As a musician, one of the greatest opportunities is to perform in front of a live audience, get the chance to connect with them and feed off the energy in the room. There’s nothing quite like it, and it can inject musicians with a whole new level of creativity and really push them to perfection.
But live performances don’t come easy for every person, in fact, even the most seasoned and established artists out there will often feel nervous right before their performance. So what about the nerves that hit first-timers? Performing live for your first time can be nothing short of terrifying.
What happens if you not only have your first live performance coming up, but it also happens to be in an iconic city known for its music and art scene? Yes, we are talking about the Big Apple – New York City. Scoring your first gig in the city is a huge deal and something to be incredibly proud of, but now comes the nerves.
With that in mind, we’ve gone ahead and put together a music performance guide for first-timers like you. These can help you to get the nerves under control and channel that energy in a positive and constructive way.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Long before your first live performance comes this all-important step, which is practice. That doesn’t mean you need to practice in front of a live crowd, it means you need to work on getting your sounds “perfect”. This not only helps you to tap into your talent but it will help you to learn more about your abilities and build your confidence. Those will in turn make you a better musician.
This is exactly why it’s important to find local rehearsal studio space so you can practice before and in between your various gigs and performances. Finding an NYC rehearsal studio may be easier than you think. Pirate.com can offer space at a rehearsal studio in New York, giving you access to professional, quiet, self-service space.
You can spend a quick hour there, or a full day rehearsing – whatever you want. The space is open 24/7 so it works around your schedule. Use this time to practice, of course, and to make new music.
Highlight Your Unique Features
It’s also important to tap into your unique features that will help you to stand out from others. This is much deeper than just your sound as an artist, it is the whole persona that you create. Remember the artist that you are on the stage and in front of an audience doesn’t necessarily have to be the same person you are when relaxing at home with family. There can be different sides to you.
But now is the time to figure out what your unique musician features are. It could be the look you create for yourself, your sound, your delivery, your lyrics, your dancing, whatever you want.
Work on Your Stage Presence
This brings us to stage presence, which is extremely important for any performance, no matter the size of the audience or the venue. Without stage presence it will be next to impossible to connect with your audience. So, what’s the secret to great stage presence – often it comes down to self-confidence.
Knowing who you are and what you have to offer, feeling confident in your skills and talents, and wanting to share it with others. It’s about creating the kind of atmosphere that draws people in, keeps their attention, and takes them on a journey with you.
Some of the ways you can improve stage presence includes:
Making sure you aren’t the only one in the show, the audience is part of it and needs to be recognized
Stay present in that moment and make sure you’re aware of what’s happening right there, and right then so you can adapt and react< Work on your body language, you can do this in front of a mirror at home
Have a rough idea of what you plan to say, it doesn’t have to be a speech just have some ideas in mind
Make sure your outward appearance matches with the image you want to convey
Have fun by engaging with the audience and your band
Try to include at least one or two key moments in the show that will resonate with the audience
Practice as often as possible
If you’re part of a band, these tips need to be embraced together – as a whole unit
Every Performance Can be a Learning Experience
As that first performance quickly approaches it’s perfectly normal that your nerves and adrenaline start to kick in. Just remember there are steps and tips you can use that will help you to perfect your performance and build your self-confidence, so you can put on the best show possible for your audience. Every single performance you have, both good and bad, can be an excellent learning experience.
Words by Luca Yates