We’ve all been in a situation, even from the very beginning of playing guitar. Where friends and family will ask us to play something. It can be daunting. Especially in the beginning to know what to do and what to play.
We want to help you understand a few easy things you can do to make it simple for you next time this comes up. So that you can feel more confident about your guitar playing in the future.
Who are you playing to?
When you are playing to your friends or your family. Is it your 80-year-old grandmother listening to you who is into classical or jazz? Or your brother whose into rock music? It is important to consider what your audience thinks sounds “good”. Playing what they enjoy is an important part of impressing them.
When you are in the beginning. Focus on improving your strumming. You want a variety of strumming patterns and techniques. So even when you are playing open chords, you can add a style that speaks to your audience.
Playing within your skill level
You might be practising your latest piece at the moment. This piece of music might be the most exciting thing that you are playing currently. If this is the hardest piece you can play on the guitar. Then it is not the best thing to be playing in front of someone else. (Unless you are working on trying to perform it and that’s why you are practising it.)
When you play for someone else, you will most likely be more nervous than when you are playing on your own. When you are nervous, you will make more mistakes. The simpler you can keep the piece you are playing, the easier and more effortless you will seem. This makes you look more impressive! So stick with something simple that you are confident with when trying to impress others.
Perfect your strumming
As mentioned above, practising your strumming so you can play a variety of genres is useful. This will get your playing to sound more impressive and professional.
The quality of your strumming will improve the sound of your playing. Check out my other strumming articles and videos to find out how to improve on those if you are unsure.
What to do when making a mistake
When making a mistakes, don’t show it. Keep a poker face. Don’t’ flinch, don’t make a face. Keep carrying on playing the guitar.
Most of the time, no one will know. Even if it seems obvious to you. You playing through the whole thing is a lot more impressive than stopping and starting. It will sound a lot more professional as well.
Keep on practising
Always practise the pieces that you want to play in front of other people. Try filming yourself as well to see if you are making any silly faces. Also when filming yourself, you will feel extra pressure like when you are performing. Now you can practise with the extra adrenaline.
Finally, just go for it! The more you do it, the easier it gets!
Put yourself out there. Ask your families if they would sit and listen to you play. So that when you play to your friends and want to impress them, you will be that much more confident. This is because you’ve had lots of practise and feel prepared about what you are going to play on the guitar for them.
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