Even if this might not be the case for all musicians, one of the things we most enjoy doing is sharing our music with others. Doing concerts is part of what we do when we choose this career. Music is about learning the theory, the history, enhancing our performance, composing, but there is another aspect we ought to consider. Music is also a performing art. Today, I want to talk to you about key aspects to improve our mise-en-scène.
There are many ways to listen to music, and each is a different experience.
🤔 Ask yourself, do you expect the same when listening to an artist on a streaming platform as you do when listening to them live?
The answer is no, right?
When we attend a concert or watch a video, we expect more than to listen to music. We want to live an experience. No matter what your scenario is or the size, you need to make sure to give a thoughtful and beautiful experience to the ones who are assisting our concerts or watching our videos.
💡 There is no magic recipe. But some aspects might help you design the experience you want to deliver.
1. Design the experience
Take your time to think about the experience you want to offer your audience. The following questions may help:
What do you want your audience to feel?
The genre goes hand in hand with it. The expectations are different from a salsa, techno, or ballad concert.
🎤 If you plan on sharing songs with deep and reflective lyrics, you probably want to create an intimate and warm atmosphere.
💃🕺If you're going to play dance music, you'll want to create a lively atmosphere and have space where your audience can move.
You can build the mood by choosing the color palette, the seating arrangement for the attendees, etc.
What can I offer my audience that is unique?
Reflect on what you have to offer.
What would you like to see if you were your audience?
What works for others?
💫 Look for references of artists who make music similar to yours. Watch concerts that you like and write down what you think works and what doesn't work. Take these references as inspiration.
Another great tip: Tell a story with your playlist. Choose the songs and the order to tell a story. By doing this, you will better master timing and maintain continuity from one song to the next, which is vital to keep the listener's attention. Don't be afraid to share a little of the story of each piece. But be careful with this. Remember that the audience wants to hear your music, so make sure you don't ramble on too much.
2. Make a script
✍️ Another thing I highly recommend is to write a script for the concert. It doesn't have to be exhaustive, but you should write down everything that will happen during your show. Write down the song's order, the interventions you will make, changes on stage (if any), welcoming guests, etc. The more detailed it is, the clearer you will be about what to do. I promise, this will give you much more confidence, which translates into a better performance, which translates into greater enjoyment of the concert (yours and the attendees) 🥰.
3.Practice the concert as many times as possible
Not only should you practice the songs you are going to play, but you should practice the concert from beginning to end with your script as a guideline. If you can practice on the stage, better. If the format is online, practice in front of the camera, in the same place you will play.
Think about everything that can go wrong and how to solve it. It never hurts to have a plan B.
📹 Another tip: record yourself practicing the concert and check it out. Watching this will help you understand what you are doing wrong and what you would like to keep in the real thing.
🤯 As strange as it may sound to you, I think all musicians should take acting classes. Not only because it's fun, but it will teach you how to perform on stage and make better use of the space. By this, I do not mean using the whole scenario but using it efficiently. Our performance will have more power, and our audience will connect more deeply with us.
5.Create a character
🎭 You do not need to create an artistic identity or a stage name. What I am suggesting is to create a character. You will act out this character while playing. You only have to act yourself. This practice enables some distance from what you feel and what's going on by acting. Believe it or not, it can help you calm your nerves and perform better.
6.Social Media are a type of scenario
The last thing I want to comment is that, as we already know, social networks are fundamental these days for musicians. While they are not a direct source of income, it is a great way to create an audience and links. So about this, I recommend you think about social media as a form of stage. Put on a great show 👨🎤 that keeps your audience interested and engaged.
I know this sounds like a lot of work, but believe me, it's worth it. It is a great way to connect deeply with those who listen to your music and create a long-term audience.
See you next time!