Every live band wants to be the best band that they can be. I’ve seen so many bands that practice, practice, practice and never really feel ready to get out and play a gig. I’ve seen bands begin and end in the practice studio without ever getting out and playing a live show. The biggest reason for this is the fact that the band never feels ready to get out and play a gig. So they practice and practice until they’re bored and then they end up giving up.
One of the biggest truths I’ve discovered in my years playing in live bands is that there is nothing like having a gig on the calender to make your band improve. If you’re practicing and you don’t have any shows scheduled then you’re missing some very much needed motivation. A gig deadline will force your band to get down to the essentials needed to perform a live show. You’ll stop wasting time at practice working on every little detail and focus on what needs to get done to play your upcoming gig. The arguing about what songs to learn will stop as you decide on a final set list for your show. It will be time for every member to commit the time needed for rehearsals and personal practice in order for the gig to happen. Nobody likes to look bad onstage and that will help your band keep it’s focus as you prepare for your gig.
After you play a gig you’ll have a reference point for where the band really needs to improve. You’ll know which of your songs didn’t go over well onstage. You’ll know what kind of stage showmanship the band will need to practice. You’ll also hear your band improve simply because you successfully played an entire gig from start to finish. The more gigs you play, the better your band will become because it’s virtually impossible to simulate the gig experience in the practice studio. That’s why I’m telling you that gigging is the best way to improve your live band.
So my advice today is to get out and schedule any gig you can get. Even if that means playing for free at your cousin’s birthday party. Having that deadline will make your band better.