Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros


August 13, 2010

The Friday the 13th Guide to Live Music Shows

Do you suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia?

Believe it or not, that's the official name for someone who has a chronic fear of Friday the 13th. Yes, if you haven't noticed, today is indeed that date. (Sorry to deliver the bad news.)

For whatever reason, Friday the 13th fills some people with superstitious notions and fear. Need I even mention the name "Jason"?

But you know what else is scary? The way that most musicians treat an incredibly important aspect of their career. (How's that for a smooth transition?)

When you really think about it, it's downright stupid how this crucial component is so overlooked. Of course, I'm talking about your live gigs and how they are so casually planned and presented -- compared to so many other things that musicians do.

Please watch this video of Live Music Producer Tom Jackson, who touches on it in this clip, which was recorded at the Indie Buzz Bootcamp event I presented in St. Louis:


Think about it! You plan out in detail every note of your recording sessions. You are meticulous when it comes to your gear and effects and microphone choices. You examine every word of your lyrics for impact.

But when it comes to performing a live show ... most musicians wing it. Why? A live performance is one of the most powerful ways to connect with new and old fans alike.

Don't leave it to chance. Because that would be truly scary!

-Bob

If you really want to improve your live show, check out Tom's 7-DVD set called "All Roads Lead to the Stage." Tom is a friend and a great teacher who has worked with Taylor Swift, Jars of Clay, Jordin Sparks, and many others.

As I've said before, once you've been exposed to a Tom Jackson workshop, you'll never think of a live performance the same way again."

Go to this special page to learn how to get "All Roads Lead to the Stage" at a deep discount between now and August 20.
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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:50 AM   1 comments


August 10, 2010

Band Rehearsal Lessons From Prince

This is a guest post from my friend Tom Jackson, the premier Live Music Producer who has worked with Taylor Swift, Jars of Clay, Jordin Sparks, Casting Crowns, NewSong, Sidewalk Prophets, plus a multitude of independent artists.

Look below for the special offer I was able to arrange with Tom for you to get his "All Roads Lead to the Stage" 7-DVD set at a deep discount.



Dez Dickerson, the former guitar player for Prince, was telling me about their rehearsals. If you've seen any video of Prince or seen him live, he goes off on jams that appear completely spontaneous. Sometimes they're so off the wall, you wonder where they came up with the stuff they did!

I asked him, how did you get from that place to this funky thing to this Pink Floyd thing to this breakdown, to this jammin' stuff -- and it all seems so spontaneous? And he said one word ...

Practice!

In practice they got an instinct, they were jamming, and they went down that road in practice. The idea came to them, they stopped, went back, fleshed it out, and rehearsed it to where it was really tight and they didn’t have to think about it.

Those of us who have just "jammed" know that it might be magical ... one night. And then on other nights it's just terrible. So the key is this: If you understand the fundamentals in your preparation, and you know how to hold the mic, and you know placement on stage, and you know what it takes visually onstage, then they're in your arsenal and you can use them (be spontaneous with them) onstage. They'll come naturally -- without thinking about them.

Otherwise, you get an instinct, and if you haven't rehearsed the fundamentals, then you have to think about it, and all the audience sees is you thinking about what you're doing. And that's not exciting.

I have a good friend who lives in Chicago. When he flies into town he doesn't give me a call and say "Hey, Tom, let's go down to the library and watch people read!" We don't want to watch people read. And no one wants to watch people think!

So what we need to do is plan, practice it in rehearsals, and then we can go out and do it. And when we're onstage, IF we have the fundamentals, then we can follow our instinct, and it's natural. We've done it over and over and over again. It looks spontaneous even though the basics are things we've worked out in rehearsals.

On a football team, those players are not just playing their 19th, 20th game of the year when they get to the Super Bowl. Before the Super Bowl, they had six weeks of training, and before that they had a six-inch thick book of plays that the team runs, and they study those plays. The truth is, everyone knows their role. They run the plays over and over and over again. Then the coaches have a game plan.

THAT'S what a live show should be! You've studied a playbook, you've rehearsed it, and where the spontaneity comes in is that every night, every audience is different. So just like the running back, you don't run through the same hole every play. You try left, you try right, you try jumping over them, you pitch the ball back ... that's where the spontaneity comes in.

