• If it has keys, valves, holes, or is shiny and phallic, stay away from it – no one has ever said, “John, your technique in the 2/4 to 6/8 transition was impeccable – take me now.” You will never hear this. Partly because nobody talks like this, but mostly because you will never hear anything since no one will actually be at your performance. This is because they feel uncomfortable that your instrument resembles a sex appliance.
• If you’re a solo singer/guitarist, sing quietly – Remember; the loudness of an acoustic song is directly proportional to its suckiness. Singing quietly also infuses your song with all sorts of emotional depth. At least, that’s what the blond in the second row will be thinking. It actually just conceals the fact that your voice conjures up images of dying kittens. Also, it presents the illusion of range when you raise your voice to a normal level at that oh-so-climactic, angst-ridden point. Remember, every effective song must have a minimum of one of these moments.
• Have long hair – The more of your acne-scarred face you can obscure as you seductively strum the same two chords, the better. It adds a touch of mystery and takes the focus off your face. For the majority of you, this is a good thing. A very good thing. Seriously, you’ve gotta do something about that nose.
• Inflection is key – If, for some reason, you decide to actually incorporate volume into your performance, inflect the living crap out of your vocals. I’m talking about going from sonic-death-plane loud to reaction-after-a-9/11-joke quiet – within a two second period. Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins should be your idol.
• Play the bass – Nobody knows why this works, but it does.
If all else fails, be attractive and talented.