Aren’t forums wonderful?
Just a few years ago there were no places where anonymous strangers could give you advice about whatever you wanted to know.
You had to interact with real people.
It wasn’t as easy for frauds with no real world experience to come across as experts due to a higher post count.
But I digress.
Despite that little bit of snark, I really like forums!
There are a handful of guitar/music related forums that I’ve spent a considerable amount of time on over the years.
And also, despite my dismissal of the “internet experts” (or ex-spurts), there really are people on there with tons of valuable insight to share.
I think TGP has its fair share of professional musicians. Guys that really have done what lots of folks only dream of.
How Do I Know When I’m Ready To Play My First Gig?
Because I like to know what kind of questions people have about starting to gig, I like to see what goes around on some of those forums.
Not too long ago, someone asked, “How long did you play before your first gig?”
Reading between the lines, I’m going to assume the question really is, “How do I know when I’m ready to play my first gig?”
Now, there are actually lots of ways to answer this question.
From a practical standpoint:
How long have you been playing guitar seriously?
Do you know or can you play any songs all the way through?
Can you play and sing well enough for people to sit and listen for a while?
Do you have any experience at all that is applicable to this situation? (Like being in a school band or choir or talent show)
Aside from the practical matters, there are other things to take into consideration as well…
How do you handle being in front of a crowd?
What kind of gig are you considering taking?
Are you going solo or with a band?
How many people might be there?
How many songs would you be playing?
Are you going to be background or will all the attention be focused on you?
But the real answer is…
Even after thinking about all those questions, there are still dozens and dozens that we could still ask.
The truth of the matter is, there’s no way to prepare for all the things that could happen when you gig.
Even when you have lots of experience, things that you couldn’t have forseen will pop up.
There will be complications that no one predicted.
So, to my mind, the real answer is that if you can play and sing in the context of whatever you are planning, then the best thing to do is take the gig!
I come from the “ready, fire, aim” school of doing.
(This doesn’t apply if you just started playing last week and can barely change chords from a G to a C. In that case, keep practicing. I’m assuming a certain level of skill…)
You will never be “ready” for much of anything in your life.
No situation will ever really be ideal.
The timing will never be just right.
You will never be perfect.
So you just need to get out there and play.
You will learn something from just about every gig.
You don’t have to start with anything huge.
In another post, I’ll talk about where I think the best place to start is.
Stay tuned, and subscribe to the email list now so you never miss a post!