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What do you do to avoid stage jitters? How do you come up with banter in between your songs? How do you keep your voice or your fingers from giving out halfway through? This forum is for discussions about live performance issues both with yourself, and with other artists that you admire. For instance, has any particular performer inspired you when you watched him or her perform? Have you played a particular venue that hugely impressed you? Are you the owner of a venue that accepts Indie acts? Let's talk about it!
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If you could give just one Tips for live performers

#51 User is offline   skipwendel Icon

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Posted 10 July 2004 - 11:23 AM

any tips on memorizing lyrics???

The key to memorizing lyrics is...................to think of each song as a little story.


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Sometimes..... you have to embrace a thing you detest in order to hold on to the thing you love........sometimes.

#52 User is offline   phantomengineer Icon

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 09:51 PM

tip (and i know this one has been said, but i've got a story to go with it) : if you screw up, chances are the audience doesn't even know.

i was at a festival last month, and a really good bluegrass band came on. during one of the songs, the guitar player/singer stopped the song and said "oh, man. i was wandering all over the place with my chords. playin wrong chords left and right. sorry bout that folks, we'll try that one again". then, the banjo player said "hell, you fooled me. i thought you were playing the right chords". so, remember : you can even fool yer bandmates. just keep playing, no matter what happens.

#53 User is offline   Alistair Icon

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 06:35 AM

Quote

ironic thing is: i can tell you every IP address of every server at work, i can tell you 1,000's of commands to type to do various things in linux, i can even remember where about 90% of the functions are and what they do in a project i'm developing for work that is nearing 16,000 lines of code, but i can't remember lyrics to save my life!


Obviously, your brain is full. Delete some files and then you will have room for some lyrics. :D

If you write story songs, you have more chance of remembering them because you only have to remember the story and the rest will ocme to you. If you write observational songs (like me) you're in trouble!

#54 User is offline   yidneth Icon

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 06:47 AM

tip : DO NOT THINK, perform with passion and let it flow

reason: even if it's not technically perfect people will fill you're an artist by soul

#55 User is offline   gpeddino Icon

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 01:41 PM

Eat an apple before the performance. The pulp absorbs the saliva and cleans your throat. Don't have chocolate or anything alike before the performance. Totally opposite effect. :lol:

Also, warm up your voice before stepping on stage. ;)

#56 User is offline   gpeddino Icon

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 01:44 PM

Widetrack, on May 30 2004, 08:58 AM, said:

ALWAYS STRIVE TO BE AS GOOD AS YOU THINK YOU NEED TO BE TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

Great and definitive tip. ;)

#57 User is offline   JFDI Icon

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 12:51 PM

I'll post the ideas I have together, so my signature doesn't keep popping up:

1. Get enough rest, if possible, that day or the night before the show.

2. Fumble around on a lot of open stages until your confidence improves.

3. Gig, play, jam everywhere as much as possible.

4. Don't give a damn. Every time I get in that frame of mind, I've had the best gig ever.

5. Do some kind of "group/band" ritual before you go onstage. I have seen a number of bands do this and it seems to work. Furthermore, it makes them all look like they're all such incredibly good friends, even if they hate each other that day!

6. To make a show that much better, if you're working with a band, build in something unusual like visuals, some kind of dance step, clapping sequence, drama, gag/joke, interesting solo, whatever. It breaks things up.

9. Give the audience more than it expects.

10. Have an opening act that is good, but not as good as you. It'll warm the audience AND you up, and it'll help shorten the evening.

11. Play short gigs until your skills and confidence improve.

12. Ignore the mistakes that your musicians make, and most of them will make them as will you. The audience will usually respond to a spectacle and good sound if most of the material is right.

There. Just a few in random order.

