Gigs – I love them. They are not just a way to showcase my talent, but it allows me to realize my passion. The claps and the cheering from the audience inspire me further. However, getting on stage is not everything, I should say.
The success of a performance highly depends on the things that happen beforehand, which includes the planning phase, and of course, the preparation. The following are aspects that I really give attention to before any performance:
- My individual playing
I play the bass guitar in our band. At times, I do keyboards too. Regardless of the instrument that I play, I make sure that I focus on my individual playing. What I do is focus on the songs that we play in different situations. I play them while walking, standing, sitting down, in the dark, while talking, with friends listening, without looking at my equipment, and others. The point here is to really familiarize the music even in different scenarios. After all, we’ll never know what will happen during the performance.
- The overall performance of the band
During band rehearsals, we make sure that everything is flawless. If one of the members fail to do so or commit mistakes often, we just ask him to go home to practice further. Practicing together is not about understanding flaws because this is the business. Practice and more time can make everything flawless during the performance.
As such, we usually record our rehearsals through video. When we watch the video, we then turn the audio volume off, paying attention to our appearance. This helps us a lot with our visual impact and stage presence. After all, it’s not just sound that matters during gigs.
Then, we do audio recordings, using a recording software. During the review, however, we do not listen to the music from the recording, but we focus on the screen in order to notice any rhythmic flow or pattern issues.
- Focusing on stage presence
Reality dictates that when playing live, music is just 50% of what the audience really care about. The other half is based on what they see. In fact, we see in mainstream bands that even those that sound great fail to become successful because they failed to focus on stage presence.
This includes careful planning on how each band member looks. Yes, we sit down with our stylists, checking the things like my hair clippers to be used, and beauty products that we would need during the set. We take charge personally, with their guidance, so you bet I am fully aware how those curling irons work!
- Lessen stage fright
Even professional performers experience stage fright. This is one aspect that should be given complete attention. After all, even though you have the coolest band, with the most attractive songs, but if you succumb to stage fright, you will be consumed all the way. Usually, stage fright is a result of poor preparations and rehearsals. Therefore, we go back to step 1 and make sure that everything is done well.
- Logistics and Equipment
All the other factors mentioned above can easily be ruined if we fail to give attention to one more detail: logistics and equipment. This applies particularly true if we need to do a gig out of town. The equipment should be in their best condition, with no issues whatsoever, and they should be delivered in the safest way possible. The last thing that any musician would want to hear is that his equipment was either damaged or lost in transit.
There, those are the things that I usually pay attention to and really care about before any performance. I believe that the audience deserves the best. It’s not even about the price paid, the tickets sold, but it is more of the satisfaction I usually feel every time I hear the cheers.
That moment when you are about to end the performance, and they beg for more? The best part! Bands usually bring in extra for that moment, but I have seen other bands playing to the end of their show without receiving such compliments. The success of any performance depends on the preparations before.