2 May 2008

Guitarists, Twiddling Annoys Your Audience

Could you be guilty of annoying your audience before you even begin performing guitar? Tony Hogan describes how some guitarists' annoying on stage antics spoiled things for him.

Have you ever been to watch a guitarist play and he/she spend so much time frigging around on the stage before they start playing the first song that you are already wishing you hadn’t bothered going to see them?
Tony goes on to list useful things that you can do before your own performances so that you won't be ticking off your public. Could you be guilty of any of this frigging around?

But in addition to Tony's suggestions there's one simple and very effective thing you can do to improve your performances. It's something I'm sure that you're already doing for the rest of your guitar playing, but it seems to be rarely thought of as a tool for improving performance skills.

Practice Makes Perfect

What am I getting at? Practice, of course, is the key. Just as it improves all aspects of your guitar playing, it will make your performance skills better, too.

A really simple way to include performance practice in your routine is to treat each practice session as a performance.

When you start to practice, imagine that you're stepping up in front of an audience. Take the time to "look them in the eye", say hello to them and introduce yourself, and then begin playing.

You might feel a little silly at first, but it takes only a few seconds to do. Repeating it will make it a habit that you won't forget when you're trembling with nerves in front of a real audience.

From Player To Performer

Starting your practice like this will also force you to think like a performer. You'll start to realize that you're playing for an audience of other people and not just interacting with the piece of wood with strings in your hands.

Remember that musical performance is about communication between the players and the audience. The guitar is just a tool, and not the end of the experience in itself. If you can get that idea then you'll be well on the way to creating engaging musical experiences that people will enjoy participating in.


If you want to avoid annoying your audiences then good performance skills are essential. This post has shown you one simple and very effective technique that will let you build your own. Now, as usual, it's up to you to practice and improve.

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