LL.
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#58 User is offline   Andreya Icon

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Posted 10 February 2005 - 03:00 PM

Tips for memorizing songs:

Memorizing my own is easy, especially if I've pondered over them for a long time or listened to them the umpteenth time (so, here's the clue, maybe? :P )
(Allegedly before we go to sleep we are most susceptible to memorise: be it lyrics or foreign languages :P rather quiet listening recommended:)

With other people's songs I do this:
1) number the parts of the song
2) underline the keywords/words difficult to remember, colour them colourful (red/whatever colour the word seems to be :P ), sometimes add little pictures to illustrate, and
3) link them together, and imprint them into memory: by using other aids - e.g. visualizing (imagining pictures or little movies),
using crazy 'over-the-top' associations or 'made up' stories,
or even ABC (if 2 words are really confusing, it can help in remembering which word comes 1st),
or my hands and whole body, esp. if you include appropriate feelings, while singing in front of a mirror etc. (It may look goofy to point at the door like a true drama queen when you're to sing 'door' but it actually helps! You can leave it out later on anyway.)
It helps to think of 'how *I* would sing it -link it to own experience, feelings, memories.. Imagine it 'mine'..
Then: practise, practise, practise... Singing aloud or silently, first while looking, then half-looking, then without the lyrics sheet... then while working out or walking down the street... LOL

Surprisingly this works for me.

/some, err.. most of this was found in books on studying, NLP, or learning drama texts) :ph34r:

#59 User is offline   ThomasH Icon

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Post icon  Posted 22 July 2005 - 07:02 PM

When I have trouble remembering lyrics, all it takes is usually just a single cue to remember the lost passage. Meaning that the lyrical passages are there, but from time to time I can have a bit of trouble stringing them together. I try to put images (in my mind) to the lyrics. This seems to make them easier for me to remember.

Oh, yeah and don't attempt to do this unless you're a pro and your balance is very good:

Posted Image

;)

#60 User is offline   gpeddino Icon

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 08:39 PM

I usually forget lyrics when playing the song is difficult. Many times I have forgotten the words of Rolling Stones' 'Love In Vain' and Clapton's 'Layla', even though the lyrics are quite short and simple. Don't underestimate a song by it's lyrics, and be sure to practice a lot in these cases. ;)

#61 User is offline   yod Icon

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 11:09 PM

I'm writing this response as if I'm speaking to a songwriter who wants be full-time itenerant music minister.
I'd probably say something different if I'm writing it to a musician who just wants to get in a good band.




1. If you don't absolutely love doing live, then practise (YOUR PARTS) until it's effortless to stand on a stage by yourself. Be able to play your songs and pour your entire being into every note.

Once you have a reached a certain level of professionalism, talent doesn't have much to do with it. You must have developed a personality. Ya know...something interesting....like a cool story that you tell? Lyrics that make you dance? A funny song or two? Something which makes you a "franchise" apart from what anyone else is already doing. Do you think Elvis accidently started moving his hips?

And.....

Does your style move them enough to buy your CD? If not, you aren't giving them something they can't find somewhere else. Face that and rise.




2. Always find something about the gig that you sincerely appreciate or enjoy...apply this to your little bit of stage banter. Talk from your heart and be real.

Most of the audience really wants to enjoy you...so don't talk them out of it!

LOL

#62 User is offline   nsmar4211 Icon

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 06:09 PM

Stage lights shining in the eyes are annoying.. bt nice if you get stage fright- can't see the audience and you can't be nervous about them :)
Seriously, bring light sunglasses if you need to -lights are bright :)
"You can't start a fire sitting around crying with a broken heart" -Bruce Springsteen






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#63 User is offline   yod Icon

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 05:48 PM

Turn away from the audience to pick your nose. ;)

#64 User is offline   annaforce Icon

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Post icon  Posted 11 December 2005 - 06:58 PM

Some more tips:

Some people have lemon and honey drinks but lemon is rough and tends to cause mucus. Honey dissolved in hot water really smooths the old chords.

Try and be as professional as possible. If you don't have the right gear or you muck around during the sound check, you will just come across as an ass.

Remember that you are playing for the audience, not for yourself. Try and connect them as much as possible. You are playing for them. I see some performers who look like they are playing to themselves in their room, and it just doesn't excite the audience (and they're the ones coming along/paying/wasting their time)

Last but not least: Try busking. It puts you in front of the worst audience you will probably ever face, and half of them don't care. so you get thick-skinned.

