A Note about Getting Audience Attention

On another forum, I saw lots of complaints from people who show up for an open mic or a gig only to have everyone talking through it all the time.

You can’t always avoid that. And usually it has NOTHING to do with the quality of your songs or your performance. I have seen world-class performers talked over by a rude audience.

Still as a Folksinger, I learned a few ways to get the audiences attention. For one, finish the next song with a “trash can” ending, which usually inspires people to clap, even if they weren’t paying attention to the song.

I would follow up with a dumb joke or some such, not to make folks think I’m the cleverest person on earth, but just to get their eyes and ears back on the platform.

Once, though, it backfired. I started coughing, and a friend rushed to get me a glass of water. Him running to the stage was a little distracting, so I tried to reclaim audience attention by asking “You didn’t drink out of it, did you?”

His response: “Not since this morning.” Game set and match . . ..


About Paul

Paul Race has been writing and playing all kinds of music since the 1960s, though he tends to favor acoustic and traditional songs. He has created resources like CreekDontRise.com, ClassicTrainSongs.com, and SchoolOfTheRock.com to help other musicians get a good start on their own journeys.

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