Your First Guitar Gig
Are you playing in a show for the first-time and worried what might go wrong? Do you have nightmares about your patch cord disconnecting while performing? Or maybe you fear one of your strings breaks right in the middle of a song?
And yet have you ever wondered why such “worst-case” scenarios never seem to occur when a professional guitarist is playing in a live concert you‘re attending? This is simply because the professionals usually take the time to carefully prepare their guitars for gigs.
One of the things about guitar lessons for beginners is they don’t always educate guitarists enough about performing live and this can leave you feeling unprepared for your first gig. If you’re worried about such mishaps occurring during your performances, this article is just for you.
Let’s take a look at how you can replicate the readiness and preparation procedures done by the pros before their gigs so you can be confident you’re performance will go without a glitch.
Clean Your Guitar
Step 1: It is important to know that sticky, nasty guitars usually kill strings and performances. Before the big show, it is prudent to clean your beauty up.
Step 2: Remove the current set of strings.
A clean fretboard and a fresh set of tuned strings will go a long way toward ensuring your guitar is ready for the big gig!
Step 3: You can use a lint-free cloth and a quality guitar cleaner to ensure that the entire guitar body is perfectly cleaned. This includes the back of the neck. You can allow it to dry for about thirty seconds. Avoid getting cleaner on any plastic items such as knobs or pick guards.
Step 4: Clean the fretboard using a quality fret board cleaner. This will get rid of any traces of oil, dead skin debris, dust, and anything else that is left behind in your past playing. Spray the cleaner on a cloth and then apply the cloth to the fret board. This will help ensure the rest of the guitar isn’t damaged by the specialized fret board cleaner.
Step 5: Now, you will have a clean guitar and should allow it to completely air dry. Once it is dry, use another clean, lint-free cloth to buff up the beauty of your guitar.
Setting Up Your Guitar
As playing a guitar in a gig can result in a lot of stress on the instrument, take care to ensure it will hold up well under the pressure.
Step 1: Put a new set of quality strings on the guitar. Never use the cheap guitar strings. As the saying goes: “you get what you pay for” and with the cheapest strings, you’re going to get the cheapest quality that is also less durable and more prone to breakage.
For more information on changing strings on an electric guitar, you can find a multitude of tutorials on YouTube which will walk you through the entire process.
Step 2: Tune it up! Again, if you need help with this, there are many online videos that can show you the best way to tune a guitar. This includes not just tuning it, but also stretching the strings and re-tuning. Repeat this process several times on each string. This will go a long way to preventing your strings from going out of tune during your gig.
Step 3: Play your guitar for a little while on location of the gig before your actual performance. This will help you to get comfortable with the venue and help relieve you of performance anxiety.
Know Your Stuff!
Of course, it goes without saying that if you’re going to be playing a gig in front of more than just friends and family, you better have developed some decent guitar playing chops. Otherwise, it won’t matter if you have equipment mishaps. You’ll already be sunk with your audience due to a lack of playing ability.
So, be sure you have prepared yourself properly before you get to this point. There are plenty of online guitar lessons resources on the web these days to help fill in any gaps in your playing. Check out reviews before purchasing though! For example, this site has reviews of what it claims to be the best online guitar training for beginners.
That’s a Wrap!
There are other things you can do to make your guitar as “gig proof” as possible such as securing your guitar strap with strap locks. There’s little worse that can happen on stage than have your guitar disconnect from the strap and crash to the floor right in the middle of a gig! Besides the obvious embarrassment, your guitar will likely also incur damage and require costly repairs. You can obtain various types of strap-locks from guitar stores either online or in your local area. Usually they come with instructions on how to put them on and secure your guitar to the strap. If not, here too, you will find many online videos to assist you.
It’s also a good idea to stick with EASY guitar songs for your first gigs. This will help reduce the chances of something going wrong. Preferably something without string bends that more easily induce breakage. After all, why tempt fate, right?
After completing the steps outlined above, you can feel confident your guitar is now ready for the big gig and sleep easy as you rest up to put on your best performance!