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10 Things Musicians Never Do at Live Music Venue Performances (But They Should)

*This article may contain links to affiliate products & services. We have reviewed these services to try and ensure the highest quality recommendations*

Written by Jaron Lewis

You might be a lyrical genius and the Bernie Taupin of your genre, but if you don’t nail your live music performance you can lose fans before you gain them. Which is why we’ve compiled a list of live music tips to ensure that you knock every live performance out of the park.

1. Make a Set List

This might sound obvious, but a lot of musicians think spontaneity is the way to the audience’s heart. There’s just one problem with that, you end up stopping after every song to communicate with the band. Not only does it eat into your playing time, but it loses the attention of your audience.

2. Dress To Impress

Your fashion style can be an extension of your art. It’s another way that you can express yourself and remember, all eyes will be on you. You should have a cohesive style throughout the band.

3. Pre-Show Ritual

One way to get better live music set performances… get in the zone. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s total silence, a glass of chocolate milk, or having a cup of water with 4 cubes of ice. Have a consistent pre-show ritual that helps you focus and get into your performance zone.

4. Set The Stage

If there’s a sound guy at the venue, make sure you work with him and do a sound check. If not, make sure you take time to set your stage volume. This will be dependent on the venue size, the PA’s quality, and what balance you’re trying to achieve. Too loud you’ll blow the place away (and not in a good way), too quiet and no one will hear a thing.

5. Set Times

When you play a live show, you are on a schedule don’t be the band that blows the timeline for everyone. The organizer has set the times for a reason, and as a professional you should respect that.

So, follow the schedule strictly and make sure you’re where you need to be when you need to be there. You want to keep the audience happy, but you also want the venue to be happy so that you get more gigs.

6. Know Your Audience

You probably have a wide variety of songs to choose from when crafting your list, so when you create your set list you’ll want to do so with your particular audience in mind.

7. Interact With The Audience

That doesn’t just mean talking to the audience once you have come off stage, but engage with them while you’re playing, too. Audiences loves to feel like they’re part of your show. It could be as simple as mentioning a birthday or anniversary.

8. Keep It Moving

You’ve created a set list, so stick to it and have a backup plan for any emergencies where you must stop playing. Whether it’s amusing jokes or audience banter, have a backup plan. You’ll look more professional for being able to deal with any eventuality.

9. Record It 

You can listen to your show and see what you can do better for next time. The better stuff can be put onto your social media platforms, and even monetize it.

10. Put On A Show

You’re in the entertainment biz, so it’s in your interest to put on a show that has been rehearsed and performed with conviction. Rehearsal and practice are not the same. You should run through your whole gig regularly in the run up to your live performance.

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