#1
On New Year's Eve, I went to a party at a friends house who has a sweet jam room. I haven't played with anyone else since I first started over a year and a half ago, so I was pretty excited. I got there and totally choked! I could barely do barre chords, it was awful! I really don't think I'm too terrible when I rock out at home... I'm not sure if it was the crap ton of people around watching or the three other gigging guitarists, but I was hella intimidated.

Anyone here get intimidated when paying with or in front of others? How do you get over it? Also, anyone have any tips for jamming out with other guitarists and improvising?
#2
Just put your self in your own little world. If you think oh crap everyone is watching you get to nervous. Just sit and let the music flow. I am basically in a trance like state at times when I am playing since I have terrible nerves. Just basically focus on yourself and not everyone else.
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#4
I've gotten that before, you'll get over it if you jam with people more regularly. It's kinda like stage fright, you just have to go out there and do it and you'll eventually get over it and be comfortable.
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#5
I usually tend to give my self too high standards, causing my regular playing (which is okay) to sound crap (to myself) which makes me less nervous.

Short: Tweak your brain into thinking your good playing sounds crap.
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#6
Quote by Ninjabair
Anyone here get intimidated when paying with or in front of others? How do you get over it? Also, anyone have any tips for jamming out with other guitarists and improvising?

I think experience and practice is the key word here, if you try playing with others and infront of others a couple of times I'm sure you'll get over it quite quick.

Also, did you play standing up or sitting down? Because it is a surprisingly large difference on how it feels to play when standing compared to sitting. So for example if you rarely stand when playing, and then tried playing standing up, I'm not surprised you got problems. This is just a matter of practice though.

Hope, I could help a bit
#7
I think perhaps I am just psyching myself out. Every time something sounded a bit "off" to me I thought, "oh my god, these guys are REAL guitar players, they totally noticed that!" which tended to lead to more nerves. I think I'll go over and jam with my friend more regularly, he's an excellent player but totally doesn't mind slumming for fun and teaching a bit. I just never played with dudes I didn't really know. I should just rock some cleavage next time and then the hipsters won't notice my playing! LOL
#8
I usually get that in guitar shops It's like I'm sitting there and not being able to play anything, and you get the worst paranoia that everyone's out to get you!

Anywho, like the people above said, just try playing with them until it becomes comfortable
#9
I have a bit of that but then once I start playing a tune it usually goes ok. I'm just usually actually afraid people might like it while I know my playing isn't super. So when there's other guitarists around I'm ehh.. comfortably bad :> They'll know that my playing isn't anything special and that sorta comforts me.

But yea I have learned that people who don't know much about guitar playing are quickly impressed. Just imagine that none of them can do what you can. So what if there's other guitarists who can do better right next to you :P
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#10
Go to an open mic that welcomes new comers. They will give you feedback on what they liked and encourage you to do better. Go onstage and make a fool of yourself if need be. It will do wonders for you.

Some open mics are semi-professional..you dont want to go to those.

The other thing is to play until you can play with your eyes closed. Having to look at the fretboard will kill you if you use it as a crutch.

Play in guitar stores..simply having people around will loosen you up. At first its not being watched that has to be overcome...but the presence of others.

Learn simple songs that people love. Entertaining them will boost confidence.

Just remember that when you are performing..everyone there is there for you. Without you there is no show. Use that confidence to push everything else aside.

Caring what others think about you is not Metal. Stop caring what others think and do what works for you. Being afraid to not meet the expectations of others will kill you.
This is why I always remind players with less experience than me that the most successful songs were usually simple. You dont have to have an enormous set of skills to be a great musician....But it helps. Make that enormous skill set a long term goal.

Soon it will feel like a people are just watching you practice. The pressure fades.
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Last edited by Washburnd Fretz at Jan 2, 2010,
#11
I know exactly what you mean, I have one buddy who I jam with and I can play just fine around him because we've been jamming together since we both started playing, but anyone else I get a little gun shy around. Perfect example, I was shopping for guitars today (bought one too!) and I was playing just fine acoustically but as soon as I plugged it in I could hardly play at all and just noodled around on harmonic minors for a bit.
#12
Quote by Washburnd Fretz

Learn simple songs that people love. Entertaining them will boost confidence.

