I am inspired to write these suggestions.
These “rules” will definitely help especially if it is your first professional gig.
Rule Number 1 Always show up early.
Time is precious. Always show up at least a half hour earlier than you think you will need to set your own gear up. If you think it will take you 2 minutes to set up, come 32 minutes early. This will help you feel the “vibe” of the environment and help you to relax if you need to. This works for rehearsals as well.
Rule Number 2 Always come prepared.
This means prepare for the worst. Time is precious. If you are a drummer, at the very least walk with sticks (at least two, one for each hand), a snare, and cymbals. Even if the venue promises that they have you covered. Walk with a pedal if you have to.
If you play an electrical instrument, I suggest walk with extra cables, an extension cord and a power strip.
If you are going to perform make sure you make notes and have them ready(for example: song structure, keys, and song line-up).
Rule Number 3 Learn your fellow musicians.
Try to understand the person beyond the “music” level. Believe it or not learning your fellow musician helps you to “gel” better when its time to perform.
Rule Number 4 Practice!
This is very important. Make sure you practice properly. What you do at practice will come out in performance.
Set aside time for practice. Do not confuse practice with rehearsal. Practice is for the individual. Practice the songs as perfectly as possible. Do not practice until you get it right; practice it until you cannot get it wrong. Everyone should use a metronome to practice (even the drummer).
Rehearsal is with the entire group. Be prepared to make changes to what you previously practiced for the sake of the group. Unity is more important than the individual. I would argue that the beginnings and ends are the most important parts of the song. Transitions between songs are next.
Rule Number 5 Listen!!!
Listen. Listen. Listen. Hold on to your ego and listen to the other players to determine when to play and when not to play. Get a feeling of their timing of when they are going to improvise or not. Nothing is worse than everyone jumping in for a solo at the same time.
Pray Prepare Practice Perform