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Thread: How do you know when you're ready for live?

  1. #1
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    How do you know when you're ready for live?

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    Ok, so this may seem like a stupid question, but I want to hear people's opinions. I want to know how "ready" you are when you play live. By that, I mean, how much material do you have, how happy are you with it, etc.? I'm only asking because I want to get out and play, but

    a) I don't think I have enough original material to cover more than maybe 15-25 minutes solo acoustic. With covers maybe about 30-40 minutes.
    b) I'm fairly happy with my songs (about 85%), but I still think there's work needed on many.
    c) I'm torn on getting myself out there for some experience or getting really good songs before introducing them to the public.

    So basically, I'm just wondering if it's worth it to go ahead and put yourself out there with what you think is unfinished material, or to wait a while to work on some music and then going out.

    Thanks in advance!
    San Francisco indie/alternative rock
    http://www.wavearraymusic.com

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    I think this is a mistake that most all performers go through. They don't want to gig until they're "ready". Playing in the basement or living room and practicing your ass off (while not a bad thing and practice IS very necessary) you'll NEVER be ready. Nothing teaches you how to perform in front of an audience like performing in front of an audience. Get out and play, warts and all. Nothing motivates you to do better than fucking up in front of 100 people. It's like fire, a great motivator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Track Rat
    Nothing motivates you to do better than fucking up in front of 100 people. It's like fire, a great motivator.
    Amen! Thats what fuels me to keep going sometimes when times are getting hard.

    - Idgeit
    "Lets go with the milk....", "Lets go with the milk?", "Im sorry, could you bless me with some of your precious milk?" - Ricky, Trailer park Boys

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    If you dont think you have enough material to 'book' a show, then at least go out and play some open stages for a start, you can get a good feel for bigger shows and its great practice as well. I was doing open stages with only 5-6 songs under my belt.
    good luck

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    What kind of venues are you looking at playing? What type of music? I wholeheartedly agree with the previous posters about open mic nights and just getting up there and doing it.

    If you are going to do a three song set for an open mic then practice the ever loving crap out of just that three song set plus two other songs in case of an encore request. Realize that you are probably going to screw up anyway and just roll with it.

    The reason I ask about the type of venue and music is because that will affect set length. Here in the Pacific Northwest acoustic folk acts usually won't play more than two 45 minute sets at a gig. Half hour or 45 minute gigs are common (though not that lucrative). If you are trying to book a bar and replace the sound system be prepared for a four hour set, and only then if you have more than you and a guitar.

    Festivals generally have large turnouts, short sets and open mic's (and there are a lot of them going on right now since the festival season is drawing to an end). Also look for songwriter's nights, song circle's or jam sessions to sit in on a weekly basis to get used to playing in front of people.

    *edit*
    I also used to just play anywhere to get over the reluctance factor. I would drive to the "cruising strip" in my town on the weekends and play on the trunk with a 6-pack of beer. Impromptu concert. I've also busked on sidewalks, in parks, and on beaches. Those are all good for helping build confidence because you have to actually pull out an instrument and start singing in a place where it is completely out of place.

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    Just go play. Who cares if you're ready or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeBannon
    Just go play. Who cares if you're ready or not.

    YES! Do that! And please, charge $8 at the door. Because there is nothing I love more than shelling out a cover charge to see a bunch of no talent ass clowns banging out their version of artistic expression after 7 practices, 5 of which did not include their new bass player, cousin Todd, who just bought his rig last week.



    On the other hand, you could keep practicing and writing until you feel comfortable with what you have. Know that when you walk up onto that stage, you will take control of the audience and keep them entertained for an hour. Remember, you are only as good as your last gig.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder33
    YES! Do that! And please, charge $8 at the door. Because there is nothing I love more than shelling out a cover charge to see a bunch of no talent ass clowns banging out their version of artistic expression after 7 practices, 5 of which did not include their new bass player, cousin Todd, who just bought his rig last week. On the other hand, you could keep practicing and writing until you feel comfortable with what you have. Know that when you walk up onto that stage, you will take control of the audience and keep them entertained for an hour. Remember, you are only as good as your last gig.

    Then don't go. Though I would pay to see clowns playing guitar and singing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeBannon
    Then don't go. Though I would pay to see clowns playing guitar and singing.


    You little come backs have no wit what so ever. Nice try. I guess.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder33
    You little come backs have no wit what so ever. Nice try. I guess.

    It's "your"

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