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Friday
Jan252019

Preparing For The First (Or Any) Guitar Performance 

In order to look professional and avoid creating an image of a silly musical rookie, it is within the interest of any guitarist to create and follow a certain effective pre-show routine. A specific “code”, that will protect her from potential failures and furthermore – help her to stand out among other acts in a better way.

Since it is not 1931 (the year when the first electric guitar was created), this guide will examine the preparation for both unplugged shows and the ones that involves cables and amplifiers. But whichever guitar you have - always have an extra pack of strings. A pack of spare strings should always be in your guitar case, as a medical kit in the bag of a soldier. 

Acoustic

Warm up

It is essential for a setlist that requires more than couple of chords, involves shredding or even only a few legatos. Even if it’s not winter outside and your fingers aren’t cold, increasing your blood flow by stretching and shaking them for about five minutes altogether will make your fingers more flexible. Therefore, you’ll be likely to show the best of your abilities. It is important not to forget to do warm up both of your hands. Your picking hand may drop a guitar pick as your unstretched fingers may not be ready to hold it. So, when grading your stretching make sure to sincerely give yourself 10/10.

Tune your guitar in advance

Nothing causes the audience to feel the boredom more than musician who tunes his guitar on stage longer than 10 seconds. Therefore, in order to minimize that time, you should prepare instrument in advance. That way you will only have to make sure that everything sounds right and be ready to play. But in order to have this advantage, you should always be armed with the corresponding tool. The tool that was designed for people who want their strings not to sound as horrible as a lift cord of a window jalousie.

Always have a tuner

Tuner is a must for any reliable and professional guitar performer.
In the same way that a special agent checks if the magazine of her pistol is full before the shooting in, a guitarist should check whether her strings are ready to extract the sounds that can strike anyone with its perfectness.

The special agent should also be ready to fight anywhere, anytime. Likewise, a great live performer should be ready for playing shows that are not on the schedule. For that reason, if you want to become one, check whether your phone and every other device have the latest version of a tuning app. It will help you tune your instrument, in case your gig will be as spontaneous as an accident that happens in front of a the superhero on her way home.

 

Don’t stop playing if your string pops

That is one of the trickiest possibilities that almost none of the string musicians think of.

If you want to amaze people with your skills and ability to adapt to unexpected situations – playing the song without a string that has just popped is one of the best ways of doing that.

One of the worst decisions that you can ever make is to make your bandmates stop playing and wait for you. It would be theas same as stopping a car when the door next to you has fallen off. Don’t be that driver who is oversensitive about minor safety issues. Your goal is to get to the point B, so use this chance as an opportunity to look bad ass! Otherwise, you will create an unneeded gap that will not only worsen your act, but will also spoil the audience’s overall impression.

On the other hand, even if you fail to hit every note properly the fact that you didn’t stop playing will quickly gain you the image of a distinct musician. That way you will immediately get more attention and respect from the audience. For that reason, it is a very good idea to get prepared for playing your song alternatively in advance.  Especially if your musical pieces have a difficult solo. Practicing the worst case scenario will not only better your inner ear, but will also make you look like a guitar version of John Wick, if “minus string” or “rare chance to unusually impress everyone” situation happens.

As you are changing strings…

To finish playing one song without a string that has popped is a professional move. However, to continue playing the rest of the show the same way (when you definitely need a new one) is not professional at all.
Going back to previous analogy, it will be almost as if you broke your door just to look cool while driving.

Thus, a pack of spare strings should always be in your guitar case, as a medical kit in the bag of a soldier.  

To make your act not boring to everybody, you may entertain them verbally during this short break (it is very unlikely, that you will have to change more than one string). And if you manage to make them smile or even laugh while pulling a new string, the number of points you receive from the audience will start to grow in geometric progression.

Electric

Follow the same principles listed above

The same principles that were mentioned in the previous part are just as useful for the performing with an electric guitar. None of the listed sections should be excluded in order to get the best possible performance out of your act.

The only difference is that there are a few additions that are very strongly recommended to follow for anyone who wants to have a successful gig.

It’s like holding a surgery in a high-tech operating room instead of the forest – you have access to the extremely useful amount of devices, so be sure that you know the instructions to all of them.

Remember that a sound engineer is not your personal assistant

A sound engineer is indeed a qualified specialist that can solve most of the problems that you may have on stage. However, don’t take her abilities for granted. Politely ask her for help only in case you can’t handle the problem yourself. Otherwise, you risk to becoming an unwelcome performer in the club.

Make sure you have your own cable

Another effective way to make a sound engineer less friendly is to ask her for a cable right away. Despite the fact that most of the clubs do have an extra cable, it will definitely not be a good way of starting your professional relationships with that useful person. This option is acceptable only for exceptional cases. That is why you should always be independent in his regard.

Take a picture of the guitar amplifier settings after the soundcheck

If you have to share the same stage with other bands, capturing the settings of your amplifier before the audience comes in is one of the best timesavers you can use. No one wants to hear a musician adjusting a volume, gain, reverb or any other effects that she didn’t manage to take care of after the soundcheck.

By including this method in your pre-concert routine, you will not only have more time for playing, but you will be likely to make new friends among other bands. They will notice the way you value their time, and might be ready to help you out with an extra string, cable, or even a guitar, if your equipment gets out of hand.

Keep that in mind

Despite the fact that these manual reflects the necessary elements for developing a great routine for successful performance, you can (and even should) always look for the ways to improving it. You may start to notice a new unexpected pitfalls that may stand on your or your bandmates’ way occasionally or systematically.

You can personalize your routine, by adding a pre-show ritual to it. But the best way of improving it is to form a knowledge database that will allow you to set up mics, drums, keyboard or any other instruments in your band.


Author Bio:
Zack Hargrove is blogger who writes about music and unusual methods of education. If you get anxiety over writing papers related to the field of IT, his colleagues that specialize on programming are willing to help you out.

 

 

 

Keep that in mind

 

Despite the fact that these manual reflects the necessary elements for developing a great routine for successful performance, you can (and even should) always look for the ways to improving it. You may start to notice a new unexpected pitfalls that may stand on your or your bandmates’ way occasionally or systematically.

 

You can personalize your routine, by adding a pre-show ritual to it. But the best way of improving it is to form a knowledge database that will allow you to set up mics, drums, keyboard or any other instruments in your band.

 

 

Author Bio:

Zack Hargrove is blogger who writes about music and unusual methods of education. If you get anxiety over writing papers related to the field of IT, his colleagues that specialize on programming are willing to help you out.

Preparing For The First (Or Any) Guitar Performance

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