How To Prepare For A Live Performance

How To Prepare For A Live Performance

How To Prepare For A Live Performance

As a performer, live events are where you can showcase your talent and passion, and of course play music to your fans.

Being as prepared as you can for these events can really help you focus on performing without having to worry about things going wrong.

In this blog we’re going to look at some really useful ways of how to prepare for a live performance and why they are good habits to get into.

1. Rehearse & Have A Set List

An obvious thing to prepare, but extremely important!

Make sure you rehearse as much as you can, so the songs that you are performing become second nature. Then, when you know them that well, you can work on delivering them to the best possible standard.

Obviously, things don't always go to plan and it's only human to make mistakes, but if you're confident in the performance of the songs, then you'll easily get back into the flow of it.

Also, having the structure of a set list will give you even more confidence in what you're doing and more importantly, if you're in a band you'll all be singing from the same hymn sheet, no pun intended.

2. Be Punctual

Again it might sound obvious, but a lot of bands and artists that I've worked with as a sound engineer, have turned up late, leaving hardly any time to set the stage and do a very basic sound check at the very least.

I know sometimes life gets in the way but try to not get in the habit of being casually late. It doesn't do anyone any favours, and you might not sound that good initially if the sound engineer is having to quickly mix you and or/your band on the fly, without a sound check.

Also, the crowd will get fed up if they must wait a lot longer than the scheduled start time.

3. Have Spare Breakables

I'm sure most people reading this already carry spare guitar strings and drumsticks, but if you don't you should really start to, as the venue probably won't have replacements for you.

Also, consider bringing spare cables and power supplies for your equipment, in case they go wrong on the night.

4. Find Out The Venue Tech Specs

I believe that this is an important area of preparation that often gets overlooked by performers, but I think it can be really useful to know exactly what equipment the venue has before you arrive.

Then you know exactly what you'll need to bring with you.

If you require a certain microphone or need a wireless one, check if the venue have it, and don't just assume, otherwise you'll just have to use what they've got, which might not be suitable for your needs.

Also, find out how big the stage and venue is, because if it's a small pub venue, it's not really going to have space for a band that's got massive guitar and bass amp stacks as well as a full-size drum kit.

Plus, high power valve amp stacks are too much for a small pub venue, as nice as it is to play through them!

Another useful thing to know is how many channels the venue has on their mixing desk, to give you an idea of how to adapt your setup to the capacity of the mixer.

5. Know How To Communicate With Your Sound Engineer

As a sound engineer, I had to mention this!

Clear communication between you and your sound engineer is very important as it can make or break how you sound on the night.

Also, if an experienced sound engineer is giving you a suggestion based on something not sounding as it should, try to trust their judgement as they usually know what they're talking about. Be open to their help, as it might well make your performance sound so much better!

For more detail on communication with your sound engineer, check out our other blog: How to communicate with a sound engineer, from a sound engineer.

6. Try To Relax & Enjoy It (especially for new performers)

The last point I wanted to make is to make sure you breathe! Try to enjoy the experience! If you're new, it's always nerve-wracking, but usually once you start you tend to get lost in the music.

When you're doing something you love, passion always tends to win over fear!


Live performances should always be enjoyed as much as possible, and for new bands and artists it can often be nerve-racking at first.

Following the advice about how to prepare for a live performance in this blog should instantly make you feel more confident in what you're doing and allow you to focus on what you love doing most, performing music!

David Griffiths.

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Check out some of our other blog posts:

How To Prepare For A Studio Recording

How To Balance Making Music With A Full-Time Job

5 Ways A Musician Can Stay Productive In Isolation

How Do I Know When I Need To Upgrade My Equipment

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