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Have you ever been in a situation. Where your friends and family have seen your guitar hanging up and asked you to play them something? 

Whether you have only recently started playing the guitar, or been playing for a while. It can still stop you in your tracks. This article will help you to know what to keep in mind when faced with this situation. 

1) Who are you playing to? 

The main focus of your playing should be to to your audience. Who has asked you to play for them? 

Often guitarists try to play the most impressive thing they know how to play. Or something they have been working on at the moment. Your perspective of what sounds good on the guitar may not be what your grandma wants to hear. For example, if you want to shred and play Metallica. Your grandma might prefer listening to some nice jazzy piece. 

Try to play something that they would enjoy hearing, even if it’s a few open chords with some nice strumming. 

If your audience does enjoy metal music, or they are also guitarists and musicians. Then you can show off and do something fancy. But keep in mind the following points as well. 

2) Keep it Simple 

If you decide to play something that you are currently working on to your friends. You might mess up. Remember what you can play in the comfort of your own bedroom. Is not what you would be comfortable playing in front of other people. 

It’s natural that you feel nervous before performing. And our brains are too distracted by the nerves to focus on playing the guitar perfectly. 

Playing something easier means that you are less likely to make a mistake. So that you will appear more relaxed and composed. This will come across more impressive than panicking through a piece of music. 

3) Perfect your strumming

In our other article on how to improve your strumming to make sure you can get that sounding great. So that even when you are playing simple open chords. You will blow them away with the emotion and expressiveness that you’ve got in your playing. 

4) What not to be when you make a mistake! 

If you do make a mistake do not show it, don’t pull a face, don’t say sorry. Don’t restart your song as well. Keep going. 

Lots of bands make mistakes performing all the time, but people often don’t notice. The more you emphasis it, the more they will remember that rather than the performance itself. 

5) Practise, practise, practise performing in front of others 

The only way this is going to get much easier for you is to play in front of other people. The more you do it, the more confident you will feel about it. 

You can do this by actively putting yourself in situations to perform. Or find people that you can play with as well. The more experience you have, the easier you can determine what people enjoy listening to. And what songs you are able to play well under pressure. 

About Author:

Darryl Powis is from London, England. Providing London Guitar Lessons for beginners and advanced players. He currently owns and runs Guitar Tuition East London in East Village.