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.

how to give a good interview

How to give a good interview

how to give a good interviewAs a music publicist, I’ve worked with a lot of bands and musical acts. In more than a few cases, I’d say the artist’s interview skills could have used a tweak or two. Allow me to share some interview tips that will make you way better at giving interviews and help you get the most out of every one. Read more.

Band Rehearsal

Band rehearsal tips: Can you be over-rehearsed?

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.

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.

song intros

Focus on song intros for your live performances

A good intro will set up what is going to happen next. With most artists and most songs, it’s one of the first parts of a song I need to rearrange. We want to capture and engage the audience, make sure people are with you. I use the analogy of a mother hen gathering her chicks, making sure they are with her and together before she crosses the street, rather than just taking off and hoping they follow. 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.

Help the soundman get you a great live music mix

Help the soundman An organized soundcheck can give band members and sound engineers the tools they need to craft an excellent live music mix, while a chaotic one can suck up valuable minutes – and good will. Some bands do sound checks like complete pros, others are just a mess with everybody onstage playing at the same time, nobody listening, and lots of noise and yelling. Read more.

25 notable musicians who died in 2013

25 Lou ReedEchoes pays tribute to 25 of the music icons, music industry contributors, and legendary musicians who died in 2013, including Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, Patty Andrews, Reg Presley, Lou Reed, Cleotha Staples, Alvin Lee, Clive Burr, Bobbie Smith, Phil Ramone, Ray Manzarek, Cedric Brooks, Jeff Hanneman, Richie Havens, George Jones, Cordell “Boogie” Mosson, Marvin Junior, Allen Lanier, and Bobby Bland. Read more

A DIY Songwriting Workshop Idea

Songwriting Trio WorkshopAre you a songwriter who needs to co-write, but don’t take the time to do it on a regular basis? Is there a group of songwriters in your community facing the same songwriting dilemma? Songfinishers is a songwriting workshop idea that may be right for you and your community of writers to help build friendships, encourage one another, and co-write songs. 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.
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