Played second show ever with my band. The singer is a great guy and he's a great vocalist as well. The problem is, he's great during practice but in performance he becomes super nervous and forgets lyrics.

He forgot the lyrics for half of the songs we played. In one song he didn't stop for my solo (the worse offense IMO ) also, he's really uncomfortable on stage, which causes him to forget his lyrics and stuff.

So what's the best way to have him get over stage fright? I know playing more shows does the trick, but there's gotta be another way besides embarrassing ourselves. I'd look for a new vocalist but we're just in high school. It's hard to find a good alt rock singer.

I was thinking maybe finding a crowded park or street corner and just play for tips. Any advice on this? We don't want to kick him out only because of the difficulty of finding a new singer.

Thanks for reading, by the way
A trick I've used is that when you get really nervous, remind yourself that your feet are on the floor. It sounds really weird I know, but it works for some.

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Going busking would be a good way of doing it, he'd get a bit more used to singing in front of people and you could make a bit of money out of it too.

Only trouble is they wouldn't really be an audience which is paying attention, so he'd still need practice in front of a real audience. If there are any open mic' sessions in your area where people can just turn up and take a turn on stage, you could try playing there. It would be the right environment but without the same pressure as a full on gig.

It's not particularly cool, but getting him to go along to karaoke sessions may help? Again, he'd be singing in a relatively similar environment to the bars where you may end up playing gigs but with absolutely no pressure on him so it could be worth trying.

Not sure if you'll be able to get into those sort of places if you're still in school though, you'd need to check with the places you're going first.
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He's going to need to practice, so the lyrics become second nature, and more confidence. Everyone gets the jitters, but if you don't have enough sense to over come them, you're rendered pretty much useless. The performance will suffer, and people will be able to tell.

Unfortunately for him, the front man is the representative of the band. He's who people watch, and he's instrumental in crowd control, reaction, and making them remember the show. Your singer just needs the confidence to know he can sing and impress people, and you've got to be supportive of him so he can power through his jitters.
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play smaller shows, work your way up.

thats about all you can do
Agree with the singer being most important- the rest of us pretty much rocked it (though my guitar's output jack pretty much fell out). But that didn't matter because the singer screwed up.

Two of my bandmates are really angry and want to kick out the singer, but he's got a great voice...we'll try hitting up karaoke and attempt busking and work our way up.

also, serving my singer alcohol is not the best option...he is seventeen years old...
More gigs = more practice playing live. There is nothing wrong with having the printed lyrics somewhere inconspicuous that the singer can go back to if he needs a reminder. Just so long as he doesn't start to rely on them.

It makes me laugh that your other members instantly want him out. What happened to supporting each other and communicating effectively to try and resolve issues.
I've found in my experience, that the best way to stop, or at least reduce stage fright is just to do it. Keep him performing, even if it's just in front of you... suggest that he sings the song in practice to just an accoustic guitar, or work with him away from practice. Make sure the road map to the song is correct (where the solos go, or any breaks) once you got it down that way, performing at a park, or open mic night isn't a bad Idea either.

It sounds from your original post that you really see talent that will help the band in this guy... It'll take some work, but it'll be worth it in the end...

btw, a few others that suffered from stage fright... (to one degree or another)
Bing Crosby
Frank Sinatra
Tom Petty
Stevie Ray Vaughan

Just keep working with him, and keep him singing in public
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Yeah two of my bandmates were super pissed off. They're rather impatient, but cooler heads prevailed and we decided that if the singer is willing to put in the effort we'll help him get over stage fright.

On a related note, does anyone happen to know if you need a permit for busking in San Jose, CA?
Ultimately, you guys just need to practice more.

There's no short term fix to kill nervousness. It's experience, practice, more experience, more practice. A singing teacher might be able to help him as well.

If you guys like the guy's singing then you need to commit to working with him. Singing in public is terrifying for a lot of people. (Natalie Merchant's first several years in 10,000 Maniacs were spend singing with her back to the audience, since it was the only way she found to control her nerves).

Working with a teacher/coach will help him master his technique. When you're nervous, you can fall back on technique to help you. If he's a relatively untrained singer (which I suspect he is) then he's going to be much more vulnerable to this sort of thing.

But the other thing you just have to do is rehearse more. He needs to go through these songs dozens of times - maybe sometimes just with you, sometimes with the full band, sometimes with the full band in dress-rehearsal mode (more on this in a second) until it becomes second nature.

