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How To Practice For A Performance

Performing can be a lot of fun, especially when you’re playing a song you love and you get positive feedback from those watching you, but how do you prepare for when you have to perform? How do you practice for it?

Most people either just play their song a bunch of times just before the performance in hope that it will be good on the day, but often times mistakes happen on the day and usually they’re the mistakes that can be avoided with practicing in the right way.

I know how it feels to make mistakes on stage, it’s not fun, and it can cause you to lose confidence which in turn makes you make more mistakes.

Let’s look at a couple of ways to improve your performances and feel more confident:

  1. Practice the most challenging parts first

If there’s any section of the song that’s going to make you feel nervous, it’s the parts you find the trickiest. When you’re in front of people, the difficulty of these parts go up because you have the pressure of people watching you.

When practicing your song, focus more on the challenging parts. This will give you encouragement that when the part comes up, you’ll be less likely to mess it up.

  • Write out lyrics from memory

If you sing/play songs, the one thing no-one wants to forget is the lyrics. Guitar mistakes are easier to hide, it’s harder to hide when you’ve forgotten lyrics.

To make sure you know your lyrics inside and out, write them out on paper from memory once a day. For an extra challenge try writing out the different sections of your song out of order.

  • Writing out the chord progressions from memory

Do the same as above but do it for the chords that you are playing for different sections of the song.

Try to see how simple you can make the whole song as well, you will realise that most songs repeat a lot of the same chord progressions/ patterns of bars.

Even for difficult songs, you can label sections as A, B, C etc. and try to write out which section happens when, and in what order.

  • Practise playing it in front of others

Getting in front of other people and playing in front of them will always be useful before doing a performance.

The Beatles got so good at performing because they played for over 8000 hours in clubs before getting famous! And Ed Sheeran did over 400 gigs in a year.

Those type of experience really help you to build your confidence before any performance.

Start with your guitar teacher, your cat, your dog, your mum, your sisters or brothers, best friends, neighbour, playing in the park, playing in front of strangers, a few more strangers.

Some people find it scarier to play in front of friends than strangers, so do whatever it takes to get that experience.

When it comes to actually playing in a performance you care about, you are that much more prepared.

About Guitar Tuition East London

An enthusiastic guitar school in London full of a vibrant, supportive community of guitar players and guitar teachers who help each other become better guitar players. Going beyond the basics of learning guitar, they help them develop confidence and creativity in their guitar playing. Teaching both adults and children to have a lifelong skill to enjoy.