When you’re performing live, there is no re-do button. It is a one time deal. If you mess up, everyone will know. Mistakes are parting of a growing experience. What if there is way to make that mistake like a professional to the point where people won’t even realize it.
The best way to avoid making a mistake in the first place is to just pay attention to what you’re doing. If someone hot walks into the venue, impress them by your amazing guitar solo, not by smiling at them and losing your place in the song. Practicing enough is also a benefit in avoiding mistakes. If you know what you are supposed to play, you shouldn’t have a problem remembering your part. Knowing the song that you are playing will allow you to jump right back in to it if you happen to make a mistake.
Another big mistake musicians make is that they don’t look at their band members enough while playing. Sometimes a little nod from your bass player will remind you of a change that is about to take place in the song. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss it. This also helps if someone in your band just made a mistake. You can give them an eye like, “Hey, we are in the chorus now.” This is something that you can easily work on in practice. You need to learn how to communicate on stage without actually saying a word. Learn each other’s body language. You’ll be glad you did.
Ok, so let’s say you made a mistake on stage. Whatever you do, don’t let it show. Don’t cry about it or make a stupid face. Instead give a little smile and shake it off. The crowd wants to know that you are still human. They don’t expect you to be perfect. Just don’t smash your guitar if you hit a wrong note. NEVER say you are sorry when you’re done playing for a mistake that you made. Most of the time, the audience won’t even know anything happened unless you draw the attention to it.
Instead of making excuses like, “I just bought these drum sticks. I’m not use to them.” Know your gear before you get out on stage. Actually practice with it so that there are no surprises. Don’t blame your equipment. It has nothing to do with a live performance. You decided to play a show unprepared.
On a good note, go practice and kill some shows!