Creative Stoke

How to Prepare for a Gig Playing Guitar


Are you ready to take on the stage?

Playing guitar in front of an audience is an exciting experience, but it takes preparation to make sure you're ready to rock.

From learning the songs to setting up your rig and gathering the essentials, this guide will help you get ready to make an unforgettable impression.

So, get your guitar and amp ready and let's get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Trust in your ability by preparing for the songs you'll be playing

  • Practice along to a metronome to stay in time and in the groove

  • Check your gear to ensure it's set up correctly and at a gigging standard

  • Relax, have fun, and perform during the show

Preparing for a Gig

Prepare for a gig by trusting in your ability and getting your gear ready. Choose a setlist that reflects your style and showcases your skills as a musician. Take the time to master each song and their nuances to ensure a smooth performance. Have a few songs that you can fall back on in case of any mistakes.

You'll also need to dial in the same tones at practice that you'll be using at the show. Make sure your guitar, amp, pedals, and other gear are gig-ready. Additionally, practice your stage presence. Have confidence in your performance and enjoy the moment.

Rehearse at gig volume to get used to the power and volume of a show. With the right preparation and attitude, you'll be ready to rock the stage.

Pre-Show Preparations

Before the show, it's important to know the songs to give you the freedom to perform and enjoy yourself.

Rehearse at gig volume to get used to the loudness of the show and check your equipment to make sure it's set up correctly.

Straplocks are essential to avoid slipping during performance and good strings should always be used.

Additionally, playing with a metronome allows you to stay in time and in the groove.

Practicing these pre-show preparations will ensure you're prepared and confident when the time comes to perform.

Essential Items

For a successful show, having the right gear is essential, so be sure to pack your gigbag with the necessary items.

It's always important to have backups for strings, straps, and picks in case of emergencies. Make sure your cables are in good condition and have spare ones if needed. Consider having a replacement amp or modelling amp as a backup.

Organizing gig equipment is key to make sure you have everything you need at your fingertips. Use Velcro cable ties to keep everything in place and prevent breakage during shows.

Don't forget the all-important guitar tuner to keep your instrument sounding great!

Having the right gear is an essential part of a successful gig.


Always make sure to soundcheck before a gig to ensure your tone is dialed in and balanced with the rest of the band. Soundcheck allows you to optimize your sound and find a tone you like, as well as balance your guitar volume in relation to the other instruments.

There are techniques you can use to achieve the perfect tone during soundcheck. Aim for a sound that's full and clear, but not too loud. Start with your amplifier's master volume and adjust the tone controls to taste. You can then adjust the volume of each pickup to find the perfect balance. Don't forget to check the effects pedals and make sure they're working as desired.

Relax and have fun with it during the soundcheck to get the most out of it.

Playing Live

Once you've soundchecked and your gear is ready, it's time to focus on playing live. Having a strong stage presence is an important part of performing, so take a deep breath and relax. Don't let nerves get in the way of your performance and let your muscle memory take over.

Keep in mind that the audience is there to enjoy the show, so make sure to have fun and enjoy the moment. Make sure to check your gear before the show and have backup strings, picks, and cables in case of any emergencies.

With a little bit of practice and preparation, you can make your live performances unforgettable!

Post-Show Care

After playing a great show, it's important to take care of your guitar.

You'll need to do a thorough cleaning routine, and maintain the quality of your instrument. Wipe down your guitar, clean the strings, and use a string winder to extend string life before re-stringing.

Make sure to follow a guitar care guide, and check out Learn content for more tips and tricks. Consider using velcro cable ties to keep cables organized, and have a guitar tool kit handy for adjustments.

Store cables properly to avoid breakage, and ensure you have quick replacement options.

Taking care of your guitar will help ensure it's ready for the next gig.

For more tips about how to prepare for a gig, check out this article


Preparing for a gig playing guitar can be a daunting task, but with the right planning, you can be ready to rock. Make sure you have the right items, practice your songs, and do a soundcheck before the show.

Then, when it's time to perform, you can be confident that you'll make a lasting impression on the audience. So don't be intimidated, just be prepared and you'll be ready to take the stage like a guitar hero!



Made in Staffordshire, England.  This page updated and link-checked: August 2013.
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