Your live guitar show: The essential checklist

There’s learning the guitar – and then there is learning to play the guitar in front of a live audience.

Sure, you can get all of the training possible from the likes of Tom Hess guitar courses, and become a master in your own right. There are certain ingredients that you just have to “pick up” when it comes to playing live though, with a lot of this just coming down to good, old fashioned experience.

As well as the E-factor, there are several other elements that can help you along your live show journey. Through the course of this guide we will analyze them and highlight why they are absolutely essential if you are serious about making it on stage.

Tip #1 – Never forget about the act of kindness

This first suggestion might seemingly border on the ridiculous, but there is method within the madness. As bands become more established, it’s not uncommon to see the likes of lighting engineers and sound technicians treated with some contempt.

Well, its artists like these which are just shooting themselves in your foot. These sorts of professionals are the bread and butter of any decent performance and if your sound is slightly out – it’s not the engineer who is going to get the blame from the audience.

Be kind, be courteous and just be a good human being. It won’t go unnoticed, and said professionals will do their very best for you and help you along your way.

Tip #2 – The importance of back-up equipment

Admittedly, for the beginners out there, this might be a step which is somewhat difficult to carry out due to finance issues. However, if possible you really should have a stash of backup equipment, as it’s certainly not uncommon for things to go wrong in this regard as you take to the stage.

Luckily, most venues will have their own backup equipment. If they don’t, it’s time to spring into action and devise your own Plan B though.

Tip #3 – Ensure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet (literally)

This next tip might sound blatantly obvious, but we’re putting it out there as an alarmingly high amount of bands just decide to rock up to a live event without a set list. Or, each member of the band has a set list, but they all happen to be different.

Suffice to say, it’s a tactic that’s asking for trouble. Instead, keep everyone on the same lines, and obviously ensure that the first two songs, and the last one, are the best of your selection.

Tip #4 – Look the part

Some might dismiss this and suggest that it doesn’t matter how you look, as long as you are good enough. We are going to disagree and if you are attempting to make a name for yourself, looking the part is crucial in turning heads. Sure, the music will help to some extent, but actually looking like a band, rather than a group of random guys, will do your reputation plenty of favors and stand you in good stead for netting future live events.

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