To begin, learning your setlist and being able to sing it flawlessly is definitely an achievement, but performing live is about more than that. It is known that that Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher is by no means the best singer in the industry, but his stage presence is almost tangible.
It is normal to feel nervous whIlst singing live, but the quicker your confidence grows the better response you will get the crowd.
Here are some key points that will help you through a perfect performance.
1. Remember to introduce yourself. So, chances are people haven’t seen you play before, so they don’t know you. You should declare your name twice during your set so it sticks in the audience’s mind – you want them to remember you so they can get to know your music, and spread the word.
Also, tip – wait till you have played your first song to get yourself comfortable before speaking on the mic.
2. Remember to introduce each song. We don’t need your whole life story, but simply saying the song name, or if it’s a cover who it was originally by will help keep the audience attentive. For extra cool points find out some facts about the song.
Example – “This next song is Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor. It was originally written by Prince”..
3. Ending each song. It is good etiquette to say ’thanks’ at the end of your song – this will cue the crowd to applaud and if you’ve watched any professional gig on TV you will know this is common practice. It also avoids awkward pauses when the crowd isn’t sure if you’ve finished or not!
4. Promote yourself. If you’ve spent time creating a Facebokok page and uploaded songs to Soundcloud, let the audience know.
Example “If you liked that song please check out my Facebook page”.
5. Thank the venue & promoter. Also, do this near the end of your set, perhaps before the last song. Being courteous goes a long way, and will help you acquire more gigs.
Example “Great to be here at Noir Drinks Lounge – thanks for listening”.
6. Expert level. Who else is on the bill? Keeping on the courtesy theme, why not thank the act who was on before you, or mention who is up next? This helps keep the audience in the venue, which makes for a better gig.
Example – “Please stick around for the other acts, and remember there is live music here every week”
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As well as this, all these steps take practice, so don’t expect it all to come natural straight away. Maybe take each step at a time, introducing new bits at each gig. But, if you can accomplish all of them you are well on your way to becoming a professional musician. Keep up the good work!