How many of you play out? Open mic or paid gig, doesn’t matter. Do you play your CBG’s in front of strangers?

It took me forever to do it with a factory guitar. I showed up to one particular open mic at least a half dozen times, with my guitar, and didn’t go on. Once I finally did, it went well and after a few more times, I’ll go up on that stage, that night, any time. But other open mics, it’s the same story. Each new place, the nerves pop back up.

I’d like to play out with my builds, but it seems to make ya feel even more vulnerable . I think I could sell more, too if I could get up the nerve to play in front of strangers.

It’s odd to me how something I’ve dreamed of doing my whole life, is now finally doable, but terrifying. Maybe it’s because I’m singing too. I find it easier to play for a singer, but I don’t meet a lot of people that want to cover the same songs I want to play.

Anyway... for those of you who play out. Any helpful advice??

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The answer is just to keep on doing it my friend. Practice a lot and play when ever you can. Some days people will not like it, but that is the process. You will improve if you keep at it. If you can get a singing lesson get one if you think you need it. Mostly just do not give up. You just said it was a dream of yours to do it so do it!!! Best of luck to you.

 Be prepared know your material , If you stumble while playing  ,learn to recover and keep going . Try not to worry about the audience. Have fun!

go to an open mic that starts early and play first, when it's just the host and their significant other listening while finishing setting up...less pressure.

Just get up there and do it. After awhile it won't bother you anymore and just becomes fun. 

Went to old folks homes to get some experience  They are a great audience  You can play anything for them and they appreciate it  Then moved on to playing some open mic bars  But I do usually play with other people so its easier I don't really worry about making mistakes  A ot of people don't even know and in general it doesn't matter that much  Good luck and stick to it  

Awesome idea about the old folks home, and Kirk, I'm afraid to even practice in front of family let alone strangers, was deathly afraid to post the lame video's here I posted. Part of my problem with learning, is the fear or nerves you speak of.

Here's a video I like, I listen to this guys stuff all the time, real personable teacher.

I've been doing it 35 years,and I still get nerves.Sometimes a drink will help.Otherwise ,just pretend they are all naked...As you get better with your craft ,it should subside.I do a lot of overthinking.Quiet your mind best as you can..Good luck,my friend.

Get a jam pal.always easier to go up on stage with more than one person.

Hi Kirk, It seems like you've already crossed the biggest hurdle by performing in front of an audience.

My other top tips would be,

1 Choose your songs carefully, find the right key, don't do anything to technical or demanding

2 I perform under the name Stompin Steve, so it's not me up there but someone else if that makes sense

3 Start with Open Mics, the audience I find are always appreciative 

4 Practice with whatever clothes, boots etc you intend to wear...practicing at home I used to stomp my Cajon with just socks on - big mistake!

5 Play in as many different areas of your house/garden that you can, you will be surprised how much the sound need to get used to this cos every gig will different

5 Don't overthink it, at the end of the day it's your choice to do it and nobody's forcing you, just remember that and enjoy the experience

Best wishes Stompin Steve

Feel the fear and do it anyway! I was terrified when I started busking, and still am to play in pubs etc, probably because I don't do that as much. At the end of the day I decided that being scared wasn't a good enough reason  not to do something I wanted to do. The worst that can happen is that you make a fool of yourself, and having messed up and done that several times, I've realised that it's not the worst thing in the world. I know I don't think badly of anyone at an open mic who messes up. I just think good on them for having a go.

   Colin Merry (Stumblecol) said to me once, you only get to get good at playing live by going out there and doing it. I would advise doing stuff that you know inside out to start with, so you can hopefully do it on auto pilot if the nerves kick in!

  If it's something you want to do, then you'll probably regret it if you don't do it. Life's to short...

  Good luck!


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