When Earth, Wind and Fire first started performing years ago, they were a group of young people. They were several multi-instrumentalists, creating this phenomenal music, putting on a nice musical performance and people were blahzay about it all. They would perform, receive this great applause and then the next band would come up and they’d receive really great applause and everyone forgot about EWF. Maurice White knew he had to do something about that.
So they did an entire do over. Maurice made their lyrics about life, upgraded their performance and they created a show – an actual experience – for people to feel a part of and to enjoy. This made all the difference and put them over the top. They set themselves apart from other bands, not just with the show but with excellent musicianship along with their performance.
Studies show that the audience is more concerned about the appearance and the performance than the actual music. They want to be entertained in a visual way in addition to being moved. They want to watch women move, sway and dance in sexual ways. They want the hair to be perfect, the clothes to be perfect and the jewelry to be unique.
Guitar players are noted by the audience for their movements. It’s not about how a person plays, it’s about how they move and how they look when they’re moving. Proof of this is the air guitar contests that are held.
We could give more examples. But, for the true artist who is about the art, just stay focused on the art – on the music. Make sure you have the best quality product you can possibly have. Then when you are performing, learn how to make the audience respond to you and to what you are saying and doing on stage. You’ve got to grab people’s attention from the second you step on that stage. They want to see you make that sound and be that sound. Draw them in and they will listen to you, dance with you, cry with you, laugh with you and feel what you feel.