Thursday, September 16, 2010

How To Be a Music Star ... Nine Easy Steps

The big summer concert tour may be within reach.  Whether you are a budding musician or an established star with some runway to go, here are a few unsolicited tips for making it to the big time in the music world.

Wow.  First impressions matter.  The stage entrance and first song energize the crowd and set the stage for the entire set.  Everything about your beginning should be flawless.

Believe.  Play like a star, even if you are the warm up band.  Half of being is believing.  Let your personnae, stage presence, set up, everything about you say "we are heading to the top and we are not looking back."  Be the whole package.  

Build.  Depending on the length of your set, you have 30/60/90 minutes or more to play. Each song should be better than the last.  Remember, you want to leave the audience on a high note, no pun intended.   

Mike. If your woodwind instruments, ie sax, flute, clarinet, are in front of microphones, this increases the likelihood that the audience will hear their melodious tunes along with the percussive drums and guitars. Otherwise, they're probably just taking up space on stage. 

Enunciate. If you studied choral music, you probably learned the fine art of over-pronouncing your words.  The line between fine art and obnoxious is blurry for some.  But without a bit of over-emphasis, you run the risk of your audience not hearing and appreciating your lyrics.  This is especially important for lesser known musicians, who are less likely to elicit a crowd sing-along. 

Connect.  Usually the drummer is four or five feet, or more, behind the guitars.  The music is loud. The acoustical qualities of the venue may be tenuous.  Headphones linking the drummer to the guitar's amp may help keep everyone together so the crowd doesn't have to decide which beat to dance to. 

Play.  Leave comedy to the comedians and storytelling to cowboy poets.  The audience did not come to hear you do a monologue.  People in the crowd are there because they love your music, so give them what they want. 

Passion.  Be energy.  Be in the music.  Feel the beat, believe in the lyrics, and be one with your instrument.  And above all, share your passion with the audience. 

Thanks. People have a choice about what to do with their time and money.  Reward them for choosing you by thanking them for being there.

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