Just remember that when you are performing..everyone there is there for you. Without you there is no show. Use that confidence to push everything else aside.

Caring what others think about you is not Metal. Stop caring what others think and do what works for you. Being afraid to not meet the expectations of others will kill you.
This is why I always remind players with less experience than me that the most successful songs were usually simple. You dont have to have an enormous set of skills to be a great musician....But it helps. Make that enormous skill set a long term goal.

Soon it will feel like a people are just watching you practice. The pressure fades.


This is excellent advice. I did have a great time busting out a few of the easier songs I know. I had people singing along with Kharma Police, Polly and Santa Monica which made me feel hilariously good. Very simple songs! It was just the jamming over chords and whatnot that killed me. That's about the point I decided to get some more beer instead! I know its mostly just a confidence thing, but that so much easier said than done for me at least. My freaking hands were shaking by the time I decided to call it quits!
#13
i cant jam improv around people to save my life. i get really nervous so i just play songs or little riffs i know well. works out good as long as you dont go in with the i'm awesome douchy attitude other guitarists will be cool with it.
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#14
wear sunglasses in a darkroom......or close your eyes....theres no-one there now is there.

cocentrate on the drummer and/or bassist and what they`re doing and respond to them musically......basically anything to take your mind off the fact that there`s peeps watching you.......i`ve played 100s upon 100s of gigs and still get nervous.........the worst thing you can do is get drunk before playing a gig, `cos the you will play like sh*te
#15
To be honest, I play better in front of other people. It's a bit more exciting than playing on your own. My advice would be just loosen up, nobody cares if you're really that good or not, just if the music is good. The only people that look down on you are the elitist cocks that think they're better than everyone. If anything, the other people would just help you and all that.

So yeah, just loosen up and relax a little, no one cares.
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#16
God I know what you mean!! My own experience is very limited so maybe I'm talking crap but this is what I have found helps:

1) I am always convinced I sound crap when playing in front of others yet the audience generally think it's good and rarely seem to notice the mistakes. You are probably your own worst critic. The first time I played in front of an audience it was about 350 people and to be honest my playing was awful and I stuck almost exclusively to the first position Pentatonic shape yet loads of people told me afterwards how impressed they were.

2) What's impressive is a matter of taste. The other guitarist in my band is a really good shredder and is far better than me. I simply can't play that fast and as a result I was convinced I'd just be humiliated but that's not the case. OK, my son thinks I'm crap compared to him because he loves shred and in all honesty, I am crap compared to him but conversely, there's loads of people out there who hate shred and would rather hear something slow, simple and melodic. When I try playing a fast bit I'm really proud of, my wife invariably tells me she hates it and asks why I can't go back to playing something simple that reminds her of the main melody of the song. I've found that sometimes it's a good starting point to pick out the melody of the song and expand the idea from there and if there is no lyric involved, just make up a simple, catchy melody of just a few notes and expand it from there.

3) Make sure you have a bank of licks you can fall back on to give you time to think. A couple of flash repeating patterns can go a long way.

4) Look up at the audience now and again in a simple section but don't focus on anyone in particular. Most of the time I'm looking at what I'm doing and occassionally I'll lean back a bit and pull a bit of a grimace. Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden does that a lot of the time. The audience just think you're really caught up in the moment rather than seeing that you're crapping yourself.

5) Practice standing up. I only sit down to play when I'm starting to learn a song. As soon as I have the basics of a section in place I always stand up to play. As a result I'm as comfortable standing up as sitting down.

6) Don't be put off if you lose your place. Most of my solos are heavily influenced by the original (sometimes exactly the same). I practice them repeatedly until I know them backwards and I take time to work out which scales are being used. Once you know it well enough, improvising a section if you lose your place becomes easier.
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