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Monday, August 31, 2009

A Little Secret That Will Increase Audience Participation

Whether your playing at a private party or bar gig, chances are, some folks will want to dance.

Nothing gets the 'energy' up like having people hit the dance floor. Many times, it will 'make or break' the night. If people dance, they smile and have a good time. If you leave 'em with a smile on their faces, they'll think you were great.

Many times I've played gigs and knocked out a 'sure thing' dance tune, like 'Brown Eyed Girl' or 'Mustang Sally,' only to have nobody dance. When this happens, I pull out a 'little secret' tactic.

I start by approaching a couple. If your playing a private party, it can be the host couple, but, if not, any couple will do. I ask them to dance to the next song, as a way to 'get things going.' Then, After one-verse/one-chorus I stop the music and tell them to both to, 'pick a new partner.'

I repeat the process until everyone in the room is dancing.

This tactic works time and time-again and always makes the event just a little better.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Volume Control

Everyone knows that, "it goes to eleven," but rarely is it appropriate to do so!

I've played in dozens of venues and I've hosted thousands of open mics, and the most prevalent 'issue' with musicians is 'volume control.'

There's a time and a place for 'blowin' it out,' but that time/place is not in a small bar with twenty-five people sitting within thirty-feet of the stage.

Most people go to bars/restaurants to socialize. They can't socialize if they can't have a conversation. These are the people that approach management and complain about the volume.

At many of our Atlanta open mics, venues management uses them to audition new acts. The number-one reason that good acts don't get hired is that they were 'too loud.'

Try this... Purposely make your volume 'too low' and try to get someone to ask you to 'turn it up.' It's a weird feeling. You'll love it!

I know this sounds 'preachy,' but if this gets through to just one musician, then I've done my job.

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