The act of performing in front of people is very different than simply playing at home by yourself. Performing requires an additionel set of skills besides that of simply being able to play well on the guitar. This article dives into what skills you need, and how you can train those skills before you actually have to go perform. If you do this you might be able to avoid all the mistakes commonly made, when starting out their performance carriers.
Experience is your best friend
Performing is a high pressure activity. It is nothing like sitting at home and playing in your bedroom and the only way to really prepare for it, is to do it. Even though performing is always high pressure it does not have to be high risk. There is a lot of places where you can go and get your experience without knowing a single person and where you can make mistakes and “crash and burn” without losing anything by it. Performing for an exam, conservatory trial or something of that sort comes with high risk as well as high pressure, so want all the experience you can get before the high risk situations. So to get this experience, seek out jam nights in your labouring city and go there alone if you have to and make sure you can get out of there fast, if you feel it is uncomputable. The more you do it, the better it will feel in time and sooner than you thing, performing will be as enjoyable as playing by yourself. In fact, you will love it even more.
Preparing for the worst case scenario
Preparing for the worst case scenario is a good strategy because if you can complete the show under the worst possible conditions, chances of the gig going great increases dramatically. So, what will you still be able to play the gig if all the lights go out? What if the monitors fail? What if you break the B string in the middle of the solo, will you still be able to “save” the solo somehow. Or what if some drunk guy at the concerts decides to use your solo time yell profanities at you? Will you be able to distract from it and get through the solo anyway.
All of this will most properly not happen, but preparing for it will make it so much easier play a regular gig and you will still be able to deliver a great show, even if something goes horrible wrong.
So, make your own list of possible “worst case scenarios” and practise playing you gig under those conditions. So for example. Practise the gig in the dark, practise your solo, not using the B-string, practise everything with a distracting really loud show on the television and so on. Doing this will make you much more secure and confident in your performing abilities.
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