As an independent musician running everything about your own tour including merch, scheduling shows, and getting your set just right, you have a lot on your plate to work on. That makes it all the more important that you would take a few measures to ensure a great show. It will pay off if you do the work ahead of time in loyal fans, merch sales, and no regrets. I recently had a fellow musician send me a message about their hesitancy attending a house concert. Why? Because her friend performed the one she attended and did an embarrassing performance with a lack of vocal skill and audience connection. Now she couldn’t take house shows seriously. Here are a few tips to avoid a similar review of you:
- Practice Your Set Daily – As a musician, practicing for a tour should include a minimum of an hour per day, five days per week practice of the set you’re taking on the road. If warming up and practicing everyday feels like too much for your voice, you need a vocal coach. If you don’t have time to practice that much, find the time. If you think you don’t need to practice your set that much, you may find yourself with less than amazing reviews.
- Hire a Vocal Coach – You might think that hiring a vocal coach is a bit much, but on my recent house concert tour, I took vocal coaching sessions for about three months prior to to the tour and it made ALL the difference. From hitting the high notes easier to taking breaths that made sense in a different place, vocal coaching was critical to improve upon the way MY original songs would sound sung by me. I saw vocal stamina increase drastically and I could hear how much better I sounded. Every vocal coaching session included on one or two songs I chose from my set list and then during that week I would work on the suggestions she gave. This ensured that the money I was using for the vocal sessions would benefit me and my tour.
- Plan Audience Connection – Audience connection comes in three major forms: a) your songs, b) what you say in between songs, c) actions and interactions before and after the house show. Your songs are powerful to people because they get to experience your art while in the same room with you. For that reason, what you say in between songs is important. Which songs have a story you want to share? How can you share that story concisely so you don’t talk more than you sing? Will you be changing it up from standing to sitting to dancing or is your style mostly sitting or standing? The nuances of how you present yourself and your music will be the walking brand you become. Feel free to mention merch and how it relates to a song you sing, but don’t overdo it. You’re not a beggar, you’re a giver.
The show is for them.