Performing in front of strangers for the first time on the spur of the moment

I have played while wife or daughters listening - even watching.

Today I went to get my hair cut - usual barber was closed…

Looking in another that seemed to be more youth oriented ( I am 63 ) I saw an acoustic guitar in the corner.

While getting trim, I was chatting with the barber about music, as she was pointing out the guy in the next chair was getting a sort of Bob Geldorf cut. I could not see it. She talked about music and growing up listening.

At the end I asked if the acoustic was in tune, she thought it might be and gaver it to me asking if I could play.

Explaining I has been doing online lessons for a year, I played 30 seconds or so of the rhythm part of Zombie by the Cranberries.

I thought I was just playing for the 2 barbers as other customer had left, 3 walk ins all said I was good…

So anyone else just played in public for the first time on the spur of the moment…?


Bravo you.


Great stuff, there’s a coffee shop I go to that used to have two acoustic guitars on a stand in a corner. It changed ownership recently and the guitars are gone. I keep a guitar tuner on my iPhone for those circumstances where I find myself in front of a random and possibly out of tune guitar.


You’re braver than I am. I’ve been playing for six years now, and I still am convinced that I’m not good enough to let anyone hear me play.


Not quite in public but in the summer I play in my back garden to the squirrels :joy:and my 2 children sometimes. One day one of my elderly neighbors met me on the street and said he likes to sit in his back yard and listen to me. I never knew he was listening so not sure if that counts​:joy:.


Of course, when I said I was doing online lessons, I did mention the site name…

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Good plan. Implemented. In that the JustinGuitar app has a tuner…


Absolutely bloomin’ marvellous Geoff :clap:


I went guitar shopping this weekend and was alone in the room where the acoustics are stored, while I was playing another customer walked in and was all apologetic about disturbing me (which he didn’t and I just nodded and kept playing). I thought I’d feel nervous/self conscious but I didn’t, which was a nice surprise. Also nice that I didn’t forget what I was playing…that was the first time I’ve played in front of someone I’m not related to.


I’m not sure what you’d count as public-public. I’ve played in front of family and friends, and at the JG OMs. And in a guitar store. Spur of the moment sounds pretty cool though, what a great story.

Jump in, the water’s great.

It’s OK to not want to play in front of others. But if you’re thinking you might want to one day, there’s no time like the present. Share the music.

Playing in guitar shops is the worst. No doubt some guy will be in there that’s an absolute legend, ripping out super difficult songs perfectly. It’s the place I feel most self conscious about playing.


Hell, I assume that the people working there are much better than me, and are tired of having to listen to hacks like me. The other customers are a whole other level of paranoia!


I was in the Guitar centre in Langley on Saturday, was at one end of L shaped room so no one else in sight.
I had thought I would be nervous, but no, there were other customers who could hear me, though I was completely unaware of anyone other than shop staff bringing different guitars for me to try and to discuss my needs or feelings about any I had tried.
Turning into a bit of an advert for shop, but I should say fantastic customer service and price was same as from Amazon.

I had thought I would never play for anyone outside of family having to put up with my practice sessions, though mostly using headphones…

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Congrats, Geoff, a lovely moment to celebrate. Bravo

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The guitar shop is now the only place where I feel super comfortable to play, even though there are 20 people around me… no one there especially sits down for me to listen to what I want or will play,…or where I say … I’ll show you what I can, and they stare at me with expectation… I come there to buy something so they can eat and drink :grin:…I can give even better examples why no one should feel embarrassed, especially in a guitar shop,…but i don`t :sweat_smile:

I find it exciting to to play for you people :blush:(without fear)…but in a barbershop let`s say a year ago :hot_face:…, but for such situations nowadays I have a few fixed short Justin blues arrangements stamped into my brain :sunglasses:

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Nice one Geoff and what a great way to build your confidence. :+1:

Did you get a discount on your trim? :smiley:

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I was asked if I qualified for a seniors discount :unamused:

Not quite yet…

I guess I would have to perform for more than the 30 seconds and sing for a discount…

Nice one Geoff.

Well you’ve got some time to practice before your next haircut.

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Sometimes they don’t even runaway Geoff :joy:


I did the guitar shopping thing as I wanted an Acoustic to add to my very cheap electric. I went in during the week and there were a couple of other people in trying out guitars too. They were very obviously more experienced than I am but oddly when it came to playing within the body of the shop I found I had no nerves and just enjoyed the experience. Maybe it’s because I’m too old to care very much what other people think?