Hope this helps.

annaforce

#65 User is offline   nelly Icon

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 05:32 PM

Let the music guide you and always remember how much you wanted to become a musician... You got a long way to go, so always look at the smiles in the audience to charge your batteries:)
Good luck!

Nel

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 07:52 PM

What's busking? :blink:


And speaking of batteries-if you have active pickups, put a fresh set of 9 volts in there before the gig! Nothing worse than having your bass die in the middle of a gig (luckily it wasn't me playing and there was a second bass on stage).....

Which is another tip-if you can, have a second instrument available in case one runs out of juice/breaks every string/ intonation just won't settle in/drunk person falls against it/etc. Some musician friends of mine even have two amps with them: the "gig" amp and a backup amp just in case the gig amp blows out. Nothing like an amp going out on stage (same gig that the bass died on... must've been the place LOL) and having the guitar player try to play through the PA.... BLEH... Also, if you really rely on that pedal, better check the batteries before the gig.... or even have a spare pedal. Better yet, play bass and forget all the pedals LOL.

(I'm convinced, the better the guitar player, the fewer the pedals :ph34r: )
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#67 User is offline   goodtiller Icon

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 09:45 PM

i couldn't resist adding my two pitiful cents, (man the music i'm listening to right now is just so relaxing, i'm sure it's native flute, maybe carlos nikai) the last time i played live was in a hillbilly bar (now closed down) there was a guy who actually drove his tractor to the bar :lol: i thot that was so humorous. why has noone said anything on this subject in 2 years? my advice...PRACTICE,PRACTICT ,PRACTICE.then just go practice in the bar. even if you just mumble between your songs it won't matter, a bar full of drunken people is the best and the worst place to perform. PRACTICE, go, enjoy that you have an audience and that someone is giving you money to do what you do for free in your kitchen. don't let the chick tending bar short change you when it comes time to get paid. don't let the drunk guy touch, let alone play your guitar, but let him sing along with you at least once. also make sure ,if possible, have enough watts in your PA system to play above the din of the crowd, they want you to create an atmosphere, you must have the power to do that, otherwise they will see you as not being in control of the situation and you will bomb. nothing worse than looking like a jerk at the local pub.

in frienship,

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#68 User is offline   breathe_in_the_air Icon

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 06:38 PM

Say Mr. X. has arranged to play in a school concert on 26th of April with 7 years of piano lessons behind him and four weeks of vocal coaching and has agreed to play AND sing the beginning (?Mama, just killed...? to ??never been born at all?) of Bohemian Rhapsody and almost all of ?November Rain? by Guns ?n? roses. Mr. X. is absolutely sh?soiling himself already. What can he do to convince himself that it?s not going to be a cock up?

P.S. Mr. X. is 14 btw. I think that presents more problems that I don?t need to explain?

P.P.S. Thank god Mr. X. didn?t agree to singing ?Bat out of Hell?...

P.P.P.S. Mr. X. also has a friend called Mr. Y. who has in fact had no vocal training or experience singing on stage whatsoever (apart from a few lines in ?The Wizard Of Oz? production - *As coroner, I must aver I thoroughly examined her etc. etc.) and finds playing drums and singing at the same time extremely difficult. Mr. Y?s pants are more full of s**t as Mr. X?s.

Help!

:unsure:

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 06:56 PM

View Postannaforce, on Dec 12 2005, 12:58 AM, said:

Last but not least: Try busking. It puts you in front of the worst audience you will probably ever face, and half of them don't care. so you get thick-skinned.

Hope this helps.

annaforce


Me and my drummer played on an open evening at school where parents came to look around. That was a truly terrible audience. One woman said "was there a reason for those boys playing?" Snotty old cow...
Problem is it doesn't get the adrenalin so you give a half assed performance thinking "whats the point?" Maybe works for some people but not others...

That event did thicken my skin a wee bit...

