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Going from Good to Great

Going from bad to good is easy.  Going from good to great is not. It’s not that going from good to great is so hard, but it’s definitely time-consuming, tedious, and often a little inconvenient.  However, as my friend Robert D. Smith says, “success is built on inconvenience!” I have a favorite analogy, and you […]

Play the Pauses

So many times when I hear artists perform, I feel like they’re rushing me through the song. There’s no room for me to soak in what I’ve just heard…no room to breathe! Just like pauses in a speech or in comedy are effective, so goes it in music. Sometimes you just want to ‘hang’ a […]

Prepare for Success

For those of you who are crazy enough to embark on a career in music, you will come up against adversity a lot. People will criticize you, and you will have to fight for what you have and what you want. You will have to overcome obstacles, like trying to make a living while you […]

How To Have a Great Show Even When You’ve Had a Rough Day

Show of hands – Who’s played a gig sick? Exhausted? With your mind on your upcoming vacation? We’ve all been there and sometimes it ain’t pretty. One of the biggest advantages of not “winging it” – of having a vision and working on it in rehearsal – is that your plan acts as a safety […]

Proscrastination Is a 4 Letter Word

I wrote this blog over 3 years ago… but the truth is always relevant, right? And it’s something I need to hear again myself. Maybe you do, too: This is a little outside the performance realm, but it deals specifically with the success of artists we come in contact with. You see, I just got […]

What You See is What You Get

If you filmed your next show, and then had some people judge your performance by watching it with the sound off, would they say you are a good band or a bad band? I can almost hear the ‘it’s all about the music’ crowd now, scoffing at this. Well, it’s time for a reality check. […]

To Do and To Don’t

I am frequently asked to write a list of things an artist can do to make a great live show. The trouble is, I often think that might look a little over-simplified… like learning how to perform onstage consists of “5 easy steps.” When you learned how to play your instrument, did your teacher give […]

How About a Great Rehearsal?

We all know what a great show looks like. But what does a great rehearsal look like? It isn’t just running through all the songs, putting them in some kind of order, and then going out to do your show! The rehearsal is the best place for spontaneity to happen, believe it or not. Most […]

Don’t Make THIS Music Publicity Blunder

Bob Baker, author of Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, will speak at our 2013 Tom Jackson Bootcamp in Nashville! Check out this article adapted from Chapter 12 of his book: Okay, you have a new album coming out or an important gig to promote. You’ve identified your ideal media sources. Now it’s time to get busy […]

I’ve Got It!

I spend much of my year (every year) teaching at conferences: New Music Seminar, Canadian Music Week, Gospel Music Association, conferences in Norway, Australia, Canada, and on and on and on. Over the years I’ve seen how useful these conferences are for artists to attend. Between the networking, the opportunity to showcase, the chance to […]