First time playing in front of people

Bluego1

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I’m biting the bullet and playing (and singing) at my daughter’s wedding next month. It’s a surprise. She’s never seen me play. In fact, nobody has seen me play. Now, about 200 people will. Nervous is an understatement; I still can’t coordinate singing and playing, but I’m getting close. Got my new acoustic singer amp:

Gonna have my son bring out the amp and mic and guitar during my speech and then I’m going Johnny Cash with a couple of his songs I used to sing to my daughter growing up. Wish me luck:).
What was your first time playing in front of people? Open mic?
 

AAT65

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Great idea -- good luck! You will do fine. All the energy in the room will be positive.

First time I played in front of other people was a long long time ago - a semi-inpromptu gig with a couple of other local bands at the place we used to rehearse (church hall kind of a place). I played my friend's 12-string acoustic on our rendition of Freebird. First time in front of a crowd who didn't know me was with the next iteration of that band, at a famous old Glasgow bar called the Found Castle. We did alright!
 

Painter644

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I’m biting the bullet and playing (and singing) at my daughter’s wedding next month. It’s a surprise. She’s never seen me play. In fact, nobody has seen me play. Now, about 200 people will. Nervous is an understatement; I still can’t coordinate singing and playing, but I’m getting close. Got my new acoustic singer amp:

Gonna have my son bring out the amp and mic and guitar during my speech and then I’m going Johnny Cash with a couple of his songs I used to sing to my daughter growing up. Wish me luck:).
What was your first time playing in front of people? Open mic?
Can only wish you a smooth “ maiden flight”. I’ve spoken to a few thousand, but singing? I’d start a stampede for the exits, me among them🤪
 

MTPoteet

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I got in my first band when I was in the U.S.N. so we played a LOT of getting out parties in the park, we rehearsed there too.
We played our first bar gig in the local country and western bar (1976). We played a lot of the current rock and roll stuff, Bad CO., Kiss,U.F.O. etc...
When we started to play, every one backed off of the dance floor and just lined up with their backs against the wall pretty much around the entire bar.
Needless to say, we didn't go over that well, but it's still a great memory.
After I got out of the Navy, I moved to Denver to play with those same guys, and had a successfull semi professional career for the next 35 plus years.
GOOD LUCK and have fun!
I'm sure it will be very emotional and memorable for you and your daughter.
 
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Bluego1

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Can only wish you a smooth “ maiden flight”. I’ve spoken to a few thousand, but singing? I’d start a stampede for the exits, me among them🤪
I actually sang at my other daughter’s wedding (in Spanish even) but hadn’t even taken up guitar yet. It’s the guitar (actually coordinating the playing with singing) that has me scared.
 

stxrus

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All I can say is have fun, enjoy the moment with your daughter, and even if you happen to flub up it’ll be a memory you both can share.
Butterflies are part of the experience. You have a month to get it together. Don’t obsess. Have fun
 

SRHmusic

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Great! Wonderful thing to do. You'll be really happy you did this.

I think I'll offer unsolicited thoughts and advice, so feel 100% free to ignore it. :)

If you can, it helps to play it a few times with a few people in the room at home, just to get used to knowing others are listening. You might find spots in the song where you might need to simplify or just practice a bit more, find a mental note to make it easier, etc. Making videos of yourself is good, too.

I struggled quite a bit playing solo classical pieces in front of 40+ people (church, wedding) early on, thinking I was prepared and then I'd get nervous from adrenaline and self consciousness. I learned over time that I really wasn't as well prepared as I had thought, and was trying to play things too close to the limit of my abilities. Later when I actually studied with a teacher he said we lose about 30% of our ability in front of people. (He had finished a performance masters degree and had a ton of prior gigging experience so it was good to hear it from him.)

Really, most people just want to enjoy it, and simple can be just right. Focus on sharing the music and enjoying it and you have it made.
 
