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.

Owning the crowd: music performance tips from the “One Man Sideshow”

Owning the crowd - tips from David Darwin You might have great songs and finely-honed chops, but engaging an audience from the moment you walk on stage until the moment your last note fades is another skill entirely. Here are tips from David Darwin (AKA The One Man Sideshow) for indie artists on what to do before, between, and during songs to make your entire music performance as powerful as your individual songs might already be. 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.

Preparing For A Big Gig

Preparing For A Big GigThe 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.

A familiar looking tour van ready to test the rigors of the touring.

Tips for Surviving and Thriving on Tour

Taking your music on the road is a great way to reach new audiences, see the world, and hopefully have a grand adventure — but any touring veteran will tell you that it’s not as easy as it looks. From maintaining peace amongst band members and staying healthy, to dealing with substandard accommodations and endless hours in transit, spending time on the road can present unique and unforeseen challenges.