Artists who appear to be most confident from the stage are those who are prepared. They’ve developed a vision for their show and planned it out, their show is creative musically and visually, and they’ve developed the musical themes in their songs into “moments” for their audience. They’ve arranged their songs so they can pour their uniqueness into the show. 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 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.
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.
Working on the music, the visual, and most of the transitions for a show usually takes up most of a rehearsal time. So when I first started working with artists on their live show, and we’d get to places where the front man needed to introduce the band, tell a story, do a song intro or verbal transition, I’d go along with them when they said, "I’ll talk here," or "I’ll put some stage banter here." Then I saw those artists onstage. 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.
We’ve all seen and read posts and eBooks about “how to succeed” as independent artists and to be honest, I’ve even written a few. But what about those of us who are bent on failure? Those of us who would like to know how to shoot ourselves in the foot? Those of us who would like to be more unsuccessful and confused? Well this post is for you! Some of these things I’ve done myself, and I can assure you – they work amazingly well! Read more.