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first time gig, any advice??

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jonki, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway

    im gonna play my first gig about 2 weeks, even now im kinda nervous. but do you have any advice for me?

  2. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Ask yourself what you've got to be nervous about. You know the songs, right? That rules that out. Just play them as you have done on rehearsals.

    All those people watching? Lock your gaze at the wall just over their heads, or find a pretty girl in the crowd to stare at. Don't stand there looking at your shoes. Look cool. Move around some.

    Before the gig, do the sound check and other necessary preparations and then GET OUT OF THERE! Go somewhere and unwind. Think of other things. Don't drink too much alcohol - a beer or two, tops (some will say don't drink at all... you know yourself best). Don't eat a heavy meal the last 2-3 hours before going on stage.

    Do 20 push-ups just before going on - or at least be warmed up.

    First gig? You'll feel great afterwards!

    Break a leg! (not literally)
  3. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    ...and wrap your cord through your strap so if you step on it you don't lose a signal.

    ...and don't stare at your shoes OR your fretboard all night.

    ...talk to the crowd.. dead air sucks.

    ...don't sweat the small stuff.
  4. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    coool, thanks alot for advice! keep em coming :)
  5. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    Know your material. I read somewhere (maybe here, I don't know) that an amateur practices something until he gets it right; a pro practices it until he never gets it wrong. I've never forgotten that. And you'll enjoy the gig much more if you're not worrying about the material.
  6. Don't throw up on anyone, or yourself. It's bad etiquette and simply unappealing. :D

    Two weeks to go?

    when you rehears, play your set(s) the same way you will be playing them live. That way there will be less chances of flubbing an intro or ending which are common mistakes. You will also be able to practice any transitions from one song to the next.

    If you do flub, don't freak out and call more attention to it, just brush it off and keep playing. The worst thing is if you stop a song because someone made a mistake and you have to restart the tune. If a train wreck does occur, have something witty to say like "I hope you enjoyed the short version" and quickly move on.

    When you get there, be prepared to set up quickly and do a sound check if you get to. Have extra things like cords, strings, etc. just in case. (Murphy's law)

    Biggest thing, don't worry about it so much, after your first song, the crowd will go wild, girls will throw their underwear at you and then you will have too much confidence. ;) Good luck with your gig.
  7. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Check your tuning!

    Be superstitious about your tuning! Be SURE you're all in-tune!

    Tune, strum the strings a few times like it was a gee-tar or something, then double-check the tuning..

    I'm tellin' ya, Man. Some of my most embarassing early experiences have to do with hearing a tape after the show, and THEN realizing "we were playing out-of-tune!!"

    Oh! - and that reminds me: tape the show, then study it; video, even, if you think you can take it.

    Good luck -

  8. Like Daft Cat says, DEAD AIR sucks. You, singer, whoever, it doesn't matter, the last thing you want to hear is nothing. Talk about something, dedicate a song, tell a joke.....

    Just got in from a night out watching a friends band. Musically tight, vocals, timing, everything was right on. But the crowd will only clap/cheer for so long after a song, then out come the crickets. Crickets are bad.

    And have fun, relax, and enjoy yourself. Remember that you started playing music for fun. Make sure it stays that way, or otherwise you should just be going to work or school, or any other boring thing that we have to do, but don't want to.
  9. i have always found at rehearsals i can play forever with picks and fingers but when it comes to playing on stage i have a much harder attack on the strings, many times i have ended up swithing from picks to fingers half way thru songs, i remember my first gig (school gig) people were jumping around just in front of the stage, so i did the propper thing, i jumped in with them while still playing my bass, unfortunatly i hit someone in the head but luckly i didnt do them any dammage, i didnt like the c**t anyway. then after a few mins pushing people around and playing i jumped back onto stage. but in the prosses i got my foot caught and went playing into my amp kinda looked like it was dilliberate. afterwards i had a few bruses and a bloodblister from playing to hard. but it was a real rush. my advise... dont do anything thats genna get you lathed at (like me jumping at the wrong time) you will be fine.
  10. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Be prepared to dealing with your own mistakes, or band mistakes- they can happen regardless of preparation. I've jumped into the wrong part of songs at the wrong time (quite emberassing because I stood out quite a bit by going into a loud part instead of a soft part) or had the drummer get totally lost or forget the usual fills which guided the song.

    Videos are great motivators for improving your stage act.
  11. just stay relaxed and be yourself. people take time out of their lives to come enjoy what you are doing. how can that make you nervous? ha ha... be the king of your court and have fun!!!

    oh yeah, lock with the drummer, make sure you can hear the kick if you have monitors or not. that is my musical suggestion. maybe position yourself so you and him can make easy eye contact. i set up on the high hat side so i can do the glance if necessary.
  12. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    thanks a bunch! ill keep your advice in mind! great stuff! :cool:
  13. Don't worry about making mistakes and how to avoid them. You can't. You will always make mistakes, so worry about how to cover them up!

