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In an industry where majority kick off as recording artists, live band performances remain a reserve for just a few and even then, fewer can be considered as perfect. A lot of artists instead prefer lip sync/audio playback off C.Ds and consider that easier.
The blunt truth is that no artist worth any seriousness and respect can afford not to learn their way around live band performances, especially if they are doing certain genres. Live band performances exude maturity, professionalism and effort.
Even with genres like hip hop whose beauty may not be perfectly be brought out by live band instruments, professional performers world over have devised means of incorporating live instrumentation with a D.J, to ensure that they give fans a “raw” feel of music.
You see, fans listen to your music all year long, have your C.D at home and it would be unfair to them, if you go ahead and perform from the very C.D. Live performance gives you the opportunity to dictate alterations in the flow as well as interact with the audience at chosen moments.
There’s also a feel live band instrumentation offers, that fully recorded playback performances can’t offer. That explains why fans world over respect musicians that can afford to perform with live band accompaniment, given that it is a sign of proficiency and sophistication.
Of course it takes effort to learn one’s way around live band performances and that probably explains why a lot of musicians would rather stay away from it. However, it is important that a musician learns to perform alongside a band.
It is advisable that you kick off by learning how to play an instrument or two, but in the event that you can’t, then find a vocal coach first and foremost. An artist that intends to master live band performance must polish their vocals.
Identify the strong and weak points of your vocals as well as your vocal range. Go around perfecting your vocal strength, vocal projection, breath control and a few more things of that nature that move hand in hand with live band performances.
Given that live band performances require backup/background vocalists complementing both the basic melodies and harmonies, an artist must learn their way around singing alongside other vocalists.
That is not easy and must not be taken for granted. Blending one’s vocals with those of other singers is not as easy as it appears, yet it is very important, if one is to pull off a live band performance.
It requires an artist to have good ears for key and also to understand when to lower their vocals and letting complementing vocals take a lead or when to project and overshadow complementing vocals, without going flat!
The artist would also have to learn the fact that unlike in studio, live vocals are very tasking and such; the artist may have to alter the tempo of the song, especially where they think they’ll have breath control issues.
Experience has also proved that up-tempo songs which come off well on C.D may sound amazingly pleasant mid-tempo or low tempo in a live performance. This far, you can realize already that live band performances are sophisticated and require lots of rehearsals.
At this point, the artist can rehearse with a full band, including instrumentalists and backup vocalists. It is also important to note that every single song has its own live band dynamics and that calls for more attention to detail.
Truth is; fans not only respect artists that perform with live bands, but also get the best value for their money. It takes them away from the usual feel of C.D music to something special and fresh. It also speaks volumes of effort and fans realize how much you put in, just for their pleasure and satisfaction.
Hip Hop artists and Ragga-Dancehall artists whose music is characterized with electronic sounds can be excused from live band performances in this part of the world and the reasons are simple. They may not afford both the time and sophistication that blends electronic sounds and raw instruments.
Additionally, their music may completely lose the beauty it has on C.D and sound terrible. Short of that, no musician has the excuse to dodge a live band performance, especially for major concerts. If a performance is not bringing in as much money, an artist can be excused from the effort of a live band performance.
Apart from apt backup vocalists, a live band performance should be accompanied by well-crafted choreography, aesthetic costuming as well aesthetic special effects and props where need arises, so as to give the performance a special feel.
It is also important to note that live band performances have complex sound dynamics and experts must be hired to ensure that there’s a perfect balance in the output of the various instruments involved.
In all, live band is the way to go, especially with more experienced artists. The longer one stays in the game, the more necessary it gets for them to master the art of live band performances.
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