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Top Tips For Putting on a Great Gig

Jun 30, 2019 | Performance | 0 comments

The following is written by music teacher and guest writer Cassidy Klint.

Performing live can be a thrill like no other – it has even been shown to have a positive impact on the brain, particularly if you start playing at a young age. But performing live can also be nerve-racking, especially when you first start out. Remember, though, that every gig is invaluable experience, no matter how well you feel it has gone. When it comes to preparing for gigs, meanwhile, there is plenty you can do to help do yourself justice on stage.

Get to Grips With Your Instrument

First thing’s first: Invest time in your instrument. If you are a singer, take lessons on technique and learn how to look after your voice. If you are a guitar player, meanwhile, put time into choosing the appropriate instrument for your gig. Furthermore, whatever your instrument, practice regularly. Not only does this mean writing and rehearsing songs, but improvising is also important. In fact, research shows that improvising improves players’ self-expression and helps make well-rounded musicians. By improvising a lot in between gigs, you also give yourself the best chance of effectively handling unexpected glitches during a performance and keeping the audience engaged.

Portability is Key

One key consideration when it comes to gigging is the amount of equipment you need to set up on stage and carry with you. For this reason, it is worth using pedalboards that are portable and can be plugged into PA at the venue. This will save you from having to haul heavy amps and other gear to and from venues. It is also worth bearing in mind that having less equipment (especially electronic equipment) makes things less complicated and reduces your chances of any technical mishaps.

Consider Having a Pre-Gig Ritual

Studies show that rituals are effective at easing anxiety and boosting performance. This is something worth bearing in mind when it comes to gigging, particularly if you are struck by pre-gig nerves. Whether it be doing some deep breathing exercises, listening to a particular song on headphones or having a group hug with your band (if you’re in one), incorporating some sort of ritual before you head onto stage could be a powerful way of helping you relax, enjoy the gig and give the audience a performance to remember.

Simple Steps Go a Long Way

When it comes to gigs, don’t try to overcomplicate things; focus on the things that really matter. These include taking good care of your musical equipment and practicing regularly. If you get nervous, remember that pre-gig nerves are a good thing and that you will probably find it easier to control the butterflies the more gigs you do. Finally, don’t dwell too much on gigs that don’t go as well as you’d hoped. Treat them as a great learning experience and take that experience into the next gig.


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