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  1. #1

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    Im having really bad time playing on the band stand,my hands shake,i sweat,sometimes my mind stops for a second so i get lost in a song..
    any advice..
    maybe practice routine is not good..
    anything will mean a bunch..

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  3. #2

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    1) 2) I think we've all been there, to one degree or another. You might want to look into relaxation techniques (breathing exercises, mantras, and so forth). It might help to keep in mind that the people you are playing for are probably more interested in the music you play than in making any adverse judgements about the people playing. The audience is basically on your side to begin with.
    Try to focus your attention on the music. Remember that your band is your support group, or should be. Lock in on the drummer (I personally focus on the hi-hat).

    Above all, avoid the "liquid courage" temptation. If you cannot stick to a personal limit, abstain.

    I hope this helps.
    Best regards, k

  4. #3

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  5. #4

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    Remember that, I assume, you are doing this for fun.
    Check out my tracks at www.soundcloud.com/billmcmannis

  6. #5

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    I've played thousands of gigs, and am pretty relaxed on the bandstand. But playing with new musicians or new material can still be a challenge.

    My best advice is to practice the material you're going to perform and then practice some more. Practice until you can relax and play it without effort. There are always distractions at a gig and, if you know the material cold, you can deal with them and still play. And if you make a mistake, you'll be able to pick up and carry on.

    I've heard some of my favorite guitar players hit the occasional horrendous clam. Nobody died, nobody got hurt! The only people that are listening close enough to catch most of your mistakes are other musicians, and they know that it's just something that happens.

    The problem with nervousness is that it takes you out of the "zone" you need to be in to do your best. Focus on your playing until that's all that matters. Don't worry about people's judgement. Most of them aren't even listening, much less judging you!
    Last edited by Gilpy; 12-30-2018 at 09:21 PM.

  7. #6

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    There's a great and much used book called " The inner game of music " that deals with nerves and other issues surrounding the psychology of music-making . It used to be required reading at conservatories and music colleges .

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pycroft View Post
    There's a great and much used book called " The inner game of music " that deals with nerves and other issues surrounding the psychology of music-making . It used to be required reading at conservatories and music colleges .
    One guitarist I respect said he found “The Inner Game of Tennis” much more useful, even for a musician. I’ve been meaning to read it, and this reminded me. I just now checked it out from the library. I’ll try to report back here if I like it. Here’s an excerpt that caught my eye from the introduction.

    Look for lots of opportunities to play with others in low-risk situations. Living room or community center jams can help build confidence. If you can’t find jazz jams, try to find jam partners through local teachers or craigslist ads. Folk jams are one way to build confidence playing in public, since with simple music you can more easily turn off your analytical brain and just play.

    I’ve also found that streaming tunes at random at performance volume and just trying to play along with each tune that comes up without thinking too hard helps prepare the mind for the experience on the bandstand. If a tune is too difficult I’ll just skip ahead to the next tune, and sometimes I’ll restart a tune if I want to take another run at it. But the more I do this the easier it gets, and I can begin to anticipate what’s coming next and what might sound good with it. It’s not quite like being on the bandstand, but it gives you part of the experience.
    Last edited by KirkP; 12-30-2018 at 02:59 PM.

  9. #8

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    Still happens sometimes, after all these years.

    Most groups I play with start with something easy. Gives me a chance to tweak my settings so the guitar sounds right, which is helpful. But, I still probably play better in the second set when I'm more relaxed.

    There are medications that some performers use for stage fright. I don't know about safety or effectiveness.

    I also think that who you're playing with matters. Some players make me more nervous than others. It doesn't have anything to do with skill level, IMO, rather, it's more of a personality thing. When I'm the leader, I try to have people who make me relaxed.

  10. #9
    thank you,it helped in a way that i'm trying to figure out the way to relax .I also noticed that i tend to get overexcited and when it combines with fright it's hell..
    i'll work on it anyway
    thanks a bunch.
    regards P.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jujupavle View Post
    thank you,it helped in a way that i'm trying to figure out the way to relax .I also noticed that i tend to get overexcited and when it combines with fright it's hell..
    i'll work on it anyway
    thanks a bunch.
    regards P.
    Hang in there!
    Best regards, k

  12. #11

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    The more you do it the easier it becomes.

    If you weren't a little nervous then your not doing it right.

    Leave the "I'm going to miss a note or play or sing a sour note" behind.

    You ARE going to miss a note and play or sing a sour note, just keep on going and don't ever apologize. Make a mental note and fix it before the next time.

    My philosophy: The only musician I have to be better than is the musician I was yesterday"

  13. #12

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    A former teacher, (and great Manouche player) told me, "remember everyone there wants you to do well, no one is hoping you crash and burn". Something like that. The audience is not your enemy. They want you to do well and all have a good time. I think most audiences are very forgiving about a players nervousness.

  14. #13

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    Relax, it’s jazz, the average audience can’t tell a wrong note anyway.

  15. #14

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    Last little gig just a while ago I was pumped up with adrenaline because I had 5 minutes to set up the amp and mic but it stayed silent and I had to start without. So I played unplugged without any warm up, but boiling inside. The 1st piece was the Brouwer's etude nr 6. The audience didn't notice that half of the notes were missing. Took a while to calm down but it went ok overall. Yeah, no reason to imagine what the audience may think of you. It's always something else . Clothing even.. or "why you smile so little"...

