Queens Over Kings is performing on Saturday as the entertainment for our neighborhood block party. Glam, I know. But it gives us yet another chance to have fun, share what we love, and practice being in front of people. And we need to practice that just like practicing our music. There are different ways to deal with being on stage. For example, finding your own confidence. Last night a performance exercise hit me that is as much clever as it was effective in taking our stage presence up a notch.
Cover songs are easy to do which is why most bands start out this way. The audience knows the music and so you get the expected responses. The less easy songs are original compositions. I've been working on this specifically as the "eye candy" of the band (not my words). Last night's rehearsal focused on our three original songs and how we could make them more fun to play. We played each song individually in three rounds:
Round 1: Find the Groove - Identify what it is about the song that is the easiest to hear, identify with, dance to. Have only the necessary instruments play, no more than two, and practice reacting to the beat.
Round 2: Connect with the Crowd - Add another instrument and practice looking out into the crowd. How would you acknowledge someone that has found the same groove as you or invite someone in to your groove? Make eye contact as much as you can without being creepy... Sing directly to an audience member, nod in their direction, smile!
Round 3: Be One with your Band Mates - Have each member of the band choose another member of the band to practice looking at or dancing with. Be silly and over the top so you get used to being open and flexible, and keep trying whatever comes to mind.
Randomize, rinse, repeat, and you have perfection. You know what they say, "You play how you practice." At the end of an intense half hour we were sweating from playing hard, smiling from having fun, and totally satisfied with how cool our songs are. This is a huge improvement from just two months ago. I'm so looking forward to this weekend and getting the audience going!