Back to Basics: Live Performance

In this Back to Basics episode of DAWCast: Music Entrepreneurship, David Andrew Wiebe discusses live performance and the basic steps involved in creating a great live experience.

Live Performance

Live PerformanceFor most musicians, live performance will be a key component of their music income and overall marketing mix.

The thrill of live performance is also the reason many musicians rehearse, record, and promote themselves; their desire to perform for an engaged audience outweighs other creative activities.

No matter how much or how little live performance factors into your income or marketing, you’re going to want to know how to set up for success. Here the steps to follow:

  1. Booking: bands that are just getting started in live performance will likely have to book their own shows. Playing for free gives you the chance to work on your stage presence and repertoire.
  2. Rehearsals: begin practicing the songs that you will be performing at your show. You need to become intimately familiar with the material you will be performing, as playing onstage can be a very different experience than practicing in a garage or basement.
  3. Marketing: if you want people to show up at your performance, you need to let them know about it. Call up friends and family members, send out emails, put up posters, and shout from the rooftops (not literally).
  4. Preparation: you may be required to bring a sound system. You may need to run your own sound. You may be sharing the stage with other bands. Make sure to talk to the event coordinator to figure out what you need to do to be ready for your show.
  5. Setup and sound check: setup and sound check are usually handled long before you go onstage. Again, talk to the event coordinator to get an idea of when you can start loading in your gear.
  6. Perform: make your shows as entertaining as possible for your audience. Interact with the fans, banter onstage, tell stories, and use visual mediums to keep your audience engaged.
  7. Connect with your fans: take some time to connect with the people who came to see your show. In many cases, they will come to you if they see that you are “open for business”, but don’t wait around for them to start a conversation. Be the first to engage.
  8. Teardown: teardown may need to happen before you have a chance to connect with your fans. Make sure to talk to the coordinator to find out how soon the venue will be shutting down before you get into hour-long conversations.



Author: David Andrew Wiebe

David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.