Updated: Jul 20, 2021
1) You don't need a $4000 instrument! The Music Stories are keen to this and will usually work with you to find something within your budget. I've seen musicians with low quality instruments play phenomenally.
2) Play music with good friends. You're going to be spending a lot of time with these characters. Strangers can be,....well,......strange. Too much ego, alcohol, drugs, jealousy, girlfriends or just plain old bad attitude will make playing in a band really tough.
3) DON'T PLAY TOO LOUD! I did. Like many others when I was young. I saw my heros on stage in concert and thought. " Yeah, I need a huge guitar amp! That's the secret." No it isn't. The secret is to sound good. Period. Chances are. You won't be in concert until much later in your career. So, for restaurants, coffee shops and small clubs. A small PA system with small amps will workout just fine.