Don’t sing? Wondering how to best kick off your show? If you’re a talented player, I know the temptation you have is to come out and really wow the crowd. After all, you’ve got to ‘show ‘em what you can do’ right?
Wrong. Well, if you’re doing a set of 15 minutes or longer, that is. If you’ve got only one song to do in an audition or TV show or something like that, you’ll want to bring it all on that song.
But I’m talking about within the context of an entire show featuring you.
Several years ago we worked with a young violinist who had tons of talent. Problem was he wanted to come right out on the first song playing a really fast, difficult song with astounding scales and impressiveness though the whole song… and this left him nowhere to go.
In Tom’s set list graph, you want to keep that first song a 3 ½, with no real difficult or intricate solos, runs, etc. Do a more straight-ahead song, with maybe a flash of what’s to come… a peek of what they will get as the song goes on. It could be something familiar to them – a song they already know with a familiar melody.
The key is to do a song to draw the audience in and get them on board.
Let’s say you’re a contemporary classical guitar player playing with a percussion player. You might want to start with your version of an older pop tune, say for example, ‘Forever Young’ by Rod Stewart. This has a good tempo/feel for an opener.
You’d start with the percussion player setting the tempo, then maybe you come in playing diamonds, or playing the rhythm before launching into the melody of the verse. Find a spot or two in the song, to throw in a difficult lick or run to then give them a glimpse of what’s to come.
Make sense? I’d like to hear from you instrumentalists. What questions do you have on putting together your show?