Live Music Production is a topic that has come up an awful lot as of late, and I believe that it will continue to be an important and relevant topic for a long time to come. In a musical climate where CD sales have declined, and record labels are scrambling to find alternatives (or simply live in denial), live performance is increasingly becoming one of the most important facets of being an artist.
In a previous post, I talked a little bit about live music producer Tom Jackson. While listening to his interview, I knew I wasn’t getting the “full meal deal” so to speak. Still, it got me thinking about my live show and what I could to do to improve it.
On May 21, I had the chance to perform at Calgary Life Church. It was essentially the first time my band had played together. Here are a few ideas I took from the interview, and how I integrated them into the performance:
- I made an effort to look over at the other musicians when they were playing an important or interesting part. This wasn’t the easiest thing to do as I tend to be glued to the mic as the lead singer and guitarist in the band, but I still found ways to point in my band mate’s direction, so to speak.
- I stepped forward when I had an important part to play. This is pretty self-explanatory, but I moved towards the audience when I was playing a solo or a breakdown. I wasn’t constantly drawing attention to myself, but I did when I felt my part needed to be appreciated.
- I got into the character of the song. In particular, there was a progressive acoustic instrumental in the middle of the set, and I bounced up and down during the Reggae bit. People laughed and seemed to enjoy it.
Lo and behold, this made a huge difference at the merch table. We were collecting donations for the Japanese Red Cross Society earthquake relief, and considering how small the crowd was, we did pretty well. Same with CD sales, pre-sales, and tips.
Everyone seemed to have a good time, and we got lots of positive feedback afterwards. We were even invited to play in front of another congregation (more ethnically diverse), which we did at a later date.
If little adjustments like the ones mentioned here can make a difference in my live show, then no doubt Tom Jackson has more to offer.
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.