Performance and Gigs

"For optimum amp tone onstage, plug your amp into your own AC outlet.." - Eric Johnson

DOING GIGS

In my opinion, there are two kinds of performers:

1 - Concert performers -- who do well in front of a sit-down audience

2 - Club performers -- who do well in a noisy atmosphere

Knowing which kind of performer you tend to be can help you a lot in deciding where to play. For a lot of people, it's easy to be both types of performers but some people truly prefer playing in one atmosphere over another. If you want to be at your best, it's smart to be comfortable. So if this is an issue for you, take the time to think about it.

Next you have to consider if you are going to be performing your own material or covers or both. If you decide to do covers, here are some good tips:

1) The song should really move you.

2) Make the song your own, otherwise after awhile you'll just feel like "parrot" for someone else's material (and to me there's far less creativity in that - just my opinion mind you).

3) Cover Songs are great ice-breakers and shouldn't be overlooked as great tools for any songwriter to use. Do covers, from artists who lend to your style in one way or another. Opening with a recognizable cover song really helps an audience relate to you and get an idea of where you're coming from as an artist ... and also helps them relate more to your originals, too.

Of course, to play at most venues, you've got to be prepared to sell yourself. Here are some tips on this subject:

Get your Bio / Demo ready for the Concert Promoters & Club Owners.

I've read a bunch of stuff about preparing demo submissions for venues, with bio's and clippings and stuff like that - but I'm sure there's more to it than that?

You don't need much. No club owner or manager is going to want a twenty-page book on you, nor will he/she be impressed with elaborate artwork and/or printing. Just a single sheet of paper that briefly and concisely states what type of artist you are, what kind of songs you play, how you interact with an audience and where you've played or are playing ... and a CD with either three or four whole songs, or six to eight songs that each fade after a minute. That, along with a congenial introduction and follow-up calls will be enough.

Performance anxiety can be an issue. Fortunately, most musicians overcome this in a short period of time - I've found that going to open mics, just getting up there and doing it has helped immensely. Find a supportive group of people in your genres' scene.

Here are some more tips to help you...

1 - Know your material and your performances upside down and backwards. You have to be able to play your songs and not mess up under any situation, and the way to do that is to KNOW them well ... memorization ... playing a song and working out each and every measure of it until you know it blind-folded. Then, if something bizarre happens while you're in the middle of a performance, muscle-memory and instinct will take over and you won't be thrown.

2 - Know your strengths ... know which songs are "yours" and which songs aren't. In effect, build a really strong set list. When someone like Bruce Springsteen cuts a new album, he'll record 50 songs ... 12 of those wind up on the album we hear and the other 38 go to other artists to do.

3 - LOOK unique . Dress yourself in a way that makes a statement. You know from my previous posts that I believe in dressing the way you always dress; to not be pretentious or something you're not ... but that doesn't mean that you want to look like the guy next door. You want to create an "image" ... just make it an honest one. So you usually wear jeans and a t-shirt? Fine. Just add some accents that make it all yours. A unique pair of glasses (if you wear them), a very special vest, a wardrobe of scarves, purple boots or hand painted sneakers ... whatever separates you from the average guy walking down the street and doesn't make you look like you're trying to be someone who lacks sincerity or who has lost all sense of reality.

"With the above going on, you're going to FEEL confident, because you ARE ... and THAT sells."

Performance and Gigs by Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Managing Editor

Guitarz Forever.com

Guitarz Forever.com

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


Shut Up And Sing

What is it with these performers and their politics? Do... Read More

Interview With An Up And Coming Musician From Toronto

Today, Norm Goldman, Editor of Sketchandtravel.com and Bookpleasures.com is delighted... Read More

10 Top Reasons You Should Learn to Play Chord Piano

There are roughly umpteen zillion reasons why you should learn... Read More

Composing George Winston Style

If you're a fan of New Age piano, no doubt... Read More

Legal Free Music Downloads - Songs You Want at No Cost

It's all over the news these days. Download music from... Read More

10 Music Download Legal Points

Everybody's doing it: downloading music and sharing files. People who... Read More

How to Create an Original Melody

Here's a method I use that works. First, sit down... Read More

Free, Legal Music Online

Almost everyone has heard about the massive crack down on... Read More

Self-Expression Without Criticism

When I was 9 years old I played the Saxophone... Read More

Is Your Child Capable of Composing Music? Maybe the Next Mozart?

We've all heard of them. Child prodigies who begin composing... Read More

A Brief History of Fender Guitars

Perhaps no other guitar maker has touched the hearts of... Read More

How to Organise a Gig or a Live Music Event - the Budget

Three times in the last month I've been asked the... Read More

Beauchamp Brings Diversity to Music

Everyone has a talent. For Miami, Okla.'s, Brian Beauchamp, it's... Read More

Facts about Betty Kresin, Eminems grandmother

Betty Kresin, Eminem's grandmother from the maternal side... Read More

Building Your Digital Music Collection

The previous two Tech Tips took a look at eight... Read More

How to Get Past Creative Blocks

When I first began playing the piano and improvising, there... Read More

Taking iPod Culture into Clubs as Well as Cyberspace: Jonny Rocket Interviewed by The G-Man

Already making plenty of noise in the marketplace is a... Read More

The Bagpipe and Its History

You may have heard that bagpipes are a Scottish invention;... Read More

The Open Position Piano Chord

Chords. They're amazing. There's no doubt about it. Especially when... Read More

An Interview with Jon Bon Jovi ? 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Cant Be Wrong

The idea originated with singer Jon Bon Jovi. Jon kept... Read More

Buying A Guitar

There are many things to consider when buying a new... Read More

Guitar Practice (Part 2) - Does Practice Make Perfect?

You've probably heard the saying "practice makes perfect" and it... Read More

Right Hand Guitar Playing Tip

This lesson can open for you a secret of high-speed... Read More

Fiddle Tab Makes Learning Fiddle Fast and Easy

Learning fiddle tab is so intuitive and so easy that... Read More

Music & Emotions: Can Music Really Make You a Happier Person?

How many times have you turned to music to uplift... Read More

Music Licensing: The Cold Cash Facts About Money for your Music

Where music meets licensing, there's money to be made. How... Read More

Musicians Injuries: OUCH, It Hurts When I Play (But Please Dont Tell Me To Stop!)

This article takes a look at musicians' injuries. For an... Read More

Dont Go Tubthumping

I have always had a big problem with my addiction... Read More

A Quick and Easy Composition Method

Here's the method I use every time I want to... Read More

Music and Healing: The Power of Meaningful Words and Music

We All Have a Favorite Piece of Music that Moves... Read More

Piano Music - How to Begin and End a Piece

How do you begin a piece of music? That's a... Read More

The Music Industry and Its Lack of Talent

So it has come to this... what we see overrides... Read More

Common Thoughts That Kill Inspiration

Do you sit down at the piano and feel anxiety... Read More