I recently went to one of my friend’s gigs – a very talented musician and songwriter. He’s got quite a following of dedicated fans, people that hang on his every note. When he starts singing he has the crowd’s full attention. His songs are perfectly crafted stories, well rehearsed, with powerful and meaningful messages. Then at the end of each song….
EEK! BRAKES! BAM! CRASH!
The song is over and the flow of well crafted storytelling and songwriting is interrupted with meaningless jargon. My friend is “Umming” and “ahhhing” all over the place. His improvised casual chatter between songs boils down to half sentences and clichés like “everyone having fun tonight?”
He loses the audience’s attention.
Now they are more interested in talking with their friends or grabbing a beer. This happens every 4 minutes! The gig by nature is choppy. People engage then disengage, focus and then get distracted.
Singer/Songwriters are losing a very precious opportunity. They need to address and value their talk between songs.
Don’t feel bad – you are all in good company. My nieces just recently went to a John Mayer Concert. He’s the best of the best. They came home from his concert feeling deflated and disappointed. They said “it was kind of boring.” (Let’s face it listening to songs is pretty one dimensional. Great for listening but hard to “watch.”) My nieces said that when he talked between songs “it didn’t even make any sense!” They didn’t even know what he was talking about.
Bottom line: When people know your music already – they come to a gig wanting more.
The girls had a “relationship” with john. His songs spoke to them. They went to his concert because they wanted more…more closeness, more intimacy, more secrets, more bonding, more of John. But my nieces didn’t get that. They left the concert feeling like they had just been on a bad date. Lost opportunity John!
Audiences want to know who you are and what’s really behind those songs.
Value your talk between songs. You can use it to deepen the story and message of your songs. You can use it to deepen your audience’s experience. You can use it to deepen your relationship with your audience.
There’s a colorful place that lives beyond the gig… beyond that meaningless chatter between songs from both you and your audience.
It’s called Solo Show Musical Land.
This is a land where gig choppiness is replaced by the continuous flow of musical theater. This is a land where the Singer/Songwriter basks in the full attention of their audience. This is the land where the audience enters a more personal, fulfilling relationship with the performer as the performer shares a deeper story than their songs can go. It is a land where distraction and disengagement are replaced by a true connection of hearts between the audience and the performer.
Don’t try to rectify this problem just by taking a little more time to think about what you are going to say between songs. For years I spent a lot of time planning out what I was going to say. It came out sounding like a lecture. It was not effective. It didn’t flow – very awkward.
But everyone loves a good story!
My nieces won’t be going back to a John Mayer concert in the near future. He lost a valuable opportunity to value his “talk in between” and it cost him three devoted fans.
What is it costing you?
Don’t allow your “gig talk” to be a lost opportunity.
Cross the threshold and write your Solo Show Musical
Solo Show Musical Coach