I’m playing several shows over the next few weeks that will involve memorizing a large number of songs, and I’ve really been challenged to hone my memorization skills. Here are 5 things I’m doing to keep from going blank onstage:
We own music equipment to serve a means, not to be an end in itself. Here are 7 ways to make your performances more about your music and less about fiddling with your equipment:
• Practice pressing buttons. The quicker you are at getting the sound you want, the less you have to worry about twisting knobs during the performance.
• Pre-prep everything. Don't wait to the last second to put together your equipment – test everything at home, so it's not a distraction at the venue.
• Buy intiutive equipment . If your live rig is difficult to work with, get rid of it. Speed is everything when you're making on the fly tweaks.
• Buy quality equipment. Settling for cheap may be easier in the short term, but paying a few extra dollars for something that won't constantly need fixing saves time and a lot of headaches.
• Don't switch equipment too often. It's tempting to always buy the latest and greatest, but having equipment on stage that you're comfortable with is often more important than having all the latest bells and whistles.
• Practice using your equipment at home. Don't just program at home – set up your equipment just like you'll be using it at the venue, and practice with it frequently.
• Simplify, simplify. The fewer cables, software instruments, and keyboards you have on stage, the less likely you are to have a problem with one of them.
this last week, I landed my first gig with the largest booking agency in St. Louis, Contemporary Productions. Contemporary books many of the largest venues in St. Louis, including Busch Stadium, most of the casinos and hotels around town, and all the major corporations. When I got the call, I was so excited.
Coming up in July, I’ll be celebrating my third year of blogging. At around 150 posts a year, that’s a lot of blogs. Last year, I almost considered shutting down my blog.
Let’s face it- we’ve all got a smart phone with the computing power of a super computer, and we usually use it to play flappy birds (or did until yesterday). Here’s 3 weird ways to utilize all that power in your pocket.
In case you didn't know it, there's at least 1 million people who play music in the United States alone. That means you have a lot of competition.
Even if you're not crazy enough to be in the music business, there are literally tens of thousands of people in your field that almost as amazing at their work as you are. With so much stiff competition, you need every advantage you can get. Here are the 3 most effective tips I’ve found that can set you apart:
1. Look Like You Know What You’re Doing
People hire people who look successful. Even if you're not doing as well as you think you should be, dressing, acting, talking, and behaving the way that successful people do is often is enough to open up opportunities. I know this is may seem shallow, but that means if you're overweight, or you need to buy new clothes, you need to make it a high priority. People like to work with people who look successful.
2. Help More People
The more people you know, the more opportunities there are for you to connect with people who could help you, and you can help. Constantly be focused on acquiring new friends, and meeting new people that you can help. Focus on being an asset to them, and I’ve found most people will return the favor. Even if they don’t, you’ll have a lot of fun and gain experience you couldn’t get any other way.
3. Side Skill Land Main Skills Jobs
Any extra skill, even ones that you don't find particularly valuable, can be the difference between you getting a gig or not getting a gig. I've gotten many shows because I can sing backup harmony, when the only difference between me and another keyboard player was that particular skill. Make it a priority to develop strong secondary skills- the can often be the only thing that keeps you employed.