There is no need for chaos if you have been preparing for the holidays…which begin next week! Especially for us playing events for all the winter celebrations (ok, they’re almost all actually in the autumn, but who am I to fight Madison Avenue?!). So your preparation should be nearly done.
- You’ve learned new music
- You’ve repolished old tunes and recyclable music
- You haven’t dropped you regular repertoire
- You’ve stocked and checked your gig bag (and maybe given it a trial run to be sure it works for you?)
- Make a “Day of” checklist so you don’t forget anything. Put “stupid” stuff on it. Yes, put HARP on the list – at some point you will forget to put it in the car!
- Make a set list – be sure to mix up tempos, time signatures, and this time of year, mix up holiday and “regular” music – by the middle of next month your audience will be getting fatigued of “All Christmas, All the time”!
- Practice your set list. This will help you get comfortable with the transitions between tunes (yes, it can be jarring to go from 4/4 to 6/8 so practice that so you can do it smoothly). This will also help you find what is not working well. Record it to hear what the audience will experience. And revise as needed. Also practice breathing, at least between tunes and adding a little space (for both background and feature gigs – silence adds a lot to the rest of the sounds you’re making!).
With all this, you’ll be ready – Holidays will start as the last “ding-dong, Trick or Treat” fades out – be ready!