As an upcoming hip-hop artist, one of the most important aspects to your success is live performances. By doing live shows you’re not only adding a new experience to your brand and digital products (music), but you’re reinforcing and building a real-life connection with your fans.
The more enjoyable the experience at your live show, the more fans are going to hold you down and support you, regardless if you have a number 1 single out or if you’re recording music in your mother’s basement. But, in order to give your fans a great show experience, you’re going to have to be on top of your game – and this starts with your actual live performance.
So, to help you give your fans a better show experience, I'm going to give you a few tips for improving your live performance. These tips are in no particular order and do not have to be done at the same time.
Live performances don’t have to be perfect the first time around. Some would even say that not being perfect and continuously improving your live performance can be better than getting things perfect the first time around and never being able to live up to that moment again.
1.) Practice Your Set List Beforehand
So many artists overlook one of the most simple, yet effective methods for improving their live performances: practice.
You should be practicing your set list as much as possible. Just by practicing you can eliminate mistakes like forgetting the words to your lyrics, getting tired quickly from not pacing yourself, and just help you feel confident overall.
2.) Remove The Vocals From Your Verses
The problem with leaving the vocals on your verses is that when you go to perform your song, your voice and the vocals from your song get mixed together and can give a low quality, mumbled sound. To fix this, you should remove your vocals from your verses (but leave the ad-libs in). Then when you're performing your song, your voice will project itself over the beat instead of a recorded version of yourself.
One thing to take into consideration is that if you're performing with low-quality equipment, there's a chance that you'll have a mumbled sound regardless of what you do. However, you should still be able to get a higher quality sound by removing the vocals from your verses than if you had left them in.
3.) Limit Drug & Alcohol Use Before The Show
Not many people are going to tell you this before your show, but It’s something you need to hear. Limit the amount of drugs and alcohol you use before your show. Being wasted does not add to your fans experience, and in most cases, it makes your live performance worse. My recommendation would be to take at most one or two shots and leave it at that. Don’t be the guy that pukes all over himself and his fans.
4.) Better Diet & Exercise
If you've been to a show for upcoming artists, you’ve most likely seen the results of having a poor diet and lack of exercise. The artists start performing with tons of energy and within 5-10 minutes, their performance begins to suffer as they become more and more tired. Although this is an indirect tip for improving your live performances (and life in general), it is just as effective as all of the others. By having a clean diet and regularly getting exercise, you’ll be able to perform at a much higher intensity for longer periods of time than your lazy, McDonalds eating counterpart.
You don’t have to use every tip at the same time to improve your live performances. I wouldn’t recommend that you even try. By using one tip at a time, you’ll be able to focus and follow-through with your improvements – instead of splitting your focus between 4 different tips.