Arts & Entertainment, Music

Performance Techniques


Lesson time 14:29 min

The audience-performer relationship is complex. Learn how to perform at your best while creating intimacy with your audience. Boost your confidence on stage with strategies honed by Metallica over four decades of playing live stadium shows.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Drawing the Crowd In · Memorize, Then Internalize · Using the Special Connection


 JAMES HETFIELD: All right! I see everyone liked that one. We got everybody screaming on that one. It's about time! - I was super shy as a kid. You know, getting up, it was not pleasant to connect with the crowd, or to talk to the crowd, or-- very first show, like, between songs, you know, someone broke a guitar string, it was like, uh, how do you like the show so far, you know, like, two songs in. And it's like, I don't like this part. I don't-- it feels uncomfortable, like I'm supposed to be filling in time, or you know, uncomfortable silence, you know? I have to fill that in. And I don't. It's okay. [MUSIC PLAYING] Being more of just myself, not trying to be greater than, not trying to be up on the pedestal, being one of many works really well. Being a part of the crowd, and embracing whatever mood I'm in-- you know, there are times when I'm out on stage, and I'm feeling a little whatever, tired, or grumpy, or whatever it may be. I'll just say that into the mic, just to get it out. And then it's done, it's gone. I've surrendered that, you know? Sorry I'm not in the best of mood, but you know, hopefully, you guys will get me out of that. And that works. It really does work. Just being honest, talking to the crowd like you're one of them, you know, they're one of you. Talking to the crowd as it's a conversation. It's like it's another person. It's not like, you know, a mass of people, or I have to do something special. I mean, even just talk to an individual. Like, hey, you look familiar, and blah, blah, blah. You know, just make it a personal conversation that draws the crowd right in. Other times, when I'm just in not the best of moods, I will pick someone out that I know is just so full of energy, and so giving. I will just go to them. And I'll-- you know, I'll borrow some of that energy from them that night. And that'll give me, okay, there's a great reminder that hey, what we're doing is-- is special, and this moment is special, that person is enjoying this. Why am I in a funk? You know, I'll get out of that. - When you're touring a lot, not just changing the setlist, but really feeding off-- off the fans and the-- the energy coming back can really help you going when you're just doing-- slogging months and months of endless touring. And so I always try to-- like, when I get up on stage, after the first song or two, I go all the way out to the end of the stage and get like, right in the faces of the fans. I'm not hiding behind the drums, or you know, cowering, or whatever you say. I'm-- just like, go into the energy. Go into your fear. Have eye contact, and-- and just really get in-- go into it, rather than hide away from it. And when we're playing in the really big places, definitely try to have as much eye contact with as many people in the front row and the snake pit, but also the old thousand-yard stare. Don't forget about the people that are 200 yards away, and sort...

About the Instructor

With 28 albums, 8 Grammy Awards, and a home in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Metallica have been creating iconic music together for over 40 years. Now, they’re teaching what it takes to build and sustain success as a group. Get an exclusive look into their process for songwriting, building an album, and performing, and how they took charge of their creative destiny so you can do the same.

Featured Masterclass Instructor


8x Grammy Award–winning rock band Metallica teaches you the keys to communicating, collaborating, and successfully creating as a group.

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