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.

live music show

Improve Your Live Music Show – Get Visually Creative!

If you watched a video of your live music show with the sound muted, would it be hard to tell which song you’re playing? Your live music show should be as creative as your music. One of the keys to a great visual show is to keep the integrity of the song. The music should tell you what the song should look like. There should never be movement just for the sake of movement! The song, in a sense, is the script. Read more.

music performance

Improving your music performance starts with a vision

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.

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.

stage banter

Stage Banter and Your Live Show

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.