Part of being a musician is that desire to perform your creations in front of other people, hopefully in exchange for their love and adoration! There are few better feelings than having an audience applaud and cheer for you – but is playing live really as simple as you thought?
Anyone can jump on a stage, plug in a guitar and belt out a few songs. In your head you may imagine that you’re giving a great performance but you may discover that the audience disagrees greatly. It’s not just all about playing the songs perfectly you know – audience interaction is key! Here are a few simple tips to ensure that you leave the crowd stunned and screaming for more!
Get Some Attitude!
The only way a gig is going to be a triumph is if the crowd digs it, and you’re not likely to get them pumped if you’re just there to boost your own ego! You need to remind yourself that you’re playing for them and not for yourself. Ensure that you know your material like the back of your hand so that you can concentrate all of your attention onto the crowd.
Appearance is Everything
Enslave a friend and ask them to video your next gig, and afterwards scan back through the footage and keep an eye out for any interaction with the audience. Watch the video back as if you were a member of the audience and ask yourself if the band is really capturing your attention. Keep an eye out for components of the performance that got the crowd going and then milk those ideas at the next gig!
I recently went to two excellent concerts – Jeff Beck and Joe Satriani. They were both great gigs, but the difference between the two artists was very noticeable in terms of the personality that each player exuded. Jeff was more subdued whereas Joe was smiling, jumping around, talking to the crowd and generally having an awesome time. I personally enjoyed Joe’s performance more because I could see that he was having a good time. So when you’re playing your next gig make sure that the crowd can see that you love what you’re doing by the way that you act on stage. This will make it much easier for them to do the same!
Connect with the Crazies!
When you’re performing to an audience you will notice that every person watching you is totally unique. Some people prefer just to stand and enjoy the music whereas others will love to lose control and dance and sing. Scan the crowd for members of the audience who are clearly up for having a wild time and focus on playing up to them. As I mentioned above, their enjoyment will make it easier for the rest of the crowd to let loose a little!