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Improve your band's performance : Kuwait Music

Improve your band’s performance with these 7 easy tactics

Marketing & Publicity bands

Published on July 17th, 2013 | by Caesar (ENGAGE)

 

Let’s face it, running and maintaining band presence in terms of getting gigs, record deals and tracks, is not easy.

To add to that, managing egos and personal needs of all band members is an even bigger task….

Here are some cool tips on how you can improve your band to the next level with simple yet effective steps:

1)  Reduce the down time between songs.

Too much time spent between songs really kills the momentum of your set. Practice playing two or three songs back-to-back so you get used to it. If a song requires some down-time (for example, to change to a guitar using nonstandard tuning, or for the singer to move from guitar to piano).

 

2. Set List Management

This is just simply having a prepared list of songs that you’re going to perform in order for each set. If you’re doing 45 minute sets with 15 minute breaks, then you should try to arrange your sets accordingly. Organizers like to see some kind of consistency when it comes to the length of your sets, especially if he or she has hired a DJ to provide entertainment during your band’s breaks.

 

3. Audience Communication

This one is never simple, unless of course you have a person in your band who’s the designated front person/lead singer. Having just one person front your band usually solves this problem if that person knows they’re responsible for doing 100% of the talking. This also solves the crosstalk problem if everyone else in the band understands they’re to cue off the front person, and only talk when that front person talks specifically to them.

 

 

4)  Pare down your solos.

Extended guitar solos may be fun to play in a jam situation, but any song that stretches out forever will make audiences restless. They came to hear variety.

 

5. Fully Prepared Backup Instruments

Every guitarist should have at least one backup guitar ready to go in case such a situation should arise (unless you can change a set of strings whilst still playing, as Hendrix could!).

 

6)  Is your band name visible?

Invest in a professionally produced banner . Local print shops can do this, as well as most office supply stores. Short on cash? Put a logo on the bass drum. You can also spray paint the band name on monitor speakers and guitar cases. Bumper stickers are another idea, and you can also sell them at your band’s merchandise table before, during, and after the gig.

 

7)  No-Volume Tuning

There are tuners available that allow you to tune with zero volume. Tuning out loud is not something that the audience needs, or wants to hear you do after every 2 or 3 songs.

 

If you’ve got more tips to share with us, please send them in here >>

  • Reduce the down time between songs. Too much time spent between songs really kills the momentum of your set. Practice playing two or three songs back-to-back so you get used to it. If a song requires some down-time (for example, to change to a guitar using nonstandard tuning, or for the singer to move from guitar to piano), try placing it at the beginning of a set. Or use it for an encore. Or move it to a position after you’ve played several songs with little or no pause between them.
  • Record and critique your performance. Use a camcorder (or invite a friend) to record the entire show. Watch the entire show afterwards, with an eye to figuring out what areas can be improved. You’ll be surprised how much different the show appears from the audience’s perspective.
  • Pare down your solos. Extended guitar solos may be fun to play in a jam situation, but any song that stretches out forever will make audiences restless. They came to hear variety. Unless you’re forte’ is improv jazz, or you’re in a Grateful Dead cover band, keep the solos focused and to the point.
  • Sing the words correctly. Hopefully your lead singer doesn’t mumble the vocals, or forgets the words, sings the wrong words, or otherwise murder a good song arrangement. Many audience members key in on the lyrics, so thinking that the words are ‘close enough’ is certainly not the mark of a professional act. If memorization of the correct lyrics is impossible, a cue sheet or even a teleprompter (hiding a laptop PC inside an empty vocal monitor) can help salvage the song. (The free midi karaoke player from VanBasco can help with this, too. It can turn a discarded laptop into a great lyric prompter for your forgetful singer.)
  • Use stage lighting. I’m amazed at how many bands don’t use stage lighting to make ther live shows more exciting. Lights can be chased (sequenced) to add further impact. Lights can be concentrated on a particular performer for solos, or to add intimacy by putting the rest of the band in shadow. Turning off all the lights at the end of the song (a “blackout”) tells the audience that the song is over, and is a sure-fire cue for applause. Different lighting colors for diferent songs helps set a mood to make each song different from the one before and after it. Lights can be operated from the stage using foot switches, or from the sound engineer’s table. A really exciting innovation in recent years is LED lighting, which keeps stage temperatures down, and can use fewer lights if you use the color mixing (RGB) type.
  • Is your band name visible? Invest in a professionally produced banner (custom-made vinyl banners can be produced from your computer artwork for less than you’d think. Local sign shops can do this, as well as most office supply stores. Short on cash? Put a logo on the bass drum. You can also spray paint the band name on monitor speakers and guitar cases. Bumper stickers are another idea, and you can also sell them at your band’s merchandise table before, during, and after the gig.

 

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About the Author

Caesar is the Founder and CEO of Kuwait Music. A passionate musician and web nerd, Caesar spends most of his time thinking about how to build a healthy music business in the region Follow Caesar at the below links: Google+


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