What to Do When You Screw Up on a Live Set?

We’ve talked before about how mistakes are inevitable when playing live, and how to plan ahead to avoid some of the most common ones. But, what happens when the unavoidable happens and you’re up there on stage freaking out about it? The first thing you’ll need to do is assess the situation. Not all mistakes are the same, so of course, there’s no magical solution that’ll help you handle every single one of them. What you want instead, is to think quick and know how to handle it. With practice, it will come like second nature: If It’s Small, Let It Go Some mistakes are unnoticeable by the public. What...

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How to Handle a Rowdy Heckler

When you’re first starting out as a band, you play lots of smaller venues that are probably filled with people who have no idea who you are and were not expecting to see you play at all. While most decent human beings will just enjoy the unexpected show and move on with their lives, there are, of course, a few creatures that will not tolerate not being the center of attention for a half hour and will try to heckle you out of the stage. Statistically speaking, the smaller venues you play in, the higher the chance you’ll eventually encounter one of these specimens. It’s not an issue of quality....

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Most Common Mistakes Musicians Make on Live Shows

Every musician knows that when playing live, mistakes are bound to happen. Even world-famous superstars make them every now on them. Being a great -or even just proficient- live musician isn’t about perfection, but rather, learning how to minimize them. A big part of that is learning how to plan ahead, watching closely what other bands (amateurs and pros alike) do, and a lot of talking. The whole band needs to be on board when it comes to avoiding the most common mistakes new bands make when playing live. Luckily, they’re not that hard to avoid, it just takes a good attitude and some know-how. Refusing to Rehearse This is...

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Count Basie (1904-1984) an Unexpected Success

This famous jazz musician born in New Jersey was an accomplished pianist, composer and bandleader who began his career in 1924 at New York and gained notoriety for his compositions and improvisations during live performances with the Basie Count Orchestra and songs like One O'Clock Jump in 1939. His Early Career While many have a set notion of the 1920s as a happy time for everyone due to the portrayal of the Golden Twenties in media of a near perfect and prosperous decade were everybody with ambitious could thrive, this wasn’t true for everyone especially African Americans. Count Basie was no exception. His first job was at a movie theater...

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Best Live Acts Everyone Should See

Seeing a live act can be a pretty great and entertaining experience. Especially when the show is well crafted and designed to wow audiences and showcase talents. You see, a good act isn’t just about the music, is also about the vibe, the flow and the overall look & feel of the act. Big shows generally cost a pretty penny. They’re usually held in arenas and are done by big selling artists that go on stage with huge crews, so of course, it’s not going to be cheap. But, some of them are so great and well-reviewed, that it’s absolutely worth the price. Here are some of the acts that...

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How to Build an Amazing Setlist

A setlist is so crucial, it can either make or break a show. Good playlists take the audience on a journey, it makes them feel the sounds and actually produces a range of emotions. On the other hand, a bad playlist will only make them feel one thing: boredom. If it’s really bad, boredom might even turn into disdain. So overall, not good and definitely not what musicians want the public to associate with their music. So, what’s the trick? If you ask pros, chances are they’ll tell you to “start with a kick and end with a punch”, but what does that even mean? And more importantly, how do...

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What to Expect Your First Time Playing Live

If you’re in a band and you haven’t played live yet, there’s a pretty big part of being a musician that you are completely missing. Though practicing on your own and playing among your friends is fun, there’s simply nothing quite like sharing your music with the rest of the world (or a at least with an overcrowded club). Sooner or later every band decides is time to play a gig and after the initial excitement wears off, you start to wonder: “What’s going to happen? What if I forget my part in the middle of the song? What if I trip? What if a meteor falls from the sky...

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How to Open a Music Venue – Part 2

The second part of our blog into how to open and run a successful music venue continues with the operational details that will need to be addressed. In the first part of this blog we touched upon taking sound financial advice and finding the correct location. Now we look at the mechanics of making the venue operational and suitable to hosting live music and delivering all the amenities that a music crowd expect. This includes the décor, PA System, lighting, security, bar and hospitality management etc. Decor You probably have an idea of the theme you wish for your live music venue and this should marry with the type of...

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How to Open a Music Venue – Part 1

Running a live music venue can be a dream for many musicians or people that love live music, but the reality is it is just like running any business, preparation and planning is the key to taking the acorn of an idea into a successful oak tree of a business. The real truth of running a live music venue is that while it can be a really rewarding venture, it takes a great deal of effort and hard work to make it successful. Sometimes it literally is a 24-hour job, which blurs the lines between social life and work. Many people, despite the tough lifestyle, decide to have a career...

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Improving your Bands Rehearsal Sessions – Part 2

Readers of the previous blog post will have seen that we covered some helpful tips and suggestions of how to get more from your band’s rehearsals. We explored the key benefits that are provided by schedules, proper warm ups, sticking to a plan, documenting any issues and building a list of songs that you want to work on. In this second and final part we will delve into some additional areas that we are sure will greatly assist your band into getting much more from their rehearsal time. (more…)

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