Towards Greater Consistency

I'm often surprised at how a musician will sound one way one day, then sound very different the next. It's not just the actual sound, but the performance, and little details of the performance. Many artists aren't consistent in what they do.

So much of this goes back to preparation. You need to be prepared for every gig/performance/recital. This would seem like a given, but it seems that it's not. This is not to say that we want every performance to be a clone of the previous one, but that there needs to be a consistency, a sense of connection for all performances, especially in a series or a tour.

Playing night after night naturally has its ups and downs. Some nights are amazing, others, just average. But as a performer, we need to try our best to present a consistent performance across a range of dates.

Here are some tips:

1) Work out everything you need ahead of time! Often people keep putting things off, thinking they will get them done before the performance date, then suddenly the date is tomorrow. The casual approach just doesn't work when it comes to performing your best. I always take time to make sure the gear I need is both ready and in working order. I also make sure all the details (travel, lodging, packing, venue details, etc) are worked out well in advance.

2) Practice, practice, practice! But it's not good enough to just run through your material. You need to work at having your performance at a very high, consistent level. Each time you practice, strive to have it reach that actual performance level you want. It's one thing to be playing in your studio, it's another to be playing on stage in front of an audience. I shut off my phone, lock the doors, then play my whole set as if I'm on stage. I do this multiple times and work to tighten things up.

3) Don't forget to have fun! Remember that you most likely became a musician because you loved the music. Keep that feeling. If you don't love what you are doing, then you need to take a look at it and possibly change something.

4) If you are having performance problems, don't hesitate to ask for help from a friend or colleague. Sometimes we need outside eyes & ears to see and hear the things we can't, because we are too close to the whole process. 

Remember that music is more than just the sound, it's also the movements and gestures you make, the body language. Make sure you are comfortable playing and confident in your mastery of the music.

Be consistent.

~ MB

Deconstruct Yourself™


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