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First Live Performance Tips

GUEST,Mathew 25 Oct 17 - 08:57 PM
RTim 25 Oct 17 - 09:16 PM
Big Al Whittle 26 Oct 17 - 02:06 AM
The Sandman 26 Oct 17 - 04:35 AM
The Sandman 26 Oct 17 - 04:41 AM
The Sandman 26 Oct 17 - 05:17 AM
Johnny J 26 Oct 17 - 05:36 AM
Will Fly 26 Oct 17 - 09:22 AM
Marje 26 Oct 17 - 11:14 AM
Tattie Bogle 26 Oct 17 - 11:15 AM
Steve Gardham 26 Oct 17 - 11:26 AM
punkfolkrocker 27 Oct 17 - 12:32 AM
GUEST,Desi C 27 Oct 17 - 05:10 AM
BobKnight 27 Oct 17 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Mathew 30 Oct 17 - 05:52 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Oct 17 - 07:22 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Oct 17 - 07:24 AM
GUEST 30 Oct 17 - 10:39 AM
Raggytash 30 Oct 17 - 10:51 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Oct 17 - 12:25 PM
Tattie Bogle 30 Oct 17 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,,gargoyle 30 Oct 17 - 05:05 PM
Mo the caller 31 Oct 17 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,Mathew 01 Nov 17 - 05:28 AM
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Subject: First Live Performance Tips
From: GUEST,Mathew
Date: 25 Oct 17 - 08:57 PM

Hello everyone,

I have performed at the local folk club a few times, but this weekend I have my first proper gig.

I am wondering if the veteran performers have any tips for me that they wish they had heard early on.

I am a 23 y/o male if that is important in any way.

Thanks in advance.


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: RTim
Date: 25 Oct 17 - 09:16 PM

Choose the songs you know best and really enjoy singing - and SLOW down - ie. don't sing anything too fast. Also take care when pitching the song - you will be nervous - and that can make you pitch too high............Enjoy yourself and don't get in the way of the songs.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Oct 17 - 02:06 AM

first off - well done getting a gig!
that means someone got confidence in you and your ability.

be as professional as you know how to be. make a plan in your minds eye as to what you'd like the gig to be like. write it down, as much as you can the song titles and the order you want to perform them. make a note of the kind of rhing you want to say to introduce them. remember people don't know much about the songs. look them up, and the writers or their history as trad songs. if you know somerhing that strikes you as interesting tell the audience - they will find it interesting, hopefully.

get to the venue in plenty of time. find out how long they want you play for roughly. wear a watch. its bad manners to keep looking at it onstage. but try and do what the organiser wants time wise. if theres a PA system try it out before the audience is present, if possible. if you use an string instrument - get it out the case and let it acclimatise itself to the temperature in the room. digital tuners are there to help us.

try to vary the   songs so that there is a sort of flow to the evening.

and finally most folk club audiences are great, but there will be people in the audience who reckon they should have got the gig. you have entered a field of endeavour which is so competitive it makes premier league football look like the teletubbies. not everyone will love you. get used to it.


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Oct 17 - 04:35 AM

make contact with the audience as soon as you can . if you can make the audience laugh you are one step to getting them on your side, say hello., or good evening
if you feel nervous take a deep breath this sends oxygen to the brain relaxes you and helps you perform better, before you start singing yawn, but not in front of the audience.
plan your first half, it should have a beginning a middle and an end. but be flexible for example, if the audience are joining in choruses include more chorus songs, make sure you vary your tempos and your keys, to avoid sameiness.
listen to the other singers this gives you a clue to the feel of the club.


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Oct 17 - 04:41 AM

make a note of what notes you start songs on this will overcome pitching too high.


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Oct 17 - 05:17 AM

oh yes, vary subject matter of songs, for example an evening of traditional songs i might include a song about fishing, a love song a song of social comment,etc etc


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: Johnny J
Date: 26 Oct 17 - 05:36 AM

Basically, be your yourself. Try and communicate with the audience but there's no need to say too much and don't try to be a comedian especially if you're not one.

Until you are more established and confident, I'd suggest dropping in one or two traditional and/or covers alongside your own material. If your own music is good enough, it will take over eventually I'm sure.

If you don't compose your own stuff, that's quite OK, although I wouldn't rely on just the well worn standards etc. Look for something more original and different too. Again, until people get to know you, I think a mix is best. Unless, you are already outstanding in your own right, of course.


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Oct 17 - 09:22 AM

All the above. I will just add: practice, practice and practice until you know your proposed set(s) inside out and backwards. Complete knowledge of what you're performing stops mistakes, alleviates stage fright, and fills an audience with confidence.

Good luck!