Everyone needs to know the role they have and the goal of each play. That's the way a song should be, too. That's what should happen onstage -- a combination of rehearsal and spontaneity. No one is thinking! The running back isn't thinking when he runs up to the hole, and the hole is closed, "Oh, maybe I should run this way" -- he just reacts. Why? Because he has the fundamentals!

Having the fundamentals down because you've done your woodshedding is the first step. Then planning the show -- getting a vision for what you want each song to look like, and what you want your show to look like -- that's the next step.

It's important to find the balance between form and spontaneity, and to understand the creative process. That means brooding over your songs, listening to them in different ways, planning, getting ideas ... and then working it until it becomes a part of who you are onstage. Something natural, something creative, something unique -- and that's what your audience wants to see!



Tom Jackson is the #1 Live Music Producer in the industry. He developed the Live Music Method, an onstage formula that makes your live show engaging and memorable, exceeding your audiences' expectations, creating fans for life. Tom has worked with nearly every genre, from rock to pop to Christian Gospel, impacting hundreds of major artists.

Go to this special page to learn more about Tom's "All Roads Lead to the Stage" 7-DVD set and how to get it at a deep discount between now and August 20. I've seen Tom work his magic with performers many times. He's amazing. If you can't make it to one of his live workshops, this DVD set will give you the insight and tools you need to create a stellar live music show!

Also, what did you think of this guest post? And what are some of your best band rehearsal and live show tips? Please leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

-Bob
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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:04 AM   4 comments


August 03, 2010

Frank Kern: "Let's Cut the Crap Here!"

If you don't know who Frank Kern is, he's one of those Internet marketing guru types. While many of those guys can be annoying with their incessant email campaigns and product pitches, there's something about Frank I've always admired.

For one, he's a guitar player. And he comes off more as a cool surfer dude than a marketing expert. He's very good at using video to promote his programs, and he has a conversational way with words in his emails -- even poking fun at marketing while in the act of marketing itself.

Here's a recent email he sent -- a classic example of Frank Kern at his cool cat best:

Subject line: "Let's cut the crap here!"

OK listen.

Today's the day that I'm supposed to send you an email telling you that if you don't go to my cleverly disguised affiliate link here:

[I've removed the web address because the offer has expired.]

... And get Perpetual Traffic Machine ... then the world will end and there will be no hope for humanity.

And then I'm supposed to do like everyone else and offer a "killer bonus" (new kidney!) if you buy through my link.

SCREW THAT!

Look, the ugly truth is I haven't even looked at the product. So I have no clue if it's any good.

I think it's probably good ... after all, lots of Ryan's stuff is VERY good.

In fact, I actually swiped the entire structure of my Mass Control and my List Control trainings from what I learned when I was watching Ryan create products.

And Ryan is a member of my primary mastermind group and I regularly call on him for advice. Plus, you've seen the quality of the pre-launch content. That was awesome.

So Perpetual Traffic Machine is most likely awesome.

... But I'm not going to bullshit you and act like I've personally reviewed it ... just so I can make a few bucks.

I haven't. Sorry.

With that said, the best advice I can give you is this:

1. If you *think* it'll help you, you're probably right ... hard to beat good ol' intuition.

2. You can probably get a pretty good bonus if you buy it through someone other than me.

3. If it isn't any good, you can get a refund.

... And considering the fact that 1/2 of the planet is promoting it right now, your inbox probably has plenty of good bonus offers to choose from.

So I don't see how you can go wrong.

Of course, you're welcome to use my blatant affiliate link below so I can make a few bucks.

I promise to squander the money on shiny objects and beer.

[web address link again]

Talk soon,
Frank



What I like about this -- besides the humor -- is that it shows that there are many ways to promote. You can always find a way to inject your unique personality into whatever you do.

Hope you enjoyed this. Now go buy something from me! :-)

Seriously, what do you think of Frank's email marketing style? How do you integrate your personality into your own promotion efforts? Please leave a comment below.

-Bob
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posted by Bob Baker @ 2:32 PM   3 comments