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Old 09-09-2010, 12:20 AM   #1
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My band is headlining our first local show. Tips for a first time performer??

Hey guys, like the title says, I am getting ready to play a show with my band this saturday.

We got a spot headlining a show after a few bands dropped out, and now there are only two other bands performing before us. As you can imagine this puts a lot of pressure on us as a band and me as a guitar player especially my nerves. All of our friends will be out (we'll be playing in front of hopefully about 50) to see us but I'm still so nervous about getting up on stage.

If you guys have any tips about how to perform well on stage and any tips especially for a first time performer that would be AWESOME!!

I was thinking of having a couple drinks before we go on to take the edge off... good or bad idea?
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:50 AM   #2
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Imagine you're alone in your room and release yourself.
Don't mind if you screw in a song at some point, because everyone does, and the more you ignore your mistakes the more other people will too.
Since you'll be playing to your friends don't be so nervous. They will be supporting you no matter what. Just have fun!
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:58 AM   #3
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Bad idea in my experience. A pint maybe, but no more.

Talk with your friends first; have them down the front, banging their heads, not back at the bar appreciating the sonic textures. People enjoying themselves makes other people want to join in.

Talk with the other bands, make connections, get them to mention you in their onstage banter, get them to get their fans to hang around for your set. Thank them somewhere between songs.

Don't introduce your songs in "br00tul v0ice" - nobody will know what your songs are called.

Play your best stuff first and last. Good first impression, good last song, and the rest just needs to be good enough to hold their interest in between.

Warm up while the previous band is on. If you're playing last you're probably soundchecking first so you may need to re-limber yourself a few hours later before you get on stage.

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Old 09-09-2010, 05:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by HANIAK View Post
Don't mind if you screw in a song at some point, because everyone does, and the more you ignore your mistakes the more other people will too.
Yeah, if you play a wrong note, linger on it with conviction until people assume that it must be the right note.

SchecterWhore: "Development, phase four. Beethoven
takes you for a ride through space in his Pontiac Trans Am."
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:23 AM   #5
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Very true about the lingering on the wrong note. If any member messes up, keep playing and let them catch up. Even if the drummer completely misses something, or goes into a fill too early, Keep playing, give him a glance if you can turn to him to let him know what you are playing.

Pretending you're alone is a great idea, I used to pretend I was looking at myself in the mirror. But be mindfull of where the rest of your band is, don;t run into eachother. And don't always look at your instrument or off into space, look at the audience and interact.

DONT TWEAK YOUR GEAR ON STAGE! So annoying to see a band constantly turning to fiddle amp knobs, or floor pedals, or even decides to to stop playing mid song to fiddle around with gear/tuning. 1 volume tweak during the 1st or 2nd song, then leave it the hell alone.

The drinking is up to you. Singers can usually have 3 or 4 beers before stage and it helps them loosen up and have a good time. Guitarists have 1 beer and forget entire solos. Drummers can handle themselves during the show but puke or pass out right when the curtains close. I've found 1 group shot or 1 fast beer chug right before you hit the stage hits the right spot of loose and feeling good.

You should have already done this but practice and time your set, not just your songs. During practice, write a set list for a 25 min show, a 45 min show, and time them with your talking between songs just like you are on stage. But on a personal note, bands that fall into the formula of song1, blahblahblah, song 2, blahblahblah, song 3, blahblahblah are extremely boring. Even if there's no talking, just silence/4-count/next song. Produce a show, come up with original intros to songs, segues, and stuff the keep the music playing and show going from song to song.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:03 AM   #6
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ok... i second the idea of pretending you are alone and just go nuts...

Remember to be HIGH ENERGY move around a lot even if you are just headbanging keeping time.... Walk to the other side of the stage a few times in the set so you are letting the people over there enjoy your performance as well.

I would have the few drinks.. but dont get a strong buzz.

Look up from your guitar neck from time to time during easy parts, if not - you just look like you are looking at your feet the whole time.

My advise is dont just get on stage and play your music.. put on a PERFORMANCE! make faces! Get into it!!! Have fun! If you dont look into your music.. other people will not either.

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Old 09-09-2010, 09:36 AM   #7
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Don't stop playing whatever happens, the entire band should have the same attitude. A screwup, missed note, broken microphone, other guitarist amp fries, no matter what keep trucking.

Relax, have fun. Realize it wont be perfect and stay calm.

Show up early. Double check that you have absolutely everything you need. Your entire band should have this attitude as well.

Pack extra guitar cables and A/C cords.

Have a bottle of water for on stage.

Keep extra picks on top of your guitar head when you play.

Talk to the soundguy before hand, introduce yourself and tell him you'll be playing tonight. Make chit chat but if he seems irritated or busy keep it short and let him do the things he needs to do.

If you are doing a soundcheck with a soundguy, do what he asks and when he asks. No requests on your first gig. The smoother he feels you guys are keeping him, the more he will remember you and next time he will put forth extra effort for you guys. Making nice with soundguys is important towards having a good time on stage.

Having a beer before hitting the stage isn't a bad idea, I definitely always need one.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:41 AM   #8
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It will be a blast mate, go on and pretending you and your band are the only ones in the room is a great idea, have fun with the crowd and get into and they usually will follow suit.

Eye contact is an interesting on with the crowd, try not to direct your attension at any indiviual but as a group, avoiding those locking eye moments with the crowd will stop you from getting distracted from your playing. Having said this though dont avoid looking at the crowd as said. At the end of the day you want them to enjoy it and its really important you enjoy it yourself, thats pretty much the best recipe for a good show!

Confidence drink before the show helps, but again as said there is a difference between drink loosening you up to play a good show and loosening you so much you cant last the show lol.

Good luck and have fun with it!
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:03 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice guys.

We have been practicing the same 5 or 6 songs for about 8 months already so we know them pretty well. We've also timed ourselves playing as well while our singer talks to the crowd and we tune....we have enough easily for a 25-30 minute set.

I have been on stage twice before in high school with my guitar class and it was terrifying lol. But that was in front of a pretty large crowd, brightly lit stage, and I only knew my friends.

I'm just gonna have a beer before we go on, try and play my best and try to imagine its just me and the band jamming in my drummers basement. I will definately let you guys know how it went on sunday!!
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:00 AM   #10
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I really approve of the idea to go nuts as if there's nobody there watching you.
If you screw up, your awesome moves might actually make up for it.

Schecters don't have baseball bat necks.
Get the .... over it.

"I think this mistake was the equivalent of a 6000 foot tall cock bukkake tsunami-ing Tokyo." -metallisuk

Shono, forever and always.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:09 PM   #11
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+1 to going nuts and not giving a .....

Last show we did a cover of For Whom The Bell Tolls (because the crowd always loves that ....). I do an improv thing at the end where kirk does some weird trem .... on the record. Lost my place about halfway through it because I was flailing about like a madman. No one noticed because I really was as into it as I seemed to be.

I had more fun playing that than any of our originals because EVERYONE was into it, I was into it, and it was fun as .... despite the .... up.

So...relax and enjoy! +1 to the rehearsing EVERYTHING down to the detail though.
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