I'am to nervous to play!

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
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ebrown
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#16 Post by ebrown » Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:20 am

Yeah, I wouldn't recommend having a drink before playing. Not only will it become a crutch that you will rely on but it really isn't that smart to treat drinking in such a trivial matter.

However, my advice would be - The only difference between when you are shaking with nervousness and when you are on an adrenaline high is your attitude towards the situation. How you perceive the situation is how you will react to it. If you expect to fail, chances are you will.

Don't let your nerves get to you before performing or else you will play badly. Have you ever heard the expression "He psyched me out?" That is essentially what you are doing to yourself when you let the nerves control your performance. You are effectively telling yourself, "I cannot do this, I will not do this."

But if you can look forward to that adrenaline rush then you can use it to your advantage and have a great time doing it. Make your attitude a positive one and then channel those nerves into making a great show.

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Nerves

#17 Post by BaaMoo » Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:21 am

I'm a terribly nervous performer. I ususally use deep breathing exercises to calm me down. It seems obvious but the shallow breathing that being nervous causes only makes things worse. Also, massage is good (no smutty comments please). The woman who does the massage for me also does reiki and cyrstal stuff, she gave me a crystal to hold and rub before a performance exam I did last year. I'm very sceptical about myself, but I never dropped a single point.

Also, don't practice till you get it right. Practice until you can't get it wrong. (Easier said than done).

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#18 Post by Stephen Brown » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:09 am

It's great you get a little nervous. If you didn't get that feeling I'd be worried.
Just try to relax & do the. I'M DOING THIS & THAT'S IT! All one can ask is that you try your best. No more..no less. Even pros have this problem.
That stomach thing!!!ooooo. Shaking hands. Dodge notes!
Play a wrong note...don't worry...IT'S GONE...next. Try to enjoy the gig. That's what people have come to see. If you look like fear, people pick up on it.
I have the same problem with dogs. I try to show I'm not scared & yet they bite me all the time. I do an about face,I tell ya.

It's like all problems you just have to work through them.

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#19 Post by jam-man » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:13 pm

They don't seem to have any problems playing live...so you shouldn't either :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw8sNoodIDk

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#20 Post by Donaldopicasso » Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:17 pm

Practice the gig in front of a shit load of people a few times before the gig, by the time it get's to it you'd of already done it a dozen times!

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#21 Post by j3 » Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:36 am

vukvai wrote:J3 is right.
I do the same thing... I have a bit of performance anxiety problem, and before the gig i take 1 beta-blocker ( such as Inderal) and it really helps..
The physical symptoms go away, no more shakiness, and they stop the adrenalin from pumping , and generally slow down your heart rate....
Beta blockers have been known as "musicians drug" and a lot of people take it, specially orchestra musicians...
I must agree with j3 that it does make me a little tired,,,but not that bad...Glass of Coke fixes it...
All I'm saying is , it works for me and i strongly advise it...Go see your doctor
and tell him about your problem.
My 2 cents :lol:
I just read the other day that beta blockers are now being used to cure PTSD ROFLOL :lol:
In order to cure a person of a PTSD stressor, psychologists are triggering the stressor and administering beta blockers within 2 hours of the session. Supposedly, the beta-blockers inhibit long term memory retension of psychologically stressful conditions. So even if you blow it on the given performance, it would less likely effect your next performance.
How about that!
So that whole bit I was talking about having to do with my taking criticism/compliments after the gig seems to be supported by both science and my personal experience. A guess it's just another excuse to take drugs :lol:
By the way, I'm guessing you already had this performance by now.
How did it go?

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#22 Post by Becker Ola » Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:07 pm

I know this topic might be a little full already, but I feel like I should share a few of the things I did to get rid of stage fright.

It's good to pretend that people like your music, but I think that everyone needs to experience playing in front of a crowd that couldn't care less about your performance. I know that sounds bad, but, after playing in a "metal" band that couldn't write a good song if our lives depended on it, I learned that it doesn't matter what other people think. As long as you're having fun and playing something you like, what does it matter what other people think?

