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It’s Okay to Drink the Water

A lot of artists tell me they feel great playing their songs – they like their songs, they play them well, they’ve worked on developing moments.

But they don’t feel so great between the songs! I’ve even had artists tell me they don’t know when to take a drink of water. They’re afraid the audience will see them.

You know what I tell them? Taking a drink of water is not the end of the world, because the artist is in control!

You want to be comfortable onstage, during your songs and between the songs. Because if you are uncomfortable, so is your audience!

Here are a few things to remember:

  • Understand applause cycles – you should know when to start a song after applause so that it doesn’t cut off applause, but also so that it doesn’t let the previous song die an awkward death.

  • Know when to verbally fill space between songs – you shouldn’t always talk between songs, but every front person, every soloist, every singer/songwriter needs to know the “when,” “where” and “how” of talking to your audience!

  • Know that silence does not mean “dead air” – but the artist needs to be in control of the silence.

  • Understand how to be intentional with transitions – the song is the script for what you do before, during and after it.

  • Sometimes you need to be spontaneous – if something goes wrong or the unexpected happens, the front man needs to know how to “fill” space and when it’s appropriate to “fill” space.

Whatever you do, don’t lose your audience during transitions. Learn these concepts and put them into practice.

For more help with transitions, check out To Infinity and Beyond (All Roads Lead to the Stage DVD #7).

Tom Jackson

Tom is uniquely talented and skilled at transforming an artist's live show into a magical experience for the audience; helping artists at every level create a live show that is engaging and memorable, teaching them to exceed their audiences' expectations and to create fans for life. Tom has taught indie and major artists of every genre. He has worked with Taylor Swift, Le Crae, Home Free, The Tenors, Shawn Mendes, The Band Perry, Francesca Battistelli, Jars of Clay, & many more. Tom also teaches at colleges, conferences and events worldwide.

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