And ... you did do dress rehearsals, right? Practices where you play through the entire set, non-step, as if it were a gig?

You can't expect to perform better than you practice, and because of the challenges unique to performing, you shouldn't expect your first performances to be better than 80% of your best practice. Most of the time, the audience won't notice.

But always remember that instrumentalists can bury themselves in technique when they get nervous. Singers are much more naked up there. There is a whole different emotional layer to their performance that instrumentalists don't have to deal with. No matter who your singer is - this guy or another guy - you're going to have to commit to providing him what he needs in order to deliver on stage. A singer can't fake his way through it.
I think the ultimate factor was we didn't have a lot of time. Most of the practice was individual and we only had time to do one dress rehearsal. In the future we're gonna cut the set to a few songs and get those down perfectly, and then work our way up from there.

We learned the hard way that a 7 song set can't be done in three weeks, especially when four of them were new.
In my high school band, we had a singer with this same issue at one point. Practice is definitely the best fix. One trick though that I would always use (and this kind of depends on the style of your band) but we tended to do reeeeeally stupid shit on stage....like jumping off of amps and bass drums and just being totally stupid....so if we were in the first song and i could tell she was nervous, i'd make a point to walk over to her and do something dumb...like maybe start playing with only one hand and with the other hand force her to headbang, or somethin like that. If they're nervous, and you do something stupid to make them laugh, it'll instantly loosen them up a bit. Just do whatever you have to do to make the singer comfortable
The only real long term solution is to get him as much experience as possible.

I wouldn't suggest using anything like booze or drugs, then he'll feel that he'll have to be in that state to be confident on stage, which can ruin performance, and it sounds like it could lead to bad situations (don't want to turn someone into an alcoholic cos you want him to be cool on stage! ).

Generally, just get him to man up. Secure gigs (or slots at an open mic night or something if you don't want to **** any gigs up) so that he HAS to get on stage and face his nerves.

Tell him to stare everyone in the venue in the eyes at least once each. It has always helped me, I read about it years ago, but it's real good with bridging the gap between you and the audience.
There are plenty of other tips and stuff, but the best way to counter nerves on stage, is to just know everything perfectly. Be warmed up and prepared prior, then there'll be nothing to worry about, aside from the fear of being on stage, but it'll get to a point where it should work itself away eventually.

Anyway, best way to get rid of the fear of it, is to do it as much as possible.
Quote by Darkness in Zero
might not be your style, but what i was talkin about is pretty much at 1:04 of this
just silly stuff like that

Definitely not our style. We like to rock, but not rock *that* hard!

As for doing crazy things, that's one thing the rest of the band (me included) can work on. I get into it *too* much so I start playing off time cause I'm too busy head banging and jumping around
Quote by You Ruined It
Definitely not our style. We like to rock, but not rock *that* hard!

The link was more an example of things you can do to get your singer movin than a musical example haha
Quote by You Ruined It
I think the ultimate factor was we didn't have a lot of time. Most of the practice was individual and we only had time to do one dress rehearsal. In the future we're gonna cut the set to a few songs and get those down perfectly, and then work our way up from there..

Yes. This was the problem.

Your bandmates need to be supportive of the singer, not upset at him, under these circumstances.

You need to run every song so that you can run it two or three times in practice - all band members there - and be happy with all three performances. Do that with every song. THEN do a dress rehearsal.

Then after the dress rehearsal, talk about what worked well, what didn't ...

... and do it again.

When the Rolling Stones do a tour, they do WEEKS of rehearsals. Professional, experienced musicians who have done these songs hundreds (if not thousands) of times, they still get together for multiple weeks and go through this process - playing all the songs they think they might want to play, tweaking them, winnowing down to the songs they'll do on the tour ... and then dress-rehearsing the !*&@^ out of them.

The Rolling Stones. You know - the guys who have been doing this since before 99% of the users on this forum were born.

It only looks effortless.
Also want to agree on the don't-use-booze-or-drugs route.

One drink can help steady the nerves ... but it actually does bad things to your throat and singing voice. It does bad things to your coordination, too, for the rest of you.

But more to the point, it's a crutch. If you want to connect with your audience, you need to have a confidence that comes from control, not a confidence that comes from being numb.