Your first gig will always be a memorable one both in a good way or a bad way. We will go through some routines and practices that’ll help in a successful first gig.
It is customary to have had a ton of practice before deciding to go out on stage so a few details that will turn out helpful in future are to be taken in consideration during this time. When you’re in the practise room you play in a circle with your band mates in order to see each other while playing. This is ok however, once a gig is set it will help if you start rehearsing in “gig formation” this way you’ll be more comfortable once you are on stage and used to it.
Another aspect that should be taken from rehearsal to live is the way you set up your tone and structures. Always stick to what you have practised, your first gig is not the time to try new cool licks or sounds. This goes for the set list as well. Have a prepared set list with a couple of songs on the bench just in case.
Once you have contacted the club and a date and time slot is confirmed for you first gig start to do some research on the place you are playing in. You don’t want to turn up and have no idea how the equipment works. You should get to know the stage and the sound technician so that you are more prepared and know what kind of spares you should bring with you. Always have spares.
Get to know who else is playing and how long you are playing for as well as this can help decide your set list and make sure you don’t play any same covers.
Before your first gig you should have already organised your social media and done some publicity as this always helps in getting a few more people to come and see you. You can always try and consider feedback from friends and family so a suggestion is to play your set list to them. This can help you generate more confidence and keep your nerves calm.
Emotions and nerves are the most common problem when you get on that stage for your first time. You never know how you’re going to react. Sure all the considerations above are going to help but mistakes happen to everyone. One important thing to consider is that the majority of the audience will not notice the most mistakes unless they are drastic ones. However, the only thing that can be done in the occasion a mistake is made is to ride it out and try your best to get back on track. It is helpful to do this in practise as well, if someone makes a mistake during rehearsal try and continue the song to its conclusion the best way possible.
Finally always remember to have fun as this is usually the reason why that first gig was booked!