Motivation & Inspiration Club #4 with Lieven | From bedroom to stage

January 28th | 19:30 CET (GMT) time.
### From Bedroom to Stage

Do you dream of being on stage one day, alone or with a band? What does it take to do that and what are my first steps in a broader plan? The distance between you and that first live gig isn’t as big as you might expect!

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If you have specific questions concerning this topic, drop them here. If they fit my concept, I will answer them in the session. If not, I’ll try to answer it here!


Lieven @LievenDV
I have been looking forward to this session since it was first mentioned. I have already made the transition from bedroom to stage, and as you say it took a lot less time than expected, just less than a year from starting to learn, I however have been very fortunate in that I joined a local acoustic guitar club which put on performances twice a year.
I have some thoughts, questions and my experience of doing your first few performances and what a beginner like me goes through but don’t want to take that away from this thread but can put it in a PM if you want and you can see if anything is of relevance.

Lieven @LievenDV
Just some thoughts

There are different sorts of stage, OM in the community, OM in a pub, busking in the street and being part of a band, or even an AVOYP, what skills do you need for each.

Is being able to sing an advantage or disadvantage in some of options.

What kit do you need for each, apart from you and your guitar(s).



Sure thing, be my guest

Certainly one of the topics I want to touch in this session!

Interesting question; much has to do with your role on stage/in the live session and the kind of story you want to tell. Being able to sing is always an asset but it needs to be put to use like an instrument. People often wonder about “what is good enough” well it should at least serve your act and not hurt it; that is the bottom line. Of course, if you don’t sing and it’s a solo act, you need a damn good guitar act; (guitar only, with looper, with drum, whatever) :smiley:

Never forget, you are a musician but when on stage, you are AN ENTERTAINER
When people see you on stage, they want to be entertained and the music part is only a part of that. So when hitting the stage, you see the goals and the means to an end have shifted.

That will certainly be a core message in that session


I’m always interested in thoughts / strategies for addressing ‘stage fright’. It certainly affects me although I know some have it much worse than I do. The ‘just pretend you’re excited’ thing doesn’t really work for me and it does affect by performance - playing and singing.
I imagine this is one of the biggest barriers to getting out of the bedroom.


Yes, a crucial pillar of your stage performance, your current mental state and comfort!
I’ll share the tips I can think of in the session


+1 for this question. As someone who is just starting to consider the idea of moving from solely doing the community OM’s where you have a captive audience to a live performance in my local community, I’d be curious to know some good strategies of keeping the audience engaged in a setting where they may not be there specifically to see you- such as a community festival, an outdoor mall, a block party etc…


THIS is the key.
Which artists that are bad singers actually have an audience? the ones with a story to tell!
The arc of your set playes a role just as the arc of each song does.

Certainly one of the things I already had in mind, since I already wrote something tht touches a bit of the story arc topics:


This “being able to sing” question is interesting. I’ve watched quite a few Tommy Emmanuel videos on YouTube and he didn’t sing in any of them. But last night I was at a live performance given by him and he sang quite a bit! I was completely taken by surprise. Sometimes it was good and sometimes not so! But he was always a superb entertainer!

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Very good point.

There are also additional options to OMs that count as public performances:

  1. Performing in front of family and friends - campfires, holiday singalongs
  2. Song Circles / Guitar Clubs
  3. Open Jams, which are set up for whole band arrangements - mic’s, drums, and PA - and various players can sit in with other musicians.

Different skills required…and different levels of anxiety to participate!

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Tom @Tbushell
You are quite right there are other possibilities I was perhaps drawing my list too small, I was perhaps thinking where you play in front of people you don’t know, although even then my list is not exhaustive.
You mention families, which is interesting, I have never played in front of them at home, of course they must be sick of me playing up stairs when they are downstairs. Of course they have seen me perform at the three concerts I have done at the guitar club.

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Some interesting thoughts. I’d actually add Busking !

Not something I have done but I know when Jason @Rossco01 was branching out away from AVOYP, he decided to try some local busking. And from those little acorns, went on to solo OMs, then a duo OM and now a full 3 piece that has gone from OMs to gigging under the name of Retrospective. And in all that time I’ve been kicking my heels in the Normandie backwash. :rofl:

The sky is the limit !


Busking definitely a good way to start… I remember being so nervous playing that first chord, singing that first word… and then realising very quickly that for many people you were just the background to their shopping trip so no need to be nervous… it really didn’t matter if you were good or bad. The real golden moment is when someone stops and listens!

If you can’t or don’t want to sing usually it’s quite easy to find someone who does ( lots of people want to sing but not so many can play an instrument). A lot of people can make a start just by attending events whether it’s open mics or local jam sessions they don’t have to take part straight away. They’ll meet lots of other people like them.

Gear? An acoustic and a bag/bucket to collect your tips is all you need if you’re busking.

For me those early experiences translated to everything I’ve done since. Certainly for those not so confident playing with others is the way to go.


That’s amazing, Jason. I’m dead interested to know many songs you did…and what they were.

Q&A carried over from the Live session:

**On the gear side- what are professional musicians that play as part of a band wear on stage for hearing protection? I am in the early stages of working with a band, but we have only played in my living room where we can wear headphones. We won’t be able to do this live. **

@LievenDV @Jenndye429

Hi guys, there are so many “use cases” for (live) gigs, (busking, AVOYP, OM, online OM, full blown solo or band gigs, etc.) so I tried to be as universal as possible.

You feel that, in the ocnstruction of “growing in aby steps”, you can put them in a certain sequence + Add quite a lof of steps to that list:

  • recording yourself and evaluating yourself
  • recording yourself and askingfeedback to one person you trust
  • recording yourself and asking feedback to several people
  • playing someting in front of somebody in your house
  • etc.

all the way to a “big live gig”


All were simple strummers from the JG beginners song book John. Doesn’t need to be complicated. Brown Eyed Girl, This Years Love, Why Does it Always rain on me were ones I remember.


Hi Lieven, sorry I missed it last night I was later getting home than expected :frowning:

Don’t worry, thanks for bing so considerate though :wink:

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