Preparing for a Concert or Recital
Post by: Charles White
Please do yourself a favor and prepare early and consistently for your upcoming show. Don’t put off practicing until the last minute. Practicing last minute can create a greater anxiety about the show, and it will not address the issues with your playing which will arise during your performance. One must find these issues and fix them. You can always ask your guitar teacher for tips to improve your playing.
You might not realize where you're having trouble with the music, and you need time to eradicate those problems. You might play your repertoire perfectly the first time you practice it, but then make the same mistakes on the second, third, and fourth times. Focus on those mistakes and work them out. You want to search for consistent mistakes in your practicing. Then hone in on these sections while rehearsing without playing the entire song.
A week of consistent practice is what I would recommend when preparing for your concert. Practice every day the week prior for at least an hour or more depending on how many songs you’re playing. Be critical of the first time you practice a song each day. The first time playing through your music mimics what it’s going to be like on stage. You’re only going to have one chance on stage to play a great song. Even if you practiced the whole day before the concert, it will be different when you’re playing in front of people. A few days before the concert, be able to play your prepared piece several times in a row without big mistakes.
Play the music for your concert in front of people before the show, such as your parents, siblings, friends, or guitar teacher. The added pressure of other people watching will give you an idea of what it's like to play that music in front of an audience rather than just by yourself. You might even discover new mistakes that you now have the opportunity to work out. Also, record a video of yourself and critique it. It’s good to get an outside perspective of what you sound like. You might also discover issues with your body posture that you can work out.
Practicing well ahead of your concert date will allow you to perform more confidently. Confidence is very evident when you’re performing, as well as nervousness and unpreparedness. You will have more fun and play better music if you prepare consistently and in a timely fashion. Check out this article with more tips on how to practice guitar for a live performance, including stress simulation tests!