How To Prepare For Your First Gig: 7 Useful Steps
If you are a singer or a musician and want to show off your talents, performing at a gig is the most obvious option. However, your first gig can be incredibly scary! Many would-be musicians first have a go at open mic nights to see how they get on before moving on and performing at live gigs.
Whatever way you go about it, performing on stage live in front of an audience can take an awful lot of confidence. However, with some careful planning and preparation, you can make sure that you give the very best performance possible.
Here are some of the most important things to think about when preparing for a gig so that you can relax and enjoy the show when you are out there and on the stage:
- Make notes
On the day of the gig you are going to be rushing around making sure that you have got everything that you need, and in the panic, excitement and nervousness, you are much more likely to forget something. Imagine turning up for your gig and forgetting something as vital as your guitar loop pedal! By making a list of everything that you need and checking it off as you pack it or put it together, you are less likely to miss something.
- Carry out a sound check
A sound check is essential if you want your vocals and music to sound exactly as you want them to. You would be surprised at how many people skip this step though! We know that it can be a pretty boring and tedious job, but it is worth it – the last thing you want is to be out on stage and realize your microphone is too low or doesn’t work. A sound check is particularly important if you are playing at a venue that is unfamiliar, as the acoustics and equipment may be different to what you expect.
- Have backup equipment
Of course, it is not always possible to have backups of every single piece of equipment, especially if you are just starting out, but it is a very wise idea to build up an inventory of backup equipment, especially key items like microphones, ear plugs amps, and your main instruments.
It is not just you and your band that are involved in the gig – there are many more people behind the scenes helping it to run smoothly. These people include backing dancers, sound technicians, marshalls, bouncers, ticket sellers, photographers, and perhaps even the press or members of the media. Everyone needs to be involved in the planning stage and know what is going on and when.
- Be consistent
When you are playing gigs, it is vital to be consistent. You want a support network of people that you can rely on, not just a gang of random hangers on and groupies. Make sure that the people around you are there for the right reasons and have your best interests in mind.
You will also want to make sure that you are consistently rehearsing. The more that you rehearse, the better your performance. The better the performance, the more the audience will love you and the more likely you will be successful. That calls for you to practice your songs in a wide range of settings and circumstances. If you want to feel more confident while you are performing in front of an audience, you should attempt to imitate real-life settings as nearly as possible.
The secret to realizing your full potential is to train yourself to perform every song to a high level of expertise and consistency, regardless of how challenging the situation might be. You also need to ensure that you put the same effort into the last performance as you do the first. Letting things slip a little as you gain confidence and feel more comfortable can be tempting. However, by doing this, you will be letting your fans down and driving them away.
- Develop a commanding presence on the stage.
The other half of the equation for a good concert is having a strong presence on stage. The real music makes up the other half of the track. People attend a live concert of your band because they want to see and hear you play.
There are a lot of bands out there who have amazing sounds, but do not get very far because they have a poor stage presence. You need to have the kind of music and stage presence that people like to draw large crowds to every one of your performances. Because your stage presence accounts for fifty percent of your overall success, you should devote fifty percent of your time in band rehearsal to evaluating your stage appearance.
Observe the video recordings once more while taking notes. By doing some self-reflection, you may make significant strides toward enhancing your presence on stage.
- Get over your stage fright
Even if you have amazing music and a good presence in recordings, everything you accomplish might be for naught if you suffer from stage fright. This is because stage fright prevents you from performing well. Many talented musicians suffer from the crippling condition known as stage fright, which prevents them from delivering their best performances. Try not to allow your anxiety to get the better of you and the other members of your band.
Accepting the idea that your performance on stage will never be as good as the one you give in your room is the most important step in conquering stage fright. Keep in mind that the people in the audience are looking up to you since you are performing on stage, and you should strive to provide your very best performance for them. Everyone in the room, including the audience, is there to have a good time. Always keep it in mind, and your self-assurance will grow with each performance that you give.
These tips will help you to prepare for your first gig – and beyond. Do you have any tips and tricks to add?