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5 Good Reasons to Plan Your Show

I’ve talked about vision and planning for the live show so much that some of you don’t even pay any attention to it anymore. 

“Besides,” most of you are thinking, “I don’t want to plan — I want to be spontaneous.”

5 Good Reasons to Plan Your Show Creative people often fight the idea of planning. But let’s look at what I’m talking about one more time… vision and planning! If you’re truly creative (and I know you are), then getting a vision for your show should be lots of fun!

After all, one of the dreams we have as performers is to see our audiences drawn into the emotion of a song. We imagine what it would be like when they cry with us, laugh with us, or get so excited they start screaming & clapping because of the sheer energy of a moment.

So I’m not asking you to draw up a corporate business plan, complete with company overview, industry analysis, and customer projections.

What I am asking you to do is to give yourself a direction for how you’re going to go into rehearsal, work out the moments in your songs, and plan for a successful, great live show (isn’t that what you want?).

And that takes vision and planning.

To give you a little encouragement that this is where to start — before you go into the rehearsal room — here are 5 good reasons to plan your songs (moments), plan your set list (for maximum impact), and plan your show:

1. It Sets a Direction

If you’re in a boat headed for a particular spot on the shore, then it doesn’t matter if there are waves coming at you from any direction. You’ll have your focus on that spot. Little detours in your path won’t keep you from getting there. But without a particular destination, those same waves will cause you to go — well, pretty much anywhere. 

It’s the same with your rehearsals.

2. It Motivates

Having a vision and plan before you get into rehearsals will make them go a lot faster and get better results.

I’ve told you before, when I’m working with an artist I listen to their songs in advance multiple ways on multiple devices. I start writing notes on what I think would be some great ideas to develop the songs.

Then when I go into rehearsal, we start working on one of the songs I had the most ideas for. It gets things going. Working on that song, those ideas beget more ideas, the artist starts to get excited, they come up with more creative ideas… the whole rehearsal becomes a creative process where everyone feels free to participate.

And that’s fun!

3. It Helps Overcome Resistance

“It’ll never work!” There’s almost always someone in the group who doesn’t have the same vision I do. In fact, there are times when my own mind tells me my ideas won’t work.

But when your vision is strong, you begin to feel an excitement about working through it, taking some risks in the rehearsal room, and seeing whether that vision really will work. When you have a clear vision, you’ll push on through.

4. It Brings Out Your Uniqueness

You are creative. That’s why you’re in this business. And when you have a creative vision for your own show — your own songs — those creative ideas are the things that will make you unique on the stage!

The things you imagine in your mind’s eye will stretch you and your rehearsals, developing who you are and making you more transparent to your audience. The audience will see a unique you.

5. It Helps You Communicate

By planning the moments in your show, you will clarify to yourself what it is you’re trying to communicate to your audience. That’s one of the secrets to good communication.

After all, if I’m not sure what it is I’m talking about, how can I get someone else to understand what I’m talking about?

Bonus: A Vision & Plan Drive Your Success

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “If you don’t design your own plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

Need I say more?

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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Greenroom Comments

  1. This is great information! I feel as if my concerts have gone a lot better in recent years because of planning the show in more detail instead of just winging it!


  2. Thank you so much! I love that! Thanks for being one of my mentors!

    God bless you & your team!
    Jerry D

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