Performance Advice

Performance Advice #04 – Banter

Performance Advice – Banter

What you say on stage is as important as what you sing. Letting the audience know what’s going on is key to getting the best reaction. Unfortunately a lot of new and younger musicians tend to avoid it, which I guess is down to confidence and inexperience.

Whereas I can’t say much about getting more confidence – this comes with gigging experience, I can help with stage talk. Getting the message across is vital, and it is easy if you follow this example. Don’t worry if you can’t remember it all at first – try one or two of these at your next gig and see how you get on. Believe me – you will get a better response from the crowd than before – I can guarantee it!

Preparation is key to getting this right. Having a setlist is vital – write down the songs you’re going to play so you have less to think about on stage.

Download the PDF and print it out for your next gig. Not only will you know which song is up next, you can add little notes of things to say during your set.

Here is an example of what you could say on stage. Of course, you can deviate from this, but I can guarantee you that these are all fail-safe phrases that will improve your performance and make you look like a professional.


– SONG 1original_stage-door-light-box-sign

Pick up your guitar and play your first song. No need to say anything just yet. Get settled in.

– SONG 2

Before you start this one, welcome the crowd and announce who you are.

E.g. “Hey everybody, welcome to Mr Lynch. I’m Ned Sheeran – hope you enjoy my set”

– SONG 3 Song Name

“This song is called…”

– SONG 4 Song Name

“This song is called…”

– SONG 5 Song Name

“This song is called…”

– SONG 6 Song Name

“This song is called…”

– SONG 7 Announce your last song.

E.g. “I’ve been Ned Sheeran, this is my last song. Thanks for listening.”

– SONG 8 End your set.

E.g. ?Thank you, enjoy the rest of your night.”


Say thanks after each song. It is good to say thanks as a cue point for the audience to know the song is finished, and applaud. They may have travelled far to see you, so the least you can do is show them gratitude for sticking around.

However, don’t be repetitive – try and think of as many different way to say ‘thanks’ as you can. ‘Cheers’, ‘thank you’, ‘thanks a lot’ etc etc.

REMEMBER to speak clearly and loudly. The mic is likely set at singing level, so you generally will need to speak up!

BONUSES – if you can do the pointers below then you are at the top of your game. These are seriously great things to say to get you cool points…

1. Support Acts – If you can get to the stage of thanking the previous acts you are now hitting professional territory! Thanking the last act gets you mega cool points with them and the audience.
Even more so, thanking the venue for having you, and thank the promoter – it’s not easy putting a gig together.

2. Quizzing people is another way to engage the audience. Such as ‘can you guess who wrote this song?’, giving the answer at the end. Or ‘what year was this song released?’. It will get the crowd talking, and they will remember you next time they hear that song on the radio!

3. Story telling. Although I don’t like it when people ramble on, a short story about the song (first time you heard it or why it influences you for example) is more than acceptable. You are a performer, not just a singer.

I hope this blog has been informative and helps you become a better musician – see you at your next gig.