I’ve been covering live shows in and around Ottawa for 10 years now.
So I’m going to take a stab on what you need to know for first-time or seasoned musicians/bands when performing live.
These are my opinions, take it or leave it or you have probably heard them already.
- When getting the opening slot, try to network with other bands.
- Be nice to the sound guy no matter how big of a jerk or dick they can be.
- Don’t be discourage if only like 10 people show up. It will take lots of practice. You will never know if 1 of the 10 people could be someone in the music industry.
- Don’t play like 4 shows in one month. Do it once a month so you won’t get people sick and tired.
- Try to be different from the other bands. Think outside of the box, like wear costumes or make an interesting grand entrance on the stage.
- Don’t be afraid to ask other bands if you can use their instruments, equipment and vice versa.
- Bring guitar string in case.
- During your set, try to interact with the audience about yourself and how excited you are opening for this act. But don’t banter too much. Do about 1-3 minutes when engaging with the audience
- When covering a song, try to have a lot of meaning to why you want to perform it. Take a different spin and don’t copy note by note.
- Don’t do a set with 5 or more covers, 1-2 is better or you won’t be taken seriously and be called a cover band.
- If you don’t have an EP or full album to sell on CD/vinyl, try selling buttons, t-shirts or etc and include it with digital download card.
- Don’t be discourage with criticisms, take it as a lesson and work it better next time. Take it as a grain of salt.
- Social media can handy if someone took a photo or videotaped your set.
- Get out of your comfort zone and play at different venues. You will never know who will show up to your shows.
- Try getting your friends and family to put the word out of your upcoming show.
- Lastly thank the audience, bands, venue and promoter.
That is it for the tips, if I have forgotten something please comment on the bottom.