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Big Fun: Graphing the Perfect Set List Video Part 6

Graphing video part 6

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Graphing the Perfect Set List

Oftentimes when I talk to artists about this next Moment, they look at me like I’m a little crazy, and then say something like, “our whole show is fun!” OK, that’s good. But I’m not always sure what they mean. Do they mean they have a lot of fun onstage? Because that’s definitely not what […]

One Product that Always Sells!

Merch Table at Event

Many artists — whether singer, songwriter, band, instrumentalist — have a product of some kind to sell to fans. Most have a CD. Or (in this day and age) at least some downloads available online. Maybe an EP. Even some of the youngest artists I work with have a few tracks recorded and available for […]

Great Song & Musical: Graphing the Perfect Set List Video Part 5

Graphing video part 5

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Graphing the Perfect Set List

You’ve rated your songs by “energy,” you have a vision for the moments in each song, and you’ve worked out those moments in practice. After all that, it’s time to put them in the right order for your audience to really connect emotionally with you. Plus you need to know when and how to talk […]

Persistence… or Foolishness?

Lead Singer Onstage

We’re told to be persistent. Keep trying… don’t give up… it’s the only way you’ll win. Follow that with “perseverance.” Then add the word “patient,” and you’ve got the popular trio, the supposed “true keys to success!” However, Mark Twain said “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again — then give up. There’s […]

I Know Who’ll Win the NBA Championship


I love sports – and the NBA Playoffs are always exciting to watch! What I love about them (besides the obvious talent of people like Lebron James, Tim Duncan, Dwyane Wade, etc.) is the strategy — from the coaches perspective — that goes into winning the game. I even enjoy the interviews after the games. […]

Time for Something Different: Graphing the Perfect Set List Video Part 4

Graphing video part 4

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Graphing the Perfect Set List

It’s not unusual to have audience members “zone out” after about 3 songs. You may have experienced this yourself when you’ve been to a concert. About that far into the show, you’ve got the artist figured out, right? That doesn’t have to happen to you! And it won’t happen, if you are bringing the right […]

Lessons Learned: Spose and the Record Deal

Band performing live

Record labels convince naive kids they’re rock stars. Then they “cast” artists in a role to fit what they need, they write songs by committee, and their whole world revolves around the “second single.” Now before all of you in the recording industry start writing nasty comments and emails to me, I’m not the one […]

You Learned What from Who?

Tom Jackson teaching at CMW

Ever read the comic strip Tiger? In one of those strips years ago, the little boy Tiger and his kid brother are discussing their dog. The little brother claimed he’d taught the dog to whistle. Peering at the dog for a moment, Tiger declares, “I don’t hear him whistling.” To which the brother exclaims, “I […]

4 Tips to Using a Microphone (the right way!)

Male singer with microphone

Oh, how distracting it can be! The singer holds the mic with both hands like they’re clinging to it for dear life. Another singer holds it right at the top and has it so close to them you can barely see their face. Then there are the “tappers” – the ones who keep a rhythm […]

It’s a Great Song: Graphing the Perfect Set List Video Part 3

Graphing video part 3

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Graphing the Perfect Set List

Whether you are a singer, a singer/songwriter, a band, a duo, a vocal group, or a 1-man band… I can tell you a great way to lose your audience! Simply ignore who they are and their expectations. Put your set list together thinking about what’s easiest, best, or most fun for yourself. Be clever and […]