Last article I talked about why I feel like all the artists I know need to be considering playing house shows. Here are the four things I think you're going to need to make your house shows successful.
First off, Shannon Curtis's book No Booker, No Bartender, No Bouncer is virtually biblical to me right now. I just bought my second copy because it seems like someone is always borrowing mine. She has discovered and explains in detail how she earns an avg of $850/night playing house shows 4-5 nights a week. By her description, the connections she makes with her listeners during her shows are far more intense than when she played clubs, and she's building a real community around her music. The best part is that this is relatively attainable and a great first goal for those of us starting out.
Just go and buy this book, it's like $7 and the best investment I've ever made in my career. She talks about how she does her house shows, conversing with the hosts, the correct length to play and a hundred other little tricks for making the event as spectacular as possible. You can listen to her podcast episode with Chris G or watch her Ted talk to get an idea of who she is and what she's done.
Tom has worked for a number of A-list artists by helping them perfect their live show before going on tour. His teaching method and presentation strikes me as sort of a southern preacher of live performance methodology. He's the only person I've come across who teaches this stuff as well and with so much passion. And he has tons of material for you to dig into.
The next article will be a summary of the first video you should start with and it revolves around how to structure your set list for an hour performance.
Tom's DVD's are a bit expensive if you're on the fence about jumping into this whole house concert thing, so I'll try to summarize here as best I can in hopes it case you decide to buy his DVD's later.
Shannon is for the structure, Tom is for the show, and Pat is for the songs. Pat Pattison has been Berklee's go-to songwriting professor for a long, long time. Fortunately, for those of us who don't have six figures to invest (read: "blow") on going to Berklee, he's condensed a lot of great insights into several kick ass songwriting books. Songwriting Without Boundaries and Writing Better lyrics are two of my favorites. Our Custom-Tracks Online Songwriter Circle will be guided by some of his ideas here as well.
Running a couple of growing companies and launching into this house concerts world is a bit overwhelming for me at times. Balancing work with life and having a way to shut it off and calm down can be an invaluable tool with all of the high's and low's. Especially because of music's connective nature, it's really hard to make any progress if worn out mentally and off-balance. Learning to meditate has been a good investment and helps me with all of this. It's amazing to me how difficult it can be at times - sitting still seems like it would be the easiest thing I do all day, but it's an uncanny journey into my own mind and I'm the better for it.
I've been really interested in Rick Beato's channel for learning useful tips and helpful insights about music in general. If you're wanting to improve your musicianship, you might get inspired browsing through the titles on his YouTube channel.
He has a lot of experience and is a great resource for intermediate to advanced music theory and playing.
So there you go, I hope that helps. It's a lot of information to soak up, but there are several parts to putting together a great house show. I hope this inspires you and keeps you growing and making better and better music. Talk to you soon!