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Played in front of a group for the first time and.... I stunk haha

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Matt33, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Vjerilood

    Vjerilood Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 30, 2017
    The first step to not sucking is believing you're great. Me personally, I know for a fact I am the world's greatest guitar player. It doesn't matter that the world disagrees. They are wrong.

    The second step to greatness follows naturally from the first: humility. They had Clapton on NPR and the interviewer compared him to Robert Johnson and Clapton almost aghast. He's great and he surely knows it but he also knows he's not God. Yngwie on the other hand...

    The third step to greatness? Practice.

    Add obsession, a strong sex drive (no joke, that energy can be diverted to creative pursuits) and a dash of genius, stir and add time. Recipe for a guitar god.
  2. BuddyGuy

    BuddyGuy Strat-Talker

    Sep 8, 2017
    If I played in front of Clapton he would slap me.
    Vjerilood likes this.
  3. hamfisted

    hamfisted Strat-Talker

    Sep 19, 2014
    I'm pretty sure everyone was thinking of their first time in front of an audience. Congrats for having the guts to get up there. I've been playing for four years now and still haven't inflicted my hamfisted wankery on the public.
    Matt33 likes this.
  4. Boognish

    Boognish Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 31, 2011
    You made the first step in getting up there in front of people and playing!! I've been debating for 2 years whether or not to upload a video here of me playing just to get feedback and I've never done it!!!
  5. Gilmourfan75

    Gilmourfan75 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 28, 2013
    myrtle beach via ny
    You had a case of the nerves . It happens. Just keep working . Remember it's not a competition . It's about each players uniqueness and their ability to express. People who can play a mile a minute bore me. I appreciate their ability , but I barely can listen to it.
  6. StratPlus97

    StratPlus97 Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 7, 2016
    I'm having this issue right now! I started playing an open mic Thursday nights. I practice a song relentlessly for a week and at home it sounds great. When I get on stage, and the song's like, I'm playing the guitar for the first time. I play completely different. I over think things, I play different, and find that I need to look at the fretboard and hand way more than I do at home.

    Anyway, my guitar instructor saw this and gave me ONE recommendation...READ "EFFORTLESS MASTERY" by Kenny Werner

    My love playing is improving drastically.
  7. bluesman1956

    bluesman1956 Strat-O-Master

    Dec 3, 2012
    Upstate NY
    Remember those guys started like you and hopefully will encourage you to keep playing. I greatly increased my skill level by playing with far better guitarists way back. Though it was humbling it was the fire in my belly I needed. Never look back and remember "stay thirsty my friends"
  8. artgtr

    artgtr Artgtr Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 18, 2013
    I'm proud of you for trying, & keep playing with other people, in front of people, in front of family who love you! It's all good, keep it up. Everybody has gone through the same thing & thoughts, just like you are now. Stay positive, don't look at what you did wrong, but what you did right, & try & calm down while your playing in front of people & enjoy yourself. It's suppose to be fun & it is.
    Now enjoy yourself!
  9. dbbluesproject

    dbbluesproject Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 3, 2015
    I played slide guitar and sang at a famous theatre in nyc for some Tennessee Williams plays.
    My job was to sit by myself on the edge of the stage with no pa, no mic and no amp, and project to about 3000 people.
    I played acoustic blues to open the show and a song between each act.....six songs in total.....
    Each time i played it was me on the edge of the stage and one white spotlight lol......blank stage otherwise.......pitch black theatre......

    I had never sang in front of a crowd without a pa system...
    Talk about horrifying.......
    The very first note I sang on the first night was terribly out of did i want to duck and run.....but i looked at all of the people and realized running was not an option.......but it sure seemed like time had stopped...
    Somehow, in that split second after the first note i managed to pull it together........I 'm not a strong singer either......but i just put everything i had into it and ended up with a standing ovation......and one every night after that until the play closed......
    Believe me when I tell you I surprised myself.........scared to
    I still have times when i freeze a little if the circumstances are just right but it is minor in comparison.........
    I think you probably got the hardest part out of the way.
    The sooner you get back in the mix the easier it will be.
    Having a pre gig ritual helps......,.actors in theatre start getting into character about an hour or more before every performance......
    My pre gig ritual consists of avoiding people (lol)......going over my equipment......tune and retune my guitars so the strings don't stretch out of tune......then i play scales with my guitar unplugged to loosen up my fingers.....
    I'm not saying you have to do all that but i think "getting in the zone " helps......
    Most importantly don't give up!
    Dadocaster likes this.
  10. Mind Flayer

    Mind Flayer Strat-Talker

    Feb 29, 2012
    The great thing is, you stunk and yet you survived and your life didn't end. So now you can get over that and try again, with the confidence that even if you stink it up again, it won't be the end of the world, so next time you can relax.

