#1
And by gig I mean an open mic. There's an open mic night at my old high school and I thought what the hell. I've got a bassist, a drummer and myself singing and guitaring. I've never played with either of them before, I've never played with anybody really, except a little bit with my brother. I don't know the skill level of the bassist, but he's supposed to be pretty decent. And the drummer has almost no experience. but it's a simple beat, so he shouldn't have too much trouble.

A few problems have come up.
1: I've never played live before. I don't know what to expect. What if I **** up? What if a string breaks? What if I piss myself? The more and more I think about it, the more I can see going wrong.
2: I'm(probably) singing. I'm not the greatest of singers, but I think I'd be able to sing this song fine. But I can't sing and play at the same time. When I've tried to sing and play, one of two things happen. Either I start to stutter and continue to play, or I start to sporadically strum and continue to sing in time.

How am I going to get over this fear(I guess fear is the right word) of playing live? And what is the best way to learn to sing and play at the same time?

Oh yeah, the open mic is on the 24th(next Friday) We have one confirmed practice for Saturday, and we'll hopefully have one on Wednesday and one on Friday before we play.
We're playing What I Saw by John Frusciante and possibly another song.
Help me in my time of need, UG!


1. I hope this is the right section
2. I searched the forums and I couldn't find any thread relating to this. Which is weird cause I think the is a pretty common question. Or maybe I didn't look enough.
"For me it's important to be in balance. To not let fear get in the way of things, to not worry so much about protecting yourself all the time."

"Muskrats live in my wah wah pedal."

-John Frusciante-
#2
Legitimately, the only way to get over it is to do it. Though don't worry. I don't how that many things could possibly go wrong, unless you are a nexus of misfortune.
#3
Quote by JFisJC

How am I going to get over this fear(I guess fear is the right word) of playing live? And what is the best way to learn to sing and play at the same time?

The best way to get over the fear of playing live is to play live. I was scared to shit my first gig (also an open mic at my old high school!) until I got about halfway through the song. I still get nervous getting onstage time-to-time, but it's lessened every time.

As for singing and playing here's what I did:
Start by making sure you can play the song in your sleep, on queue, in a hailstorm, whatever. Have it memorized perfectly. Then do the same for the vocals by themselves as well. Once you've got both parts down, read the lyrics without pitch while playing just to get the timing right. Then just slowly work your way up to being able to do sing them while playing.
It may not be the quickest way but it worked for me.
Good luck!
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#4
Yeah, dont worry about it. Just act like this is something you do every day. Thats what I do when I get nervous. When you're home, practice singing and playing at the same time you can get better at that. Also, if you have any friends or family, maybe try playing/singing a little in front of them to help you get used to playing for people.
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#5
^^ I agree, just do it man, if you piss yourself then laugh it off and try again. If you fudge up then you keep playing through the mistake, just dont stop and go "argh shit" or something you know, just keep playing and people might not notice it. Also if a string breaks or something then its just a bit of common sense, i would always recommend gigging with a spare guitar. Finally, singing and playing will come to you when you are comfortable enough to keep the strumming pattern regardless if you are talking to someone or singing along, i can sing along with relatively any song whilst playing and i started off with simple strumming patterns (specifically teenage dirt bag by wheatus) and also talking to people whilst playing the pattern, by talking you're not keeping any rhythm in your voice so you might find it easier after to sing. So just enjoy it and don't let fear get the better of you. Good luck.
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#6
Thanks guys! I'm feeling a lot better about this now. I already know the song and lyrics pretty well so I just need to work on the singing. Got to remember to go to the bathroom before the song
"For me it's important to be in balance. To not let fear get in the way of things, to not worry so much about protecting yourself all the time."

"Muskrats live in my wah wah pedal."

-John Frusciante-
#7
You've never played with either of them? Do you plan on practicing with them before the gig?
If the answer is no to both questions, I'd be shaking in my boots too...
#8
Quote by SouthFL79
You've never played with either of them? Do you plan on practicing with them before the gig?
If the answer is no to both questions, I'd be shaking in my boots too...

No, we will be practicing a few times.
"For me it's important to be in balance. To not let fear get in the way of things, to not worry so much about protecting yourself all the time."

"Muskrats live in my wah wah pedal."

-John Frusciante-
#9
1) Well, over the next week, play in front of friends to gain some sonfidence of playing for a group. Trust me, nothing bad will happen during open mic. Just make sure that you're calm and collected.

2) From experience, just practice the guitar and vocal parts seperately, and really get them down. Once you can play the guitar part (mainly chords, I assume) fluidly, just add the vocals over the top.

Also, just hopw you and the other two guys really practice the song inside and out, and just find some other simple songs to jam out to aswell.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#10
I've found the easiest way for me to learn to sing a song and play guitar was, as said above, learn the guitar parts 100%. Practice it until you can play the whole song without even thinking about it. Then start humming the melody while you play. Once you have that down, start throwing lyrics into the mix. You really have to know the lyrics by heart as well. There's no time to be searching your mind for the next verse. You either open your mouth and it comes out, or you stand there looking like an idiot. Basically practice, practice, practice. Then practice more. It's the only way you're going to get used to it. Nobody ever just picked up a guitar and started singing while playing, it takes time. But once you get it down I think it makes you a better musician.

You can recover from a forgotten line. Just don't stop playing. Then everyone will know you blew it. Play the bridge for an extra measure while you regain your thoughts, do a little improvised solo, etc, etc. There are a lot of ways you can hide a mistake, but the most important thing is to keep playing. There are no "do-overs".

EDIT: Another thing to keep in mind is that most of the people attending an open mic event are also there waiting for their turn to go onstage, so they are usually very supportive of the other acts. It's very unlikely that you'll be booed, no matter how badly you screw up.
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Last edited by jpatan at Feb 18, 2012,
#12
You're gonna do fine bro and I give you credit for wanting to take that 1st step
Let us know how it turns out.
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#13
You just gotta practice. If you get so that the song is completely engraved into your fingers, and you know it perfectly so then when the nerves kick in on stage you will be able to almost play it correctly. Also, everything is easier from here. Probably your first 5-10 live performances you'll be nervous but as time goes by, you probably won't even notice it, but you won't get very nervous.
And Open Mic crowds are usually the most polite crowds you'll ever get. It's only fellow musicians and maybe their family and friends, and everyone is really nice. You could choke on your own vomit and still get a friendly applause. So just have fun!
#14
Quote by zach in black

And Open Mic crowds are usually the most polite crowds you'll ever get. It's only fellow musicians and maybe their family and friends, and everyone is really nice. You could choke on your own vomit and still get a friendly applause. So just have fun!

Spot on, open mic's will have an audience that is on your side.

Concentrate on the singing, if you sing well and keep in time the bass and drums will support you, if the guitar stops it won't notice as much as you think.

Good luck, once it is over it is a real buzz.
#15
I'm looking at an open mike too for the first time. I appreciate the good advice here, also how supportive everyone is. I am sooooo stoked!