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Tips on how to livestream your music during COVID-19

Words by Annie-Mei Forster.

So you got your gig cancelled - that sucks. Many musicians have experienced cancellations and postponements of gigs. The good news is we have something that people didn’t have in decades past during a crisis - the Internet!

 

Musicians of all genres are taking to social media and streaming platforms to play live for their fans. You may have already listened to an artist playing from their living room such as Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Keith Urban and Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard.


If you’re new to live streaming your music, we’re here to help you out with some helpful tips.


Things to remember about live streaming

 

1)    Interact with the audience – it’s not a concert so take advantage of the more casual and interactive situation. Encourage audience members to post comments and show their support for your music.


2)    Don’t stress about production – no one had time to prepare for this situation so don’t worry if you don’t sound as good as you do on stage. People will appreciate that you’re still willing to play for them even if it’s from your messy bedroom.


3)    Encourage participation – ask the audience if they’d like you to play a certain song. You could even get some fans to join in by turning their mics on and joining in with you if they play an instrument.  


4)    Do something to catch people’s attention – if you’re going to live stream you need to grab people’s attention right away. No one wants to see you set up your guitar for half an hour and get it tuned up. It’s casual but not that casual. You could do something funny or make a light-hearted joke. In times like this, we all need a laugh.


5)    Just do it – You’ll be nervous and anxious if you’ve never done this before but that’s completely normal. Just think of the first time you ever played on stage or busked on the street and that will give you courage. Just keep practicing until you get better.


6)    Have a chat – you don’t have to perform every single time. Post a question ahead of your next live streaming session and discuss some of their answers. For example, you could ask: ‘What’s the best game you’ve come up with from staying indoors?’ and then on your next show read out the best answers or even get those people to film themselves playing it so you can show it to all your followers. 


7)   Make it personal - show your audience things they wouldn’t normally see on stage, such as your pet dog or cat. You don’t have to give them a tour of your house but give them a glimpse into how you go about creating your music or what’s in your vinyl record collection.


Websites you can use to get inspiration on how to livestream your music


NPR Music

NPR Music is compiling a bunch of live streaming links that’s growing longer by the day. They’ve even got a Google Form where you can add a live concert to be considered for the list.


Couch Choir

This is a great one to be part of a community project. Pub Choir is bringing the pub to your couch. On Tuesday March 17 at 7 pm AEST, Couch Choir will be releasing three short videos for you to pick from. 


You then have to record yourself singing along with the original video. Couch Choir will then compile all the submissions together into one video for everyone to listen to! The best part is - you don’t even have to have a good voice!


Isol-Aid

This is a two-day live-streamed music festival to raise money for Aussie artists who’ve had gigs cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s happening this weekend! The Instagram live-streamed event will feature 74 of the country’s best musical talents including the likes of Stella Donnelly, Julia Jacklin, Didirri, Cry Club and many more. Each artist will play a 20-minute set from their bedroom, lounge room or bathtub. 


Viewers are encouraged to donate to a fundraiser set up by Support Act where you can also support artists by buying merch and music from their Patreon and Bandcamp pages. If this doesn’t give you inspiration to livestream your music, then nothing will! Isol-Aid will be running from 12 pm - 12 am on Saturday March 21 and Sunday March 22.


 






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