    It's like asking someone out on a date for the first time. Even if they turn you down, you realize that it's not the end of the world, and you can ask someone else out the next time without worrying so much about what happens if you fall flat in your approach.

    What would suck is if you never got up there in the first place. But you already got over the biggest hurdle.
  11. Tcon

    Tcon Strat-Talker

    Mar 11, 2016
    I was trying out an amp once about six months ago and told the kid that worked there that I was glad nobody was in here because I couldnt play in front of people. He said " ya know what you judge yourself because you think your not good enough but nobody cares. After he said that I cranked that amp up and he said " damn that sounds pretty good to me. Thats when I bought my Fender champion 100. At least you went for it. Im scared to death to do that!
  12. Bowmap

    Bowmap I Nose A Thang or Two Gold Member

    Dec 23, 2017
    Kudos to you Matt33. I just started on the road of playing again. My chords are muddy, I cannot find the frets without looking at the neck, my scales are rusty, and when I do find a succession of chords I have made up, I cannot find a 'B' part to add to it because I have forgotten so much. I am paranoid of how my noise sounds that I do not even let my wife hear it. So Kudos to you taking that step. You are way ahead of me.
  13. Strat*Fan81

    Strat*Fan81 Strat-Talker

    Nov 5, 2015
    Man I wish there was something like that to do around here! I’ve been playing in my home for around 6 or 7 years now. I’ve been pretty diligent about improving over the last couple. I’d say I’m decent and know my way around the fretboard and I’ve learned completely from the internet. Started learning theory this past couple years too, and can improvise pretty well I guess. Hey it sounds pretty good to me. I say all that to get to this. A couple weeks ago I not only played for the first time with another person, but also in front of people with 4 other musicians for a get together. In those couple of hours I forgot everything I’ve learned in 6 years lol. Well not everything but I experience the exact symptoms you did. But by the end of it I was JUST starting to get a little feeling. So I’d say our experiences are probably pretty normal. It’s just totally different playing with other people, but we don’t REALLY suck. We just sucked once lol.
    Matt33 likes this.
  14. dbbluesproject

    dbbluesproject Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 3, 2015
  15. artgtr

    artgtr Artgtr Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 18, 2013
    A lot of good advice here - we have all been there, same feelings & insecurities!
    Many years ago - before many lessons - I went to an open mike night - I will always remember that I wasn’t very good at all - we started to play & for about 6 notes everyone was watching me play - than it all fell apart, but for 6 notes I held it together! Maybe next time I could do 10 notes!
  16. Fuzzpop

    Fuzzpop Ryan-Ola Silver Member

    Aug 14, 2012
    Washington, D.C.
    I know I’m late to the party here, but just wanted to say congrats on getting up there and giving it a go. It only gets better from there. That first time playing out is such a huge step in itself. Keep on, man!
  17. anderz

    anderz Senior Stratmaster

    May 4, 2014
    My first electric guitar gig was in front of 10 classes of students about 250-300 in total.

    I had been playing for about 2 years on my own and had just gotten my first amp and effect board. A Marshall valvestate 8100 head, 1960 300watt cabinet and Digitech rp1 multi effects.

    The class was asked to do something to contribute to some entertainment and the only idea that came up was to have me play solo!

    Sure I said if my gear could get some transport back and forth from the school.

    I was a bit nervous during the time before the day had ended. What am I going to play?

    Next day I got to the school with the gear and all. I set it up and was not long before the entertainment part was over and it was my turn to play.

    I played a bit of Guns n roses don't cry, nothing else matters + more and by the time I hit into enter sandman all students stood up!

    In hind sight it was awesome but I wish I had plugged straight into the 8100 which did not have that bad gain at all.

    I also in lack of a band just killed time in the local music store playing a lot. Never to loud and I was a very good customer.

    My first serious jam band was cool too and the first gig was filmed on my request. Amp blew a fuze in the most favorite song of all time.

    At that point my confidence in my playing made the enjoyment for the audience as much as the singer.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  18. 2-Finger

    2-Finger Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 16, 2016
    Brussels, Belgium
    A bit of alcohol usually helps :whistling:
  19. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Strat-O-Master

    Apr 22, 2017
    The Netherlands
    Yes your experience gave me a good chuckle! But only because it so recognizable and it made me think of the first time I played before an audience or in a group of people.
    Remember even the guys playing Hendrix feel that way, most likely. Most of it is in your own head. An audience will not hear 90% of your errors, if YOU ignore them and just keep going. When I first played with a band and in front of audiences, I've played detuned acoustic guitars (due to lamp heat with the guitar onstage while we waited for our turn), messed up out of tune solo's, hit errant strings, mistimed rhythms... sang out of tune because I could not hear myself... said stupid things into mics when I thought they were off but weren' name it....
    Most of the time hardly anyone noticed, unless I stopped because of that!

    Bottom line: just keep going!