Michael's first gig

Michael’s First Gig

Well this is me at my first gig, who would have thought it at the age of 69, especially not me and it is all thanks to Justin’s lessons and a little bit of hard work from me.
I only picked up guitar at the beginning of the year after a gap of more than 50 years and I am only just starting Grade 2.
However, I joined the local Acoustic Guitar Club in the autumn, and they put on a few events a year.
Typical of me I not only went in at the deep end but off the high board as well and volunteered to take part in the Christmas one.

The way it worked was that those that were interested in performing, where spilt into three groups and each did six songs.
So, this is me during the performance, seated second from the right wearing a cowboy hat.

So, what did I get and learn from the experience?

• I had absolutely no stage fright performing in front of a live audience.
• It was a real challenge especially from me as being the only a beginner and surrounded by very good players, I reassured myself they were all like me a one time.
• Playing with other guitarists is completely different to just playing along by yourself. You have to be so conscious of the tempo set by others, not easy when everything else is going on.
• In the songs we did there were a lot of chords that I had not learned before, so that was difficult and some of the songs had chord changes after two beats and in places after one beat.
• Must confess I used some cheats for some of the chords especially F and F#. I did attempt Bm as a barre chord with a Capo on fret 2.
• Not really played with Capo before, so playing even the basic open chords in a different part of the fretboard took some getting used to.
• Strumming was the issue for me and although I can do a number of patterns as well as OF, I found it difficult in playing along with the rest to do anything other than down strums. I have signed up for the new Justin’s new strumming course as I definitely need to work on that aspect.
• Need to practice playing standing up, gave it brief try but it was going to be too much of challenge in the limited time I had to prepare, so that is something else I need to work on.
Bring on the next gig!!!
Michael :guitar::notes:


Well that’s great; also to tread so had so many take-aways from 1 gig.
We learn so much from playing together and it looks like you picked up some valuable things there.

kudos for you for showing courage; now, does it taste like more? :wink:


Congrats on your big night out. Look forward to hearing more.


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Yeee-haarr! John Wayne rides again!

True Grit, Michael, performing at your first gig so early in your journey. Such a valuable experience and sounds like you already have your name down for the next one. Great stuff! 🎸

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Congrats on your first live gig! There’s so much to learn when you’re making music with others :blush::blush::blush:

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Hi Michael,
Great to read that you liked it so much/get out of it and that you want more, … :clap: :sunglasses: :sunglasses:

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Well done Michael, I’m most impressed. Sending some good old fashioned forum vibes to you! :clap::clap:

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Congrats Michael on your first gig, I admire your courage and I’m sure you’ve learned a lot!

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Way to go Michael :smile: That’s good that you not only joined the local acoustic club but jumped right in there with the Christmas Concert. Well done fella.

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What an amazing experience Michael it’s great to read about what you learned about your own playing and playing along with others. The first of many public performances I’m sure. :clap:t2: :smiley:

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Congratulations Michael! I bet it does wonders for the confidence!

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Thanks for the comments, yes, I have an appetite for more but realise I have a lot to improve, but it is great to have a challenge which doesn’t seem out of sight.

Thanks, I think a video was taken and will post it if I get hold of a copy. It will be interesting to hear how it sounds as what realised is that if you are behind the PA speakers you don’t really get the full effect.

Yes, very early in my path but if you don’t challenge yourself you will not progress. Did show what I need to work on.
Hopefully will get a chance to take place in some future ones.

Thanks, it is quite difficult to play with others, but it is enjoyable.

Thanks yes definitely want more

Appreciated the encouragement it was a great experience. Now back done to some serious work in Grade 2 lessons

Thanks and yes I did learn a lot

Hopefully I will get a chance to do some more but definitely need to improve my strumming. New chords and changing between them was generally OK a few I mucked up but as Justin says just keep going.

I was a little worried I might knock my confidence, but it didn’t, but it did highlight my deficiencies which is what you would expect for only learning for just short of a year. The others in the group were very encouraging and thought I did alright.


Bravo and congratulations, Michael. Tip my hat to you for joining the club and stepping up to play at the show. Lots of fun and learning.

I lose track of who has played at a Community OM, but if you haven’t perhaps you should give that a go, build on the confidenmce gained playing for the live audience with other players.

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Hello Michael,
Wow, that sounds really exciting :star_struck:. Congratulations for your first gig :clap:.

That’s awesome. I’m sure, being relaxed helped a lot with concentrating on your playing and having fun :smiley:.

Great, that it was such a positive experience to you :hugs:.

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Thanks David for the kind words.
I have not done any OM but have watched the recent recorded versions including the Christmas bash.
Don’t think my strumming is good enough which is why I working on Justin’s new course and I hope will pay dividends.
Joining an OM is a nice target to have, will it be in 2023, we shall see.

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Nicole @NicoleKKB
Thanks for the comments.
I am not a teacher but have done a bit of lecturing to fellow professionals. Also my job meant I was often at meetings addressing people. So I was confident beforehand that I would be ok, but perhaps I was concentrating on what we were going to play I didn’t have time to think about it.

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Having some experience in talking in front of others seems definitely to be of great value when it comes to performing :smiley:.
On Christmas Eve I’ll play some songs in front of my family. I’m curious, whether I’ll be nervous or not :slightly_smiling_face:.


Wow Michael - that’s a fantastic step up. Kudos, good vibes and festive good greetings and wishes to you for your attitude and get-up-and go.
you’re not far from me … I could have attended haha! :slight_smile:
You do learn so much from playing with others and having to keep the song going no matter what.
I can’t help but have a cheeky giggle at the JOY sign hanging on the wall contrasted with the concentrated faces of the band! :wink:
Onwards and upwards in 2023.

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Richard @Richard_close2u

Thanks for the encouragement.
I could have sent you an invite, but would you want to come out on a very cold winters evening with all that white stuff on the ground. :snowman_with_snow::snowflake:
Justin’s and your mantra are ‘play songs’, I would add if you get a chance play song with a group in front of a live audience, although that can come with some challenges, when they highjack the song.
One of the songs we did was “Mary’s Boy Child” as a sing along, traditional type of song but when you check it out there many variations in the order of various verses and chorus. The chorus is really in two parts the first starts with “Hark now hear ……” and the second “Trumpets sound ….” When we had put the song together, we only did both choruses as the very last section. The audience had other ideas and when we had done the first verses and the first chorus, they went straight onto the second chorus, which was not what we planned. A bit quick catching up had to take place, we were fortunate that before the next verse we had planned to a do a four-bar instrumental, so it was relatively easy to go back the chords of the chorus. Not sure if the audience realised, but it does show in a live event like that you need to be prepared and as Justin says just keep going and they probably will not have noticed. You mentioned the JOY sign on the wall and the glum faces of the group in the photos. Possibly the photo was when the audience took over and we were trying to get back on track. All good fun.
Overall, I really enjoyed the experience but did have to put an awful lot of time practicing and learning new chords, as well as the songs.
Thanks again for your comments.


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Michael, not to be overly encouraging to the point of pressurising (I can let my enthusiasm get the better of me), just remember that the OM is open to players at all levels. So to play a song, without singing, 4 down strums per bar, is quite fine. So take all the time you like to learn, practice and rehearse, knowing that your play-grade is not a factor in deciding whether or not to participate as a performer.

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