Part of fast-tracking your growth as a musician is playing more live shows. When you are first getting started, every show is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Your senses are overloaded.
However, it is human nature to desire more. At a certain point, merely playing a show won’t mean much to you. You’re going to want to begin to engage your audience and make your performances count.
If you want to put on a great live show, here are five important steps to follow.
Don’t just play; anybody can master the technical aspect of playing a song. Learn to entertain the audience through your stage presence, your banter, and other visual and multimedia elements.
Put some emotion behind your playing. Bring your personality to the songs and the performance. Think about the five senses: sound, sight, touch, smell and taste. How can you stimulate all of these senses?
2. Exhibit Passion
Regardless of the situation, if you don’t want to be there, it will show. If you are truly passionate about your music, don’t be afraid to let it out. Let the excitement and thrill of playing light your fire.
Watching and listening to a musician that doesn’t have a passion for what they are doing is like listening to a monotone professor that’s just there to do his or her job. Your audience will care when it’s obvious that you care.
It’s important to remember that your audience is there for you. In some cases, you will be playing to people that just happened to be at the venue, but in most cases, the people in attendance have intentionally gathered to be a part of your concert experience.
Make your shows about your fans. If you want your concerts to be great, you need to make them feel great. Get your fans involved in your show. Talk with them. Make funny comments and observations. Give them something to remember.
4. Optimize Your Sound
Even the best performance is going to be lost on your audience if your sound is not configured properly. You have to remember that how things sound on stage will differ from how they sound in the audience. At times, you may have to compromise your stage sound in order to get the optimal venue sound.
Don’t forget; this is about the fans and how you make them feel. Even if you think your guitar isn’t too loud, if someone sitting in the audience feel that it is, you may be diminishing their experience. You can’t be everything to everyone, but try to get a balanced perspective from people you trust.
5. Hone Your Image
An important aspect of playing music is representing it properly. When you are first getting started as a performer, you may not know how your image (or lack thereof) is affecting your overall presentation. Over time, however, you can work on this aspect of your performance and improve upon it.
This isn’t necessarily complicated. Just look at someone like Bryan Adams; he often performs in a black or white T-shirt and a pair of jeans. The great part about this simple attire is that the instruments he uses really stand out. However, you will have to adapt depending on the style of music that you play and what you personally stand for. Don’t be afraid of alienating some people.