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No Such Thing as a Small Stage

Not long ago, I was having lunch with a new acquaintance/friend from Canada who was in Nashville for a couple days. He had seen my work, told me he’d become a fan, and asked me to work with a couple of his artists. At the end of our meeting, he mentioned there were two other […]

Small Stage, Big Responsibility

I had the privilege of speaking at our last Bootcamp on the topic ‘Conquering the Small Stage’. We know that many of you perform solo, with just you and a guitar or one or two other players – probably in an acoustic set-up, on a stage that is physically small as well. Frustrated singers in these […]

Psychology and Your Audience

Although a country audience is different than a heavy metal audience, which is different than a hip hop audience, which is different than a neo-classical metal punk fusion audience, which is different than….(you get my drift!), the concepts I teach about the live show are the same for every genre. And those concepts are extremely […]

Look ’em In the Eye!

Lately, a lot of artists I’ve worked with have emailed me, saying how great the things we developed in their rehearsals are working. That gets me so excited! Just last night I heard from a folk singer who had me come and work with her band. They are ramping up for a big show the […]

The Great Song Paradox

When I work with a singer/songwriter on their show, I’m often dealing with a paradox. They know how to write great material for themselves or others, following the rules for song writing. They’ve indoctrinated themselves and formed their arrangements around the “hit song” writing machine that publishers and record labels have made the focus for […]

Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, and What You Need to Learn

I recently went to a talent competition and contest. I’d been asked by a manager to check out a new up and coming teenage artist. It was a loooong night. Too long. The talent was all over the map – but no matter what genre or age the artist, each one consistently made the same […]

Talent Contest Gone Crazy

I recently went to hear a friend sing for a competition-by-audience-vote-type gig. The entrants ran the gamut from hippie to country, age 19 to 50-something, and obviously got in the competition just by signing up. No pre-screening process involved for this show. Contestant number one was a keyboard player… very hippie-esk. No shoes. Nice song […]

Calling All Keyboard Players!

In our sessions and workshops, we often get questions from keyboard players wondering how Tom Jackson’s Live Music Method applies to them. After all, you are stuck behind your keyboard, and you have an excuse not to move, right? Wrong!! Recently singer/songwriter/keyboardist Shauni Williams wrote in asking this: Amy WolterAs a trained Live Music Producer […]

Is it Live or Is it Radio?

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Mistakes Most Artists Make

I doubt that any of you would mistakenly go to a movie theater thinking you were going to see a 30-minute sitcom. You go to the theater expecting something quite different than what you see on prime time TV! Many of you have heard me talk about the qualities of a sitcom for TV: 22 […]

Mistaking “Winging It” for Spontaneity

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Mistakes Most Artists Make

There’s a big mistake that most artists make. I constantly run across this attitude all the time: “Dude, I’ve got to be spontaneous… I can’t rehearse my performance!” Oftentimes my reply to them is “Awesome! If you re-e-e-ally want to be spontaneous, then why don’t you make up the song right in front of the […]