everytime someone watches me play i tense up and my pick hand shakes uncontrollably and i can't play sh*t and it's freakin embarrasing. Have any of you had the same problem? does this just go away with time? and if so about how long?
I just started getting drunk at shows and now I play better drunk live than sober haha
'scalled stage fright. You can generally get over it with practise, or develop a coping mechanism. Eg pretend the crowd/viewer isn't there.

Mind over matter and whatnot.
Play with someone you're comfortable with first like a musician friend, and eventually play with people you feel less comfortable with till you're ok. That's what I did.
similar thing happens to me, i just tend to mess up more for some reason then get shaky. ive formed somewhat of a hypothesis in my head on how to fix it tho. try to play in front of a ton of people, **** it up terrible, then everyone laughs and makes fun, but once its over it will be easier to play in front of people because youve allreay ****ed up alot so whats it matter now? something along those lines lol
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if people arent paying to see you play or your not being graded it doesnt really matter if you mess up. Make sure you know what you are playing, be confident that you know you can play it well. Imagine when your practicing people are watching you. But in truth the only way to get rid of stagefright or whatever is by playing infront of people more often and frequently.
you know the sad part in all this is. its not even just around a bunch of people i can't even do it in front of family
The only way to get rid of it is to keep playing in front of people. To start with you are very nervous but eventually you just relax and play or get so fed up with it and won't stop practicing until it does not affect you any more. Everyone gets nervous playing in front of people they don't know but once you have confidence in your playing it soon goes away.
Quote by donegan_zealot
you know the sad part in all this is. its not even just around a bunch of people i can't even do it in front of family
It can be harder in front of your family because you care what they think of you. Its just confidence tho - the more you do it the easier it will get.

I used to get really nervous, even in front of my teacher lol I got over it by recording myself and sticking a couple of mp3s on here to get some feedback - recording yourself helps as you get to hear what you acually sound like, and posting mp3s for a bunch of strangers on the internet to crit is easier than playing in front of people you know - but you still get feedback, and it can give you a real confidence boost.
What I do is really get into the music. What may look like stage theatrics is actually a musician's way of zoning in on the music. I close my eyes and put on the solo face and it's so much easier.
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You dont practice enough, so your not confident in your playing. Follow some of the stuff others have mentioned, but I would say keep practicing. Once you devolope a song enough, you will gain confidence. This is just another step every guitarist has to overcome to advance in their playing.
Used to have the same problem. Didn't even like to play in front of my girlfriend of a year. Finally I brought my guitar over to her place so that I could only play in front of her. It helped me out cause she's a music lover and we would go through her playlists and it would give me new songs to learn. After a month or so of that I kind of got over it.
Quote by donegan_zealot
you know the sad part in all this is. its not even just around a bunch of people i can't even do it in front of family

My mom is the only one in my family that I get that way with. It never happens around friends or strangers, or anyone else in general...
She's so critical of my playing, and it really scares me whenever I have to play in front of her.
What I do is take an estimate of the people there. For example, at my schools talent show there was around 1,000 people. I thought to myself "What if I mess up? Are these 1,000 people really going to think differently of me? So what if 1,000 people in the world don't think I'm talented, there are billions more in the world".
Works like a charm for some reason.
I find it hard in front of my family and close freinds, played a small venue had about 30 of my besties there made an idiot of myself, few weeks later played to 300 i didn't know and i was fine. so it might just be you cant play to people your close to
For some weird reason I always have that when there's just my dad watching

When performing at a stage for 75 people I didn't have it at all... It actually boosted my guitar playing...lol weird
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It used to happen to me a lot. Then I started taking lessons where I have to play for a teacher every week so I got used to playing for people. Hell I played with like 8 people around at a party the other night, they werent watching me specifically but they were there.
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What you need to do is play in front of people and play easy songs, even if its just the riff to iron man, just get some experience playing in front of someone, Everytime I go on stage I'm a bit nervous, but eventually it goes away and you become relaxed. Its just something you get used too.
I get that ive only been playing properly for a couple months im taking lessons ill practice what my tutor will show me perfectly nail it at home when it comes time to show him my progress i cant play for **** start getting the shakes for some reason it makes me look alot worse than i am but yeah its starting to go away.. slowly.

Also what i found to help is to not look at the fretboard or my picking hand at all so if im going through a riff or a scale or something im just thinking about that in my head, tends to distracts you from the people in front of you i find.
Last edited by MisterSinister at Jun 30, 2009,
I can play around people easily, unless their critics (teachers) lol
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