Playing your first show is a memory that will last forever. Whether it was for a group of friends, a diverse audience or even parents, a first show is a huge milestone in a musician’s career. That being said, the first time you play a set in front of an audience can be very nerve-racking for some. That is why it is so important to be prepared for your first gig, and the many gigs to (hopefully) follow. How to be prepared for your first gig consists of practice, preparation and especially planning.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE:
Although this might seem like a given, a lot of musicians don’t really understand how much practice is needed in order to have a successful gig. You need to have your set order down, chord and tempo changes figured out, cues perfectly timed and much more. Another good rule of thumb when it comes to practicing for a show is to practice in a variety of different scenarios. This includes practicing standing up, practicing with other distractions around you, practicing in the dark and practicing in different lighting environments.
Anything can happen during a live set, so practicing beforehand is a great way to be prepared for anything that is thrown at you. In addition, if you are playing with a band, it is crucial to make sure you are all on the same page musically and mentally before a gig.
AT THE VENUE:
When you arrive at the venue you are playing at, there are a few things you should do. First, get a feel for the environment. What is the mood of the venue? What kind of people will be watching you play? Where should I be positioned on stage? These are all things to keep in mind when first arriving.
Next, it is almost impossible to begin a set without checking your gear, so this means that you and your band will definitely need to do a soundcheck prior to listeners arriving. This will ensure that you are ready to play when the time comes.
Overall, your first gig as a musician is something to look forward to. With the right planning and practice, the last thing to do is just enjoy yourself. After all, playing live is a great part of being a musician.