Do This ONE Thing to Improve Your GIGS!!

“Video Killed the Radio Star.” If you remember this song then you will understand how MTV and other such shows changed the way people “see” and listen to music. It has evolved into a visual art as much as something for auditory pleasure.

Being a member of a number of professional music groups online I receive a lot of personal messages from singers wanting to know how I sustained a successful 20 year career.

They usually ask me how they can improve their own music careers and increase the number of gigs that they're playing and other such career questions.

I will go and check out their videos and/or pictures of them performing to see what they are currently doing and what can be improved. The first thing that usually stands out is the lack of “image” or attention put into the way they look while on stage. I know right away that their audience is not drawn in visually right from the start.

You will not see other successful artists performing on stage with no thought put into what they are wearing and/or how they look to their audience. Every part of their image is planned and crafted from hair to makeup to the way they dress. It is an entire package. It is part of the music business.

When you think about certain bands, an image is usually evoked even before the music. Examples include the artists: KISS, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, Pink, and Madonna to name a few. Start by asking, “What do you want to tell your audience about your music when they first “see” you?”

Your job as a performer is to grab your audiences' attention. Then, once you've got their attention back it up with awesome music!! You will soon be gaining a lot of respect because your “look” will tell them what they can expect from your music.

A quote from Pat Pattison - Writing Better Lyrics:

“Show before you tell. Showing makes the telling more powerful because your senses and your mind are both engaged.”

Yes, we are musicians and can overlook image and get straight to the quality of the musicianship. If it's great music then we don't care what the musicians are wearing. Yet I am telling you that most people sitting in your audience are not going to be musicians and judgments are made right away about how they “see” you and your level of success.

Show them how amazing you truly are and then give them a performance they won't forget!

Most importantly keep on making awesome music!!

-Lisa Leitl - MU Columnist
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