ConcertsInYourHome has a robust audition system that requires two live videos from artist applicants. Judges include industry professionals, but the majority are active house concert presenters. These hosts offer specific feedback to the artists regarding the materials presented.
We’ve seen thousands of video evaluations. Here are the most common problems they report to the artists about the videos. Here are the big three that have nothing to do with the songs selected.
- Not a listening audience. If you can’t command the respect of the audience in the video, why would we expect anything different when we see you?
- Different lineup than advertised. If you are booking yourself for house concerts as a solo act, we might enjoy seeing you with a violin player if we’re digging 5 and 6 videos deep into what you do. But the first two videos MUST be a good representation of what you are bringing to our house. Don’t make people imagine what you’d be like without the full drum kit and backline.
- Lip-sync, strum sync – keep it real, even if that means the audio won’t be pristine.
In addition, here are the most common problems with regarding the songs or performances.
- Long intro. Usually, the priority is the voice, and artists who strum their 4 chord intro* several times before getting to the vocal will lose the booker’s interest. Remember that people are busy, and your video could be in a long line of potential acts for that concert series. If you tell a story, tell it really well, make a point and be expressive.
- Not feeling any emotion – eye contact is often a factor here. You might be staring at lyrics/computer or just trying too hard and getting in your own way.
- Pitchy vocals or instruments. We don’t seek perfection in live video, but there are a lot of performances where pitch problems are relentless.
- Cover songs – the existing communities of house concert hosts tend to prefer original music, unless they book traditional, celtic, classical, and blues genres. Even though a couple of covers in a show is a welcome treat, it’s usually a mistake to introduce yourself with a video cover tune. Even if you love to play Cohen/Buckley’s “Hallelujah,” it doesn’t mean you play it in a remarkable way.
* Songwriting Tip: The intro to your song shouldn’t be a twenty second warm-up. It should get the same songwriting attention and care as the rest of the song. If the chords are no different than the verse, there better be something magical going on over it. If the intro is there simply out of songwriting habit, if it serves no purpose, get rid of it.
When you submit songs or videos to a judging process, keep in mind that the judges will be listening to many artists in a row. Find a way to get to the essence of your content and sound quickly.
We are proud to announce the new LRN Gigboard, to better allow artists, venues, and hosts to find opportunities.
Venues (Listening Rooms and House Concerts) have a spot in their profile where they can designate a target month that they would like to book. Until now, these target dates/places could only be found by looking through individual venue profiles on the site. Now, all these opportunities appear on one page – the Gigboard!
Also, artists have a number of avails they can promote in their profiles, listing a region and month along with additional details. These are listed on the avails pages of both sites for venues to find.
The Gigboard now cross-references this data for artists, which makes avails even more powerful than before. While looking through the Gigboard, artists will now see venue entries highlighted if they match an avail. For artists without a lot of time to explore profiles, this is a great way to quickly find opportunities. (List your avails, then visit the gigboard.)
- Hosts/Venues: Venues can benefit by receiving better-targeted inquiries… no fussing about available dates… if the music is great, you can move forward quickly. For out-of-the way venues who don’t see many prospects, this is a great way to get more artists to reach out to you.
- Artists/Agents: List your most important avails in your profile, then visit the Gigboard and see if any highlighted entries jump out at you!
A long overdue and heartfelt hat tip to Jeff Robertson, who wanted to see this Gigboard years ago!
We have wonderful house concerts in Canada, Europe, Australia/NZ, but 80% of the activity at ConcertsInYourHome is in the United States. To encourage more activity around the world, we’re offering an artist discount for new members who are based primarily outside the U.S. Let’s offset those crazy U.S. visa fees, and create more cultural diversity in our global network!
Tell someone you love. Coming to America just got a little easier.
Airlines have a long history of mistreating luggage, and our cherished, vital musical instruments are no exception to the rule. Even after pressure from musician’s unions, youtube videos, and written complaints, things have been slow to improve. Today airlines are at best inconsistent, often negligent, and sometimes downright malicious. (Look out the window as they load luggage when you can.)
The law is now on our side if we want to carry on our instruments, as long as we do the diligence of trying to board early. It’s not full-proof, but we encourage musicians to print this out and keep the law in their instrument case.
Please share this with musicians you love, and board early!