Day of the Gig

(8 posts)


  1. shawnuff

    Hi All,

    Just wondering how everyone goes about their day before a gig?...i.e. routine, warm-up, meditation, food etc


  2. Yadayada

    I have a couple of weekly gigs with a band playing everything from jazz to funk. I feel for me the most important things are that my mind is calm and ready to make music and not rushing from arriving late at the gig etc. and second that my hands are not cold and that i have played a couple of scales and such before to get the fingers going.

    Having said that i have had gigs where i have "warmed up" for easily an hour beforehand and still not sounded good or gotten in a good zone for making music and then i have had gigs where i had been drinking the day before and not touched the guitar the whole day, where i have played really good...

    I think for me the mental part is most important, then comes the physical warm up, third place i think is just luck or however you are feeling that particular day and last but not least how you´re band mates are feeling/playing.

  3. Din

    I think that if you're really not that good at playing live (like me), it's better to not warmup, and to not do anything particular that day. Being relaxed and not thinking and having the pressure of playing perfectly, ironically will do a lot better than being pressured to prepare everything and play perfectly. Because at that stage, you will not do it, and if you try harder to do it, it will make things worse actually.
    That being said, preparation is essencial: rehearsals, studying the songs, etc. But that day, relax, watch a movie or something.
    The experience needed to play perfectly comes from playing live, and only doing it more will do it.
    How to setup the guitar and amp is another VERY important thing, I still haven't really nailed it.
    Also, don't care about what you are doing and how people sees your performance, because that will make you play like shit (weird psychological thing). I don't remember if the quote was from Lovano or another guy: "Don't judge your performance, instead judge your practice". Of course that in a performance everything that needs to work will show and to you that will be obvious, however is a matter of working it on your practice. Is not the decisions you make while you play a show, it's about the decisions you make while you practice or rehearse.
    Instead, while you perform, try to enjoy, enjoy being there, in front of those people and with other musicians, and listen a lot. If you run out of ideas, listen to what everybody else is doing and the ideas will be right there. If you get too nervous, think "I'm happy to be here in this moment playing with those musicians". It helps!

  4. guitar1025

    I'm one of those that feel better sometimes if I DON'T warm up. I also like to keep my mind clear before gig. In other words if I'm doing a jazz gig, I will listen to something other than jazz on the way to the gig (and vice versa).

  5. JorgeRubiales

    I find that I play the best when I got to sleep well, got early to the gig, made sound check, and got to review the tunes with the band (just a quick pass without any solos, just to review the arrangement and confirm the setlist order).

    If I can do that, I go on stage very relaxed and if anything goes wrong I'm not that bothered. For me, the most important thing when it comes to playing live is to not try that hard. If I haven't practiced enough, trying hard will just make it worse, so I just try to have fun.

  6. sza

    Get up early.
    Warm up, but DON'T practice anything new, and don't play the tunes of the concert. Don't try something new on your practice routine, don't think about the changes, how to improvise over them, just get your fingers and "time feel"ready.
    Eat good meal at lunch, and give yourself plenty of time to digest, so you don't play with a heavy feeling on stage. Get outside, soak some sun. Coffee/Tea.
    No alcohol before the gig.
    Listen to music which has no relation to the content of your show.
    Watch something funny on TV/internet.
    Choose nice clothes that look good but that you feel comfortable playing in. If you never wore a tie/jacket, don't wear them on gig night.
    Get to the stage early, so you can have as much time as you need to set your rig and check the sound. Tell your band-mates to come earlier than the time you should be there. Someone will be late...

  7. InWalked

    1. If an afternoon gig, eat a super small breakfast after a walk or time on the elliptical. While exercising, listen to music stylistically different from gig. If gig is later at night, avoid eating too much as that can ruin a gig for me.
    2. Listen to baseball on the radio on way to gig. Nothing too cerebral.
    3. Leave early for gig to avoid traffic to get there preferably an hour before the gig.

  8. Yadayada

    I´ve never really gotten the whole "listen to something other than jazz" before playing. I personally get in the mood by listening to creative music i like which most often is jazz and many times modern jazz. I think that if i start planing the day any differently than any other day right from the morning, that i´m just concentrating too much on the gig and that i probably won´t gain anything from it (that is if i already know the tunes etc.)

    I try to have as little difference between days that i´m just practicing and days i´m gigging in regards to sleep, eating, what i wear and so on.

    Then again i haven´t found any one way to do things or what makes me play at the top of my game :)


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