solo cover musician

How to survive as a solo cover musician

It’s a cliché to say that show business is tough, but the reality is that it’s worse than that. It eats good people alive. Here are three survival skills I’d like to pass along that have helped me get through 15 years playing solo acoustic cover songs in bars, restaurants, private parties, corporate events, and pig roasts in cemeteries. Read more.

band rehearsal

Rehearsing with a purpose

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.

live music performance

What to do when the song is over

The moments after the song is over present a crucial opportunity to build momentum for your show, and it’s one that many music performers tend to miss. You need to learn how to put pressure on the audience and accept applause. This means that the ending should intentionally ask the audience to applaud – you’ll use non-verbal cues. Read more.

trash can ending

The power of a trash can ending

If you are a creative artist, you’ll probably put an original and clever ending on some of your songs – fade outs, unresolved chord progressions, or bleed-ins to the next song, for example. In a recording studio, I say go for it! But live, more often than not, it’s a mistake. Putting a clever ending on a song can sometimes confuse your audience. They don’t know for sure if the song’s over, so you only get a small smattering of hesitant applause. Read more.

performance jitters

Ditch the pre-show performance jitters

We all know practice makes perfect, but sometimes perfect isn’t enough to calm performance jitters, cool sweaty palms, and relax the nerves. So whether you’re heading out to perform for some big festival crowds, going solo for the first time, or just want to get a grip on your performance, here are a few tips to take on – before you step on stage. Read more.

Make your CD release gig a special night

CDRelease The night of your CD release show should be the biggest music performance of your career to date. The show will be packed, if not sold out. The reason more people typically come to album release concerts than your Wednesday night four-band bill show is because it’s an event – and should be hyped up as one. Having a packed club with people there actually to see YOU is something that won’t happen very often early on, so you have to make sure you go about this right.
Read more.

great live music performance

A Great Live Music Performance Requires More Than Being Rehearsed

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.

live music audience

Seven ways to captivate a live music audience with your first song

Your first song needs energy – but not too much, and not too little. That’s how we like to meet people, after all. Unfortunately, a lot of artists start a live performance with an overwhelming intro, then blaze through their first few songs without stopping or giving the audience a chance to respond. The result: the artist has no idea what the audience thinks of them. Not a good way to start a relationship. Read more.