Playing long gigs

People using inefficient technique can run into trouble even in one song, but the effects are particularly noticeable when you play long gigs, You need "endurance" - but not necessarily the aerobic endurance a marathon runner needs. You need to have found the most efficient ways to play passages - and to play them under the pressures of live performance.

Long gigs are great for finding areas of your technique where you're storing tension in your body... of course - it's not "great" when you have hours to go and your hand goes numb!

Seriously I don't know of any way to really know these problems are there except by doing the long gigs. In a duo you're pretty exposed, so that's hard too.

Here's one thing that springs to mind - go through the ideas you're going to use in the solo segments and throw away or re-finger any passages that don't "sit" really comfortably on the axe. So beyond chops it also gets back to fingering. All those little bits of tension do add up on a gig.

Classical soloists have been onto this for some time. Carl Flesch talks about adding up the moves in the Beethoven Violin concerto and knowing from experience that tension in the 1st performance of an arpeggio or scale fragment is going to be a real problem by the 500th repetition - which you can easily reach in a 20 minute concerto!