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 09:44 AM

Do not take the view that you are going on stage. Take the stage as if you own the place, have fun, make lots of eye contact and lead the crowd, never allow them to lead you.
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#71 User is offline   Stationary Dave Icon

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 12:33 PM

I've been playing for a long time (30 years) but have rarely played in public. I'm getting geared up to attempt an open mic night or two and this is my idea for limiting myself to songs that are either simple enough for my playing level or that I've practiced enough that I can play with confidence:
Attempt only songs that you can play in total darkness!
Many nights the only chance I have to play is after the kids are in bed, and often my wife is in bed as well. So I go out on my front porch and play. Often I'll turn out the porch light and play in the dark. I figure that, when performing in public, if I get nervous I can just close my eyes and belt it out. Since I've limited myself to songs I can play in the dark, I should be able to handle it.
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#72 User is offline   gordykw Icon

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 11:32 PM

Try to remember your childhood, playing and and enjoying
yourself and all your soroundings.
Dig deep and find that inner child playing.

That`s why they call it PLAYING music.

Gordy

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 10:17 PM

I started a thread further down called "Tricks Of The Trade" without realizing this thread was a couple of posts above. Newbie-Itis? could be. Trout-slap me...I deserve it!

Anyhoo, here's my 94.7 cents (price of gas today.I can't believe I'm so happy to see 94 cents a litre..*sigh*)

If you're in a band situation, learn how to set up at least one other person's gear. That way, if something comes up and that person might be a little late for a gig, but his gear is already there, you can set it up for her/him and they can just get there and go on.

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 08:34 PM

View Postjerseypaul, on Dec 29 2003, 08:11 PM, said:

1) One hour before show time take two ibuprofin for that inevitable headache that will come from loud music, cigarette smoke and liquor.

2)Tell the bartender that you want a large weak drink. I usually ask for a pint beer glass with a shot of tequilia, ice and then soda to the top and a big squeeze of lemon. I take this on stage for my voice and my nerves.

Works for me.

Jersey Paul



i couldn't leave this one alone. alcohol is NOT good for your voice.

alcohol dehydrates your vocal chords and can destroy your voice. the best thing for your voice is room-temperature water, not alcohol. however, you might sing better if the alcohol calms your nerves. your nerves will cause you to sing badly before the alky will.

and to people who have stage fright: play often. my first few times, i could hardly stand up, almost puked, etc. now i can talk in front of 1000 people without a thought. that's after only a hundred or so gigs.

my first time playing without a band was a few months ago, doing an open mic. i was pretty scared. there's a big difference between playing with a band and playing by yourself. but after the first bunch of times, the nervousness is gone. you just need to get up there and realize that the world isn't going to end if you f87k up.

and really know your stuff. i'm always nervous if i don't know the songs well enough.
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Posted 26 September 2006 - 08:49 AM

Memorizing lyrics? As an actor, I've had to memorize lots of stuff.

First, there's NO SUBSTITUTE for practicing. Say it out loud over and over and over again, until it's second nature. (Olivier used to go out into the fields and yell the speeches at the cows until he knew them cold).

The two tricks I use are first, visualize (like telling a story, as noted above). Get a picture in your head for each line or thought, like a slideshow. The song will be like captions to the pictures in your head, and you will remember at least one of them (either the visual or the aural).

When I'm learning a song, I memorize the rhymes -- the ends of the lines. If I can remember what word I have to get to, I usually remember what words lead up to it.....
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#76 User is offline   Blunt Icon

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 08:44 PM

Seems to me this thread is dominated by tips on perfecting a stage performance. But I am a cafe / coffee house / restaurant type of act, so my job is to create an ambience and fill in the silence.

The best tips I can offer for this sort of live performance is:

1. get your sound levels right! people eating and or talking over a coffee or a wine don't want to be blasted or have to yell at each other. I make sure the owners of wherever I am playing constantly keep me informed if I am too loud. Better to be under volumed than over in this sort of setting. I keep my monitors as close to ME as possible.

2. Song selection. I play a mixture of 40% original material and 60% covers. I try to pick a mixture of old and current cover songs that are either cruisy or laid back in nature, or I re-arrange a song to soften its delivery.

