Well I've decided to make my first relevant post to this blog about guitar playing in front of people. In particular, I would like to discuss what is sometimes a touchy subject: Playing at a place of worship.
This may seem like it's not relevant to your personal experience if this isn't something you do on a regular basis. However, some of the most relevant playing tips that I've learned have been in front of people who are worshiping their Creator. There is definitely an art to doing this that goes beyond description. If anything it's a sense and a feeling that comes over a musician when they play in this venue.
Like most performing, this is what I call an act of worship to the One who deserves it, Jesus!
I've been playing in church settings since I was a young boy and the most important aspect to have with you is an attitude of calm. It is the ONE thing that can help you be a better musician.
Think about it for a moment. What would a policeman or fireman or even a lifeguard look like if he were panicking? Or an athlete. Yet, you rarely see them do it! So why should playing an instrument be any different?
This leads to the second point: Be prepared! Never take for granted that everyone else has practiced and that it doesn't matter if you do. It always matters!
If nothing else you will pull them up to your standard instead of them pulling you down to theirs. That doesn't mean every team or situation has a good dynamic. But, at least you did your part.
Lastly, know your instrument! If you're just starting out, then get somebody knowledgeable to help you. If you're a skilled player, then you probably already know what works best for you.
For further assistance -
This is where I would like to mention my friends at Uptown Music in Keizer, Oregon who sell the finest Taylor guitars as well as many other brands. They are great to work with and will set you up with something in your skill and price range. I mention them because of the fine musicians who work there and the awesome instruments I've played there.
So to sum things up, staying calm, being prepared, and knowing your instrument are key components to being a highly sought-after musician!