I was wondering if EVERYBODY gets those awful nerves before playing live?
Does it tend to fade away as you become more experienced with playing live?
Anything i can do to rid myself of these nerves?
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the first couple times, yes. but after doing it a while it feels good. i get really excited. especially now since i've been with my band for a while and we're all really comfortable with each other.
Yeah I think playing that first show is the worst as far as being nervous goes but like the guy above me says it gets easier with time.

Basically I recommend just taking some deep breathes and try to think more about playing then the fact that your gonna be in front of a crowd.

(ive never actually played a show these are pretty much my assumptions)
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Making a little adjustment to your mindset can help also. Instead of thinking about yourself, think about the audience. For instance, I play in front of a pretty sizeable audience every other week. When I think about my playing and singing skills, I tend to get nervous. But when I think about what I'm going to do to make the experience good for them, it takes the focus off of me and puts it on them. Hope that helps.
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I do one of two things, depending on how I'm feeling.

1) Pretend the crowd isn't there, and you're just with your band/in your room playing a song. I tend to do this when I'm not quite totally solid on a song.

2) Focus on the crowd. Be a pleaser and just try to have fun with it. Jump around, roll on the ground, whatever. I do this when I'm totally solid on a song and just want to have fun.

Always take deep breaths and relax. Never tense up, or you'll start to get sloppy.
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The best way to cope is to live the moment.

my drama club director lived by this for acting. same can be applied for performing.

ive been onstage all my life for music and its gotten to where it doesnt bother me. eventually you trust your own abilities as a musician and as a performer to not feel as nervous when you go onstage. if you are feeling nervous at that point theres probably soemthing different about this particular performance.

eventually it stops bothering you. while it does bother you just go out there and kill it. the best way to get rid of your nerves is to have as much fun as possible
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I got on stage and felt like i was made to do this for a living i wasn't nervous at all.
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Think of what happens after you perform... you get woos and claps (even if you screw up). I only get nervous if I perform infront of friends or people I know and like... anyway when you think of your previous performance you'll laugh it off.
I'm usually a pretty nervous person (especially in social situations), but when I play live, I never really have any problems. It's odd.