3. Appearance - dress sharp ... it creates a professional atmosphere.

4. Have a contract! For me the worse part about any live performance is getting collecting your money afterwards. I draw up a contract that states my fee and conditions of play (meals, drinks etc). That way everybody knows what is expected. If its a restaurant I ask for a meal to be provided as well as drinks during the performance. Alcohol may dry up your vocal chords but its also a great relaxant.

5. Be Professional. I often end up talking with the punters and I try to project a professional image ... after all these people could be your next client.
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#77 User is offline   Simple Simon Icon

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 02:55 AM

View PostBlunt, on Oct 11 2006, 02:44 PM, said:

Have a contract! For me the worse part about any live performance is getting collecting your money afterwards.


That's a good point, and especially for the smaller bands/gigs. As well as how much you are getting paid it's worth ensuring you know how (cash/cheque/etc) you are getting paid, when (before, during or after the gig) and who is responsible for paying you.

In addition to having this kind of stuff in a written contract prior to the gig it can be a good idea to confirm everything with your contact before starting playing.

I've found this to be especially true for private gigs such as weddings, but also relevant to pub and club kinds of gigs.

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 04:27 PM

Always cash and normally paid after the gig. Pubs are the worse payers IMO experience. Bottom line ... have a contract. Its puts everything in line and makes you look professional :)
Its all about the music isn't it -----but------ Musically I'm on the outside looking in

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#79 User is offline   Simple Simon Icon

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 05:02 AM

View PostBlunt, on Oct 12 2006, 10:27 AM, said:

Pubs are the worse payers IMO experience.


I know what you mean, mate! I once spent about 6 months getting payment out of one particular bar in Wellington (i'm not agro about these kinds of things, but I am persistant! ;) :lol: )

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 09:23 PM

Tip: Never, EVER worry about ANYTHING when you're up on stage. Don't think. Just sing/play and enjoy yourself. As one used to tell me, "Just let yourself go and forget about all the jackasses who think you won't make it."
You cannot be brave unless you are afraid.

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Post icon  Posted 05 June 2007 - 10:44 PM

Get up and do it, and keep doing it as much as you can I have just started performing at open mikes. The hardest thing was to go on stage the first time with my guitar and sing/play. Wanting to perform a song I wrote drove me out there because I could not sing a certain song with the very new band I was in. I was real glad I did it. The FEAR was overwhelming...gripped by adrenaline, but I got up there, and got through it the first time. Next week I went back again, and when I got off the stage some man said I gotta tell you I think you are fantastic. I thanked him and assumed he had been drinking. When the sound man/musician said to me "For someone with little stage experience you are fantastic." then I took notice; I thought my goodness I think he really means it. That night I closed my eyes and really got into my song emotionally..I call it getting into the zone...just into expressing myself in the song...when I opened my eyes everyone's eyes were glued to me. Whoa!!! I have done 4 open mikes now....and I had some fans clapping and grooving to my songs....it felt really good. I am hoping that the adrenaline surges will lessen so I can begin to perhaps perform differently or even be able to finger pick some songs up there. I drink a lot of water and I take cough drops with menthol to soothe my throat. My guitar playing needs to get more complex. I am just going to continue doing these open mikes and see where it goes. Our band had their first gig in our local bar with a sizable crowd, and that was interesting because I did not get an adrenaline surge at that gig....I just had a jammin good time singing. Now a week later I have a bad cold and wonder how singers do it. I took mucinex, cold medicine and cough drops and yesterday I performed at the open mike the fourth time with my cold, and folks said I sounded great. :rolleyes:

#82 User is offline   Joan Icon

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 12:18 PM

No matter how informal the venue is, don't perform the song if you have to read the lyrics off a sheet. Going in, you don't know how good or bad the reading light will be, and nothing comes off worse than reading off a page and screwing up anyway.

If you keep stumbling over the same lines when you practice, change the lines. When it happens to me, I take it as a sign that the lines themselves are literally not memorable enough, that I haven't quite finished writing the song yet.

