Uninhibited self-expression is often a prerequisite for creating great music. We musicians create the best music when we remove all filters from our thoughts and actions. We can easily throw out ideas that don’t fit within the context of our work later. However, when it comes down to what we discuss on stage, the same unchecked expressiveness that many of us use to record, write, and produce music can alienate our audience and possibly threaten our careers. Here are some things to avoid when performing live:
While mistakes are bound to happen in live music performances, it is possible to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to them. After performing a song that you think went wrong, the last thing an audience wants to hear is your excuses. Even if your music is well-known, the average concert-goer does not have the musical skills to spot musical errors. You or your band might make a glaring mistake that causes a song to stop. It may be in your best interests to explain the situation to the crowd in these cases. However, it would be best to continue with your set as fast and unapologetically. Listeners don’t want to hear excuses for their mistakes.
Neglecting the venue or crowd
Negativity is not appropriate for a band, especially when performing on stage. While you might have legitimate complaints against the venue, audience or your bandmates in certain cases, taking the time to complain to the audience will not bode well for your career as a musician. Talking negatively about a venue will make it less likely that they will have you back again in the future. They could also tell other venues to not work with your band. Negative comments about the crowd are always bad. It’s not possible to make music that is offensive or critical of the people you are trying to connect with. This will not work for your career. Public performances can expose work that isn’t popular. If your show is already struggling, yelling at the crowd will only worsen. If the crowd you are playing for is disrespectful, it may not be worth your time to continue the show.
Playing the victim
Talking with the audience about your brand as a victim is another bad topic for on-stage discussion. Blogs, radio and playlists are unfairly overlooking you because of your record deal. These and other topics seem to be focused inwardly, which doesn’t help the audience. You can make your audience your focus throughout your performance and avoid these topics when playing live.
The stages your presentation has to go through are the introduction, the unveiling and the wrap-up, but before you even start thinking about those three, you have to pick the topic. The topic will help you craft the title of your presentation.
You have to answer one single question, and the question is this – Why is this so important to share?
Why is this so unique to anything else that you could share?
Once you know the answer to this, you can now start listing the major discussion points you want to share with your audience.