5 ways to get Gig Ready – How to practice for gigs and performing
Just started to gig? Recently joined a band and have some gigs coming up and want to know how you can get gig ready. Well, we have 5 easy to implement tips for you to help you get gig-ready go out feel confident and smash any concert!
No matter what people say, I think Gigging, Rehearsing and individual practice are very different things! While they all blend into each other, you need to do each one to help out the next one, e.g. you practice to rehearse for a gig. Gigging is another level! That comes with its challenges! So in this article, we go through a few things you can do to help get “gig ready”.
Set achievable goals and practice regularly
The first step to getting gig-ready on guitar is to set achievable goals and practice regularly. Determine what skills you need to improve, and set specific goals to work towards. Create a practice schedule and stick to it, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. Consistent practice is key to building muscle memory and improving your technique.
What I have done is make a 1-hour practice schedule, and then using that schedule I have made a 30-minute one and also a 10-minute one. This means that whatever time I have to practice and can do something! If you only have a 1 hour schedule and you can only spare 15 minutes you are more likely to skip practice. So having a backup or “shorter” practice is perfect.
Focus on technique and accuracy
As a gigging guitarist, it’s important to have solid technique and accuracy. Focus on playing cleanly and accurately, especially when it comes to chords, scales, and other fundamental techniques. Practice slowly and build up speed gradually, paying attention to your hand placement, finger positioning, and picking technique. You will be surprised and how improving how “cleanly” you play improves your playing and accuracy overall!
Tips for doing this is to start slow! I don’t mean slow for you, I mean really slow. Set your metronome to something like 50 bpm, and practice to that tempo. It will feel slow and almost uncomfortable, but will increase your precision and accuracy very, very quickly!
Learn songs and styles relevant to be Gig Ready
If you’re preparing for gigs and trying to get gig ready, it’s important to learn songs and styles that are relevant to the type of music you’ll be playing. Take the time to learn the songs thoroughly, paying attention to the chord progressions, melody, and rhythm. If possible, practice playing along with recordings or backing tracks to simulate a live performance.
When I say learn the song, I don’t just mean, learn the shapes and/or words. Try to really learn the song, The format, the mood, the chords and chord changes. This will help you not only play the song on the night, but also help you solo, improvise and also if (or when) you get lost during a song, will help you pick it back up quickly.
Work on improvisation and soloing skills
As a gigging guitarist, you may be called upon to improvise or take solos. To prepare for this, work on developing your improvisation and soloing skills. Practice scales, arpeggios, and other melodic patterns, and experiment with different phrasing and techniques. Work on building your improvisational vocabulary, and practice incorporating your ideas into the context of a song.
We are going to do a full article on how to work on this, but to start with learning scales and arpeggios, then build that out into full improvisation with backing tracks! I find the most important thing with improvising is to not be afraid to make mistakes, making mistakes is a great way to learn what works and what doesn’t work.
You have to practice improvising to get better at it. Make sure you have a good practice routine! We put together a blog explaining how you can put together your own practice routine and focus on the things you want to focus on! You can check out the full article here!
Perform in front of others
Finally, to get gig-ready on guitar, it’s important to practice performing in front of others. This can be nerve-wracking, but it’s an essential part of preparing for live gigs. Practice playing for friends, family, or other musicians, and seek out opportunities to perform in front of larger audiences. This will help you develop confidence, stage presence, and the ability to adapt to different performance situations.
You also don’t need to just perform in front of others, you can also record yourself and play it back and listen to yourself. This way you can pick up on things that you do wrong and know when you’ve done it wrong and then work to correct them. This way you also get a log of your progress so you can see where you started from to where you are now. This is always good for boosting motivation morale.
So, those are some things you can do to help you get gig ready and smash any gig you might have to do! If you do have a gig coming up, make sure to tag us in any videos or pictures! We would love to see all of you and rigs and set-ups! Do you have any tips on how you get yourself Gig Ready? Let us know over on our Instagram! We also put together an article going over some useful accessories you can buy to help you with gigging. You can check out that article here
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