Live Music Performance – A First

A few weeks ago, Drue, my guitar teacher pitched an idea. He conducted an ‘Open Mic’ night at a bar in South London near his place where musicians popped by and sung a few songs. Would I like to try?

In an all honesty, I baulked at the idea. Regulars here know I bought my guitar around mid January and have been learning over the past 4 months. I’ve learnt a few songs but performing is a different cup of tea. So, I just muttered I’d be busy with work and would think about it once my current project was done.

I joked about the idea to my mom that evening and her response was ‘Do it when I’m in London. C’mon!’. So, before I knew it, I was at Gigalum waiting for my turn. Drue would sing and I would play and I could pick any 2 songs.

I picked the 2nd and 3rd songs I learnt – Way Back Into Love from Music and Lyrics and Fix You by Coldplay. Fix You is special because listening to Boyce Avenue and Tyler Ward play Fix You live in November was what inspired me to finally learn the guitar, something I’d always wanted to do.

I was very nervous and my fingers were shivering, sweaty and slipping off the guitar! I had never made so many mistakes in these songs (small ones here and there), I never dared to look up even once during the performance and I also went back to what I call ‘nervous strumming’ i.e. when my hand moves up and down robotically vs flicking the wrist.

But, what the hell.. it was my first time and it was one heck of an experience.

And here’s the video! (Due apologies for the sound quality! Just put together the video from the iPhone with no editing)

And a photo when I dared to look up in the end..

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I’ve learnt many things from the performance but probably the most important thing is the importance of taking the plunge and trying out something new every once a while. If we really put our heart and soul into what we do, there’s no limit to what we can learn and achieve. I generally put in 20 minutes of practice 5-6 days a week and absolutely love it. It’s teaching me so much and the journey has only begun.

It never ceases to amaze me how much a dash of dedication and persistence with a sizeable dose of deliberate practice can do for you.

A note of thanks to my teacher, Drue James for being an amazing teacher and vocalist. There’s no way I would have imagined doing something like this.. but it was great fun and made for a wonderful memory. If you are ever looking for a guitar lesson in London, check out Drue on his website and on his YouTube channel.

Thanks Drue. You did good.