Taking the leap from making and sharing music to performing it live in front of an audience is crucial for musicians intent on building their careers. But going from practicing in your band’s rehearsal space or your bedroom to the stage isn’t easy. From performance anxiety to not knowing how to start booking real shows, transitioning to the world of live music performance takes a good amount of trial and error. If you’re not sure where to begin building your live performance skills, here are five low-pressure options to consider:
The anxiety around singing often looms large for musicians who routinely face high-pressure live performance and recording situations. For many musicians, there’s often a sense that a great vocal performance is always just out of reach, but there are easy things we can do to ensure we’re getting the most out of our voices during performances. Here are four tips to help you prepare for an important vocal performance:
Touring has a dangerous tendency to bring out loads of predictable unhealthy habits. For many musicians, being on the road means diets of fast food and gas station fare, long nights focused more on indulgence than rest, and a creeping sense of emotional isolation and aimlessness. A focus on health isn’t something musicians who tour a couple of weeks a year need to worry about, but it’s absolutely crucial for those that tour to make ends meet. If you’re searching for ways to help keep you physically and mentally fit on the road, here are three tips:
You don’t have to be a “jam band” to be a band that jams.
Whether you are ripping 28-minute face-melting musical behemoths or simply improvising your guitar solo differently every show, jamming with your bandmates opens up your gig to a world of possibilities, and ensures that every concert will be different than the last.
I’m not suggesting that every band should have extended ambient improvs on stage, but it’s important to understand the benefits that jamming can have on your performances and even your musical chops. If your band has never improvised on stage and wants to try it out, or if you want to incorporate some new jamming ideas in your gigs, this article has got you covered.
I can already feel it. The air slowly beginning to change, the crisp leaves falling under my feet, the smell of apple cider donuts and caramel apples. At least, that’s what I’m dreaming of as I write this in 80 degrees, high humidity weather in the middle of the summer. But hey, we have to start planning for our favorite seasons sooner rather than later right?! And when that season just happens to also include a tour—be it long or short—the time to prepare isn’t a month before, it’s an entire season before! That way you can make sure you get your routine down, your bags packed, and your itinerary sorted.
But what if you’re struggling with where to go? We’ve scoured towns and cities across the US to find those with a significant base of music enthusiasts, so even if your fan base is a little light in a certain area, you’re bound to find some new fans.
You’ve finally decided to take the leap. You know you need to break out of your city and get in front of your fans across the country or maybe even the world, and you’re all in. There’s just one small obstacle…you’re kind of broke.
Hey, it’s ok! As a working musician, in the early days especially, it might be hard to scrape together the cash for an expansive or robust tour. Don’t forget, your favorite bands started on a diet of rest stop food and crossing their fingers that their van didn’t break down in the middle of the desert.
Which brings me to this…when you’re setting out on tour, there are a lot of ways to save your pennies and still have an amazing time. The first step, of course, is figuring out what you can really afford, so be sure that before you map out your tour you have a solid budget in mind (IE your max spending allowance for every category: food, hotel, repairs, etc) and then stick to it.
Musicians often view the sound quality of their live shows as something left up to chance. Roll the dice, and you might get lucky and will be blessed with a skilled, patient sound engineer who will help you sound your best. But anger the gods, and you’ll have to suffer through a night of feedback squeals and unconfident playing due to mismatched sound levels. We all dream of the day when we’ll be able to afford to pay a personal sound engineer to run sound at our shows, but that’s a reality far out of reach for most musicians. Less-than-ideal sound conditions are unavoidable in live music performance, but there are things we can do to make things easier for the sound engineers we work with.
Traditional venues are usually thought of as being the best place to host shows, but musicians miss big opportunities to share their music on their own terms when they rely only on venues to perform live. From intimate house shows to locally curated festivals, shows take on a whole new meaning when the performing musicians are the ones throwing them. Here’s three reasons why musicians should consider setting up their own shows: