Playing first big gig. Need some advice.

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Thread: Playing first big gig. Need some advice.

  1. #1

    Join Date: Apr 2009
    Location: Kansas
    ME: (2) Rgx610m
    MB: Yamaha RBX800
    Rig: IRT Studio

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    Playing first big gig. Need some advice.

    Hey guys. I'll be playing my first real gig here soon and it is actually pretty big. Decrepit Birth asked us to play with them.

    So I get really anxious and a little shaky when I play in front of people for like the first 10-20 minutes, then I relax a bit. I hear it gets easier the more you do it, but do you guys have anything that you do to take the edge off or ease the anxiety?

    Thanks guys!

    If you are curious and want to check out my band, you can here.

  2. #2

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Manhattan
    ME: Warmoth Warhead
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    Have one beer. Maybe two. Not more than that. Also, with stage lights, it gets hard to see the crowd anyway.

    Other than that, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, and don't sweat the small stuff. Put on a good show, have fun, and get into it. That's what really matters, and what the audience really picks up on
    Too much focus leads to tunnel vision
    Too much faith leads to religion
    Too much knowledge leads to confusion
    Too many guitar lessons lead to jazz-fusion

  3. #3

    Join Date: Mar 2010
    Location: Los Angeles
    ME: Schecter
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    Get pumped and play some


    Naw seriously, just have a fun good time man! In the crowd it's great to watch the bands having fun playing.

    "The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen." -Duke Ellington

  4. #4

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Seattle
    ME: Blackjack C7
    MB: Yamaha TRB6
    Rig: GK MB500

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    I think its just a matter of getting up there and doing it. Remember, your audience wont know the songs like you do, so if you fudge a note or two, it was supposed to be that way for all they know. Look cool, run with it.

    If you fuck up real bad, kill your volume knob, smack the guitar and jiggle the cable and go over to your amp to 'analyze the problem'. once you listen to where you're at, turn your guitar back up. That saved my ass twice

    Another thing my last band did before gigs: the week leading up to the gig, practice as many times as possible. We generally practiced 3-4x the week before the show and ran through the whole set twice each night and then worked on songs that needed it.
    I play bass in a band called Weaponlord.

    I also play bass in a band called Northern Crown.

    I used to play bass in a band called Faethom.

  5. #5

    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: Austria
    ME: Gibson Les Paul Std
    Rig: Orange OR120

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    Dont have more than 2 beers before the show...I usually stick to one beer MAXIMUM.

    And +1 to everything The Grapist just said. If something should go wrong big time (it won't ), just "search for the problem". And I have meanwhile really learned, that even on some of our un-tightest gigs, the audience would love it - because they dont hear it as you do. Just bring on a good show, no one wants to see a band jsut standing up on there, watching the fretboard and their fingers closely (unless you're the most complex jazzprogultratech band ever).

    Rehearse with the full band (!) as much as you can, maybe even rehearse as it would be a gig, including going off on stage - since we're doing that, we're much more confident on stage, and also we're tighter than before.

    One thing to keep in mind: If the booker asks you to show up at (lets say) 4:00 p.m. -make sure EVERYONE in the band shows up at that time, maybe even 15-30 minutes earlier. If they tell you that you have 25 minutes stage time - dont play any longer. Get on stage early enough so you cant start at the time you're told to, and finish not a minute too late. Dont fuck with the bookers and/or local promoters. It makes a bad mood right away, that kills the joy of the gig, your gig won't be as good. Let alone that if you fuck with bookers, they won't book you again . If you stick to that, you have "a foot in the door", and chances are you will be booked again for bigger shows.

    If something is uncertain, like will there be enough backline? can we even use it? - bring everything yourself, just to go for sure.

    Besides all that - have fun, enjoy it.

  6. #6

    Join Date: Dec 2009
    Location: Bath, UK

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    Yep, just to echo what has been said - being well-prepared is the biggest thing you can do to combat nerves, and that goes both for being well rehearsed and bringing everything you might need (there's nothing more stressful than having to scramble to get bits of gear together in the minutes before you go on instead of just chilling out and warming up)

    Something I got told that resonated with me a while back when I first started playing live is that looking nervous and rigid on stage is actually going to make you look a lot sillier than letting yourself relax and move a little bit. When you're nervous, standing still feels like a safety mechanism that will mean people won't notice you, but the opposite is true. You shouldn't be embarrassed about getting into the music, and remember that your stage presence sets the tone for the crowd too - they feed off the energy you put in; if you rock out they will rock out too, but if you're just looking scared and stiff and the audience doesn't know the material, they'll snooze through your set.

  7. #7

    Join Date: Jun 2011
    Location: Stockholm

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    If you're going to rock it out like a mf, be sure you can handle it by practicing in the rehearsing room if you can. also if you're headbanging a lot on stage be sure to warm up the neck. It will save you from pain the coming days after.

  8. #8

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Sheffield, UK

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    My view is always the audience didn't come to see us play every note absolutely perfectly, they came to see us play music they can enjoy.

    Also, I'm of the view that if you are good, people will remember you in a good way, and if you are not, they just wont remember you. So either way, no-one will remember anything bad about you.

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