Top 10 Things I Learned From My Bad Gig (Jazz Organ Project 63/250)

I’ve found that I learned a lot from doing gigs that don’t go well. Bad gigs are an incredibly great source of information.

10 valuable lessons I learned from what went wrong at a recent gig:

1. I’m thrilled when I get 25 people to come out and see my band play. But if you only draw in the low- to mid-single-digits, don’t book yourself at a venue that holds 500+ people. You’ll feel like a loser.

2. Ask for a mic to make announcements whenever possible.

3. Always be aware of how many minutes are left in your set.

4. Plan ahead so that you can end your set on a great song.

5. On the set list, put the key of the song next to the title.

6. It wouldn’t hurt to also list the style of each song (Swing, Funk, etc.) in case a band member draws a blank.

7. Update your set list to feature songs you have practiced a lot recently.

8. Program music to your own strengths, not to the perceived strengths of the other members of your band. That way, at least 1 person will be ‘nailing it’.

9. Bring an emergency kit with various types of cables, picks, drum sticks, etc. that band members might break or lose.

10. Plan ahead to make sure you have had enough sleep before the gig.

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