Posted by Fez Sezman who writes for Guitar String Warehouse and other high-brow publications. on December 04, 2015
Plato once spoke these words: “Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Learning an instrument is one of the most fulfilling endeavors we can undertake. When we create music, we participate more deeply in life. This is nice, but the main reason a man learns an instrument is to pick up chicks. The following 10 tips will help you maximize each gig’s potential.
1. Establish eye contact.
You finish your set and it’s time to reap the rewards that come from being on stage.Your confidence is high as you disembark and reintegrate with the common folk. You feel as though you’re going fishing at a trout farm. But in reality, if you aimlessly saunter into the post-gig mix without any solid leads, success is far from guaranteed. You must begin locking something down before the end of your set. So here’s the tip. While performing, scan the audience and locate somebody you’d enjoy hooking up with later. Establish eye contact - not a creepy, prolonged stare, just a subtle acknowledgement. Check in with her periodically, briefly locking eyes. This will make her feel that she shares a secret connection with you. If you’re struggling to establish a connection, move on to another prospect. Just remember, don’t squander your time on stage, that’s when you have the most leverage.
2. Aim low. Now if you’re more of a quantity-over-quality guy, or you really need a win, or you’re a drummer, don’t go for an attractive girl, in fact, your best move is to target the least attractive girl in the group. Have you heard the expression “all cats are gray at night”?
3. Don’t bring sand to the beach? There’s much wisdom in this ancient precept, but under the right circumstances it can and should be disregarded. Sometimes a budding relationship does not quite flower. When this is a concern, bringing sand to the beach is justified. A gig can be the fuel needed to heat up the lukewarm feeling she has for you. Chances are she holds doubts about making you more than a friend. Seize this opportunity to smash those doubts into little pieces as you release your inner peacock on stage.
4. Prime the pump. Instead of booking an opening band, consider showing a screening of The Notebook. Think about it. What makes a girl more in the mood for male companionship, a shitty local band, or watching The Notebook?
5. Stuffing your trousers. Rather than padding your trousers with a pair of socks (the industry standard), affix an actual sausage to your inner thigh with athletic tape. The danger of embellishing with a pair of socks lies in the puffy, unnatural appearance of the resultant bulge. Now this is quite serious, so I’ll have to be blunt. A poorly crafted mass of sock stuffed in your pants can give your target the impression that you have enormous testes and a tiny dingus. Conversely, an aptly sized sausage (salami or other meat product) will preclude any confusion about your testis to dingus ratio.
6. To load or not to load. Tearing down and loading equipment after your gig can feel like the bane of your existence. It kills your momentum and your mojo. Not only are you instantly demoted to a roadie, but you also lose precious time. All your prospects could be long gone by the time you finish. That being said, leaving the task for later can have even more dire consequences. Just get it done, quickly. The key is to plan ahead – figure out an efficient system. Get it down to a science. Map it out with your band mates, enlist the help of friends, or share backline with another band.
To further lessen the chances that you’ll end the night as a lonely roadie, take charge. You make the plans. You have the mic, make up an event. Give everybody something to do later. Take control of your future.
7. The Tortured artist – Warning. Taking on the tortured artist persona is difficult and dangerous. You must own it. She must truly believe that the world misunderstands you – that your brilliance is painfully incompatible with Kardashian culture. Your passion and pain will give birth to something for which the world is not ready. She sees this. She gets you. Your shtick has convinced her that you must be a genius and that without her help you will surely self-destruct.
This is high-level stuff. If you’re not believable, you risk looking like a weirdo, a poseur, or even a soft piece of toast sopped with milk. The following are possible ways to bring the tortured artist to life.
Mystery man – it’s a good idea for the tortured artist to smoke cigarettes. Don’t be scared to be seen smoking alone somewhere on the perimeter. You’re obviously not a weird loser; this is your gig. The common folk are of little interest to you, besides you’ve got so much inner struggle there’s hardly need for company. The beauty of this is you’ve made yourself available without appearing desperate. (Tip: It helps to envision yourself as Don Draper.)
Renaissance man – You’re not just a musician, you’re an artist. Find a way to convey the fact that you also paint/draw/sculpt. For example, you could design your band’s t-shirts. Don’t worry about talent - art is totally subjective. Your artwork isn’t god-awful, most people just don’t get it. Make them believe there is depth to your mindless, elementary art projects.
The flask – Life is intense and so are you. Even though you filled your flask with apple juice, you’ll want to be seen taking swigs behind the stage. It hints at your having a reckless streak.
The music - At least two songs should be about how screwed up society/life/the world is. Close your eyes during select parts to show your passion.
Quit – Have a breakdown sometime during the set. Make no mistake, this will be extremely dramatic. Throw off your instrument and march off the stage, straight to the bar. When explaining yourself, be vague – “I’m exhausted,” “I can’t take this shit anymore,” “It used to be about the music, now there’s all this other bullshit,” “Everything’s just so fucked up,” “Whatever. You want a drink?”
*Be careful about confusing the tortured artist with the starving artist. Mooching Taco Bell from her is the starving artist, which is not a recommended technique.
8. Man of the people. If the tortured artist just doesn’t suit your personality, you might want to move in the other direction. Instead of mysterious and disconnected, try joyful and easily accessible. Befriend everybody. Tune your instrument, change your guitar strings, or just mingle at your merch booth. Watch the other bands with the people. This persona can be beneficial in promoting your band too . . . just don’t let the tortured artist come in and reap the rewards of all your work.
9. The Rock star. Your balls are so big (not literally). Locate your target in the audience (see Establish Eye Contact above). Right when a song ends, hastily excuse yourself from the stage, rush down and start necking with her. Say something like “I just couldn’t help myself.” Don’t sound apologetic, but make it clear that you’ve never done anything like that before. Success hinges upon her vanity. This is another very risky play, but she just might be susceptible to the notion that she is so utterly irresistible that she drove you temporarily insane. Confirm that she does not have a boyfriend or husband. You could get badly beat up (generally musicians are not very tough).
10. Be interactive.
During your performance, find ways to interact with the audience. Have a contest on stage (make sure you’d want to french at least one of the contestants). Give away a CD or other merch item to the winner(s). It could be trivia, a dance contest, or some other feat (resist calling for a wet t-shirt contest – you risk being mistakenly perceived as desperate). Arrange for the winners to pick up their prizes after your set. (You can give the impression that the contest was spontaneous, and that’s why you don’t have the prizes handy.) This provides a post-gig icebreaker. Being interactive with the audience will provide you with some viable leads, but it’s up to you not to squander them.