Live performance is an integral part of a musician’s life. Although you might be a talented artist behind a camera, the stage can be a whole different jungle. Don’t let these onstage mishaps ruin your next show.
Waiting Too Late To Capture The Audience’s Attention
All an audience needs is a few minutes to decide whether or not they like the artist. Don’t save the good stuff for the very end. Be creative with how you want to start the show. Start with a bang and show them that you are a force to be reckoned with from the start. Smile, make eye contact with a few people in the audience, speak slowly, and rock that stage.
Underestimating Stage Fright
You can know a song backwards and forwards yet still freeze up on stage. Nerves are not necessarily bad if they are kept in control. To maintain that control, accept the fact that you might miss a few notes and direct your attention to other elements of your performance – such as emotion and stage power. Learn how to playfully bounce back from a lyric mistake. And whatever you do, don’t be boring. That’ll hurt you much more than a few missed notes.
Staying In Your Comfort Zone
This definitely goes with the entire “don’t be boring” mantra. As a performer, your obligation is to provide the audience with an experience that’ll leave them excited – not eager to leave. You won’t prevent that by softly swaying and lightly strumming a guitar. Do difficult riffs. Some of them will be misses, but some won’t. Try to hit that scary high note, especially in front of a crowd. If you want the audience to remember you, your comfort zone is the last place to be.
Practicing The Bare Minimum
There is nothing more dreadful than walking onstage to the realization that you could have used a few more days – or weeks – to practice the music. Learn how to utilize the whole stage during rehearsal. Despite the name, you need to “practice” improvisation. Work on the emotions that will really pump up your songs. Get enough rest the night before, learn the music well in advance, and remember to eat so you don’t pass out on stage.
The stage can be a foreboding place for many a musician. Don’t rely too much on matching your studio sessions to your live shows. Instead, treat the stage as a place for self-expression and a chance to wow your audience.
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Vivien Bui is a musician and writer. She enjoys going to concerts, writing at night, and sitting in a coffee shop with a good book.