I've been playing guitar for about half a year now, and me and my band are starting to get to the position where we feel comfortable about performing in front of a live audience. One of my band mates has got some contacts in the bar world and can fix gigs at places like that, and I know some people that are interested in paying us to perform live at different kinds of parties (the very drunk kind).

Thing is, I still have some doubts about my abilities (I've only played the guitar for six months for Christ's sake) and I am feeling that the first few gigs are pretty crucial for a band's career, which makes me wanna put all live plays on delay for a while. I still find me in war with myself, one part screaming for some live action and the other half whimpin out.

So, to conclude, in your professional (or unprofessional, for that matter) opinions, how crucial is the first couple of gigs and what if we screw up?

Thankful for any (serious) replies
if you can play the songs well, theres no need to worry, just go on stage and have fun.
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not important...you arent going to be playin at an amazing place...and if you screw up just remember that everyoen in the audience thinks you are the **** when you are up on stage, and most of them aren't musicians and they wont even notice a screw up if it happens
Quote by cmart227
not important...you arent going to be playin at an amazing place...and if you screw up just remember that everyoen in the audience thinks you are the **** when you are up on stage, and most of them aren't musicians and they wont even notice a screw up if it happens

depends how big or small the screw up is....

I think you should practice your songs many times in a row and make sure you dont screw up. only then should you perform.
Yeah. If you do mess up, most people won't notice and if they do then make it something good. Turn it around. If the mistake doesn't sound too bad then keep doing it. Make people think that you did it on purpose. Sometimes you just have to go for it. You'll feel reluctant a first but after get to playing, you'll loosen up. After you have one gig under your belt, the rest will come easy.
Just a few things to remember though:
Make sure you check things consistantly. Strings, tuning, sound levels, the obvious stuff. Make sure your levels are how you like them. Even the best of bands sound horrible when levels are off.
Have extra strings, more picks, back up guitars and if possible a back-up amp. A live setting tends to make things break.
Make sure you know where everything is before during and after the gig.

Keep all of this in the back of your mind at all times. At first it seems like it would make a person a nervous wreck remembering all of this stuff but the more you do it, the faster it becomes second nature.
Rule number one, dont stop!

If your playing at a bar you could probally stop for 5 minutes without some people noticing.
Also the bigger the band the smaller chance you have of people noticing your mistake. I'm a solo act so everyones looking at me, i'm the singer/guitarist. So if i mess up it will be known, but I just dont stop and its forgotten, When i mess up, i just laugh. Now i dont mess up much anymore though.
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One time while i was playing, I tripped on a wire and the spot lights started falling from the ceiling. It was killing people left and right. While that was happening, 5 terrorists came in and started shooting everyone because i accidently ran over their friend with my hummer on the ride there. Then, i tried to throw a cymbal at them, but it just ended up decapitating a mentally handicapped child in the front row. And then i hit the wrong note and i was like ****!
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^riiiiiiight..... but seriously, like everyone said, don't worry about , keep practicing and playing w/ yer band, do a warm up with everyone there unplugged (like you and the bass player and the drummer and singer sit backstage and go over a song or 2 and loosen up and get warmed up) also talk yer self up before you go out, this can help ALOT b/c if you don't have confidence in yerself and you are worried about screwing up then you will.... before every pantera show vinnie would look at dimebag and ask him if he was ready and his response was always "VAN-F#CKIN-HALEN!!!!" so they'd get pumped and get ready to go out and kick some a$$..... i recommend the same to anyone. if you do mess up laugh it off, it's no biggie, if you keep messing up and it becomes obvious and stuff then go off on a weird little tangent so people look at you like "WTF!?!?! maybe he meant to do that wacky stuff"
As said before, don't stop. If you can play the songs, you might as well try.

The only way to get comfortable in front of an audience is to play for one again and again. You'll never get totally calm, but that's a good thing; keeps you on your toes. I played for three years before my first live gig, but I was as scared during it as you are. You just gotta say **** it, and go for it.
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mistakes arent usually noticable to a crowd if you keep on going and act like their not their.
that said, stuff changed on stage, especially youre first gig. make sure you know the songs cold. youre gonna be a bit nervous, and itll be hard to focus, so if youre hands know what to do, without to much prodding, itll definatly help.
I am with the crowd who says don't stop. That's the worst thing you can do. Even if all the strings on your guitar break.. keep playing till the end of the song. In my former band, we played a private party where I had told the guys before not to stop no matter what. During the private party during one of our most popular songs, our singers PA died and we had no vocals.. (this went out during the first verse).. we continued playing the song without vocals till the end. During that time.. we had managed to talk the DJ until letting us use his Mic and speakers so we could finish. We just played the song again at the end of the set and it went extremely well.

