Here we wanted to bring to your attention a great resource for gigging solo. This is a write up from the STAND AND DELIVER WORKSHOP held at Abbey Road Studio 2, Thursday 19 January 2012.
The post covers everything from the basics: Whether you use keyboard, guitar, laptop or loopstation you will need your instrument plus some sort of stand and a cable to plug it into the PA. If you’re a guitarist you may also want to make sure you have plectrums, a strap, a capo, a tuner. Invest in a cable tester and battery tester: test the instrument cable and the batteries in your guitar and tuner before leaving home. Maybe take a spare cable and 9 volt battery anyway, along with a spare strap and spare capo in case of loss or mishap on the night.
Other important things like being seen: When soundchecking aim to find the best working position from which to command the stage. Check the sight lines: try to find a position where you can see – and be seen by – the maximum number of people in the room. This isn’t always necessarily the centre of the stage or even the front of the stage – there may for instance be pillars in the room that block off a whole section of the audience. If they can’t see you, they will ignore you and talk among themselves.
And being remembered: It’s helpful to plan your set in advance. Be ready to change or adapt it in the heat of the moment according to what happens on the night, but at least have a plan. The commonest mistake of all inexperienced artists is that their sets are too long and they outstay their welcome. My ideal support slot length is five songs – 20 minutes maximum. Get on, do the business, get off again and leave them wanting more. Rather than droning on so long that everybody is relieved when you finally make way for the main act they’ve paid to hear.
This is a great resource post and is definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re just starting out. Thanks to Team Freshnet for sharing resources, ideas and advice for independent recording artists hosted by Tom Robinson. Read the full Gigging Solo post here.
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