Live Performance Basics: How To Prepare Yourself

2-minute read. How to make people come listen to your music over and over again? Learn how to make good live music with these 5 tips for an amazing live performance. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to rock each of your shows. Do you like the tips or have something to add? We’re happy to hear from you.  

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#1: Practice on your own

Be able to play the songs in all kinds of positions and situations. When you always practice sitting, performing standing in front of a crowd might lower the quality of your sound.

Be ready for a stage situation in which you might not hear all of the instruments, see your band mates or instrument. Make sure to include some ear training exercises in your practice – it will help you to become better at band practice, jamming and songwriting.


#2 Know what to improve for the live performance

The rehearsals before a gig are not about learning the songs together. Knowing chords, melodies and lyrics is mandatory at this stage. Then you can rather focus on these three important things:

  • Your Rhythm. Rehearse playing as tight as possible. A good exercise here is to record your song with a multi-track recorder (each instrument in an own track). That way you will see the rhythm differences you normally aren’t able to hear. More on this method here.
  • Your Dynamics. The same exercise works here: Check your recording to notice differences in your volumes. You’ll be able to adjust your sound the way you like it to be.

Did you know you can record on sofasession in your browser for free? Check it out.

  • Your Live Performance: Record a video of the whole band and watch your body language. Or invite some friends to listen and give you feedback. Do you like what you see? How is the feedback?


#3 Work on visual live performance

Surprisingly, it’s not only your sound that matters. As mentioned above, take a look into your video recording. Do you like your positions, movements, body language, gestures? Do you make outstanding poses photographers will be able to catch? Do you show the emotions and feeling you are playing and singing about?
Remember: It’s not the singer’s job only to work on the live performance.

Additionally, think about your clothes and style. Do you match as a whole? Consider deciding on a similar style of clothes, a band outfit, movements you all will do etc.


#4 Fight The Anxiety

The voices in your head before a gig keep telling you the same phrases again and again. What if you suck? If everybody hates you? If you make a mistake? These tips by Tom Hess and my live performance teacher will help you.

  • Allow yourself to enjoy the gig. You practiced a lot in advance, so enjoy the moment.
  • Even if you make some mistakes, remember: First, nobody will notice unless you show it. Don’t make a face or run from the stage. Secondly, one wrong chord or note are less than 1% of your whole sound. Relax.
  • What if there is this jerk making a bad comment? Who cares! Everybody envies you! You are on stage. Doing what you enjoy and having the guts to perform in front of a crowd. (This way of thinking is slightly arrogant but helpful when you feel anxious!).
  • Right before going on stage, tense all your muscles for half a minute. Then let go. You should feel relaxed right away. Meditation, conscious breathing, and supportive words to your band mates help as well.


#5 Last-Minute Preparations For Your Live Performance

As already mentioned in #1, you should be prepared to not hear or see everything you were during your rehearsals. Be flexible enough not to stress out because of that.

  • Take some extra instruments: Let’s not hope anything breaks, in case it does, though: Take an extra cable, mic, guitar, bass & everything you need to perform best.
  • Soundcheck: Do you have the chance to check the sound before? Check the sound and listen to it both on stage (to know if you hear all you need) and in front of the stage (to hear what sound the audience will get).
  • Stage-check: Know where the light will shine to and make sure to stand there. Why? People will see you, you will have great gig photos & 1000 more reasons not to hide in the dark when being on stage.
  • Warm-up: Make your fingers, arms and/or voice ready to perform.

Have you done all that? Ready to go? Send us your gig video or photos, share your profile, we’re always happy to get to know great musicians. Lot’s of love.



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  • VocalMatch

    Very nice post.. This is useful for those who are preparing for the upcoming singer and songwriter contests. It is very important to take care of small to small things to give a best performance of your lifetime.

    • Natalia

      Thanks VocalMatch! We are happy you like it :) We also think the small things are those which count!