Unless you JUST started playing guitar, you've probably had that moment of panic when someone randomly asks you to play something on guitar. Not for a show or with a singer, but just some on the spot noodling. It's can be scary because like are they just asking me this so they can judge me? Cause I don't want that one tiny bit!
I remember being in a music store when I was in 7th grade with my dad (who's like really really good at guitar) and the store owner handed me a guitar to see if I liked it. Rather than it being this fun experience of seeing if I actually even liked this guitar or not, it became an experience of " How do I even guitar right now. I don't remember Smoke on the Water after playing it 8749834 billion times!" Not too fun. So I'm pretty sure I just noodled around real fast, sounded not great, and then everyone moved on and probably never thought about this once because they weren't actually even focused on me or this playing test I had created in my mind.
Because I so don't want this feeling of panic to come over you everytime you are asked to "play something on guitar" I wanted to give you some tips I have learned over the years to make this experience fun rather than pressuring!
1) No one is thinking about how good you are
Whenever you start getting in your head about playing, thinking about why you started playing in the first place is always helpful. In my case, it was because other people's guitar playing and music really spoke to me and made me come alive. I wanted to be a part of that and give that gift to someone else. Keeping that in mind, it's not really about me or my performance, so if I do play really bad, it's not going to ruin my mission to communicate something meaningful to someone else at some point. It may be embarrassing, but I can get over that (I do lots of embarrassing things everyday so nbd! Like I literally have a glow in the dark retainer (eighth grade me never really thought I would get married) that I have to wear like every week! So probs couldn't get worse than that! ). Also in the case of trying testing a guitar at a music store, those workers hear like a million terrible players everyday and probs are immune to that by now so they are the last of your worries!
2) Keep it tasteful
Practice a few melodic licks that are tasteful and work around chords that keep a nice melody going. Keep in mind you don't even have to be Steve Vai to be a good guitar player, so don't worry about shredding the fastest licks you can! Think more about making a little song with your licks and playing.
3) Be prepared!
(I was thinking about Lion King too!). If this is something that makes you nervous, practice licks/ songs that work in these situations. That way, you'll always have some nice little melodic guitar licks in your back pocket for when people put ya on the spot!
I hope these are helpful little tips for you and I would LOVE to know your thought and if this happens to you below. Let me know if there's anything in particular you want to learn about and thank you so much for reading! :)