10 mistakes amateur guitarists make when performing.
1. Tuning on stage
Tuning your guitar should be the last thing you do before getting on stage. If you get out of tune while playing, unplug the guitar and use an electronic tuner. The other members should talk to the audience while you are tuning to keep them distracted. Do not tell the audience you are stalling while the guitarist tunes. This is a perfect time to tell a joke or introduce the members of the band individually.
Playing riffs on guitar between songs is a no no. When performing, keep the guitar silent except during the songs.
3. Blowing the element of surprise
When the leader calls out a song many musicians are insecure and you can hear them playing the riff in a last minute effort to make sure they know it. The audience knows what song they are about to play. The element of surprise is lost.
4. Rushing the tempo
When performing, our adrenaline is up because we are excited. We tend to play faster or speed up. This is very common. I have been guilty of it myself. When performing, the last thing you should do before starting a song is concentrate on the tempo.
5. Silence between songs
If there is a delay between songs because of technical problems be prepared to talk to the audience. Entertain them with a joke or a story.
6. Acknowledging mistakes
Making a mistake or hitting a bad note is not the worst thing that can happen on stage. The worst thing is letting the audience know that you made a mistake. Do not grimace or sneer when you make a mistake. It is very likely the audience won’t realize you made a mistake unless you tell them verbally or with body language. Never let on. Just move on. Never apologize for mistakes or make excuses for shortcomings. Just do your best and let the audience decide for themselves if they like it.
7. Stepping on a guitar cable
Many guitarists step on their cable. It comes unplugged and makes an obnoxious sound through the amp. This problem is simple to fix. Run the cable through your guitar strap above the strap button before plugging it into your guitar. Make a habit of this and it will never be a problem.
8. Not using dynamics
Play much softer when the vocalist is singing or an instrumentalist is playing the melody. If you are accompanying with rhythm guitar it should be much lower than the melody.
9. Using foul language
Never use foul language on stage. It’s a great idea not to use it off stage either.
10. Dressing bad
You are entertaining people. Give them something nice to look at as well as something nice to hear.