One important technique that is also, due to it's nature, frequently overlooked is misdirection. The point of misdirection is to lead your audience to pay attention to one thing so that another thing you are doing can appear startlingly effortless. At around :30 in the clip above notice how I play a pretty bold comping figure with my L.H. while I am reaching over to switch to sticks. This use of misdirection makes it so that my ride cymbal beat seems to just materialize.
|Make it look easy|
What is the point?
The point of musical performance as opposed to say, magic, is not to confound but to move or inspire an audience. The importance of misdirection therefore is not illusion for illusions sake, but rather to wrap what you are doing in a shroud of effortlessness. The experience of watching a musician struggling can range from distracting to painfully awkward for an audience, so masking difficulty with some clever misdirection can remove a barrier between your audience and your music. In other words, judicious use of misdirection can make for a better performance.
The master at work
Notice in the clip below how much Papa Jo does to give the impression of effortlessness. Everything from his posture, to what he does with his hands, to his facial expressions seem to disguise how difficult what he is playing really is. What we the audience are left with is an amazing show: