Music theory is a set of tools you can lean on to help you write and compose, and being deliberate in how you arrange your parts can translate to a better sound on stage. Read More.
If your music practice routine has plateaued, it’s time to challenge yourself and try something new. We’ve got tips to get you out of your creative rut. Read More.
Your audience wants to respond, they just don’t know what you want them to do – they don’t know what’s going through your head when you’re on the stage – so you have to use verbal, visual, and musical cues to lead them where you want them to go. Read More.
Your music audience is at your show for different reasons, and one is to experience moments – emotional and musical. Let them relive those moments with your CDs and merch. Read More.
Whatever your style of music or size of your ensemble, there’s a lot I learned watching the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra that you can apply to your next band rehearsal. Read More.
Being intentional with different visual presentations for the variety of moods your songs invoke is part of what Tom Jackson calls changing the pressure on your audience during your live performances. “I’m not talking about acting or choreography, I’m talking about thinking, “What should this song look like?'” Read more.
It takes more than just great songs and great performances to get people excited about your music career, especially when you’re just starting out or you want attention in a competitive city like Los Angeles, New York, or Nashville. A musical artist must produce a live show experience that excites the audience and reinforces its brand. Read more.
Albums often come to life after great amounts of planning, practice, budgeting, and coordination. On the other hand, sometimes great albums are made without the artists even realizing they’re doing it. We study Oz Noy and Scott Healy – two cases where an unintended live tracking session turned into a live album release Read more.
If you want to perform live more than just once a month, there are plenty of ways to fill up your performance schedule without saturating a particular market. Four basic strategies you should consider include: 1) A club residency, 2) Alternate format performances, 3) Dual territory performances, 4) A tour. Read more.
When people come to me for band practice tips, one of the questions I get asked a lot is, “What’s too much rehearsal? We want to keep it spontaneous.” Well, spontaneous is one thing, and winging it is another. And most people wing it. When you’re making it up as you go onstage, instead of in rehearsal, you’ll never be great, consistently. Read more.
Most bands, when they rehearse, even for a big show, will rehearse for a couple of days, run through the songs to make sure they’re “tight,” work out the musical parts, and then go out onstage and hope something good will happen. They have no idea what they’re trying to accomplish. Read more.
When I help an artist plan their show, I try to get a vision as I listen to their songs. I want to actually imagine the audience’s response to a song in my head. For one song, I’ll see the audience jumping up and down, for another, I envision them laughing and high-fiving because they’re having so much fun. And on yet another, I may see the audience with tears in their eyes and a hush come over the crowd as they are moved by what you’re singing. Read more.
The CD release party for my new album was a big gig. Not only was it my first music performance at The Bitter End, it was also the first time I was introducing this collection of original music to friends, fans, and industry. I started preparing early, but it became obvious that simply running the tunes from the album wouldn’t be enough. After jamming through each song repeatedly, I wasn’t discovering anything new. Read more.
In part two of Echoes’ interview with renowned live performance producer Tom Jackson, we learn a simple rule: sing fewer songs, create more moments. When asked to play a half hour set, most bands immediately think, "How many songs can we fit in?" Instead, if they thought "How many moments can we develop?" they’d be much further along. Read more.
In part one of our interview with live performance producer Tom Jackson, we learn that most artists never learn to see themselves from the audience perspective. Once a record is done, the focus shifts to hitting the road. When that artist hits the stage, adrenaline is pumping, the band sounds tight, everyone is locked in, so it’s natural to think, “Everything is good.” That’s not always the case. Read More.