How Unprepared for a Show looks (and sounds)

A musician’s worst fear is knowing that they aren’t ready for a show. Musicians are expected to take their performance seriously, regardless of whether it’s a packed-out venue or you and the staff at the venue. It is entirely up to you to decide whether or not to be prepared for your concerts. This is how showing up to your concerts unprepared sounds and looks.

The band arrives late and rushes to start.

Music isn’t a “real” job. So who cares if your schedule doesn’t allow you to get there when you’re asked? Big no. Lateness is a waste of time for the performers, the venue and sometimes the audience. Lateness can make you appear and sound unprofessional and disrupt the show.

There are significant sound problems and delays.

This is not a problem for solo acoustic musicians or bands with small setups. However, if you have a backing track, many musicians, or rely heavily on effects, it can cause a disaster. A show’s average audience member will not know if the venue has technical sound problems and will likely leave a bad experience. Sending an email to request information about the sound system is a good start. Sometimes venues will send the information as part of the pre-show communication process. However, it is up to you to review what they send. Due to technical constraints, you shouldn’t have to be surprised if you have to change or remove songs from your set. These changes can be extremely stressful and could negatively impact your entire set.

Musicians are not musically prepared.

You and your musicians shouldn’t be performing live if you can’t confidently play your songs. Fumbled lyrics, mismatched beats, incorrect chords and other performance mistakes are common. If you don’t know the songs well enough, your performance will be embarrassing and nearly impossible to recover. It is a good rule of thumb always to be prepared for anything. You can’t predict what might happen on stage. So it would be best if you were ready to handle any unexpected problems so that you don’t lose your musical focus. It would be best if you didn’t try to avoid making major mistakes on stage. You need to be confident and tight in performing to win new fans. This requires lots of practice.

Nerves can stop performers from performing confidently.

Many musicians have trouble performing on stage due to performance anxiety. They are often unable or unwilling to perform freely and confidently. Some musicians have nerves so severe that they cannot perform in public. Preparing to be a butterfly is not like practicing for a show. It is about acknowledging your anxiety and taking steps to overcome it. For those completely new to performing live, it might be good to start by playing a show at home in front of family and friends before moving on to a bigger venue. Most musicians find that exposure and experience help them overcome their nerves. If you are anxious and don’t prepare, you will make a poor performance.

Things look, feel, and sound ….awkward.

A band that isn’t properly prepared on stage can create a very awkward situation for all involved. You must perform well in front of the audience and venue. If you don’t, it can lead to uncomfortable situations. Even if you are a beginner, no one expects you to perform flawlessly. You can’t take the show seriously if you don’t prepare mentally, musically and technically beforehand. This will impact your show, no matter how talented.


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