Performing live, or as what others call performance practice, has pretty much become a lost art today. Many musicians seem to have this belief that as long as they are amazing singers, musicians, or songwriters, the people will be more than happy to come and see them play live. Sadly, this is not really the case. In fact, most of them don’t have the slightest idea of what they should do the moment they stand in front of a microphone.
If you are feeling a bit jittery with the thought of performing your music live, there are several tips to help brush off that anxiety:
Practice Like You Play
This is something that sports players, actors, comedians, classical musicians, and even the military know all too well. But for some reason, the list stops there. Folk and indie musicians don’t seem to take it as literally. As a musician, it is important that you practice every single thing for your performances, including the introductions, the inter-song pattern, the setlist order, as well as the Thank you’s. This is in order for all the things you do on stage to become second nature. If needed, you can also set up your speakers and microphones. Try to practice singing into the mic and while you’re at it, practice talking into it as well.
Know the Best Time to Acknowledge Your Audience
Try to look around and you will see that a lot of bands today are doing this prematurely. You don’t thank your audience the minute you completed the song and within the dead space between their applause and your last note. You have to wait for them first to acknowledge you through their applause. This is what you call the constant trade of acknowledgment and thanks. Your audience spent money just to watch you play. As a way of giving back, you play the songs and music they like. They will then return gratitude through their applause. Then, you will acknowledge this applause through thanking them. Expressing your thank you before your audience applauds you will only make you look naïve, presumptuous, and even unprofessional.
Develop a Strong Stage Presence
Even if you are the best band on this planet, everything will be useless if watching you get too boring, and will only make the audience want to leave. Make the most out of the stage. Show your excitement of being there, and impart this to your audience. Most of the time, it is just a matter of confidence issue. If you are not sure how to do it, remember the first tip: practice.
Reach Out to Fans After the Show
Once you’ve finished playing, don’t leave right away. Talk to your fans who bought your CD, or hang around while you are packing up your gear. When they had a great time talking to you, chances are they will tell all their friends about how cool you are, which could then mean more people joining in your fan base.