We are pleased and excited to have Tom Jackson, author of “Live Music Method”, contributing to our Blog. Tom is a master at transforming an artist’s live show into a magical experience for the audience! Here’s Tom’s 3 basic steps to Mastering Live Music…
For businesses to be successful in the 21st century they must have two things: high tech and high touch. For musicians, the Internet, recordings, radio, TV, & more are the high tech.
But your high touch is your live show. When you’re in the same room with people and can make an emotional connection with them, they will become fans.
When people leave your show, do they remember it being unique? Was it memorable? Are they talking about you favorably? Do they want to come back to your next show and visit you online?
A great live show will motivate people to do exactly that. They will become fans, not just people who show up once in a while.
Even though the industry has changed, for most artists, their live show is still 90-95% of their revenue. That is a lot of money and a lot of reasons for being high touch!
2) Being Successful Requires a Plan
I compare my method to that of building a house. The highly abbreviated version is this:
- Lay the foundation
- Build your home
- Move in
That’s the short version, and though it sounds simple, if you’ve ever built a home, you know it’s anything but simple!
For instance, the planning is something most artists leave out of their preparation. They want to “be spontaneous!” Which is great. But they don’t understand that both form and spontaneity are part of a great show.
Having a foundation of confidence, authority, humility, the courage to take risks, loving your audience, and understanding their needs and expectations is of major importance. Why? Because, the audience relates to the human side of you. What is happening through you, before and during your time onstage, is what the audience sees, feels, senses, and connects with.
Then there are technical skills, tools, and fundamentals that go into being a great performer. And by the way, these skills are intended to equip artists to have an original show, not a canned show. If you’re a guitar player you have to learn chords — you must have the technical skills to understand the theory and how to play that chord. Simple as that, or you won’t be able to play. How you choose to use that chord is your point of originality. But having no skill does not make you original!
In my book, I lay out, section by section, this Method of planning and building a live show that helps you get more fans, sell more CDs, book more gigs, and get your audience to want to connect with you in this high tech world.
3) Invest Your Time, Money, & Energy Wisely
I realize music is emotional. And for some of you, it’s the most important thing in your life! To be able to create, record, and perform music that moves people is a good enough reason to do this, even if no money were involved. But this is a business. And you need to make wise business decisions if you intend to do this the rest of your life.
In the final section of my book, I approach the business model from the perspective of the live show. After all, the live show is where you’ll make most of your money, where you’ll gain most of your fans, and it’s where you get the most satisfaction as a musician and performer.
By using multiple streams of revenue, you can increase your income 2-, 5-, or 10-fold. I’ve seen it happen over and over. The key is creating memorable “moments” for your audience, and then capitalizing on that by being purposeful in the high tech areas of the business.
Where you invest your resources will determine your path and have a direct impact on your career. So do all it takes to become a great artist and wise in business, so the music you do will have a memorable influence on the world and make this place a better planet!