Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Know Your Audience
Before you can have a conversation with someone, it helps to know a little about them first. Being aware of their like s and dislikes will make your visit a much more enjoyable experience for both of you. The same is true of communicating your music to your listening audience.
You wouldn't normally discuss rap music to a nursing home resident any more than you would the Big Band era to teenage rappers. The topic is mostly foreign to them and your reaction from them would generally be less than positive. The same is true of your song choices, dress, pace, and overall demeanor when performing at different venues for various audiences. A little homework prior to your performance to familiarize your self with your crowd will benefit everyone involved and could tip the scales in your favor when deciding if your get a call back for a repeat engagement.
Make sure to "read the crowd"while you are playing to see if they are enjoying themselves. Are they listening or talking, texting or net surfing their phones? When did they respond to you and when were you "tuned out"?
If you are playing challenging music, you might not have the opportunity to gage the crowd. This is when video recording yourself, making sure the audience is in the camera's vision, will really pay off afterwards.
Meaningful conversations involving listening and reading body language as well.