Daily DIY: Improving Your Live Show
In this last in the series of excerpts from his new book called “How To Make Your Band Sound Great,” producer and author Bobby Owsinski shares his view of why some shows are amateur while others leave the crowd begging for more.
Your Show – It’s More Than A Collection Of Songs
It’s not enough to be a good band anymore, you’ve got to have your show down too. Here are a number of items that you must be aware of in order to make your show as good as it can be. It doesn’t mater what kind of band you are and what kind of music you play, these items are all generic and if my advice is followed, will guarantee that you’re better received by your audience.
So what is a Show exactly? It’s much more than just a collection of songs. It's a performance designed to entertain the crowd. While the world is full of performers that have seemingly no stage show, there’s a lot more that goes on than meets the eye.
Everyone can name a great performer who just stands there playing and singing and still gets rave reviews. While that can be you too, today’s audiences are a lot more sophisticated and require a certain level of professionalism from a performer, even with a minimal show. Let’s look at some typical shows and spot the differences.
An Amateur Show
In an amateur show you’ll typically find the following traits:
– The band tunes up loudly in-between songs
– The band has mindless banter with audience
– The band has inside-jokes that only the band or a few people around the band understand
– The band takes too much time between songs
– The band keeps the audience waiting while changing guitars, clothes, etc
– The band doesn’t acknowledge the audience, or worse, disrespects the audience
A Tight, Professional Show
Likewise, in a tight, professional show you’ll typically find the following traits:
– The band knows exactly what will happen in-between songs
– The band knows exactly when, where and how the audience will be addressed
– The band has as little time possible between songs, or has something predetermined that will entertain in those spaces
– The band plays to the room
A Big Production Show
Not only observes all of the above, but has the entire show planned
– The band works out sound and music cues beforehand
– The band works out lighting cues beforehand
– The band works out wardrobe, guitar changes, etc. beforehand
Sometimes all it takes to change an amateur show to one that’s tight and professional is awareness. Now that you read this article, you’re aware. Go make the changes!
A long-time veteran of the music industry, Bobby Owsinski has produced and composed for records, motion pictures and television shows along the way. Bobby has also has authored several books that are now staples in recording programs in colleges around the world including "The Mixing Engineer's Handbook", "The Recording Engineer's Handbook", "The Audio Mastering Handbook", "The Drum Recording Handbook", “The Studio Musician’s Handbook,” and "How To Make Your Band Sound Great".