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 01:10 AM

View PostFunkDaddy, on Dec 23 2003, 08:45 PM, said:

Just think to yourself that YOU are the one with the courage to get up there and sing your songs. Everybody in the audience respects you for that. No audience is as unforgiving as to crucify you for missing a chord or fudging a hammer-on. Nobody expects a perfect song in a coffee house or bar, just a practiced song, and most will laugh with you if you can turn a screwup into a joke. Perfection has it's place in the recording studio :)

Practice your set. Practice in front of a mirror.


Yeah, this is right. Unless they're musicians themselves, most people totally respect you even if you're not playing as well as you want. Most people couldn't hear half of the mistakes you make, so just enjoy that they're listening to your music.
" 'You idiot, that's Piazzolla!' And I took all the music I composed, ten years of my life, and sent it to hell in two seconds."

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#84 User is offline   stewart alexander Icon

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 08:50 AM

I agree with Mark... I'm quite good at my own songs
and rarely make errors while I play.. but when I do.. it's all light hearted...
and try to not impress.. just be yourself.. I feel that works well in really showing
your emotions through your music.. :>

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 01:57 PM

now that i have a little more experience

ENJOY! HAVE FUN!

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 09:23 PM

View PostBlunt, on Oct 11 2006, 02:44 PM, said:

Seems to me this thread is dominated by tips on perfecting a stage performance. But I am a cafe / coffee house / restaurant type of act, so my job is to create an ambience and fill in the silence.


Well things change in time and although I am still doing the cafe act every weekend I am also picking up a few more 'stand up and entertain' gigs. And there are 3 things that are paramount to a successful performance ... and I am just mirroring what has alrady been said on this thread ... but any-who

1. Have fun and move with the music. I'm a natural mover ... I have trouble sitting still and on stage I'm always moving. I'm lead vox and rhythm guitar and when I'm not singing I always take a step back from the mic and move around ... alot. The crowds gets off on this ... they see me getting into it and feed off it!

2. Get 'your' sound right. Make sure your monitor or whatever is providing your 'sound' feedback is adequate. If your having trouble hearing the vocals or backing (I play to backing tracks either solo or in a duo) your going to hurt your performance.

3. Set up well before the event (if possible) ... do a sound check and then give yourself time to think about it and improve on the setup if necessary.

4. There is no substitute for experience ... som play live at every opportunity. Things you learn from a live performance (and there is always one or more things you learn each time) cannot be learnt practising in your basement.

I have friends who have been playing for way longer than me but don't get out there and play live regulalry and I am so more advanced as a live act than they are just because I do it more. Experience can not be bought only gained!
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Posted 27 February 2008 - 03:13 PM

Okay, I’ve been away from this place for a lonnnng time, but decided to poke around again.

Hey Neal!

Love this topic and I found it very helpful.

Now, I’m not much of a performer….and internally, I’m usually a wreck. I have gotten better tho.

My tip (which may have been mentioned before) is….
Burn a CD of everything you’re going to play…originals, covers, whatever. Then play that CD when you drive. Sing along. At full volume. And play along….fingering chords and notes on your air guitar (or keyboard, or whatever). Breathe as you would as if you were performing.

Play that CD every time you get in the car. It’s almost as good as a real practice session. You won’t be looking at lyric or chord sheets, so it helps you memorize as well.

Of course, I’m usually sick to death of the songs by the time I play, but I rarely forget music or words anymore….and I can concentrate on the performance, not the mechanicals.

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 12:46 AM

I've been reading through this and lots of good advice here. The biggest thing is to just relax and enjoy it. Learn to feel the energy of the room and go with it. If you're playing your own material, most people wont know if you make a mistake and even the ones who know your material wont catch them. Once I started playing out and realized that, all my jitters vanished and I came to love performing like nothing else.

