It’s a very important thing to go and support live music these, and all days. I also feel it’s one of the best ways to really see how others have honed their skills (or not!), and how you yourself can improve your own performing abilities.
There are basically two kinds of “going out” to see live music for me. One is where I am genuinely curious about seeing an entertainer whom I really love, and need to see, and the other is where I am reluctantly “dragged” to the gig, while also hoping to be called up onstage to join in and perform together with the given artist. “Sitting in” like this is a great way to reach new audiences, and to give the crowd an unexpected “treat” that they really hadn’t counted on when they first arrived! If I am just “hoping” to be called up onstage, I can get really restless sometimes, and feel a bit like a “caged lion” until the tension is finally released, and I get called up. At that point I am ready to channel that “nervous” energy into something positive in my playing, but it’s tough; it’s kind of like being a pinch-hitter in baseball who has to come off the bench, and be fresh and ready and full of energy, just as if he’d been in the ballgame the whole time! Well, it’s sure the same when it comes to sitting in at a live show, because sometimes it feels like I have to go from zero to sixty in 2 seconds flat!
Still, it is a skill worth working on, which will always help you in the future when it comes to your own performances. You can imagine what it was like in the old days for players such as B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Hank Garland for example, when all they wanted to do was to jump onstage while watching one of their local heroes performing. It’s really a kind of “rite of passage”, or an “initiation” of sorts when it comes to “earning your wings” and becoming a true professional.
So I would certainly recommend doing this as often as you can, making sure to see good live music, especially the kind that inspires you, and that makes you want to better yourself as both a player and as a performer. There are opportunities galore out there for you, and I certainly hope you can make the best of them, just as I did, and even today still continue to do for myself, and for audiences everywhere!
Happy watching and “sitting in!”