I want to improve my ability to play flawlessly in live situations. I have quite high skills in guitar yet I seem to make quite a fair amount of slip ups whilst playing for friends and in performances.

What are good methods to perfect simple guitar pieces?

  • @UlfÅkerstedt: I think this question deserves to be active as specific to guitar, as long as answers are pointing to specific considerations in this setting, and not just "practice makes perfect". The question you linked to has very god general answers to this, but there might also be more specific considerations as Shevliaskovic has already shown in his answer.
    – awe
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 7:36
  • @awe: fair enough. :-) Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 7:57
  • The duplicate is not specific to piano - the answers are appropriate for any instrument
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 19:10
  • @DrMayhem: Yes, but the answers here are more relevant to guitar, and might not fit as answers to the duplicate question. So the duplicate questions has relevant answers to this one, but not the other way around...
    – awe
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 12:01

2 Answers 2


You need to practice playing in front of people. It needs practice just like any other part of doing music. Playing in shopping malls for charity is an excellent way to get your live skills sharp. Also playing a few hours in local tourist traps for tips is another way to get sharp.

I'm of the opinion that there is no such thing as a bad gig. Take every crappy show you can get (even if pays little or nothing) and see it as a means to get a good act together. Playing to ungrateful audiences and getting paid little or nothing is all part of paying ones dues.


I used to have the same problem at my first live performances. What I tried to do was to stay concentrated on what I was playing, so as to make less mistakes.

It can be hard when you are trying to dance/jump/whatever not to make mistakes,but it can get used to.

You can also try to do that at home alone. Play standing up and try to do what you do when you are performing in front of other people, so as to get it perfect.

I would say the most important thing is to practice really really good what you want to play and try to stay as concentrated as you can on what you play during the gig.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.