#1
Okay, I can finally say that I feel comfortable singing TO MYSELF....

but I still have trouble singing in front of my friends...I know I can sing well right after I do a good warm up but if 10mins pass, and I go to show them something, I lose all that...confidence I suppose.


when I sing alone, I feel a sort of 'warmth' and strong tone and I do feel like I resonate pretty well.

but when I sing in front of people, my throat starts to tighten and my voice feels weak.

I want to get rid of this fear...and my friend suggested I should do open mic events but I don't wana sound terrible in there...

what is the best medicine? should I just start slow and build up or should I just jump in into a coffeehouse?
#2
well, ok, im not a singer but I did theater for most of highschool, and I remember the biggest way to avoid choking up or lacking delivery was to try not to focus on the audience. this meant always keeping eye contact with either the stage lights or the other actors. Sorry I don't have any more relevant advice :/
#3
Well nerves are primarily a symptom of under-preparation. What this means is that you may be absolutely petrified when you start singing on stage, you'll know the song so well and have sung it so many times that muscle memory will take over and you'll execute the song perfectly and you can just cruise through the rest of the set well. So practice is a given.

Otherwise, shred's advice above is sound. If you feel put off by the other people in the room, don't look at them. If you have a raised stage, look straight over their heads at the wall behind them. If you're in an auditorium ask the lighting guy to shine a REALLY bright light on you so the entire audience is silhouetted. After enough gigs the audience just won't get to you. It's a confidence thing.

As for starting slow and building up, the best place to start out (I think) would be a church open mic night or some sort of churchy function. The great thing about church goers is that they'll always applaud and make you feel good even if you're crap. If that's not available (not always is....wasn't for me) the coffeeshop open mic stuff is great too. Usually the rest of the people there are also beginners, and everyone will be supportive of eachother.

Quite honestly, the only place you'll get negative feedback is a place which serves alcohol, like a dingy pub. Sometimes (not always) a drunk person will come up to you and tell you how much you suck. Hopefully by the time this happens you will have enough confidence in yourself to simply shrug it off.
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#4
Quote by esp1234
Okay, I can finally say that I feel comfortable singing TO MYSELF....

but I still have trouble singing in front of my friends...I know I can sing well right after I do a good warm up but if 10mins pass, and I go to show them something, I lose all that...confidence I suppose.


when I sing alone, I feel a sort of 'warmth' and strong tone and I do feel like I resonate pretty well.

but when I sing in front of people, my throat starts to tighten and my voice feels weak.

I want to get rid of this fear...and my friend suggested I should do open mic events but I don't wana sound terrible in there...

what is the best medicine? should I just start slow and build up or should I just jump in into a coffeehouse?


baby steps

I kind of used to be like this with my family, but I soon realized that no only did they not judge me, they didn't have the adequate background in guitar to do so. After a while I would messed with some chords to the point that I stopped even noticing if they were around. It's hard for many people to just jump into a performing situation, just take it slow and add to the audience in little bits.

another thing that made me not care is to notice that the audience tend to forget about you real quick, take away their importance, when you're performing you only need to worry about one person
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#5
I disagree with nerves being a sign of under-preparation. Completely. Even the most prepared can get nerves/psyched up before a show.

The best medicine for timidness is to do it. Do it and win. Do it and utterly fail. Then you will realize its not the end of the world, nor is it a big deal. Folks will forgive you for screwing up. Self-deprecating humor is a great way to get through a time like this. Just roll with it and lighten up.
#6
Sounds like someone cares too much about what other people think. No one really gives a crap if you sound good or not. Just get up there and show them what you can do. And btw, if nerves are your problem you'd probably better off in a real club, not a church or coffee shop where it will be more intimate (and you will be held to a higher standard).
Last edited by Riffman15 at Apr 1, 2011,
#7
Just gotta go out there and do it. The first time I played in front of anyone was an open mic at a bar. Went up on stage, looked into the crowd (of about 40-50 people), and just started playing. I was pretty nervous at first, but 10-15 seconds into the song I was oblivious to the crowd. They could have been holding up signs that said "YOU SUCK", and I wouldn't have known. I was in my own little world, jamming my ass off. It was pretty awesome. You just have to find your happy place and all that anxiety will go away. I don't think the pre-show butterflies ever go away.

