12 Performance Secrets Revealed
- Pick songs that fit the gig and also songs that your audience will want to hear. Performing is about your audience – especially if you want them to come back and support you again.
- Dress well and dress so you fit in at the venue and gig. Many musicians do not realize how important appearance is. If you are not good with style, then ask a friend who has great style to help you. Professional artists have the complete package.
- Preparation is key – know the venue and try to see another performer/group perform there prior to your gig. You might pick up on some things to be aware of with sound, lighting, accompanying musicians, and stage setup. Also practice, practice, practice…you are what you practice.
- Practice in front of the mirror so you can see what you really look like performing. You might be surprised at how good you look or things you might want to change. Watch music videos of other artists and what they do and copy some of their stage presence ideas.
- Focus is key – if you have trouble focusing and get nervous – find a focal point somewhere in the room you can look at so the audience thinks you are looking at them and smiling at them – maybe find a couple of focal points so you are looking at more than one place. Make sure the focal point is just above the heads of your audience. This way you will not be distracted by their expression on their faces or things they do.
- Know what key you are playing in so you can always have an ending planned with a final chord or cadence in case you blank out. Also never let a mistake show on your face ever – keep going, your audience probably won’t notice the mistake. If you are singing – always have a plan to use words from another verse or chorus in case you have a brain freeze and cannot remember the lyrics. A true professional always has a plan.
- Have a bailout plan – if you have problem areas in your performance, have a plan on how to quick change to keep from having a train wreck on stage. If things are going well, then go with the original plan – if things are not going so well, maybe change the high note to a low note or simplify the riff you are singing or playing.
- For vocalists – bring ear plugs. If you are having a difficult time hearing yourself, put an earplug in one ear and you will be able to focus on your pitch if you are singing. If you are singing at Turner Field or a large outside stadium, wear 2 earplugs so the delay does not mess you up. If you are in a band, please note vocalists tend to over-sing and sing too loud. Putting an earplug in one ear helps to keep the volume at a better level so the pitch is correct and your voice will not sound distorted in the microphone. Remember, microphones are not meant to be yelled into. Take a lesson in microphone technique if you do not know much about microphones and sound (your sound engineer will be happier with you.)
- Get to the gig early. This will keep you calm – also reliability is just as important as talent especially if you want to get hired again. The venue does not want to hear about your drama on how you tried to get there on time or early.
If you have promotional materials about yourself and/or a press kit – always bring them with you. Opportunity comes when we least expect it.
- Promote, promote, promote! Help the venue make some money and they will invite you back.
- Most important- Stay healthy – weeks before your gig and up until your gig, you should get lots of rest and eat right. Don’t stay out all night or go to an amusement park the day/night before your gig.
What more could you do to be better prepared?