You have been toiling away at it, penning lyrics and music, and now you believe that you are prepared to go on to the next stage. If you are a musician, performing live is probably quite high on your priority list, or at the very least, it should be. After all, there is nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of the spotlights shining on you while enthusiastic fans dance to your music and appreciate it. But how can you tell when it is finally time to step out onto the stage for the very first time?
A musician will inevitably play their first gig at some point in their career, but determining the right moment to do so and taking the stage for the first time can be nerve-wracking. Not to mention the added pressure of finding the ideal booker and location for your first performance. Some musicians sit about and wait for opportunities to present themselves to them. It is normal to want things to take care of themselves, but if you want the night to go well, you will need to put some effort into it yourself. This is especially true if you want it to be a successful event.
Ask yourself if these things are in place and ready to play live music.
You have plenty of material
You should be able to demonstrate that you have created original content. That is everything you have written and worked on to where it is now. How else will your brilliance be recognised by everyone, much alone appreciated? However, simply performing a handful of your own songs live on stage is not enough to establish yourself as an artist. You have to be able to complete at least one set before moving on.
You have a good back up
You are a skilled instrumentalist because you can perform every component of your own songs when you record them. Excellent. Now, how exactly do you plan to carry out that performance live? You can’t play the guitar, bass, and drums all by yourself if your song uses any of these instruments. You need some support from your teammates. You also need to ensure that the people on stage with you are able to use the tech and equipment, which you can read more here.
If you wish to pursue a career as a solo artist, this does not mean that you have to form a band first. What this entails, however, is that you need to find some other musicians eager to learn your songs and perform on stage alongside you.
You are happy on stage
This one presents a bit of a challenge. If the thought of climbing on stage gives you an excessive amount of anxiety, you probably are not ready to take on live music because you are not mature enough to handle the pressure of performing in front of an audience for the first time. The prospect of playing a live show for the first time is bound to be intimidating, at least on some level.
You are certain to have performance anxiety if you are about to do a live performance, regardless of how much experience you have. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with letting a small bit of the tense energy you feel fuel your adrenaline while you are playing the game. Do not be fooled into thinking that practising on your own in your basement, garage studio, or anywhere else is the same as performing in front of an audience; it is a very different experience.