3 Tips for an Indestructible Guitar Performance

Posted by Brian Parham on Friday, May 11, 2018

 

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Performing the guitar in front of your family, friends, and communities can be downright terrifying! That’s why I put together three easy tips to help you deliver an indestructible guitar performance!

What the Heck Does Indestructible Guitar Mean?

I first learned the concept of indestructible guitar from legendary rock guitarist Paul Gilbert. (You can learn more about Paul and his philosophy of indestructible guitar by visiting Artistworks.) Indestructible guitar is the concept that your performance piece is so well practiced and prepared that nothing can stop you from performing it gloriously.

 

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Tip #1: Tap Your Foot

If you can’t tap your foot while performing your song, it isn’t indestructible. When you’re learning to tap your foot while playing the guitar, you should start with something really simple like Interstellar Overdrive. If you choose a song with a lot of syncopation, then you might get frustrated and give up altogether.

Tip #2: Play it With Your Eyes Closed

Most of my students dream about playing the guitar with their eyes closed, so this is a great method for improving your guitar chops and blowing your friends’ minds with your Jedi like guitar skills. If you can play with your eyes closed, then it’s nearly indestructible!

Tip #3: Talk & Play Guitar at the Same Time

While playing the guitar with your eyes closed may be cooler, talking and playing the guitar at the same time is certainly the harder. Once you can tap your foot and close your eyes while playing the guitar, it’s time to enlist the help of a family member or a friend. As you’re playing, have them ask you questions.

I like to ask my students silly questions like,  “Who is your favorite superhero?,” “Why is Thanos so strong?,” and “What is the square root of 1,356,243?” 

Bonus Tip: Overprepare Your Gear

If you can tap your foot, close your eyes, and talk at the same time, then congratulations! Your performance piece is indestructible! That being said, prepare for things to go wrong because they probably will. The audience will clap on the wrong beat, your instrument cable will suddenly stop working, or your amp will mysteriously stop working. 

In fact, all three of things recently happened to an 8-year old student of mine at a talent show! That’s why it’s important to overprepare your gear. I suggest bringing extra instrument cables, batteries, and tuners to the gig. If you have the moxie and the extra time to teach your audience how to clap on the 2 & 4, then do that too!

 

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