Playing live might be something you love to do, but that doesn’t make it easy. We sometimes only think about the work it takes to pull off individual shows without considering everything we’ve done to get where we are. Even if you’re an unestablished musician early in your career, you’ve probably spent thousands of dollars on instruments and equipment and have devoted countless hours to your craft. This is all to say that you and your music are valuable, and what you do with your work should be rewarding in some way.
Acoustic sets aren’t just for folk bands and songwriters. They’re opportunities for artists working in every genre to show audiences a completely different side of their music listeners couldn’t have heard otherwise. For many musicians, this isn’t easy, and that’s exactly what makes it special. There’s a creative resourcefulness required for bands and solo artists who choose to fit their music into the mold of acoustic shows for special occasions. And, believe it or not, many listeners will resonate with these performances as much or even more than conventional shows and recorded and produced songs with full instrumentation in some cases. For musicians interested in paring down their music for acoustic sets, we’ve got a few tips to help.
With data being readily available on streaming platforms, musicians and booking agencies can book more location-targeted shows. For emerging artists who haven’t played a tour, most booking agents have to take a risk about how many tickets they can sell. With the availability of streaming data, now everyone can see how many listeners there are in each city and country, and they can make a more realistic estimate of how many listeners they can bring to the show.
In 2021, artists that are accustomed to playing big stages in front of huge crowds are bringing their music to smaller audiences by necessity. Whether you’re playing a modest outdoor show or a small house concert, it’s important to be able to pare down your set for a small, intimate audience. This isn’t a big deal if you’re a solo acoustic artist, but what if you play in a five-piece synth-rock outfit? Bands like this have challenges paring down their sets for small shows, but it can absolutely be done. These tips will help:
If you feel stuck in your music-making process, traveling is one of the best ways to shake things up. Whether you’re heading out on a long tour or a trip around the world, leaving home and embracing the unknown is something that can inspire your creative process and alter the way you view life. Here are four ways that traveling can improve your music:
While it’s clear that the pandemic isn’t going to have a defined endpoint, musicians of every genre and background are beginning to get back on stages around the world again, and audiences couldn’t be happier. As you make your way back to the world of live shows, you might be surprised to discover that you feel oddly nervous about performing again. Some reading this might be musicians with years of performance experience, but the truth is that more than a year of sitting out live shows is a long time to be away from the stage even if you’re a seasoned pro. Combine that with anxiety you might have about being indoors with crowds of people again, and you’ve got a recipe for performance-related nerves. Here are a few tips to help fight stage fright before your post-lockdown shows:
For most artists, touring is essential for earning an income and building an audience. But being on the road all the time comes with costs, especially with not being able to easily write and record new songs in a music culture that demands more music more often than ever before. Songwriting and touring aren’t exactly compatible, but it is possible to write while you tour. Here are a couple of tips for how to do it:
As much as we’d like there to be, it’s clear there’s not going to be a defined end to the pandemic’s impact on live music and other events. Rather than an overnight shift back to normal, we’re in for a long, drawn-out process involving bands cautiously hitting the road and venues slowly opening their doors again. If you’re a developing artist that books your own tours, your already hard and complicated job just got even harder and more complex. But there’s some good news for unestablished DIY touring artists as well. Here are some tips for getting back out there: