How to make sure your gig is a success 

So you have a gig booked – what can you do to make sure it’s a success? Here are some tried-and-true tips to make sure that your show goes smoothly. 

Practice! 

Always the most important rule – practice your set until you feel completely comfortable with it. The more “second nature” your songs feel, the better you’ll be able to perform them on stage. Extra practice also helps safeguard against the distractions a live performer can face. If you’re playing cover songs, guitarists Tom Harrison and Sean Bishop of the UK-based band Tigress recommend playing along with the song to really lock in your rhythm. 

 

Promote it 

You definitely want people to show up to your gig. At least a few weeks before the show, start promoting it on social media, with flyers, or by word of mouth. 

 

Scope out the venue

If you’ve never been to the venue you’ll be playing at, it’s a good idea to stop by on another night to meet the staff and sound people, look at the stage setup, and see what the sound situation is like. That way, you can be sure to know what types of pedals, amps, and other gear you’ll need. 

 

Check your gear ahead of time 

Do your strings need to be changed? Is your amp in good working order? Making sure all of your gear is functioning ahead of time will prevent any headaches at gigtime. It’s a good idea to put all of the pedals, chords, and other accessories you need together ahead of time so that you’re not scrambling to find an XLR cable 20 minutes before show time. 

 

Communicate 

If you’re playing with other bands, reach out to them ahead of the gig to talk about set length, gear sharing, and anything else you might need to communicate. If the gig is set up by a promoter or venue staff, stay in communication with them about load-in time and set length, as well as what type of sound equipment (if any) you’ll need to provide. 

 

Print your setlists 

Make sure you and your bandmates are on the same page with what songs you’ll be playing by printing out the setlists ahead of time. That way, you can spend more stage time playing music and less time trying to figure out which song is next. 

 

Expect the unexpected

Stuff happens during live shows – so be prepared for anything! Bring backup strings, extra picks (or drumsticks, etc), give yourself plenty of time to get to the venue, and most importantly, have fun with it! Check out singer/songwriter XIMXIA’s tips for beating stage fright. 

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