Creek Don't Rise

Tom Jackson's Performing Tips
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Author:  paulrace [ Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tom Jackson's Performing Tips

The article "How to Impress Your Audience" by live music producer Tom Jackson sums up a lot of his thinking on building relationships with the folks in the seats. Here's a quote:

"audiences . . . are geniuses when it comes to human behavior. This is something they can understand and connect to. Your confidence will go a long way in impressing your audience.

Of course Tom's talking about impressing them in a good way, which goes beyond being just another really good picker or singer or songwriter. To build lasting relationships with your audience, you need to make certain they have a good impression of you as a person. Click the link below to read more: ... -audience/

Author:  paulrace [ Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tom Jackson's Performing Tips

Here's a video if you want to see Tom in action. Listen carefully - he knows what he's talking about. ... dium=email

Author:  paulrace [ Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tom Jackson's Performing Tips

Here's one about being ready for success (as opposed to all the one-hit wonders that weren't, really). ... dium=email

+What Will Happen to You When Big Exposure Comes"

Author:  paulrace [ Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tom Jackson's Performing Tips

Tom's associate Lang Bliss adds an article on Why you don't want "success" to come before you're ready. ... t-success/

I have to confess, I grew up in an era where getting a recording contract was considered the "Holy Grail" of music success. And I saw any number of friends who GOT that contract crash and burn for any number of reasons. In some cases, the "fail" was the result of label decisions that had nothing to do with the quality of the music, or even the preparedness of the band.

But "back in the day," there was no way to get you and your music out in front of people without the record label pushing your image, pushing your music, and pushing YOU. The downside was that if you went out opening for some big group, and you didn't sell almost as many LPs and T-shirts as the headliners your first time or two out, the label could drop you, remainder the LPs, and even come after you for unrecouped expenses, depending on the contract.

Today, we have lots of ways to build relationships with our fans. And if own our recordings, we can even keep them from showing up in the dollar bin at WalMart. So it's a brave new world. Or is it?

Many folks claim that, in addition to great musicianship and great songs, a good web page and good online social presence are critical. They're right. Tom Jackson and his gang tend to focus on winning your potential fans' hearts the first time you get out in front of them. They're right, too.

The problem - as I see it - is that it's a lot easier for some people to tweak a web site (or pay someone to do it) or to post incessantly on Facebook than it is for them to plan and practice their show. As a bandleader of several years (decades ago), the hardest work I ever did was trying to get the rest of the band to practice, not only their music, but where we would stand, how we would move, how we would transition between songs, etc. As far as they were concerned, if we had good songs and we hit all the right notes and harmonies and licks, that was all that was required. Frankly, the few festival gigs we got tended to be rather humbling experiences. Yes, our music was good, but we did not capture the audiences' attention like we should have, or even like the bands before and after us did.

Today, I know several "wannabes" who have spent (or whose families have spent) a great deal of time and energy on learning and acquiring instruments, on demo recordings, etc., but who have no stage presence or any idea why some nights are great and other nights are humbling. I have given up nagging my friends, not to mention my friends' kids - or in some cases my friends' kids' kids. But I won't give up pointing out that hard work and preparation are critical.

Best of luck, all,

Paul Race

Author:  paulrace [ Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tom Jackson's Performing Tips

Tom's associate Amy Wolter adds some observations based on a published review of a Sam Smith performance.

It's called "3 Keys to Being a Great Singer AND Having a Great Show" ... reat-show/

Author:  paulrace [ Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tom Jackson's Performing Tips

Here's one I failed to list earlier about dissecting your songs to figure out what bits can really become compelling for the audience. I recently saw another one of Tom's articles on this subject and remembered this one by Lang Bliss, one of Tom's team. None of these "freebie" articles go into really great detail, but they're great reminders.

After fifty years as a singer-songwriter, I'm still basically a folksinger, which means that when I have a "killer song," I tend to let the song "speak for itself," without changing feel, tempo, or instrumentation from beginning to end. Yes, Tom once tried to cure me of that, and I know better, but it's my "default setting."

Lately, I've been working up a batch of songs I either haven't performed in decades or haven't ever performed. I started trying out different things, like changing volume, tempo, and/or accompaniment patterns for the first part of the third verse. And I realized that just this little bit of attention would make the song that much more compelling to audiences, and might help non-attentive audiences (coffeehouses, etc.) perk up their ears. ... dium=email

Author:  paulrace [ Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tom Jackson's Performing Tips

Lang Bliss writes about "loving your audience," which in this context means showing them that you appreciate them, that you want to get to know them, that they're important to you. For Indie musicians of all kinds, this is critical. ... -audience/

Author:  paulrace [ Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tom Jackson's Performing Tips

Here's a link to another article about a fellow who "hit the big time" before he was really ready - his stage show is disappointing to most of his fans. ... kson-know/

Author:  paulrace [ Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tom Jackson's Performing Tips

Okay, this is mostly reminder, but as Ben Franklin said, "People do not need to be informed nearly as often as they need to be reminded.

5 Do’s to Optimize Your Success ... r-success/

Author:  paulrace [ Wed May 13, 2015 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tom Jackson's Performing Tips

Things to do BEFORE you rehearse, as in "get a vision for your live show." ... dium=email

Includes a coupon for a free month of "backstage pass," Tom's premium service.

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