Preparing For Your First Guitar Gig

by Donna Maurer, Aug 30, 2019 . 5 min read

Preparing For Your First Guitar Gig

Congratulations! You have landed your very first guitar gig. It is exciting to be provided with the opportunity to perform live. 

Now comes the difficult part: how do you properly prepare so that you’re ready? Battle the stage fright?

There are some beneficial tips and techniques you can utilize to help you feel prepared. It’s time to get yourself in the right mindset so you can tackle your performance with ease.

Practice, Practice, and – of course – Practice

The most important thing that you can do when preparing for your debut is to, yes, practice. It may be annoying to hear this obvious piece of advice; but the more you practice the songs you will be playing, the better you will become at performing them. Identify ways that you can improve on your playing skills, find trouble areas to work on, and focus on practicing those sections more. 

Susana V., a teacher who specializes in professional guitar lessons out of New York City with Music To Your Home states that “practicing is essential for players to work their fingers, to improve their sound, and also to find their true potential and playing style.” So, make sure you set aside some quality practice time each day to perfect your guitar playing.

If you want to make sure your fingers stay nimble and are ready for all of your chord progressions, check out some of these great warm-up suggestions. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be when it’s showtime.

Further Reading – The Ultimate Guide To Guitar Practice 

Deal With Your Stage Fears

Anxiety is a completely normal, inherited response when playing in front of an audience. Even some of the most distinguished performers will admit to still having stage fright, after performing countless times. Here are a few ways to help you with combating your fears: 

Record Your Practice Sessions / Rehearsals 

You can’t always tell what areas need to be focused on; so it can be extremely helpful to record your practice sessions. When you play them back it will be easier to see what areas are either dragging in tempo or need to be more polished. You can identify trouble spots that you need to concentrate on playing over and over so that they sound the way you want. 

If you are working with a band, record rehearsals so you can listen to all of the instruments together and work on difficult parts together. An additional resource is our article, Become a Better Guitarist, where you can find more tips like this one.

Work on Your Stage Presence

Commanding the stage is a significant part of performing. The audience is going to see you and they want to see how you interact with them. Take a look at successful live bands to see what they do to keep their audience entertained in between songs, or how they interact during a song. 

If you can, take your guitar to the stage or location and try to utilize the entire area you’ll be playing in so that you have a feel for it and know where you can move during songs. Part of a good stage presence is to utilize the entire space. This is a great way to establishing your stage persona as well because when it looks like you know how to move about on stage, you will exude more confidence during your performance, feel more at ease, and are less likely to make mistakes. 

Don’t Forget Your Soundcheck 

One last preparation technique you should do is make sure to do sound checks, for yourself and all band members. You don’t only want to be seen, but you have to make sure you’re being heard as well. It can be a difficult situation to be in when your sound doesn’t work; and that’s not something that you want to happen during a live performance. 

When you perform the sound checks make sure you do each instrument or voice individually before playing together so that you have the right blend of sound that is desired. Light checks can also come into play here since you want to be sure that you (or the band) are being seen on stage.

Be Prepared for Things to Go Wrong – And Fix Them Quickly!

During the live show, make sure you keep your energy up since the audience will feed off of you. If something happens to go wrong, such as a wrong note or chord was played, or you lost your guitar pick; try to laugh it off or turn it into a funny moment for the audience. This will keep the performance going smoothly for you; make light of things that could be potential disasters if you don’t handle them quickly. 

Be prepared for anything. Don’t forget the reason you took this guitar gig in the first place though – to perform; so make sure you have fun and enjoy the spotlight.

Good luck with your first guitar gig, and feel free to share some tips if you got any! 



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit

Check out some other similar articles

Take advantage of our biggest backer-exclusive discounts and get your hands on this next-generation automatic tuner. Back the Kickstarter campaign today and be the first to receive the Roadie 3.

Shopping for Christmas gifts for guitarists? You’ve come to the right place! Despite all the challenges 2020 has bestowed upon us, there is still reason to celebrate.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Dec 4, 2020 . 4 min read

Today we are gonna look at the three best country guitar licks to learn now. These licks will help you in several ways.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Nov 27, 2020 . 3 min read

Today we’re gonna be looking at how to play “Moonlight Shadow” on guitar. This song was written and performed by English musician Mike Oldfield. It was released as a single in 1983 and is part of the album Crises.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Nov 20, 2020 . 4 min read

To master rhythm guitar is to become a good guitarist. As a guitar player, you will be playing rhythm most of the time. Sorry to break it to you, but you won’t be soloing most of the time.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Nov 16, 2020 . 4 min read

So many ask if you can really learn guitar online? The short answer to that question is yes, you can. You can also play soccer wearing sandals, swim with your clothes on and tell your boss that you hate your job.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Nov 9, 2020 . 4 min read

The five best websites for guitar tabs are a great resource. They contain thousands of songs, killer riffs, burning solos, and more.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Nov 7, 2020 . 4 min read

Finger pain associated with playing guitar is a real problem. The same is true for joint pain, tissue pain, and muscle pain.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Oct 19, 2020 . 4 min read

Cheap acoustic guitars are a double-edged sword. On one hand, they are inexpensive and you will save money.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Oct 5, 2020 . 4 min read

Do you know when you should upgrade your guitar? That is a very personal question that will therefore have quite different answers.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 25, 2020 . 4 min read

In this guitar tutorial, you will learn how to play “Down By the River” by Milky Chance. This song was released as the second single from their debut album Sadnecessary.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 21, 2020 . 4 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!