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.
Dealing with live sound at a music gig can often range anywhere from a minor annoyance to a major catastrophe. Broken PA components, weird-sounding rooms, difficult on-site staff, or the lack of someone present who can actually mix live music can be just the tip of the iceberg. On the bright side, there are any number of tried and true ways to minimize your on-the-gig headaches when it comes to dialing in your live band sound. Here are just a few live sound tips to keep you sane — and sounding great. Read more.
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.
As musicians, we are emotionally attached to our music. With that attachment, we often lose perspective. I’m not asking you to emotionally detach from your songs when you perform live, but I am asking you to look at it from the audience’s point of view. Why does your audience show up? What are they hoping to get out of the evening? Why do they go to a coffee house, a club, a church, a concert hall? To hear you play your songs? Not really. Read more.
Spring cleaning is not just for ridding your closets of worn sneakers, destroying dust bunnies, and scrubbing windows. I like to take the “It’s spring, I MUST clean something” energy and put it towards something other than the grossest stuff in my apartment. This year, it was my live show.
There are lots of reasons to want to freshen up your live show. Maybe you hit a point where you are performing songs off your new-but-not-that-new record and feel like the show is getting stagnant – not just for you but for your fans. Or maybe you feel like you haven’t found the sweet spot of what your live show should be. Perhaps you want to experiment a bit but don’t know how. Read more.