Performing live is still the bread and butter of most artists and musicians income, therefore it’s important to know how to put on a killer live show. Today is bringing you a 3 tips on how to create a better live show.

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1.Create an Intro

The first area we’re going to talk about today is getting your show started, the beginning or intro of anything is said to be one of the most important aspects. When you’re first starting out it’s important to be able to find ways to grab the audience’s attention, there is nothing worse than the confusion of “has the band started yet?”.

When you’re opening the night its most important to have some way for people to know that you’re about to start. I personally find that most bands who have some sort of intro, or recording of something tend to be more well received by audiences. For instance before Metallica plays any show, they have “The Ecstasy of Gold” play before they go out on stage. This is a great setup for a band like Metallica, since it’s mostly orchestral and creates an “Epic” cinematic like quality. After you have the audience subdued with this really pretty song, they come out and play something really heavy, dark, and distorted, helping to provide a drastic feel change.

I’ve seen many different ways of approaching the stage and getting your concert going, I’ve seen a local act have everyone carry their instruments and additional drums and play through the crowd all the way up to the stage. This created amazing engagement with the audience, plus had the entire audience murmuring about the band instantly.

The main point here is you want to develop an intro that allows you to steal the audience’s attention away from whatever it is their doing. Basically you have to be more interesting then the conversations their having for them to stop and give you their undivided attention. Practice this, take risks with your intro’s, see what really captivates your audience, and then adjust accordingly. Don’t take your intro too lightly, this is a great place to show your fans that you really care about putting on a great show.

2.Relearn Your Songs

This one is really important, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought or said the phrase “I’ve played that song enough” or we’ve played this one like “a thousand times”. Well if you’re saying that, then learn it again. The key thing is to always be learning more about your songs or covers, and what more you can do with them.

I’ve always taken the approach to learning songs like a musical director. Try and learn all aspects of the tune, Oh you’re a drummer well learn how to play the tune on piano or guitar. Oh you’re a vocalist and don’t play an instrument in the band, well why not try and learn the drum part to one of the songs. Anything you can do to get a better awareness of a song or feel is going to help you and your whole band be more successful.

When I’m learning songs for a new project or group, I don’t just focus in on the bassline. Usually I’ll learn the chord progression (not just bass notes), the main drum rhythm (you can tap this out, or play it on your instrument), the vocal/melody line (Huge for non melody players IMO), and then specifically what my role in the given situation is.

Basic idea here is that you want to be more aware of your songs than anyone else, and the only way to do it is spending countless hours trying and working all the different elements of it.

3.Practice your setup and tear down

This is a biggggggg one for new bands and even amateur/pro bands alike. PRACTICE YOUR STAGE SETUP. My lord how many times I’ve been at a live show and the WHOLE VIBE was destroyed by a band taking 30+ minutes to set up. The big issue here is at a lower level, people are just going to leave if it takes too long. People are growing more and more impatient and want what they want NOW. So if you’re an artist or band playing out live, you have to make sure that your stage setup is practiced and performed. You don’t want to be the band who’s holding up all the other bands, or taking up all the sound guys time figuring out why your gear doesn’t sound the same way it did at home.

Sooooo, this is a pretty simple one. Start by taking apart all of your live setup, and pack it all away as if you were getting ready to play a show. Now, grab your cell phone and setup a timer. Once you’re all ready, start the timer and see how long it takes you to be able to COMPLETELY setup your gear. Now this doesn’t mean setup all the stuff and then sound checking, this means getting all your gear setup so that your sound is exactly the way you want and you’re ready for the first song. See how long this takes you, and if it’s in the range of 15-30+ mins you’re going to need to get that closer to 10 minutes.

If you can reduce your stage setup time to 10mins or less, you’re going to be the sound guy and venues best friend. This also will make you seem more professional, and in general it’ll be easier for you to work with sound engineers and promoters/venue owners. Not to mention how much bands will respect and appreciate that you’ve taken the time to get good at this.

Lastly do the same thing that we said above for setting up, with tearing down your equipment. It’s just as important to get the F*ck off stage, as it is to be able to set up on stage really quickly. There is nothing worse than being the closing act and you see your audience dwindle, because the band ahead of you is socializing and chatting with all their fans, instead of getting their gear offstage so you can setup.

Hope these tips have been helpful, If you guys have any other ideas on how to improve your live performance leave it in the comments below. Cheers.

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