Practice, Prepare, Perform,
Updated: Oct 14, 2018
A fool-proof guide to nailing your gig -like a boss!
Alright! So, you've managed to do much better than 99.9% of bands in this world - you've stuck together long enough to bag yourself a gig. NICE!!! So you've got a couple of weeks, and enough rehearsals to polish that set-list, and make sure your pesky drummer knows when to come in! But..... what do YOU need to do to make sure you bring your A-game?!
How well do you really know your parts? I often find it's very easy to gloss over, or even not admit to myself that I haven't quite nailed that slightly too slippery lick in the middle 8. Maybe I haven't quite nailed the dynamic shift in 3rd verse - I don't know! This is the perfect time to be self-critical.
Don't beat yourself up, but don't let yourself get away with less than what you KNOW YOU CAN DO. Identify those parts, and drill them, make it so you CAN'T PLAY THEM WRONG!
Ok, so you've got all your parts nailed maybe even room for a little power-stance for that solo the other guitarist FINALLY let you take... But are you ready for that gig? NO! Well, maybe, but..
Oddly, this is where I've seen a lot of fellow guitarists/musicians drop the ball. Yes, they have chops for days, and musicality by the bucket load, but they didn't have RELIABLE GEAR.
No one cares if you're putting Slash to shame, if your guitar keeps cutting out because you didn't check your cables, or your strings snapped because you wouldn't fork out for a fresh set. I've seen guitarists battle it out for half a show with just 3 strings left because they didn't bring a spare guitar! Oops!
I sure ain't perfect! check this out. I dropped my guitar juuuussst before a gig (Buy straplocks, folks!). Actually went through 3 guitars that night, too!
Now, I'm not saying you've gotta take 6 guitars to every gig, and have your mate stand in as a your personal guitar tech. He's a good friend, but I'm sure he's there for the beer, as well as the music! The key is make sure your gear is in good, working order; fresh strings, and guitar nicely set-up. If you don't know how to do this, it's time to learn (more on this to come!) or pay someone to do it for you. Make sure all your cables work if it crackles when you wiggle it, it's just about holding on to dear life time for a new one! If you've done all this, you'll probably be fine but bring a spare guitar just in case
Now you've done the boring bit, go out there and make a glorious racket!
MUST HAVES FOR THE GIG BAG
Duct tape - Fixes anything
Extra batteries- for guitars or pedals
Spare strings - in case worse comes to worse
String-winder - for quick changes
Earplugs - You should ALWAYS have some anyway...