LA-based band Sad Robot recently wowed the judges at Los Angeles Music Network’s LAMN Jam and walked away with the grand prize. Shortly afterward we caught up with them and gained some insight on their opinions on marketing and branding, performing and touring, and the importance of attending industry events. Read more.
Bassist Malcolm Gold’s story about the benefits of MusicPro instrument insurance doesn’t involve theft or damage. It was just a momentary lapse of focus on a long commute. “It was a very stressful time in my life. I was traveling on a train with a beautiful 1966 ice-blue metallic Fender Jazz bass. It’s a custom color, and worth a considerable amount of money, to say the least.” Read more.
Traveling can bring excitement to your life, and it can bring stress and upheaval, as well. Even when I’m not touring for my music, when I head to the hills for a month, I know how to make all systems go with as little as possible. Here are four simple travel tips to help you endure life on the road without feeling like roadkill. Read more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whether you’re driving north from the east coast to play a coffee shop in Montreal, bringing your electro-pop act to a string of clubs in Tokyo and Thailand, or presenting a midnight set at a jazz festival in Germany, performing music gigs abroad can be an incredibly rewarding and cool experience — but one that brings its own set of challenges. Here are tips from seasoned musical world travelers to help you make your international music gigs run as smooth as possible. Read more.
You’ve spent countless hours writing, revising, and rehearsing, and now it’s time to take your material to the stage. While a tour bus, road crew, and booking manager are helpful when it comes to worldwide musical domination, gigging locally and building a live following, honing your chops, and refining your performances comes first. Here are music promotion strategies to help you get attention on a local level. Read more.
The most important thing to do when dealing with money is to make sure to write EVERYTHING down. A good way to keep tabs is to put all the info in Excel. We divide it into date, gas, food, lodging, salary (how much we pay our musicians), pay (from the venue), CD sales, t-shirts, tips, extra. At the end of each day we total it up. There are two main ways to make money as a band: 1) Guarantees/door/bar percentage, and 2) Selling merchandise. 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.
Many people have asked us how we transformed our band into a sustainable business, touring 250 days a year. We’ve created a series of videos to help explain what we’ve learned over the past few years in the hopes that it will help you learn how to get gigs and get more good bands out on the road. We’ll explain how to book music gigs that are well attended and pay guarantees, promote your shows, make extra money, build a following, and describe who wants to take your money (and why you shouldn’t let them). 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.