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Without a Vision, Your Show Dies

It’s absolutely necessary for you to develop a vision for your live show. What do you want the end result to be? Whether it’s a creative project, a business plan, or any endeavor – if it’s worth spending time doing, you need to develop a vision for how you want it to turn out. A famous […]

Why CeeLo Green Loves Nikki’s Wives

     I started working with London, Ontario artist Nikki Whitehead several years ago as a young solo artist.  Since then she’s formed an alt-pop band called Nikki’s Wives, and I’ve been able to work with them and their amazing songs several times, as we worked toward putting together a solid set.      They’ve […]

State of the Music Industry and Your Live Show!

     You need to decide!  Are you a “recording” artist or a “performing” artist?!  Seriously, most of you NEED to become a better performer for the sake of your career!  Tom Jackson comments on legendary music blogger, Bob Lefewitz’ blog and offers valuable insights on why you need a great live show and how to […]

Using Cues: Don’t Wing It!

       I just returned from an AWESOME three week trip to Australia.         I experienced a stunning amount of music at the WOMAD Festival (pictured), in clubs, at my workshop and at the Fringe Festival.  There were artists of all types: from one guy with a guitar to a group of […]


     There’s nothing more frustrating for me than to watch an artist perform…halfway. ‘Kind of’ bringing it. Especially when I know what they are capable of as singers and musicians.      A few months ago I was in the audience at a large banquet where an established gospel singer was the entertainment. She […]

It’s Not a Stage – It’s a Platform!

“We don’t entertain, we worship.” That’s the main resistance we get from worship artists and worship teams about Tom Jackson’s Live Music Method. This is a pretty common concern — and valid. When it comes to worship, we don’t treat that “audience/venue” the same as a band out doing shows and entertaining an audience. But […]

It Should Be Obvious

Let’s pretend for a minute… instead of being the artist onstage, let’s say you’re the lighting director for a show. I understand you may not have a lot of experience with lighting – or maybe you have! But either way, would you put the same lights on for every song? Same lights, same lighting scheme, […]

It Starts With a Vision

Making your show special involves thinking things through — what I call “getting a vision” — for the moments that are in your songs & planning how to develop them. When I help an artist plan their show, I try to get a vision as I listen to their songs. In other words, I want […]

Who’s In Charge Here?

Recently I saw a hilarious cartoon picturing a singer/songwriter introducing his song to the audience: “This is a song about my lifelong struggle with tone-deafness and the inability to carry a tune or play an instrument.” Probably not the best way to set yourself up as a confident performer! You can be the best lead […]

A Great Show Doesn’t Happen by Accident

As musicians, we are emotionally attached to our music. With that attachment, we often lose perspective. I’m not asking you to emotionally detach from your songs when you perform live, but I am asking you to look at it from the audience’s point of view. Why does your audience show up? What are they hoping […]