Also.. even in pro level ensembles I've been in.. a very common mistake I see guys I play with make is if someone makes a mistake in your band, DO NOT look at them. That will bring attention that isn't needed.
I was once heavily prominent on these forums from 2004-2007, let's see how long I can stay now that I'm back.
If you screw up, make it look like you did it on purpose. How did angus young become so crazy on stage? He simply tripped on a guitar cord. Then he made it look he did it on purpose.

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hey d00d i herd u dont like shred u r a genius 4 thinkin dat. all shred is fukin lame wit no soul u no wat im sayin??
yeah, i'd play friend's party first thing though, then hit up some paying stuff bars and whatnot.
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Dude, just stop being a pussy and go out there and kick ass.

It's that simple...
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bro you dont gotta worry when playin a party full of drunk people, the only concern you should have is for your gear.

i was singing miles out of tune one night and the next day everyone told me i was their hero and im pretty sure it wasn't sympathy.
get out there and play...don't worry about screwing up man. get up there and kick some ass, and if you screw up a little, just brush it off and keep going
Eventually you'll get to a point where you won't be nervous at all. It takes a lot of times going out and doing it though.

You will *always* muck *something* up, no matter what band you're in, and no matter how long you have been playing. There is no such thing as a perfect set. Once you realize that, you're on your way towards not being nervous. Professional is not whether you make a mistake - it's how bad is the mistake, and how you deal with it. Yeah, keep going unless your heart is stopping or you've been impaled by a helicopter blade.

Your first gig is going to be a talent show/variety show, house party, or small-time bar. It's not like the room is going to be full of A+R people, or opening for Aerosmith or something. THEN it becomes a matter of being a career make-or-break, but not for 99.99999% of us.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Thanks a TON for the responses.

It's weird, you wouldn't think that the words of random people on the net would mean that much to you, but in some way you guys have made me feel a lot more comfortable with my situation.
I'll double my practice schedule and jump at the next chance I get to kick some ass live.

Thanks a ton!
messing up isn't that bad. once i forgot the intro to a song while playing it and it was jsut me for 30 seconds or say. i made it up and people like it more than the actual part. just remember say any mistake you made was intentional
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never stop playing if you screw up, that throws the whole band off and makes it obvious you screwed up, also your first few gigs arent that important for your status as a band, everyone expects peopel to screw up on thier first couple of gigs anyways.
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

If you make a mistake, don't make it obvious that you made it (make faces, cringing, etc.) and keep on playing. Also, knowing your songs helps a lot.

P.S. I applaud you for getting up on stage after only playing guitar for six months. Good luck.
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If you **** up, just keep playing

It's not a big deal, no one will really notice. When I **** up on stage, I just do a scale run and pretend it was part of the song

Any musicians I know will laugh because they know what I'm doing, and anyone not a musician goes, "holy ****, look at the mother****in bass player! He just played some crazy sht!"
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Any musicians I know will laugh because they know what I'm doing, and anyone not a musician goes, "holy ****, look at the mother****in bass player! He just played some crazy sht!"

where's that danged laughing emoticon?

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
just keep going not that big of a deal

tallica broke 2 strings and found a way to keep going on there first show , no one is perfect but thats human.
If it's something like a solo, and you mess up dramatically, just pretend like you meant to and just make all sorts of horrible noises Sonic Youth-style, especially if it's a big overdriven rock and roll song. I've actually gotten compliments when I've done that. If it's something like a simple chord change, don't scramble around, just go to the right chord.
one of the most important things to remember is... if u screw up, dont worry, just keep playing, after a couple of seconds anyone who did notice will be caught up in the song again too much to care if u fluffed a note or didn't get a chord formed in time...etc... just gotta look out for the obvious like... not having ur guitar lead fall out, i've seen it happen... its not good... i've seen singers fall off the stage cause they thought the edge was further away... just keep ur wits about u... its not too hard and after u'll feel like u've just run a marathon but won, so ur tired but happy about it! just have fun. i'm playing in a week so i know what ur going thru, but i've done it before and i'll do it again... its awesome!
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You can mess up, but people will see beyond that. They will see the passion you have towards playing, the guts you have towards playing in people, the effort you put in, and all that. I played a gig which was absolutely terrible in front of like 200-300 people. Everyone kept congratulating you and saying good job even people who don't know you, and they still do to this day 6 months later. The point i'm getting at is that you are going to wish you couldve done better but in reality nobody cares. Musics never been about being perfect.
Just remember mistakes can happen to anyone, there not that big of a deal. Just get the songs down pat, and when ur on stage just have fun.

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