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By John Freeloader
5. Be prepared to suck
I was in a band an indeterminate number of years ago (6? I'm going to go with 6. Yeah... 6) and we were terrible. Being concerned about little things like "tuning" and "functional equipment" is a good way to talk yourself out of trying in the first place. No band starts out a bunch of raging badasses, some bands never get there, but we're going to leave *insert your least favorite band* out of this. You're not going to know what you're doing but you'll never find out without playing. That said...
There is nothing worse than seeing a band that plays 5 covers and still only plays for 12 minutes. Unless they're really awful, I guess. But there is a point you will reach when you have material, a full lineup, and knowledge of how to successfully navigate your set. If you haven't reached that point, don't play a show, you're not doing yourselves any good by playing terribly and looking like idiots.
3. Try to look halfway presentable
I cannot stand shorts and sneakers. That's a personal preference but there are definitely things a band should do. Try to look like you're playing a show, no Cheeto stained shirt has ever made anyone look cool. It's not really that difficult to dress halfway decently; the suit selection at Goodwill isn't half bad, and a 3 piece suit looks badass when you're playing. Just try to work with your own style, but for God's sake no more fucking shorts and sneakers.
2. Get your gear off the stage like the venue is ON FIRE
The thing I would say screams amateur hour more than anything is when a band takes 15 minutes to take down their gear. If I'm in the band after you, I am literally cursing your name to the sky after 10 minutes. It's taking away from the other bands' set times and is borderline insulting. A cigarette can wait, a drink can wait, getting a hug and a handshake from everyone you know can wait a minute. Get your shit off the stage, it's common courtesy.
1. Have a working knowledge of your equipment
Learn to tune your instrument; it's pretty super basic. Buy a tuner, the clip on ones are cheap and work great. Keep a couple tools with you, a screwdriver, a pair of pliers and a flashlight will all save your ass someday. Learn how to set your stuff up quick and replace your cords occasionally. Restring your guitars pretty regularly, but never right before a show. Woohoo! Now you're a band, kinda!
-John Freeloader plays guitar in Wolfhammer3 and can be reached on Facebook. Death threats will be welcomed with open arms.