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Keeping The Audience Alive

August 18, 2011

The consensus of most people these days whether experts, bands or just fans is that the money to made in music now is with a live show. With that being the general goal and overall mentality a person or group should be striving towards make the best possible live show. Some of the biggest detractors to making a great live show are mistakes and accidents so limiting these obviously helps to improve your show and everyone’s reaction to your band.

Likely the most common problem with a live show is that gear will break and at an inopportune moment but it is easy to prepare for these things. Firstly know your gear, don’t buy a new instrument or sound equipment without practicing with it quite a bit, sometimes a piece of gear could have a weird electrical problem and not having practiced with it first a few times and tried it with other things. Secondly bring a spare instrument, for guitarists strings will break and unless you can restring in a matter seconds having a spare there to restring is going to avoid that awkward silence that happens.

Continuing from that we confront the issue of when gear breaks there will be silence and unless you fix it instantly or have something prepared to entertain people then that silence will hurt you. People will remember how painful it was watching your band on stage while you try and solve the problem. Simple answer either have somebody memorize some jokes, learn to juggle or anything that keep people attention and spirits high or do some covers. Obviously not everything can be anticipated and fixed like if a fuse blows in the building or a major piece of gear like an amp or soundboard can be fixed quickly.

Plan ahead of time, having a shared backline is always a good idea but bringing some of your gear incase of the previously mentioned problems is usually a safe bet. Even if you leave it backstage having it there can be a quicker change sometimes than determining the problem at hand. Make sure that if there is a backline that everyone knows about it has the necessary gear, keeping a drummer or guitarist out of the loop can cause a lot of confusion when changeovers happen.

Much like your career making sure something interesting and engaging is happening as constantly as possible can be a key to success at a show. No matter how great a live show you put on if people have to stand around for a half hour waiting for something to happen it can leave a bitter aftertaste in their memories.

-Hassan

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