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74 View Post
    1) 2) I think we've all been there, to one degree or another. You might want to look into relaxation techniques (breathing exercises, mantras, and so forth). It might help to keep in mind that the people you are playing for are probably more interested in the music you play than in making any adverse judgements about the people playing. The audience is basically on your side to begin with.
    Try to focus your attention on the music. Remember that your band is your support group, or should be. Lock in on the drummer (I personally focus on the hi-hat).

    Above all, avoid the "liquid courage" temptation. If you cannot stick to a personal limit, abstain.

    I hope this helps.
    This is some of the most soundadvice I have heard regarding 'stage fright' . . . thanks!

  17. #16

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    The more you do it, the easier it gets!

    As for losing your place in the form, does that only happen when you are playing live or does it also happen when you are practicing tunes or jamming with others? I remember when I used to get lost in the form years ago - even after I mostly mastered forms in practice or jamming it still took a while to get to where I could do the same live. Just takes time.

  18. #17

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    I always need at least 3 songs to adjust. Adjust the amp, the guitar, sheetmusic, the ambiance, the guitar cable, the light, the beer, the balance between me and the bass and drums etc. I can't expect that to be right in the first song. So after all those years, I have grown to the feeling that the first songs do not go as I wish. And I know it will be better after that. I have a huge respect for the psych and body, but when it comes to those stupid nerves, I don't take them very serious anymore. And I try not to think to much about them. Don't take that fright too serious.

    HAns

  19. #18
    I just find it hard to put in the words,how thankful and grateful I am for having you people here when I need you.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jujupavle View Post
    I just find it hard to put in the words,how thankful and grateful I am for having you people here when I need you.
    I read all the posts here before my first gig last night. Second tune up was a Bossa heavy tune and I couldn't get my right hand to behave and my left hand was sweaty and it all felt very odd. Managed to lose me place in the form and had a super hot light in my face.

    BUT I tried to breath, relax and listen to the music and when I got my head up and interacted with the band, it went a lot better. Loads to improve, of course, but looking forward to getting back in asap.

    Thanks to everyone who shared their advice.

  21. #20

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    This passage from Kenny Werner’s “Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Musician Within” put music in perspective and helped me learn to relax and enjoy myself more when performing.

    "Here is a very simple test to prove that music is not that important: Go to the kitchen and get a plastic bag. Place it over your head, tying the opening snugly around your neck so that no air can get through. Now, let’s count to one hundred. By the count of twenty, let me ask you: how important is music? Are there any ”burning issues”? Is Charlie Parker important? By the count of 35, would you be debating whether or not bebop was the real music? By 54, no doubt you would be contemplating whether music should swing, or whether free jazz really is where it’s at. At 73, the question would burn in your consciousness; ”Is Cecil Taylor for real?” I think you get the point. The only thing that’s really important is your next breath. We lose sight of reality very easily because of the little dictator in our heads: the mind. Our mind is always feeding us messages: ”I must sound good;” ”This is the right music, that is the wrong music;” ”This is valid jazz, that is politically correct jazz” (yes, we have that these days). Or it sends us messages like: ”I’m not supposed to play really great, because I’m a woman,” or ”I’m white,” or ”I’m European,” or ”only guys who live in New York can really play,” or ”I’m too old, and I can’t learn to play any better.” The mind is always supplying a steady stream of these illusions of limitation. They don’t happen to be true, but they prevent you from seeing or hearing truth. Music is the Icing on the Cake The truth is that every breath is a gift, and playing music is optional. For the people in Somalia, food, not bebop, is important. For the people of Bosnia, it’s peace. The absence of pain is important. Food, shelter, clean air, clean water, clothes to wear: these are more important than musical concerns, if not music itself. Music is not the cake. It’s the icing on the cake. It is one of the enjoyments provided for us on this planet, in this life. In the overall scheme of things, your level of proficiency is not important. Remember that you can benefit from realizing this, because if you decide it’s not so important, YOU MIGHT PLAY A LOT BETTER!"

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulD View Post
    Go to the kitchen and get a plastic bag. Place it over your head, tying the opening snugly around your neck so that no air can get through.
    are you fucking kidding me
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  23. #22

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    Um...it's a thought exercise, you're not supposed to do it literally. Relax

  24. #23

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  25. #24

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    I remember reading through Effortless Mastery while I was working in the print department of a music shop. I'm not entirely into the whole meditation/yoga thing but there were certainly a significant number of paragraphs like the one above that helped me get over the daily inner struggle with self-acceptance / doubt etc. that have carried over into my performance mindset.

    Of course, it all gets easier the more you perform, especially if you're performing with familiar faces/repertoire/location. I've found that the more I play a room, the more I feel like the room is "mine" and that there's less to prove. Last year I wasn't playing as much, so it was noticeable that whenever I played out I would have more tension and thus, to my mind, sounded much worse than in the practice room. There's something to be said for practicing "performing", either by actually performing, or by recording a take of something front to back without stopping, which for me seems to kick in those terrible gears that say "Don't screw up!!! One bad note and you redo!".

  26. #25

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    I got this advice from Mick Goodrick, I think it originated with Gary Burton. The idea is instead of trying to change how you're feeling, change how you feel about about how you're feeling. Instead of labeling your body's responses as 'nervousness' (stage FRIGHT) and fighting them, look at it as your body ramping up to deliver the best performance you can (stage ENERGY) and go with it. Not that you don't want to 'relax', but think about relaxing within your heightened state of energy, and not fighting it. Best wishes for your music!

    PK