Is Your Live Show Any Good? – Two Performance Tune-Ups with Tom Jackson

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Sure, an audience expects you to sound good– play in time, sing in tune, remember lyrics, etc.

But a great live show takes so much more than simple execution; you’ve got to create memorable moments on stage, and that involves tweaking, practicing, and perfecting all those OTHER things about live performance: the look, the moves, the banter, the set-list, the arrangements, the lighting, positioning, and length of the show.

Are you creating real moments on stage?

We’ve had the privilege of interviewing live music producer Tom Jackson for CD Baby’s DIY Musician Podcast on two different occasions. Tom is a performance coach (and so much more) who’s worked with big-name acts from Taylor Swift to Jars of Clay, helping them craft a concert from start to finish that sends audiences clambering to the merch table.

Click the links below to hear Tom’s advice on how to connect with an audience in a lasting way:

1. DIY Musician Podcast Episode #43: Tom Jackson- Creating Moments on Stage

2. DIY Musician Podcast Episode #111: Tom Jackson- The Live Band Makeover

How have you studied and altered your own live performances to make a bigger impact? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  • Anonymous

    These were great podcasts that I listened to some months ago. Mr Jackson has alot of good advice that would help an act of any sort. I had a look at his website. The DVD packages looked a little pricey, so I went to Amazon and found that there was a video series available there at a fraction of the cost (think I got the last set). It was a few years old, but he seemed to be talking about the same things, so I bought it.

    The video series was excellent and from watching it I am sure that the DVD series would be well worth the money. Particularly when you set the cost against the cost of all the gear you need to do a live show and other expenses etc etc. The videos were however aimed primarily at christian acts (which wasn't stated on the outside of the videos or on amazon). That is not to say it is the same case with the DVDs. Just something that you might want to inquire about if you are interested in this product but spooked by christian stuff.

    • I know Tom does work with many Christian acts. But he's worked with tons of popular "secular" acts, as well. Many of the DVDs show his work with your regular ol' pop, rock, and folk bands.

  • Lucas Miller

    I recently listened to both of Mr. Jackson’s podcasts and I appreciated what he was saying in a general sense but I was really hoping for more specifics. Every time Kevin asked for such we got sports or food metaphors. He had me convinced that it was worth examining the live show in a new light but, in the end, I felt like he was holding back on the method so we’d buy his DVDs. I get that but a little more “sample of the goods” might have been a better sales technique (a la Chris Anderson). He obviously gets a lot of resistance to what he does because it seemed like he spent the majority of the interview trying to convince us he really was necessary. Do his DVDs go into the nitty gritty or is it more metaphors?

  • Yes. And you see him work with bands on stage, so you get the specifics of an actual live band makeover. I own a copy of one series and found it helpful.

    • J. Lucas Miller

      Thanks, Chris. Love the podcast–it is inspirational and very helpful.

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