Learn from your gigging mistakes.
I know that many of you have never played a live show before. If this is the case then these tips will apply to you down the road (if playing shows turns out to be a goal of yours).
Let’s face it, when performing live in front of an audience, mistakes happen. Anything from broken strings, technical difficulties, to forgetting the notes to your favorite solo can occur. With so much that could go wrong you may wonder how you could possibly enjoy the experience of playing live. The answer is simple: you just need a shift in thinking
Instead of worrying about all the little things that could go wrong, learn to welcome them as part of the learning experience. Be glad that these lessons happened now instead of further down the road, or in a more important situation. No one wants to make mistakes, but by learning from these, you have just become a better musician.
I first began “gigging” about 13 years ago as an eager teen. I learned valuable lessons at almost every show I have ever played. Perhaps the biggest lesson was when I realized that by taking a little bit of extra time preparing, I could avoid many of these mistakes from happening again.
Next, I will list a few of the most common mistakes and problems that may occur. Learn from these and you will have already improved as a performing artist. They can especially help if you are preparing for your first show.
Broken String(s)- Having newer strings on your guitar will help prevent this from happening most of the time. It is a good idea to have a back-up guitar available. If you do not have one, you better be able to change strings quickly. It is also important to realize that most people in the audience would never care if you break a string anyway. In fact they might even think it is kind of cool (as oddly as that sounds). You must have really been into your playing!
Pulled chord- If you can’t afford to get yourself a wireless system yet, be sure to thread your cord though the strap of your guitar to prevent it from getting pulled from a band mates foot or from wandering too far from your amp. Speaking of your amp, it is a good idea to thread the opposite end of your chord through the handle of your amplifiers head as well.
Don’t drown out the singer- Everyone likes to play loud, but if your band is playing a smaller show, and not everyone is being mixed by the “sound guy,” then take an extra minute or so to make sure that you can still easily hear the singer. If you turn up too loudly, the singer will have to push his vocals to the extreme the whole set or else he will not be heard.
Check your equipment the night before-Make sure to check all your equipment the night before. If possible, bring spares. And yes this means checking cables and batteries as well.
Leave with what you came with-You would be surprised how easy it is to leave something behind. Triple check just to make sure. Did you remember to grab your tuner? How about your guitar stand?
Don’t look at others for mistakes- If a fellow band mate makes a mistake, most of the time nobody in the crowd will even notice. Do not help to draw attention to the mistake by looking at the band member. Just play on, it is part of the excitement of playing live.
These are just a handful of the many things that can happen. Remember, playing live is a learning experience. So, learn!
If you would like to learn more about whether or not guitar lessons are for you, CLICK HERE.