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 12:15 AM

Tip: You can talk, WOAH - Not that much!
Reason: Talking in between songs is okay, but don't get carried away. In fact, you don't want to talk in between every song. And, usually, people don't care why you wrote a song, especially if they have never heard of you. So getting on stage and saying "this ones about when my girlfriend left me", then when you get to the next song saying "this ones about the day I broke my big toe"... that just gets annoying and makes me want to leave... personally. So you can talk and relate to the audience, just not too much! ;) Let the music speak for itself. Bottom line, if it's good, the audience will like it and will like you, if it's not... :(

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 07:06 AM

View Postindieshows, on Nov 19 2008, 05:15 AM, said:

"this ones about when my girlfriend left me
You are dead right here. This particular quote reminded me of something that happened last weekend. I was part of an open mic at the NEC in Birmingham, it was a big comp run by Roland. They had a lot of performers to get through and everyone had a strict 2 minutes only. I had an original song that lasted just over 2 minutes so I thought I would just bang straight into it. However there was a guy there who gave quite a lengthy intro about how he had written this song for his girlfriend while he was on holiday in Italy and that it might not be obvious to the casual listener about what it is really about blah blah blah..... So he wasted a good 30 seconds of his 2 minutes, 25% of his alloted performance time! I think he was stopped half-way through his first chorus :lol:

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 11:55 PM

I'm just going to add my two cents' worth ... For me, a tip I have found useful was from Kristina Olsen, who advises practicing every physical aspect of performance, eg. standing if you are going to stand, things to do with gear, and so on. I find anything with foot pedals/effects, a harmonica in a holder, loop pedal and so on needs a lot of practice.

Another tip I would give that has served me well is to always practice a set, have spares/alternatives, and use the set with whatever variations are needed at the time depending on the way you are being received. I have always remembered a quote from Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls about needing more upbeat songs than slow ones, and I find this true - probably 2 upbeat ones for each slower one. I spend a lot of time planning sets, yet will still make changes according to how things are going at the time.

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 12:12 AM

And one more thought - I choose my songs for a set from what has energy for me at the time ... if a song isn't singing well when I practice, I try a few others, and list the ones I am feeling the best with and feel I can bring energy to. I think it shows if you are trying to sing something you are not feeling much connection with. Amongst my material there are songs that go down well almost anywhere, and others that are better in some settings than others ... so I also try to make the most of opportunities to play some of the less 'anyplace' ones - share the wear and try to remain fresh with as many songs as possible. However, there are times when it is important to me to get a song out there, maybe a new song, for example, and over time I have found it possible to set things up well for almost any song through skillful introductions that make the audience want to hear the song.

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 01:23 AM

View PostNigeQ, on Nov 19 2008, 07:06 AM, said:

View Postindieshows, on Nov 19 2008, 05:15 AM, said:

"this ones about when my girlfriend left me
You are dead right here. This particular quote reminded me of something that happened last weekend. I was part of an open mic at the NEC in Birmingham, it was a big comp run by Roland. They had a lot of performers to get through and everyone had a strict 2 minutes only. I had an original song that lasted just over 2 minutes so I thought I would just bang straight into it. However there was a guy there who gave quite a lengthy intro about how he had written this song for his girlfriend while he was on holiday in Italy and that it might not be obvious to the casual listener about what it is really about blah blah blah..... So he wasted a good 30 seconds of his 2 minutes, 25% of his alloted performance time! I think he was stopped half-way through his first chorus :lol:


HAHA! Yes thats exactly what I'm talking about :lol: . If you're playing at an open mic, please, just play your couple songs and let the other person get up there, especially if there is a time limit! Oh and heres another quick tip, don't over drink... I had too many beers before an open mic performance once... it didn't go well. :)

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 02:41 PM

Just an additional thought. I doubt I myself would participate in any open mike that limited me to two minutes. I would assume they're not serious about listening. Most of the open mikes I have run across will do (1) one song or (2) 15 minutes (into which latter time I can easily fit three songs, maybe four if they're short). And virtually all the songs I have have an introductory Rap--always short, but it's become kind of a trademark, so I do it.

Joe

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 06:05 AM

View Postroxhythe, on Nov 27 2008, 07:41 PM, said:

Just an additional thought. I doubt I myself would participate in any open mike that limited me to two minutes. I would assume they're not serious about listening. Most of the open mikes I have run across will do (1) one song or (2) 15 minutes (into which latter time I can easily fit three songs, maybe four if they're short). And virtually all the songs I have have an introductory Rap--always short, but it's become kind of a trademark, so I do it.

