Sometimes, it’s easy to slack off. Getting stuck in a rut can happen to many artists, unfortunately, but this can often mean death to a budding music career. Here are a list of five areas that will allow you and your band to improve on your live music performance, as well as your offstage careers!

1. Showmanship

They call it show business for a reason – both on and off the stage, you should strive to make yourself a better showman, or show-woman. Performing live is all about building direct connections with your audience – making eye contact, engaging with them, letting them know that you’re feeling their positive energy. Your stage presence and stellar dance moves are also essential, but few great performers succeed without knowing how to connect with their audience first.

Don’t forget to radiate your persona offstage as well. Keeping it real will allow your fans to relate better to you and your music. Maintain this authenticity online and find things that will hopefully surprise and delight the fans. That’s showmanship.

2. Fan Outreach

The true driving force for artists are their loyal fans. They provide the emotional fuel – and the funding, which aspires musicians to continue producing bigger and better things.

The key is involvement.

Allowing fans to interact with you is a great way to reach out. Meetups, contests, social media games, mobile apps, remix projects, inviting them onstage at a live music performance… the sky’s the limit. Anything that gives fans a chance to participate is a great way to connect with them.

By the way, unless you are serious punk, never ever get into confrontations with fans. It never ends well. In any situation where a fan is upset with you (or is upsetting you), find a tactful way to defuse it peacefully, and hopefully in a manner that encourages them to leave without any hard feelings.

3. Merchandising

Honestly, it’s not all about selling a large sum of your products. We all love free cash but that’s hard to come by on a daily basis. Marketing your brand in a way that will attract fans to purchase your product is the way to make money, and that’s what allows you to keep performing.

Remember to keep your eye out for new opportunities. We’re not talking KISS-level marketing here, just always have a full stock of T-shirts and posters. Always work to find ways to make them better. A lot of made-on-demand merchandise is produced with poor quality. If you can generate better wares, your fans will definitely appreciate it.

4. Production

Speaking of money, your income is crucial if you want to play with excellent equipment. Don’t ever stop striving to improve your sound value. These days, there are many ways to incorporate modern technology into your music to make it simpler. The use of a tablet has the audio production capabilities that would have cost a substantial amount of money ten years ago. Now, it’s a matter of sifting through which $10 app is the best.

Improving your sound on a budget is an essential component to making it as a performer.

It may also be time to think about adding more visuals to your live music performance. Monitors and screens are fairly cheap these days that it would be relatively easy to incorporate a few, or perhaps you could look into pyrotechnics, venue permitting. (See above, Re: Showmanship)

5. Range

Finally, you can’t forget to keep improving yourself. Take more lessons. Keep practicing. Shoot for that high or low note you could never quite hit.

Listen to more music, too! There’s an entire world of music to explore, and you never know when you’ll come across something in the archives that will inspire you to make your next great hit. Too many bands fall into a rut, writing the same basic songs over and over.

Continuing to evolve as a band by expanding your range of musical talent will only bring positive benefits and success in the end.

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