There is no greater skill that you can add to your harmonica playing than that of CONFIDENCE. Once you have acquired the security of confidence, your audience will notice a huge improvement in your music.
How to gain confidence?
You can't fake confidence. You have to earn it. Confidence only comes with playing a song over and over. I have a rule of thumb that I will not play a song in public until I have played it at least twenty five times. And usually I play a song at least fifty times. This is not unreasonable. Most professional musicians have played a song hundreds of times before performing in a concert.
Confidence adds an air of professionalism to your performance. What the audience sees is merely the tip of the iceberg. Before the concert the song has gone through hours and hours of practice.
It is better to know just a few songs really good, than it is to know hundreds of songs on just a surface level. It is also a good idea to memorize the lyrics. This will insure that you don't miss a portion of the song while the singers are performing. If you suddenly suspect that you have lost your place your confidence will have plummeted. Only play up to the level that you feel comfortable. You may be trying out some new technique or riff. Do not include your cutting edge skills in your public performance until you feel comfortable with them. Trying to show off your new skills will definitely decrease your confidence.
Dear Hearts And Gentle People
Don't Fence Me In