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: Marje
Date: 26 Oct 17 - 11:14 AM

Don't apologise! It's an annoying habit of many amateurs and even some professionals. Don't say, for instance, that you've got a bit of a rough throat tonight; that you've only just learned this one and may get it wrong; that you usually sing this one with another person or instrument and it may not sound right; that your guitar strings keep slipping - or if unaccompanied, that you aren't sure if you're pitching it right.

Most of these problems can be anticipated and dealt with - throat sweets, tuners, pitch pipes, learning your material, etc. Apologising in advance just unnerves your audience and makes them look out for faults. I have heard very famous and successful singers repeat a verse, change the pitch after a verse, etc, but if they do it with bravado they get away with it.

Good luck!
Marje


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 26 Oct 17 - 11:15 AM

All sound advice. If you have a special reason for wanting to sing a particular song, you might want to tell your audience (but keep it brief!)
And at the end, don't forget the thanks: although some of it may be reiterated by the MC, at least thank the sound engineer, whoever in rhe club gave you the gig, any floor spots/support act. And keep a good song for your encore!
All the best, and let us know how it goes!


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Oct 17 - 11:26 AM

Apart from the general advice already given I couldn't possibly suggest anything further without knowing what the likely audience is.


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 27 Oct 17 - 12:32 AM

Check your flies before going on stage...

.. and wear brown trousers if feeling too nervous...


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 27 Oct 17 - 05:10 AM

I certainly agree with pick songs YOU enjoy (if yOU enjoy it they will) and know well, also slow down don't panic, audiences really want to see a performer comfortable in their skin. also try to enjoy yourself and connect with the audience, making them laugh was always my strength i.e it cured my nerves and made things MUCH more relaxed.And remember you've graduated from Folk Clubs so you must be pretty good to have done that. Have fun


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: BobKnight
Date: 27 Oct 17 - 10:50 AM

First thing to remember is, the audience want you to be good, so they are on YOUR side.
Secondly: BREATHE - breath is food for the voice.
Don't talk too much - I've heard performers, especially older ones talk more than they sing. They came to hear songs, not speeches.
If you play a guitar, don't "thrash" it, they'll hear it well enough, it's you voice they came to hear.
Keep you head up and sing OUT - I've seen so many beginners with their heads down, singing to the back of their guitar. Just makes your voice muffled.
Make up a programme so you know what you are doing in advance.
A 45 minute spot requires around ten songs,


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: GUEST,Mathew
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 05:52 AM

Thank you very much everyone,

I found this advice very helpful.

My gig went very well, aside from the usual bits that could use improvement (There is always something to be improved) but I felt very strong up there and the response was very warm.

Thanks again for the advice, I knew you wouldn't let me down.

Cheers.


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 07:22 AM

Well said, Bob Knight.

Remove the word "sorry" from your lexicon, spot a beautiful young lady in the second row from the back and make her your eye-contact go-to, don't witter too much between songs, keep going whatever happens (you know you've made a mistake but most people present won't spot it unless you draw attention to it yourself), never be caught looking at lists or printed lyrics, spend as little time as possible tuning, preferably next to none, and know your material inside out and back to front. Easy!

What should come across is that you are also there to enjoy yourself!


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 07:24 AM

Cor, I was a bit late there. Really must pay more attention to dates on posts! 😳


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 10:39 AM

"spot a beautiful young lady in the second row from the back and make her your eye-contact go-to"

Er, we're talking folk clubs here, no?


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: Raggytash
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 10:51 AM

Nearly right Steve, the best advice I ever got was to pick out the best looking girl on the back row and sing to her.

If she can hear you everyone else can.


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 12:25 PM

Whaddya mean, "nearly right?" What's a row between friends!



(Play on words intentional - see folk club thread!)


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 03:21 PM

It would have to be best-looking bloke for me! Sadly in short supply!


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: GUEST,,gargoyle
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 05:05 PM

center> HAVE FUN....Exude JOY ! ! !,?big>


FUN is contagious (even more so than a sneeze or yawn)

It could be a morbid, horrid, drewling song....but if YOU are have fun..... even instilling the fear into others....YOUR performance is successful.

There is a terrible trap in successful live performance....it falls between the the :

BOREDOM of 1,000 plus performances before live audiences.



ANXIETY - fear of being rejected.



Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Punch it up....it can't go worse than your most expected rejection.


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: Mo the caller
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 07:33 AM

Glad to hear it went well.
Now, while it's still fresh start a notebook / spreadsheet
What you sang, where & when you sang it, what went well, what needs work.
As a dance caller I work out in advance what I need to say, but may need to rewrite the prompt card after.
As you get more gigs and increase your repetoire you might be more adaptable - the dances I call are varied to suit numbers, age and experience of dancers; I have a plan in advance but flexible.


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Subject: RE: First Live Performance Tips
From: GUEST,Mathew
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 05:28 AM

Thanks for the advice, Mo

I've just logged my info in a notebook I have, hopefully it fills up with shows soon.


Much appreciated :)


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