Joe
Hi Joe

Maybe you wouldn’t but the rules were made clear from the outset so everyone taking part knew the score. Obviously this was not a typical open mic. It was run by Roland/Boss at one of the UK’s biggest arenas and a lot of people wanted to perform so they have to limit it somehow, also there were prizes of Roland recording equipment and additional publicity for the winners. So it was a bit of a one-off. However I think the main point is if you get an opportunity take it; don’t muck up your chances by ignoring the brief, or worse still boring the hell out of the audience.

Nige

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 03:52 PM

I am one of those people that for some unknown reason have never experienced stage fright. I once worked as a janitor in a train station and that made me a little self conscious, but stage work is just like a casual conversation to me.
Where I live I am the guy you call if you need a bassplayer and don't have time to rehearse. I am also a fulltime member in 4 different acts and play everything and anything. On stage I listen to everything always and because of this I can spot trouble coming before the fact and usually compensate. I try to keep close contact with everyone else on the stage by way of gestures, facial expressions and props. Anyone who zones out on stage knows I will be on them one way or another nyuk, nyuk "it's all part of the act". This may sound unpleasant but it isn't, it's Fun actually and it is appreciated by the people I work with and I have been thanked for it on many occasions. My point is. If it becomes work or stress instead of Play find something else to occupy your spare time. The serious part is done at home or in the studio.
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Posted 06 January 2010 - 10:06 AM

It's me again. ;^)
I had a gig in a newly reopened bar last Sunday night and something came up that reminded me of this post and things you shouldn't do. I got the call (from a band I've never met before) 3 hours before show time and when I got there with my stuff to set up. one of the guitar players was in the proccess of commiting a cardinal sin. He was arguing with and name calling / insulting the sound guy. I know the sound guy and managed to get him to not butcher the whole mix. But he had a great time playing with his effects toys and trying out wierd new settings with that guitar players sound all night.
The moral of the story is "Don't p*ss off the sound guy".

Peace on Ya
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Posted 06 January 2010 - 02:11 PM

View PostSocaMos, on Jan 6 2010, 03:06 PM, said:

It's me again. ;^)
I had a gig in a newly reopened bar last Sunday night and something came up that reminded me of this post and things you shouldn't do. I got the call (from a band I've never met before) 3 hours before show time and when I got there with my stuff to set up. one of the guitar players was in the proccess of commiting a cardinal sin. He was arguing with and name calling / insulting the sound guy. I know the sound guy and managed to get him to not butcher the whole mix. But he had a great time playing with his effects toys and trying out wierd new settings with that guitar players sound all night.
The moral of the story is "Don't p*ss off the sound guy".


Yep, good advice, I thought it sounded familiar! ;)

View PostNigeQ, on Nov 6 2003, 10:18 PM, said:

Tip: Always be nice to the sound guy (even if he/she is a jerk and you have to grit your teeth to do it :angry: )
Reason: They can make or break you on the night


#99 User is offline   Blunt Icon

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 05:45 PM

View Postroxhythe, on Nov 28 2008, 08:41 AM, said:

Just an additional thought. I doubt I myself would participate in any open mike that limited me to two minutes. I would assume they're not serious about listening. Most of the open mikes I have run across will do (1) one song or (2) 15 minutes (into which latter time I can easily fit three songs, maybe four if they're short). And virtually all the songs I have have an introductory Rap--always short, but it's become kind of a trademark, so I do it.

Joe


I run an open mic night once a month in my little home town and when I do an original I always do an intro rap. Short but interesting of course :) We have a 2 song limit but no time limit. Its a very low key night and I'm the only one who ever brings along an original composition.

Great thread this thats been going on for a while.

I agree about the sound guy ... dont p1ss him/her off. Thankfully 99% of my gigs the sound guy is me ;)
Its all about the music isn't it -----but------ Musically I'm on the outside looking in

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#100 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 06:59 PM

Open your eyes. Lift your head up. Look at the audience. Breathe.

And don't sweat it when things go wrong. Chances are that nobody noticed :)

OK, that's more than one thing :(
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