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EM Editor's Note: Put On Your Game Face

September 1, 2011

Are you playing gigs, and getting paid? Then you''re officially in show business—the key word being show. And for musicians, it''s all about the music, right? Well, not really.

You know that you need to play your best, whether you''re in front of ten people or 10,000 people. But putting on a thrilling show means also perfecting the nonmusical aspects of your performance: what you look like onstage, what you do between songs, how you interact with the audience.

Most good stage habits are no-brainers: Tune silently. Memorize your set list. Minimize the time between songs. Make eye contact with the audience. It''s difficult to have self-awareness here, so ask friends for constructive criticism. Watch videos of yourself onstage.

This month, we''ll give you tons of ideas for polishing your stage presentation. In “Size Up Your Show” on page 98, we''ll show you how a little honest self-evaluation can take your performance to the next level. And our “Stage Lighting Primer” on page 94 offers simple tips for adding visual impact to your show. Need more gigs in the first place? In “Embracing Versatility” on page 72, first-call touring musicians share advice for making the leap from being a good musician to being a good, marketable musician.

So be real, be spontaneous, but be prepared. See you at the gig!

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