hey guys i have my very first gig coming up in about 3 weeks, and im pretty excited/nervous about it. we are playing at bar and we have 30-45 mins, so we will do some covers and a couple originals. so i need your advice/thoughts.. what were your feeling going into your first gig, how did handle them, how was the show, response, how did you handle youself/band (stage presence) etc. all those kinds of things. i would really like to hear what every one else had been through!!! thanks!
No matter how it goes, do not stop playing. If you make a mistake, come in too early, too late, whatever, keep playing. The song kind of falls apart if you don't

My first gig, I was prepared, ready, practiced for several weeks leading up to the show. Got on stage. Rest of the band starts up. I forget everything I was supposed to play.

I improvised a bit before getting back on my feet, and the rest of the show went well from there. But still, it freaked me out

Haven't been nervous at a show since.
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I'll tell you what I tell everyone.

Start off with a cover people will reconize so people will listen to you.

It's 1000000 times more fun to play infront of people listening then people sort of ignoring you.
just dont think about the people. i personally feel really natural on stage, i dont get the stage fright thing.
be crazy, be shocking, make them remember you. have a lot of stage presence, dont just stand there.

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I was nervous as hell playing my first gig, but that was about 25 years ago, so the memory of it is a little hazy.
Make sure you start the set with either your simplest song or at least the song that you all know the best. That way the first and major hurdle (your first song of your first gig) is pretty easy to get over, after that, your confidence should have grown a bit and you'll be all warmed up, ready to rock.
It can be an advantage if the audience are aware that it's your first gig, because that way, they're probably not expecting too much from you so it kinda takes the pressure off, but at the same time, if you're really good, they won't be expecting that either and it'll come as a great surprise to them, and they'll react to it, which will boost your confidence no end.
Just remember that all you need to do is play exactly the same thing that you've been rehearsing. It's exactly the same thing as a rehearsal only the breaks between songs are shorter and you occasionaly have to say 'Thankyou' and 'This song is called.... ' Only difference is, a bunch of people will be watching you.
Hopefully, you'll have been rehearsing the set exactly as it's going to be played on the night, but it may be an idea to invite some of your mates to watch your next few rehearsals. This will get you more used to performing in front of people, but don't fall into the trap of messing around with your buddies rather than putting in a full rehearsal.
If your set is 30 minutes long and your rehearsal is 2 hours long, you should be able to play your set 3 times or at least twice within that rehearsal time with a short rest between sets.
Also, as mentioned earlier, during your run up of rehearsals before the gig, don't stop playing if anyone seriously screws up, because that's a big no no on stage.
If this happens, try not to panic, they'll soon find their place again, if it happens to you, again, try not to panic, listen intently to where everyone else in the band has got to in the song and dive back in.
Ignore any bum notes, they happen, it's no big deal as long as it's not happening all the time.
At the gig, be punctual. Turn up for your set up, sound check (if you get one) and stage call when you are told to. If there's other bands on the bill, after your set, strip your gear down as quickly and with as little fuss as possible. Guitar amps are usualy pretty easy to strip down and remove, but drums can take a little longer, so if you're band has a kit to remove, once the amps have been taken off, help the drummer with his gear. (it may even be an idea to get him to show the rest of the band before hand how it strips down and folds up)
On stage, be polite to your audience and obviously be polite to whoever has organised the gig and be especialy polite to whoever is doing your sound engineering (buy the guy a drink before the gig, you really need this guy to be your best friend)
If you can't hear yourself properly, don't just turn up your amp because this can completely ruin the mix that the audience hears. Step towards the front of the stage where you can hear the front of house mix better (and therefore yourself as well) and after the song, catch the sound engineer's eye, point to your guitar, (or whatever instrument you're playing, if it's the vocals, point to the microphone that needs turning up) then point to the monitor speaker, then point upwards. He'll know what this means and will adjust your sound accordingly. Once you can hear yourself OK, give him a thumbs up.
If anyone heckles you, just say 'Ahh, I remember my first beer too!' and plough straight into your next song. If he does it again, say 'There's an alcoholic who doesn't want to remain anonymous. Do I come to your work & tell you how to sweep up?' then go straight to your next song again. But don't push it any further than that, the audience will be on your side by now and if he carries on spoiling the gig for them, they'll probably sort him out for you, but they definately didn't come to see you arguing with some pillock in the audience, so try to ignore him after that and get on with your gig.
Above all, enjoy yourself. There's a saying among musicians which goes something like 'If you're not enjoying it, there's no point in doing it.' so have fun and I guarantee that 30-45 minutes will just fly by.
Do NOT (as I once did) fall off the stage, it's very embarrasing and hurts as well.
Good luck on your 1st gig. Remember to face the crowd... not each other. (A true sign of a beginning band) Your band may want to practice "facing the crowd" when rehearsing. Also, try to seaguay from one song to another without stopping. (this will make the most of your time on stage). Unless your name is Dane Cook, don't tell jokes to the crowd. Your PA is set for vocals, not speaking. Get a banner with your My Space page on it. You DO have a banner, don't you? After you're band has finished and broken down your gear, every member should step into the crowd and thank them for coming... don't just sit at the "band table" This may be a good time to tell 'em about upcoming gigs or tell them your band is available for parties, other gigs, etc. One final thing, stick around and listen to the rest of the bands... You could strike up a relationship with them and open for them in the future. Rock on, Brother. Tell us how it went, too.
Open with a cover. Have about half a dozen covers of differing styles ready to go, and gauge the crowd before you start, and try to go with the cover you think will "grab them" best.

Exude confidence, even if you aren't feeling it. Bar crowds are kind of like dogs and bees...they can smell fear.

Have your singer shill a bit. "Grab some beers, tip your bartender," that sort of thing. Sounds stupid, but the bar likes that stuff.


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Also, avoid pauses in between songs. It disassociates the crowd. If you talk between songs, have the drums or guitarist play a short little segment while someone talks. Silence is bad.
Oh, here's a small but surprisingly overlooked tip: tune silently. In other words, don't tune amplified if you can avoid it. Ever been in a crowd when the guitar player in a band is constantly tuning? I don't know about you, but it's like nails on the chalkboard. The bypass of most tuners is not your friend.


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Quote by BaffAttack

Have your singer shill a bit. "Grab some beers, tip your bartender," that sort of thing. Sounds stupid, but the bar likes that stuff.

Yeah, another good line is 'Don't forget, the more you drink, the better we sound.'