- Prepare. You have to be prepared for the musical situation you are going into. Are you familiar with the style, song selection etc.? The less experience you have, the more you need to prepare.
- Gear. Do you have the right gear for the job? I just had a phone conversation with a guitar player considering joining the Epic band. He had looked over the song list I sent him, and he said he would need to get another guitar to make sure he would have the right sound for us. I about fell over. That is what a musician considers when taking a gig. "Do I have the right gear?", not "do I have gear?". I have mixed sound for many a band with a Marshall Stack in the backline for a small club, and destroyed the mix. Marshall Stacks are my among my favorite amp rigs along with some killer boutique amps. But they don't fit every situation.
- Know your place. If you are not the MD, don't try to become one. Be ready to give input if asked, but don't try to run the show. I have had many a professional give me suggestions that made the song rock. I love that. I have also worked with people that totally wanted to rearrange the entire arrangement or tell everyone else how to play their parts and not even know their own. Ouch, I have even done that once or twice. It's a hard lesson, but one that needs learning.
- Attitude. Don't bring your emotional junk to the gig or rehearsals. Be positive about what is going on. Remember, you are making music! If you are doing a church gig, talk with the worship pastor long before rehearsal or the Sunday you are scheduled. He/She will be able to focus on you and help. Encourage others in the band too. Everyone loves a little encouragement.