As readers of my first post will know, I plan to cover a lot of information; which means that, if you’re new to the industry you may be waiting for a long time before you get enough information to make a useful difference. So I thought, to get people off to a quick start I would, for my next 2 postings, offer some top tips.
Top 10 tips for playing live and building a following
1. Banner/logo/website – When you perform have a banner behind you with at least the name of the band on. I have seen so many bands but never known their name. Try to put your logo (you do have one don’t you?) and your web address, FB and twitter on too.
2. Make your look match your sound – If you look punk but play country your audience will be confused and you’ll lose many of them.
3. Sell merchandise – have badges, t shirts, CDs, etc. on sale somewhere. Set up a table somewhere if you can. You can have your contact cards (see point 1) there too, but it’s actually better if you can get some pretty girls (sorry girls, it works better) accosting people with those.
4. Try not to play while the singer is talking to the audience – if anyone in the band is talking to the audience, don’t play your instrument. Look at the person talking to give the impression to the audience they are worth listening to
5. Talk slower – when talking, don’t talk too fast and don’t speak too close to the microphone. If the rest of the band are quiet the audience should hear you, even if you are a few inches from the microphone.
6. Turn down so vocals can be heard – yes, I know it’s sacrilege, but in most acts the vocals should be the most important thing and there is a limit to how high they can be turned before feedback sets in. So if you all turn down or play softer they will be heard better.
7. Eye contact / performance – When performing maximize eye contact with your audience. This doesn’t just apply to singers. All members of the act need to interact with the audience so they feel more involved and important. Put on a show (even quiet acoustic acts should do something to make things lively) – don’t let people get bored watching you; keep the audience’s attention on you. Go wild!
8. Stay in touch with the people who like your show. Have cards ready with links to your FB and Twitter. Get them to like/follow on the spot by offering a special gift for a randomly chosen new follower later in the gig, e.g. free T-shirt, free (exclusive?) download, mention on Facebook/CD cover, etc.
9. Twitter/Facebook – Make use of the internet to build yourself a following around the world. Stay in touch with your fans and bring them closer to you.
10. Web site – both of the above should link to your web site which should be the center of your act universe. Tell your followers about it. Keep it up to date. Sell your merchandise and promote your gigs there.
OK. Coming next – top 10 tips for in the studio. Stay tuned!!!