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Share a Bit of Yourself Next Time You Perform

People come to see people

We listen to music through ear buds and stereo systems, on our laptops and iPhones, and in restaurants and elevators. We buy downloads, CDs, and albums. The majority of music we experience on a day-to-day basis comes through recorded music. But there is nothing that compares to seeing your favorite artist live! Being in the […]

A 12-Letter Word: 1 Secret to a Great Live Show

Demonstrating a trade off

It was years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. My experience that night gave me the best illustration of how a simple 12-letter word can be one of the secrets to a great live show! CeCe Winans, best selling Gospel artist of all time and friend of Whitney Houston, was singing at […]

Your Appeal When You Aren’t Playing Music

Tom Jackson teaching workshop

As an artist associated with a charity, you are typically going out to play a concert when you do your appeals. Whether it’s a full concert set, or even just a short 15-20 minute show, most of you wrap a song around your appeal. However, there are times when you have the opportunity to speak […]

5 Ways to Make More Money as a Musician

5 Streams of Revenue

In the traditional music industry, you toured to sell your recording. In the new music industry, you record and distribute a CD so you can get out in front of the public and play. In either model, 90% or more of an artist’s revenue comes from their live show. But for most bands, CD sales […]

A Strong Ending: Graphing the Perfect Set List Video Part 8

Graphing video part 8

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Graphing the Perfect Set List

Whether it was P.T. Barnum or Walt Disney who said it, they were right: “Always leave them wanting more!” The last moment in every set you do will be your Closing Moment, or your Closer. In this video, I share a great way to do a “build” in your last song, plus some other “must […]

Misdirection and Upstaging: Mistakes you can avoid

Magician pulling rabbit out of hat

Avoidable mistakes are usually done out of ignorance. Or they come from not being prepared correctly. These are 2 that are definitely avoidable: Misdirection — drawing the attention of the audience away from what they should be paying attention to; and Upstaging — diverting attention from someone else to yourself. Misdirection is actually one of […]

I Could Have Sold Guitars

Pile of guitars

Years ago I had to make a decision. I’d been playing in a band for quite a while. I’d helped build a studio and done some producing, engineering, and mixing. But I was on the verge of getting married, was a little tired of life on the road… I had to make a career decision. […]

Sit Down So I Can Hear: Graphing the Perfect Set List Video Pt 7

Graphing video part 7

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Graphing the Perfect Set List

Any of you who have read my book, been to a Bootcamp, or studied my DVDs, can probably recite the 3 reasons an audience comes to your show: to be captured and engaged, to experience moments, to have their lives changed. With this next Moment in your show, you have the potential to change some […]

Making it in the Music Industry: 3 Things that Must Happen

Singer Charity Vance at microphone

Are you trying to “make it” in the music industry? You have the talent, you feel like your songs are good, and you’ve got a passion to do this thing called “music.” You’re special. You are confident that what you have to share with your music is unique. Now you need to get someone to […]

7 Basic Mic Stand Techniques

Tom Jackson's Live Music Method Book

A fig leaf… or a microphone stand. Which one do you use? That may sound like a strange question. But I’ve noticed that most artists prefer hiding their nakedness by standing behind a mic stand (unlike Adam and Eve who chose the fig leaf). You know what I’m talking about: you’re standing on the stage […]