First gig tips??


Junior Member
Well in 17 days i have a first gig in this club not too far from where i live called the MVC. We are opening up the show and we are going to play for about 30 minutes. Any tips that could help from you guys??


Senior Member
relax, enjoy yourselves- dont worry too much about little mistakes, we all make them and 99% of your crowd will not even hear/notice/ care about them anyway


Junior Member
relax, enjoy yourselves- dont worry too much about little mistakes, we all make them and 99% of your crowd will not even hear/notice/ care about them anyway
Haha thanks man, That's really true because the last time i was there everyone was drunk like crazy haha. but yeah.


"Uncle Larry"
Stress out as much as you can
Imagine the worst that can happen
Have a doom and gloom attitude
Get really wasted before the show on alcohol
Don't tune your drums
Don't have spare sticks within easy reach
Don't worry about things like tempo and feel, it doesn't matter anyway.

Just a little humor to lighten you up. I was just joking w/ you. Think in terms of desired outcomes. Imagine a best case scenario in as much detail as possible, people going crazy, you providing a GREAT drum track, everything and everybody just clicking together. Remember, this is what you worked so hard for. Be ultra prepared, and communicate emotion, get beyond the notes.


Platinum Member
You guys have plenty of time before that first gig to really nail down your playlist and get it feeling like second nature. "Practice makes perfect" isn't just an old saying.

Hydrate leading up to the show. Stretch just prior. Leave yourself a little extra time for everything as you get ready. You'll do just fine.


Senior Member
Allow plenty of time to set up--avoid last minute scrambling around. Give yourself some time beforehand to relax and warm up the hands.

If you're not comfortable with complicated fills in certain parts just yet, just keep them simple and keep steady time. The fun, frilly stuff comes later when you're more at ease after a while.

Have fun and good luck!


I agree with all the posts so far 100%.
Dont forget the rest of the night too. Don't disrespect the club if you want an invite back. Be professional ( a little anyway), dont act like you own the place, be excited and thank anyone who needs to be thanked after you are done like soundman, lighting guy, bouncers, owners etc. they will all apreciate it and most likely it will go a long way in getting a good rep for the band. Good luck, the first time is way cool!!!


Platinum Member
Just get up there and play, and be yourself. Remember to sit up, breathe, and relax. Think about pocket, just like you do when you practice, and don't let the adrenaline push you to speed up your tempos. Like others have said...listen to and watch your bandmates.

It's a blast and you'll have a great time. You'll look back on it fondly. So...just have fun.

Dj magic d

Senior Member
1. Find out what the "backline" situation is, if any. Sometimes on multiple band nights, several drummers are expected to play on one kit in order to minimize change over times, stage traffic, etc. etc.
If you are sharing a kit, make sure to follow the etiquette by bringing your own cymbals, pedals and snare. If its just your band and the headliner, just be sure to coordinate with their drummer WAY BEFORE gig night. That way, no surprises. Even then, be prepared to use your own kit....just be sure to find out if you are going to be setting up in front of the headliner's kit.
2. Be the first one to arrive...introduce yourself and make friends with the soundman first and foremost, especially if you are particular about your drum monitor mix. He will be your best ally and may help or hinder not only you, but your whole band. Also, it gives you a chance to tell him what to expect when the rest of your band arrives. Let him know what your set up is.....ex. we have a bass, two guitars, one vocalist ,and drums....the lead vocalist has his own wireless mike.
3. if you aren't already, be friendly and cool with the headlining band. I can't emphasize the importance of getting to know other bands and their fans....especially if you are the same genre, and expect to win new people over.
4. Make sure your singer gives the headliners a "shout out" and a thanks for having you-type thing. It will go a long way for good will.
5. Have fun!!!

btw, all these things were learned by trial and error after 300+ plus live shows in MD, PA,DC,and VA with hundreds of bands in the last 5 years! Hope it helps!!!

720hours World Record

Senior Member
Don't be On Time >> Be Early to your gig. Nothing worse than starting late on your gig while the owner of the club is watching!!!

Bring spares of anything that can break.

Dont be Macho and lift heavy objects without help before you play.

If you are carrying all of the equipment (you and the band) get gloves that have rubber grips on them, this will help things from slipping and prevent finger injuries to Musicians.


Platinum Member
my best advice is to REMAIN CALM! learn from my mistakes. i used to get nervous before and during gigs and it would affect my playing. i would start every song way too fast and speed up from there to the point where we were going so fast the guitarists couldn't play their parts. i would play way too loud most of the time also. my grip would be so tense i wouldn't be able to hold onto the sticks by the end of the show. i was terrible!

if you tend to get nervous, then really focus on relaxing. think about tempo while you're playing and make a real effort not to speed up (but don't slow down either). try to play with a loose grip and think about relaxing. you can still play with passion and energy, but do it in a relaxed, calm way, if that makes any sense.
Congrats on your first gig, may it be the first of many!

Anyway, as for advice....

1) As everybody said, keep calm, it's only music!

2) If you're using someone else's kit, make sure it's comfortable for you. If the owner lets you adjust it to suit you well and good. A lot of guys can be very accomodating, especially if they know it's your first gig and will let you alter the set-up to suit. (Try and find out from the main acts drummer whether he wants you to bring your own pedals/cymbals/snare.)
But if they don't let you move things then make sure you familiarise yourself with the set before you play.

2 and a half) Keep spare sticks within easy reach!

3) Keep it simple!

4) Be well rehearsed, this will lessen the chances of any mistakes. You can't be too well prepared.

5) Have fun!


Junior Member
Thanks so much guys:), I really appreciate all the replies i got within a few hours of posting this. I am playing on another persons kit. but i'm going to get familiar with it before the show. Thanks guys WPG
Thanks so much guys:), I really appreciate all the replies i got within a few hours of posting this. I am playing on another persons kit. but i'm going to get familiar with it before the show. Thanks guys WPG
Do you know the other drummer? If you do maybe you can have a word with them before the gig and see how they feel about adjusting the kit before you play. (Always help to put it back afterwards, btw!)
Even if you don't know the drummer, maybe approach him at the gig. Many drummers are very accomodating when asked.

Red Menace

Platinum Member
+1 for making friends with the sound guy. Be sure to introduce yourself to the owner of the place/promoter, if you want to book another gig there later you'll want them to remember you.

If you sweat a lot, like me, bring a workout towel. It'll save your life.

I also like to put a couple pairs of sticks on the kick drum or somewhere I can reach them in case I drop one. Nothing like dropping a stick and not having a spare.

Oh, One may be OK but don't get smashed (on alcohol, thank you Larry) before you play.


Silver Member
Congrats, Only advice I can give for a first gig is simply have fun with it. If you make a mistake have fun with that as well. Its your first of many gigs to come I hope. Go out there and do what you do and have a great time doing it. you will do great. Best of luck


Silver Member
I don't know how much exp your other bandmates have,but you might try a "dress" rehearsal with you guys playing like you are on stage,most bands tend to rehearse facing each other.If you start the songs you may want to count out loud if you are counting of with stick clicks so everyone hears it over crowd noise.As long as you are well rehearsed you should be fine,by the second or third song the jitters should be gone.You never forget your first gig!