Another thing that's vitally important is that you can't take yourself too seriously. You're out there to have fun, remember? A LOT of people forget this, and it can really make you look foolish. Once you realize that you're just a bunch of musicians doing what you do best, the nerves will ease a little.

Stretch, warm-up, and breathe. Even if you're a nervous wreck, try to pretend like you're not. That one used to work for me a when I first started playing.

Shock 'em, but don't be an egotystical jerk about it. If you're a modest looking dude, but you sweep like a mother and can rip out some 32nd note eight finger tapping runs, then show the people in the audience who's boss. However, use this sparingly, once you've got their attention, you don't need to go all out. It only takes one solo to wow some people, and once you've got their admiration, then half the battle is won already.

Last, but not least, if you're still having trouble, find yourself a secret identity. If it can work for Brian Carroll and Gene Simmons, it'll work for you. Unfortunately, this can often lead to becoming a gimmick, just don't let it get that far. If you and your band members can wrangle up a couple of absurd outfits, knock yourselves out, seriously. If you want a prime example of this, check out Racer X. Paul's had some of the most interesting outfits around, but it seemed to work for him and it worked for Racer X, so, hey, why don't you give it a try?

But, hey, you don't even need to go that far into it. If you can create a second person within yourself (so to speak), you can really combat stage fright. While you're at work, you're Mike, the computer technician. But when you're onstage, you can become Mike the Guitar Extraordinaire! He's the guy that everyone idolizes, and he's that guy that can alternate pick 20 nps. It is all in your head, but, if you can pull this one off, you'll do fine.

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#23 Post by Renge » Tue May 15, 2007 4:27 am

Jason,

Well I have two answers for you. One is the typical Marine Corps answer, and the other is the zen buddhist answer. I think a bit of both might do you some good.

Marine Answer: Grow some sack, reach down, grab a pair, fire up your M.A.N. muscle and use your big-boy voice and quite pussy-footin around it. It's not that scary, they're just people and anyone of them could get hit by a bus on the way home because they said the words "you suck" - so f*ck em - do it for you and to hell with caution or concern for anyones fragile sensibilities and delicate emotions.

Zen Buddhist Answer: Fear and paranoia are a function of the ego's desire to stay secure and safe. Often fear and anxiousnes arise in the mind when one is uncertain or unknowing of what may lie ahead. Coupled with this fear is the tendancy to hold onto what is comforting, which places stress both in remaining as you are, and in the possible destruction of yourself as you think of yourself now. Comming to terms with what -can- happen, and what you -can- do to acheive the desired result are the usual steps to resolving this fear, but it will not difuse fear. Fear is just what happens when you don't know, and you don't know why you don't know. The unknowable and that which is not understandable are quite simply mortifying more often than not. The anticipation of such an unknown is what makes it's unknown nature all that more terrifying - you don't know what will happen, or when, much less how or why, to what extent and so on and so fourth.

Rather than clutter your mind and burden a truely fragile ego and state of self perception with such heavy thoughts, simply be the actions you make on stage. A guitar being played bears no such destinctions as "guitar being played" or "audience" or "sound" - it's just being played - and it doesn't even know that.

Shift your perspective from outside in, to inside out - but not from your mind. Place the guitar in your mind in place of what you percieve as you. In essence - become one with the guitar. picture it in your mind what it looks like when the strings are fretted and ringing true with out anyone there to play it. - Just be the sounding guitar.

At that point, muscle memory takes over, your nerves and mental state calm and clear, and you are at one with your actions. From there you bear no such distinction as jason and audience, sounding good or bad. The duality of known and unkown fade away because you aren't there - you are everything that happens with in your perception and your perception is soley concentrated on one thing - playing the guitar.

This doesn't mean you can't see people, or hear people or the rest of the band - your awareness of them is not altered, you simple don't acknowledge them as unknown anymore - all things are known to you from this state.

It's a skill called zazen, and it takes some time to develope, which is why you must discipline your mind - and in that regard the marine corps answer will help you beat down the parts of your mind that cause fear by allowing them to leave your mind freely as they come in - they won't want to get stuck on your demons anymore because your thoughts are your feelings - you are your feelings, and the things you don't know cause you to feel the fear of the unknown. When you give up trying to understand fear and just let it come, you'll have just as much freedom to let it go. And on that day, you will rock the house down.

