Sound is an important sense and one we use to incite emotions almost on a daily basis. Certain sounds can make you wince and block your ears, others can make you feel happiness and joy, or even sadness. Music is the key to much of this and when used in a flair bartending performance, it also has the power to make people dance and scream, or turn away disinterested. This is why the choice of your music and how it fits together with what you are doing on stage, is vitally important.
We sat down with @thomasdyer-3 to find out his thoughts on how music should influence your performance, how a good choice and match is essential to a good routine, and more:
How should the music influence your performance?
“The first thing worth thinking about is how the music can effect the speed of your flair. Slow music, slow flair, fast music fast flair. Is the style of the music aggressive and imposing? Or perhaps more fluid and passive? For example, if you are using a progressive house track that would be something that is more fluid and passive, you would expect the routine to reflect the characteristics of the music and therefore also be quite fluid and progressive, building up to a big finish.
On the other hand if you are using a piece of music that is up and down with lots of short progressive sections, followed by big breaks and drops, then you would expect the flair routine to coincide with the big moments in the music, performing a big move on the drop for example. The music should dictate the layout of your routine in my opinion, not the other way around. The whole routine will feel a lot more natural and will most likely have a better impact on the audience and judges, than if you work out a routine and just add some music afterwards.
You need to think about how the music you choose will affect the crowd as well, the right track can get the crowd hyped up and singing along within seconds of your starting your routine. Alternatively the wrong track can turn the crowd off and cause them to lose interest. It is important to understand your crowd from performance to performance, for example I have seen some flair bartenders use dubstep and the crowd love it – at the same time I have seen the same dubstep being used in other performances in a different country and it has not gone down well at all.
More commercial music can sometimes get the crowd on your side as they will recognise the tune, but essentially as long you go along with the music you will get the crowd on your side. Having the crowd visibly and audibly with you can be a really empowering feeling and do great things for your overall performance”.
How essential is a good music choice to a great routine?
“Your music choice and how well it goes with your routine, for me, is one of the most important things to any great routine. The music acts as the glue that gels the whole thing together. When people watch the routine or watch anything with lots of different movements for that matter, you expect the movement to match what you are hearing in some sort of way – and if it doesn’t it can be annoying and lead to a loss of interest, fast.
Take lip syncing for example, have you ever sat and watch a film or a tv show where the lip syncing is off. Even with something as simple as the movement of the lips and facial expressions – if they aren’t synchronised with the words you are hearing, it is hard to get pass.
I have already alluded to how music can be used to make a great routine, the key is synchronisation – to stimulate both the eyes and the ears at the same time. A good tip for getting this right is to listen to the music you want to use and understand the count to the rhythm, you then want to match this count to your own flair rhythm. If you can nail this, you should be able to pick up almost any piece of music and devise a cool flair bartending routine that matches it”.
How should the music relate to you as a performer?
“It is quite common to see flair bartenders copying other types of music from other flair bartender’s routines. This I strongly advise against, it is very important to pick a style of music that matches your style, your image and your flair. Whereas one genre can work really well for one flair bartender, it could appear out of place for another. I have seen the same track used multiple times, by different flair bartenders and seen a huge variety in the reaction from the crowd and the scores from the judges.
For example I prefer break beat and a mix between progressive and big room house. Luca is certainly nearly always progressive house, whereas Marek is all about the big room house with lots of short build ups and drops in the music. Just remember, that if one piece of music worked for another flair bartender, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you.
Here is a clip of Marek Posluszny matching the moves to the music perfectly: