No, I’m not talking to performers who play in bars or restaurants “for tips only” – although I’m sure most of you probably deserve to play for more money than just tips.
I’m actually talking about the “tips” artists get from a session at a music conference, a single article they read online, or the ideas they hear from another artist they admire.
While those tips might be helpful (some are, some aren’t), most of the artists I’ve met deserve to get more help with their live show than a couple of pointers!
Most artists I meet have good songs, play and sing well, and have a passion for sharing their music – but they don’t capture and engage their entire audience every time they play (and that is possible!). Why not? Because they’ve been relying on some tips along the way, but they’ve never delved into a real study of what they can do to make their live show great.
About a year ago, I was working with an artist. I explained to them the concept of listening to their audience and understanding their expectations during different parts of their show. We talked about getting a vision for how they want their audience to respond. And the comment came from the group, “we’ve never thought about how we want the audience to respond before!”
This artist had learned to put a show together with a method (an unconscious method, but a method nonetheless) which they had perfected while playing clubs, coffee houses, and from watching other bands. In fact when they first played through their show for me, their closer (put together by the most experienced player in the group) ended perfectly … if they had been a bar band. (When they finished I could imagine hearing one of them say, “we’ll be back in 15 minutes, don’t forget to tip your waiters and waitresses!”)
Now if your goal is to play to a bunch of people who are there to drink, pick up a companion, and not hear your music, I’ll put you in touch with him, because he got many things right for playing those venues! But it was absolutely the wrong song to close with if you were doing a concert.
That was when I realized, for the first time: my Live Music Method is exactly that … a Method to be learned, studied, practiced, rehearsed, studied some more, and practiced again! It’s not a few tips. You deserve more than that. After all, this is your career, your passion.
A lot of people choose a few specific “tips” from my tool set and implement those into what they do (they’ve read some of my blogs, or they’ve seen me at a conference). And that helps – though it’s a little like putting a band-aid on an internal injury.
Think of learning my Method like being traded from one football team to another. You need to learn the new system, the new language. And there’s no quick way to do it. My Method is a whole new philosophy, with a new tool set, a new mind set, and a new way to look at your show.
There are a number of colleges who are responding to my book, either making it part of their curriculum or putting it in their bookstore as recommended material. They understand it’s something that can be learned, implemented, and maybe even “graded.”
But you don’t have to go to college to study my Method! You can read & study my book and DVDs. And I suggest you do 3 more things to get “hands on” and personal help: 1) attend one of our Bootcamps or Workshops, 2) join us Backstage so you can ask questions and attend free Webinars, and 3) take our Academy of Live Music online course.
I hope you believe me: I’m not just trying to sell you my stuff so I can make money. It’s really because there’s nothing that thrills me more than when people consume and implement my Live Music Method. I have never, never (did I say never?), not seen it work when learned, practiced and applied properly.
And by the way, most of my “tips” are for waiters and waitresses.