I have a dirty little 3 piece band that gets out and plays gigs most weekends. It's loads of fun, and as a professional musician it's something that I can't see myself ever not doing, I mean if it's in you, that's what you do, you get out there and play.
Now there are loads of gigs out there, but there are also loads of bands, loads of guitarists wanting their shot at the title. So how do you go about making sure that you give yourself the best chance of getting that gig? Over the years during feast and famine I have found 3 key things to making sure you're ahead of the game.
1. Sound better than the other guy
This isn't rocket science but make sure you're sounding as good as you can. It's not about buying stuff, it's about getting the most out of what you've got. How are your valves? Are your strings dead? Is your pedal chain sucking tone from your signal path? This is basic stuff but don't neglect it.
2. Learn to sing
Fact is if two guitarists audition for a band and one guy can sing, guess who they're gonna pic? I'm not the greatest guitarist in the world by my sound is Ben Hur and I can sing so I'm always a good option for someone that wants a fat sounding guitar and extra vocals in the line-up.
3. Don't be a twat!
No matter how good you are you need to get along with people. I've met some of the greatest guitarists in the world and almost without exception, they're all beautiful people. If you're going to be in a band with people you need to be someone that the other guys and gals look forward to hooking up with rehearsals and long old drives to the back and beyond. Fact is in a band you spend less than 10% of your time playing, and the rest is just hanging out. So getting along with people is extremely important.
Unless of course you're this guy!