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5 Do’s to Optimize Your Success

Don't play without knowing the rules

If you are a songwriter, you know… there are basic rules to follow when writing for radio. The normal structure goes intro/ verse/ chorus/ verse/ chorus/ bridge/ chorus. It’s important to have it the right length (about 3 1/2 minutes long), and be sure and get to the chorus within the first minute (sooner, if possible). And so […]

Tips and Tricks on How to Become a Better Performer

Rick Barker gives artist feedback at Tom Jackson Bootcamp

Imagine you could talk to any person in the music industry about your career. Anyone! Who would you choose? An artist who’s been successful? A great songwriter you’d like to learn from? Maybe you’d like to hear from a great manager and someone who knows how to propel an artist’s career forward — someone like my friend Rick […]

3 Parts of Communication: Are You Using them All?

DVDs

As an artist, you know your songs are all different. They have different themes, different rhythms, different tones. They really don’t sound the same at all! I’m guessing they probably have different lyrics, too. Some of them are about a love you lost. Some of them are about something that makes you happy. Some of […]

Practical Steps to Take Before Your Rehearsals

Rehearsal Room

If you want to build a house, what’s the first step to getting it done? “Lay the foundation!” Ehhhhnnnn… (the best spelling I can come up with for a buzzer sound)  — wrong answer. I ask this question every time I teach my Live Music Method class. And inevitably the artists in the crowd get […]

3 Keys to Being a Great Singer AND Having a Great Show

Country singer with hat

Being a great singer doesn’t always equal having a great show. For that matter, having great songs doesn’t necessarily equal a great show either. Being a great singer with great songs? Well, that helps… but it still doesn’t equal a great show! Let me explain why, by telling you about a recent concert review. I […]

5 Good Reasons to Plan Your Show

5 Good Reasons to Plan Your Show

I’ve talked about vision and planning for the live show so much that some of you don’t even pay any attention to it anymore.  “Besides,” most of you are thinking, “I don’t want to plan — I want to be spontaneous.” Creative people often fight the idea of planning. But let’s look at what I’m […]

Why You DON’T Want Success

Band performing live

If you were given an opening slot on a major tour today, would you be able to win the audience the first night out? In my experience, most artists wouldn’t. The scary part about this kind of opportunity is that you (normally) only get one shot like that. So if you can’t say with absolute certainty […]

What Does Tom Jackson Know and Why Do I Need His Help?

Tom Jackson teaching at CMW

I got an email from a friend the other day. She sent me a link to an online review of country star Sam Hunt’s live show. She said, “I kept thinking ‘he needs to meet Tom’ the whole time I was reading this article!” At the risk of sounding arrogant, my friend knows that what I […]

Stage Presents: Loving Your Audience

Hearts

When Valentine’s Day, or birthdays, or Mother’s Day roll around, you remind yourself how important certain people are to you. You want to express your feelings through a gift or a card. Or maybe you call that person. Or even better, you get with them and hold their hand or hug them. But at the […]

The Grammys: Taking us to Church, to Hell, & to School

Dude we rock!

The craziness, the cool, and the cringe that is known as The Grammy Awards, was all of that Sunday night. A mix of new and old school, rookies and veterans on that enormous and nerve-wracking stage, shouting everything from, ‘Here I am…like my first hit?’ to ‘Don’t forget me – I made some great music […]