Good luck!!!

In Gassho,
- Renge

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#24 Post by cadiz » Tue May 15, 2007 12:02 pm

Major problems with this myself until I read (if this is allowed I am not sure....) a three-part synopsis by Jamie Andreas on what the psychology is behind 'stage fright' and how to work through it. It is along the lines of the Zen thing described above, but in laymen's terms and really helped me bigtime...

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Reply!

#25 Post by jason wilhelm » Mon May 28, 2007 5:41 pm

Well I am Happy to see such a great response to this topic ! Not to mention I just played my first 2 gigs (1 on may 25th, another on may 26th) Needless to say with the help of mind control ( and alot of it ) and some beta blockers prescribed by my doctor (these things work great for shakey hands!!!!) I played the gigs without a hitch! Sure I made some mistakes,not to mention whenever your playing outside the worst stage to perform on is a semi truck flatbed!!! Whoever started this trend needs to be hit over the head with a bag full of doorknobs!!! once I got through the first few songs I was surprised to notice I was actually having fun!Not to mention all the people (who more or less were half drunk!)enjoyed the show.I will forever remember those days as a great victory for me! So if there is anyone else out there with some of the same problems,just look at my messages of doubt at the begining of this thread,and my completion! It is possible to over come these fears,and if you screw up keep going! Thanks for all the insight everyone!
Now I go from fearing gigs to loving them!

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Re: Reply!

#26 Post by j3 » Mon May 28, 2007 8:34 pm

[quote="jason wilhelm"]Well I am Happy to see such a great response to this topic ! Not to mention I just played my first 2 gigs (1 on may 25th, another on may 26th) Needless to say with the help of mind control ( and alot of it ) and some beta blockers prescribed by my doctor (these things work great for shakey hands!!!!) I played the gigs without a hitch!

Congrats!

Sure I made some mistakes,not to mention whenever your playing outside the worst stage to perform on is a semi truck flatbed!!! Whoever started this trend needs to be hit over the head with a bag full of doorknobs!!! once
Ever seen the video for "It's not Love" by Dokken?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5bweZNXvzY
Try a gig on a MOVING flatbed! :lol:

quote]

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Re: Reply!

#27 Post by boswell » Tue May 29, 2007 3:56 am

j3 wrote:

Ever seen the video for "It's not Love" by Dokken?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5bweZNXvzY
:lol:

quote]
Lynch's Skull n Bones guitar is cool 8)

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#28 Post by brentm » Tue May 29, 2007 5:59 am

j3 wrote:
vukvai wrote:J3 is right.
I do the same thing... I have a bit of performance anxiety problem, and before the gig i take 1 beta-blocker ( such as Inderal) and it really helps..
The physical symptoms go away, no more shakiness, and they stop the adrenalin from pumping , and generally slow down your heart rate....
Beta blockers have been known as "musicians drug" and a lot of people take it, specially orchestra musicians...
I must agree with j3 that it does make me a little tired,,,but not that bad...Glass of Coke fixes it...
All I'm saying is , it works for me and i strongly advise it...Go see your doctor
and tell him about your problem.
My 2 cents :lol:
I just read the other day that beta blockers are now being used to cure PTSD ROFLOL :lol:
In order to cure a person of a PTSD stressor, psychologists are triggering the stressor and administering beta blockers within 2 hours of the session. Supposedly, the beta-blockers inhibit long term memory retension of psychologically stressful conditions. So even if you blow it on the given performance, it would less likely effect your next performance.
How about that!
So that whole bit I was talking about having to do with my taking criticism/compliments after the gig seems to be supported by both science and my personal experience. A guess it's just another excuse to take drugs :lol:
By the way, I'm guessing you already had this performance by now.
How did it go?
I've used Propranolol (beta blocker) before public speaking engagements, and other high stress situations. There's no buzz or affect on your your performance, like booze or other drugs. The nice thing is that it blocks the affects of adrenaline (rapid heart beat, shaking/cold hands, increased respiration/persperation).

I wouldn't recommend xanax or booze... unless you practice that way (contextual learning).

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