As a musician, your first show is very important. First impressions will always stick with an audience and a venue so it’s important to be prepared. Hopefully, the DIY-FI team can walk you through a couple of steps to preparing for and booking your first show.
Step 1 – Practice, Practice, Practice
As with anything, the first step is always to practice. If you are part of a band, make sure you and your band mates are all prepared for the show and have a set-list ready to go. Make sure you know how long your playing for and that you get close to that mark.
Step 2 – Making A Demo
Now that you have a solid set-list and show prepared you need to find somewhere to perform. The best way to do this is to create a demo CD and description of your act. Sending this to music venues and bars is helpful to both them and you. They know exactly what who you are and you (hopefully) will get a time to play. If you don’t have the materials to create a basic demo, another great way to play shows is to offer opening for a friend’s band.
Step 3 – Preparation
Now that you have secured your gig you will need to prepare for it. At this point, the songs you are going to play should be pretty tight, that is the number one priority. However, there are other factors to be aware of when playing a show. For example, if you are playing a show at a bar or place that is not centered around music, then it is always a good idea to bring a power strip to the show. This will ensure that every band member has access to an outlet and save you a lot of trouble. Also bringing extra strings (or if possible an extra guitar) will provide a safety net in case a string breaks during a show. Of course, tuners are a must-bring along with duct tape, because you never know what can happen. The final step is to print out your song list for every member of the band so everyone will be on the same page.
Step 4 – Pre-Performance
You’re minutes away from playing your debut show and you’re getting nervous. It is important to calm your nerves before your show. Drinking caffeinated beverages or eating a big meal is advised against. Drinking water is good as well as a light snack. The most important thing to remember is to use the bathroom before you go on!
Step 5 – Post-Performance
You’ve nailed your show, you hit every note, now what? First things first, clear your stuff off the stage. Most likely, you’ll be opening for another band so it’s always polite to make an effort to get off as fast as you can. This makes you look professional and respectful to the band and venue. After that it’s time to relax. Watch the other bands and bask in the glory of your first show. Before you leave make sure to personally thank the owner of the venue and tell them to let you know of any available future shows.