It's very unlikely that you will be booed off the stage or anything. Especially at an open mic. As others have said, open mic nights are usually populated with other aspiring performers and musicians, and they will normally give you the courtesy of at least a quick round of applause when you're done.

That being said, open mic can be a great confidence builder. You get up there and even if you have a bad night, you realize that:

1) If you were a bit off, it's not the endof the world.

2) You probably did better than half the other people that night.

3) A bad performance isn't the end of the world. Especially if it's past midnight, the crowd probably has enough alcohol in them that they won't notice a few mistakes.
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#8
Quote by esp1234
Okay, I can finally say that I feel comfortable singing TO MYSELF....

but I still have trouble singing in front of my friends...I know I can sing well right after I do a good warm up but if 10mins pass, and I go to show them something, I lose all that...confidence I suppose.


when I sing alone, I feel a sort of 'warmth' and strong tone and I do feel like I resonate pretty well.

but when I sing in front of people, my throat starts to tighten and my voice feels weak.

I want to get rid of this fear...and my friend suggested I should do open mic events but I don't wana sound terrible in there...

what is the best medicine? should I just start slow and build up or should I just jump in into a coffeehouse?


I agree with the open mic suggestion. You need experience singing in front of people.
This won't "cure" nervousness, but it you'll definitely get more comfortable with the environment.
shred is gaudy music
#9
I've had this problem, I mean the best medicine is a bit of booze I guess!

For me as soon as I realized that people actually thought I was alright at singing I could do it more and more sober :S lol.

But I'd definitely say start off singing in front of good friends(possibly drunk, it doesn't matter getting it right just getting confidence)!

(first post btw )
#10
I'd say start small- that's my plan. I already know how nervous I can get when performing, so my band will play about 3-4 small, acoustic shows to get me used to the feeling before we have a full on show. It can be intimidating, but just try and at least you'll have the wisdom of the experience. :3
#11
Your throat tightens and your voice feels weird because you're scared. It's a natural thing.. so being scared is only going to make you sing worse I'm afraid. :/

Honestly I'm not much better than you either.. I get scared.. What I found helped me make it through a recent audition was treating the situation lighter than it was (mental stuff)

in my case I like to play the game Rock band (*hides from rhythm game haters*). I play vocals in the game and I'm good at the game, so I take pleasure in playing it (yes yes I'm aware this doesn't mean much in real situations before I hear the same old arguments again)..

So I just put myself in a mental state of playing the game. Having fun while singing, relaxed no pressure. My arm shook in the beginning, but after it went fine. (and I was chosen as the new singer)

You will have to think of a situation that makes you comfortable to sing (singing in the car or whatever), put your mind there and ignore everything else. It's hard, but I'm sure you will be able to manage

Remember that being nervous and scared is only counter-productive! As you said your throat gets tight and your voice weak! So you really don't need to add a layer of complication

Anyway good luck to you! I understand your fears completely
#12
Quote by shred_wizzard
well, ok, im not a singer but I did theater for most of highschool, and I remember the biggest way to avoid choking up or lacking delivery was to try not to focus on the audience. this meant always keeping eye contact with either the stage lights or the other actors. Sorry I don't have any more relevant advice :/
This is basically what I did.

When I first sang in front of my friends I tended to look down a bit. Sometimes at my guitar (not the actual finger board cos I never needed to, just at the body), sometimes at the floor a bit in front of my feet. Try not to look straight down, like at your shoes or anything, because this will affect your projection but just not really making eye contact with people helped for me.

After playing to people you will (hopefully) gain some positive feedback and next time you'll be more at ease when playing in front of people. It won't happen over night but by playing reasonably often in front of people who are supportive you should be able to build your confidence up.