|A note from the FNO
Greetings FNO Bands and
This month, Jordan
Tishler of Digital Bear Entertainment shares some excellent pointers
for bands, dig it!
Through September we are offering $10 commissionon for new member
referrals, so spread the word about FNO and we will hook you up with
some easy money. (Normally commission is $5, this is a summer
Have a great day!
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|Rules to Take the Stage By - By Jordan Tishler
This is a list of rules you should memorize and live by when performing
at clubs or other public places. I have compiled this list after years
of watching acts do stupid things that really hurt them, and ultimately
lead to their downfall. Don’t make these mistakes.
• Know your material. Don’t start and stop. Be prepared to fall
down, be heckled, have equipment fall over. Be sure you can sing on key
without the monitors. Know what to do if the monitor mix is bad or cuts
• Know how long you have to play. Don’t run over. That’s amateurish.
Don’t tell the audience “we have 3 more for you” only to be told “only
2 more” by the soundman. Play too little and the fans will be
thrilled when you announce an extra song, kind of like an encore.
• Make sure the room knows who you are. Introduce the band name
before you start, or immediately after the first song. You have to
mention the name 7 times before you’re off. Similarly, use the CD name
with the band name. Mention song titles as you go. Point out
which are on the CD for sale. Mention the web site. Mention the
mailing list. Mention the mailing list again. Each time use the band
• Getting names on your mailing is the key mission of the evening.
Playing a great show and selling CDs or T-shirt are just part of the
process. In the end, gaining the new fan and their contact info is the
• Know the names of the acts you are playing with that night. Mention
them by name, and the order or times they’ll play. Remind your fans to
stay. (This should be reinforced in your email newsletter too – stay
and build a scene…). Don’t just say “stick around” or flub the other
band’s name. Thank the other band for sharing the bill. Promote them
from the stage and they’ll want to share the bill with you again, and
they’ll remind their fans how wonderful you just were.
• Don’t bitch about the sound or soundman. Most are brain-dead.
Accept it and work with them. Above all, leave your egos at home. Be
professional. Tip the bar folk well and, while onstage, remind your
fans to do so too.
• Set up – you should never let more than 5 minutes elapse between the
end of the act before you and starting yourself. If that means you have
to help them load out, so be it. Don’t lose the energy in the room
while you set up.
• Load out – Divide and Conquer. Just after you play is a crucial time.
Your fans and potential new fans need you. Don’t get mired in moving
equipment or talking to the other bands. Send your frontman and chief
sideman (lead guitar, for example) into the crowd to meet fans, shake
hands, point out the mailing list, mention CDs or T-shirts. Have
the backline guys do the rapid load out. Once the gear is out of the
way, it can be gotten later.
• Have a visible presence. You must have 2 banners with your name and
logo on it. One should be visible behind the band as you play. Be sure
it is not obscured by your heads. Don’t use a kick head for this
reason. The other should be over your merchandise table to
• Know your fans. Get to know their personal details. Go beyond names
to significant others, children, jobs, personal problems. The
more you know, the more they will feel bonded to your band.
• If you’re lucky enough to have an industry insiders come to one of
your shows. Don’t rush up to them before you play. If they introduce
themselves, thank them for coming, tell them you hope they enjoy the
show, offer them a drink (say, “can I get you something to drink?” NOT
“wanna beer”. You never know who is a recovering alcoholic).
After the show, send a band
member to them immediately. Don’t wait for them to approach you,
they’ll feel neglected. Thank them for coming, tell
them you hope they enjoyed the show, offer them a drink.
• Guest list. Never let an industry person pay the cover. That’s what
the guest list is for (OK, you can use it for your parents too, on
occasion). If there is no list, prepay the venue the cover charge for
There are other rules you need to learn too, like not staring at your
feet or the walls or the ceiling (I’ve see these, don’t laugh) and
tricks you can use like how to engage the audience (or force yourself
or your bandmates to do so). For more on this, call Digital Bear
Entertainment’s Artist Relations Dept. 617 522 4550 x0. However, these
above are the basics. You gotta know them and live by them. You’ll
definitely be judged by them. Be professional.
Jordan Tishler: Producer,
Digital Bear Entertainment
Artist Development, Music Production and Publishing
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