    Listen to everyone else in the band too, don't zone out into your own playing.

    This is supposed to be fun, not work.

    You have practiced all that you can to prepare. Now what happens will happen. Worrying only makes you tight and timid. Play with gusto. If you hit wrong notes, add more gusto to make up for it.

  14. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    After 20 years I still feel so nervous just about everytime and have just had to learn to deal with it. (Oddly enough, when I tell people I feel this way they say it doesn't show, so I guess my tricks work at least a little!)

    One thing that helps me be prepared inside is to show up plenty early and get around the room talking to people.
    I also like to have a good bright spotlight that I can stare into when I need it - when I'm looking into that light it looks like I'm confident to the audience, but I'm hiding in full sight, so to speak, and am able to forget about everything but the song.

    What works for others will be helpful for you to know, but we've all got different personalities and lots of practice is definitely going to be one of your best friends!
  15. haujobb


    Dec 16, 2004
    Remember to potty before you hit the stage...
  16. HAVE FUN! You're in this for the fun right? Now, aside from that pretty much everything has been said here. Few additions:

    - Bring tape. You never know what you'll need it for. I bring the paper kind (that you use to tape down a window before you paint around it). I've used it to tape down the PA mixing board, I tape cables to the ground (esp. bass->amp, just before the amp on the ground in case you step on them).
    - Bring spares of everything
    - Don't tune out loud between songs
    - Pick player: spares all around the place. Mic, amp, pockets, shoes, whatever. I'm not a pick player, but I've seen what losing one can cause
    - Take a pee before you go on stage, and don't drink anything from about half an hour before the gig, esp. not alcohol. If you drink alcohol now to get your nerves away, you'll always need it. Don't depend on it.

    If the nerves get to you and you feel like you're going to be sick, breathe deep, close your eyes, and feel the band members around you. It sounds weird, but the moment when it will happen will be just before you get on stage. What you feel then, when you're standing there with the band, is something you won't feel anywhere else. It's moments like these that really forge the band in the band ( :D )
  17. Before you play your gig visialize yourself in your mind of your gig presuming you have your material down and dream of how you would perform & when things go wrong don't panic just smile and calmly assess the situation and have FUN
  18. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    wow! bunch of advice here! thanks alot! im a fingerplayer btw, we just play simple metal, and yes, im planning to take a beer before the gig! im looking foward to the gig :D

    thanks again! keep em coming!
  19. If you aren't feeling some butterflys before the gig, you aren't excited enough. That should be something you never get totally "used to" because when you do, that means some of the simple thrill of playing music for an audience is gone.

    Great advice here. Not much to add, but I would like to echo the importance of not letting mistakes derail you. Crowds forgive or completely fail to notice mistakes IF you act like it's no big deal and carry on like you are having the time of your life.

    As for being nervous ON stage.... You are a freaking rock star on stage. That's why people are sitting in front of you. They have come to be entertained. Entertain them! Being on stage for ANYTHING - whether it's music, acting, public speaking, etc. all elevates you past the mundane every day self that you think of yourself as. Act like you belong there!

    Remember... the more fun the crowd has, the more energy you can draw from them. The more energy you draw from them, the better you can perform, and the less self conscious you feel. It's a symbiotic relationship.

    On the flip side however.... sometimes you just get a flat crowd. Sometimes (trust me) there is virtually nothing you can do up to and including breathing fire, that will get you more than a polite golf clap. And other times, people are chanting for you before you hit the stage, and will demand an encore after you are done.
  20. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    If you mess up, do not make that stupid face that says "Oh look at me, I messed up..." Most of the time the audience won't realize it, play on like it was nothing. Just keep rock'n out if thats what you're doing.

    Have everyone tune, and then have everyone play all the strings together, so you can make sure you don't sound like crap. If you go outta tune during the show, for god sake use the the "Mute" button, if you're tuner donest have a mute button, it probably shouldn't be used then (imo).

    Rehearse....Rehearse...Rehearse, and wait.... then Rehearse. It doesn't matter how simple your songs are, the more practice the better. Break down songs, slow them down (WITH A METRONOME). If you can play them slow, you can play them fast. But just for the fun of it, play them fast. Then play them at normal speed. Play, then turn on a metrnome and see if you're in time. Nothing is worse than a band with chronic speedupitis. When we practiced for the rock off, we would have 2 hours of practice for 1 song. Just breaking it down, slowing it down. Just doing stupid things like trading off notes in a lick to try to make use anticipate eachother.

    Lastly... have fun, if you guys suck.... who cares. Not like it's one of those shows where it's you're going to get signed if you rock. Because honestly, that doesn't really happen to often (just guessing here). But... everyone will probably love you guys. Also it's your first gig DON'T EXPECT TO HAVE PERFECTION. You're going to have work out kinks, look at a video of you guys, and practice what you messed up.