Being a one man band is both challenging and satisfying, You get all the credit for the sound you put out. Good or bad. You have to find your own niche and build on it. It must be just like any other business if you are to be successful. Promotion is the key. When you play, do so with all the joy and enthusiasm that you had the first time you performed successfully in public. It’s the feeling that the audience picks up on. Of course choosing the right songs in the right order, is another key to being a successful performer.
You don’t have to be the best musician, If there is such a thing, put your heart and soul into every performance and it will generate more enthusiasm from the crowd than you can believe is possible. Also, I strongly suggest that you do not use set lists. they limit your communication with the audience. a performance should be like a dialogue, and a set list is more like a lecture. I have played professional music for over 40 years and am often still surprised at the reaction different musicians get from their crowds. Again, it’s not how good you are but more of a measure of the feelings and emotions you can project from your voice and your instrument.
There are many ways to set up backing tracks. Being a old style musician I prefer to make my own. I have a large selection of available sound modules to work with. Digital sound banks are profession sounding, but audio recordings of live instruments give a warmer feel. You’ll need some sort of sequencer to process all your backings. I use a lot of midi files and then make them my own but adding the instruments that I fell are the best fit for each part. I want a full sounding backing track. So it sounds just like I’m playing with a full band. Many of my songs have full orchestral accompaniments like the original songs.
As you play a song it will evolve on it’s own if you put feeling and emotion into it. I am often surprised at how I have unconsciously changed a song throughout the years. I might hear a song on the radio that I’ve been singing for years and recognize the difference between how the recording artist does the song and how I now interpret it. I originally try to sound as close as possible to the artist. But over the years I change an intonation or a phrase in the song to make it more my own.