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VintageSG

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When I was much younger; pre-teen, I had a voice that could rival Aled Jones. I could project it very well indeed. At school, it wasn't too much of a problem; showing off to peers is the norm for kids.
My last year at primary school, I was 'chosen[1]' to sing at a carol service in a large church. No amplification. It was packed.
I was bricking it so much, you could have built a bungalow. 'In The Bleak Midwinter' was my opener, followed by 'Once In Royal David's City'
I was so glad when I finished. The stress and fear brought on my synaesthesia, but the light show accompanying the applause was nice. Fireworks with the percussive claps and the echo's an afterglow.

I was so glad when my voice broke.

Age 14, school garage band and the guitarist went to a different school. His school put on an end of year talent show. He put us forward for it, the git. Half his school and their parents attended. We had to perform three songs. 'Ziggy', 'War Pigs' and 'Silver Machine' were chosen. Good choice as they were the only ones we'd really nailed that were suitable. I understand why Lemmy had his mic up and canted like that. You can't see the audience, and they can't see the terror in your eyes. Turns out that as soon as I was on stage, at the mic, bass turned up and the drummer doing a '1,2,3,4' on the hi-hat as the intro, all my nerves disappeared and we rocked up a storm.

Enjoy it. Tell yourself you're enjoying it. Don't practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong. It's a nice thing you're doing.



[1] Read 'ordered and given no choice in the matter'.
 

Painter644

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I actually sang at my other daughter’s wedding (in Spanish even) but hadn’t even taken up guitar yet. It’s the guitar (actually coordinating the playing with singing) that has me scared.
Just “forget” to turn on the amp, or if it’s an acoustic, stuff a towel in the sound hole 🤪
 

PhredE

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I played Stairway to Heaven with my then girlfriend in 8th grade to the entire school during an assembly. It was far from perfect, but I/we got through it ok. Fortunately, I could read music pretty well by then and the book I was using was pretty close to reality, so at least the chords/lines were recognizable.

Ah, don't sweat it. You'll do fine. Everyone else will be upbeat -- do your best and have fun. I hear you'll get extra points if you do the palm-muting thing on the Tele ala Luther Perkins.

Good luck!
 

Tele-beeb

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I’m biting the bullet and playing (and singing) at my daughter’s wedding next month. It’s a surprise. She’s never seen me play. In fact, nobody has seen me play. Now, about 200 people will. Nervous is an understatement; I still can’t coordinate singing and playing, but I’m getting close. Got my new acoustic singer amp:

Gonna have my son bring out the amp and mic and guitar during my speech and then I’m going Johnny Cash with a couple of his songs I used to sing to my daughter growing up. Wish me luck:).
What was your first time playing in front of people? Open mic?
Sounds like fun. My first time was at an old movie theater with a stage… with my garage band. I remember being excited but not nervous. 16 years old. I have played from poorly to great (modest) to maybe thousands of different people and even though you didn’t ask, I recommend:
*do play in front of someone first, don’t take criticism negatively or let it deter you.
*warm up with some super easy (for you) chords, maybe talk to the audience while strumming?
*this can be so fun… make it so
Enjoy!
 

Tele-beeb

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Sounds like fun. My first time was at an old movie theater with a stage… with my garage band. I remember being excited but not nervous. 16 years old. I have played from poorly to great (modest) to maybe thousands of different people and even though you didn’t ask, I recommend:
*do play in front of someone first, don’t take criticism negatively or let it deter you.
*warm up with some super easy (for you) chords, maybe talk to the audience while strumming?
*this can be so fun… make it so
Enjoy!
Oh… sorry… above all keep it about your daughter;)
 

Happy Enchilada

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First, you may want to stay away from "Ring of Fire." Not the right message for a wedding ...

Second, wear an adult diaper. And have a wastebasket nearby in case your nerves put your digestion in reverse.

Third, imagine all the members of the audience in their underwear. Try not to get aroused and lose your focus.

Kidding aside, you'll do great. Just close your eyes for a moment and visualize the happiest moments with your daughter growing up and you'll do the Dad thing and rise to the occasion. And no matter what happens, this will be a happy memory she and you will share forever. Enjoy!
 




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