhere to go. Just think about the key before you start. New, unaccompanied singers can make a real hash of this.

And then - just enjoy yourself and the audience will as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Surreysinger
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 08:15 AM

Gosh ... looking back to Jake's posting of the Floorsinging for Beginners item, that takes me back a bit... all of that was composed of postings to uk.musicfolk in a thread started by Neil Corbett, who then ran the club at Bracknell,about ten or more years ago, when I first started lurking on here, and posting on ukmf ! And some very good, and sometimes quite witty advice there was too!

As to Folk South West's Easter school ... yup! I've been to three - the first one in 2001, the second in 2002 and another in 2004 ... and I can't recommend them strongly enough, whether you be experienced or just starting out. The atmosphere is really friendly, supportive and helpful ... and they now even have them set up on full residential basis .. much better and more user friendly!!! In fact I think you could say I have them to thank for giving me the impetus to start research into a certain lady folksong collector, standing up and giving talks on her, and now launching into giving a full show with supporting music about her life and work !! If you have the chance to go to the Easter school, you really should ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Surreysinger
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 08:16 AM

By the way, I can't believe there is such a thing as an"ideal" floorsinger!!! Unless it's someone who can actually sing ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: breezy
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 09:03 AM

become a duplicate Pete Coe


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: evansakes
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 09:13 AM

Three important things to remember before you unleash yourself on an unsuspecting public.

1. Practice
2. Practice more
3. Practice again....till you can't get it wrong.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Surreysinger
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 11:16 AM

hey Twickfolk ... you've discovered the secret of never going wrong then?? Care to pass it on ... I've been in need of that one for some years!!! :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Artful Codger
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 04:22 PM

Have you tried virgin birth?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Hamish
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 04:27 PM

Aw, Surreysinger, that's unfair. Twickfolk just meant, well, you already know what he meant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Surreysinger
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:23 PM

Errmmm ... keep practising? I was just hoping that somebody had discovered the secret to getting it right every time ... hey ho!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 10:16 PM

I found willingness to help out, eg. an extra song if needed, not to get put out if floor spotswere few on a particular night, etc. were morethan ability or getting everything right.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Sooz
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 03:59 AM

An amateur practices until he can get it right.
A professional practices until he can't get it wrong.
Most floor singers are amateurs!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 04:14 AM

I like the sentiment sooz but I don't agree with it in practice.

I'm sure I can't be alone in witnessing a respected professional blanking completely on a song, or in hearing the odd questionable note in a tune, etc. I've tended to think that although they might make far fewer mistakes than some of us amateurs, the ability to recover quickly and easily from getting something wrong rather than to never ever get it wrong is one of their strengths.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Marje
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 04:15 AM

I think Jon, above, has a good point about flexiblity. A good floorsinger will have spare songs in mind in case the singer before (or the paid guest!) does one of their songs or something too similar. It's also helpful to have a few very short songs in your repertoire so that if you sense that they're running behind time, you can keep your spot short and to the point. In any case, if you're doing two songs, it's only polite to follow a long song with a short one, so as not to hog the floor for too long. Best to leave 'em wanting more!

I'm trying very hard to keep this positive and not whinge about bad floorsinging habits - I think we've done very well so far in this thread in that respect.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 05:09 AM

Agreed,Marje. I think I could take it this far. You as the floorsinger may not have one of the posh titles such as "resident", "organiser", "mc", etc. but (as well as providing material for others to enjoy) can help   (well I have mc'd on rare occasions in the past) in the juggling act that can be going on (eg. there were two floor singers at 8:30 when the club started, 45 minutes ran on the strength of that before a dozen turned up after 9:15) to try to give a balanced evening and give everyone a chance. You can be an important part of a team.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 06:09 AM

First find yourself the ideal floor...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Myrtle's cook
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 06:26 AM

and if you can, sing the songs you love and believe in, or which at least interest you. Only one thing worse than hearing a singer who sounds bored with their song and that's getting that feeling of boredham singing a song you felt you ought to sing...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 06:45 AM

Of course professionals get it wrong - that's just part of the risk of live performance, and nobody's immune. The game is to find out what makes you blank (mine is making eye contact with a member of the audience during a song), and make sure, as far as possible, that you don't do it. But...the risk factor is also part of what makes live music worth doing - the buzz, if you will.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 06:52 AM

But...the risk factor is also part of what makes live music worth doing - the buzz, if you will.

Even more so so if part or all of your act contains some element of genuine improvisation. The joy and horror of playing jazz and some blues is always the anticipation of the solo to be played and the efforts to play something meaningful, interesting, musical - even, God help us - original!

In any musical endeavour there's no substitute for constructive practice, practice and more practice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 07:08 AM

Only one thing worse than hearing a singer who sounds bored with their song and that's getting that feeling of boredham singing a song you felt you ought to sing...

My favourite song's entitled 'Boredom'...

But anyway - when I was starting out as a regular floorsinger I had a very small list of songs that I was comfortable with. Most of them were traditional, some of them weren't, and one of them was "Between the wars". I never felt entirely comfortable with BTW - particularly the bit about moderation - and always had it as my backup song, number 3 on a list of two. I wasn't particularly pleased about the invasion of Iraq, but I have to admit I was glad to have an excuse to cross that song off the list.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 07:17 AM

Interesting angle, thanks for your approach.

---
I seem to get involved in the pro vs am debates and seem to things differently to the way some others do. The big thing to me if I was booking (something I've never done)is not one of raw ability (I've seen frightening skills at all pro/am levels) nor some form of faultless human perfection but a reliability that is going to carry off maybe 2x45 minutes for me, solidly, knows different audiences, has some stage craft etc.

It's a reliability that even if say I can have moments of inspiration can not carry.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: breezy
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 08:55 AM

What Twick folk forgot to say was

Please Practice etc

I do like Sooz contribution

So if you cant get it right, leave it.

Its taken me years to learn some songs so I learn to be patient and I know the pro who refuses to sing a certain song in case they 'Hit a hurdle' so to speak.

I have had a top pro go dry at our club and it was remarked upon, you see there are audience members who have higher expectations of performers than the performer themselves and critics can be unforgiving.

Please rehearse it until you can go onto automatic pilot, then think about expression.

but what do I know anyway?

shurrup


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 09:30 AM

In my opinion it really helps if you don't put your finger in your ear, or close your eyes.


Sal


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 09:42 AM

It's really hard to play guitar with a finger in your ear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Sooz
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 10:27 AM

Actually, play within your limits so the audience doesn't know what they are is probably better advice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 10:49 AM

Oh, I see now - the Ideal floorsinger...

Time was I couldn't take folk music entirely straight, an approach to such matters which served as a suitable enrichment to the proceedings, though might have increased the general bafflement invariably attending my own contributions from the invariable more conservative-than-I audience. Long time since now though; last time I smoked anything stronger than tobacco was maybe 1991, and I managed to kick that on my 40th birthday (August 22nd 2001). But yes, it was Ideal for a time - communion with the inner demons that still might surface, depending on the choice of song of course, or beer. Maybe this links back to death of Folk Clubs thread because, try as I might, I still can't take folk music entirely sober; there is a particular portal that might open through which we pass to glimpse other levels of actuality, for such is the potency of Traditional Song, which is, of course, such a large part of its appeal.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How to Become the 'Ideal' Floorsinger
From: evansakes
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 02:41 AM

OK...I'll rephrase that.

"Practice until you have at least a fair chance of getting it right"

:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 July 10:36 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.