Playing on stage has been the weirdest experience for me. I don't know how to describe it....i play in a two piece band. Guitars/vocals (me) and drums/vocals. I get both....terrified and incredibly excited every time. Its probably the biggest adrenaline rush ive experienced in years. We've been playing shows in my area for almost a year now, and everytime i play, or at least while im playing i feel like i sound like shit...and then after we'll have people from the crowd coming up saying how great it sounded. I guess i may be a bit too critical on myself but i dont know. It's just a bit nerve racking, i usually have about a thousand things running in my head while im playing too. i guess the only way to get used to it is to just play more shows. any other advice?
Playing on stage is actually different for everyone.
I guess you can compare it too, making a speech in front of people and how you handle that or something.
2 piece band?
I've only played on stage once, and surprisingly I didn't nervous or excited or really feel anything at all. I spent probably an hour practicing the song over and over with the girl who was singing for me, and then I just went on stage played and left. No idea why I wasn't nervous as I'm always a bit anxious when doing presentations in front of people.

I will say this about playing on stage though. It could just be the way it was set up at the gig I played, but I absolutely hate the lights being straight in your face. I understand the audience needs to see you but I want to be able to see them too, not just this beam of light. I ended up staring at my guitar the whole time so I wouldn't be blinded lol
Yeah, it's getting used to it and maybe trying to change how you think too. You will eventually be able to use the rush for energy, especially if you are tired or don't feel well. Also know that a perfect performance is good to strive for, but is never achieved. Live is all about mistakes and how you recover from them. Once you can be in the moment, not focused on a past mistake or worried about a future part, you'll be in good shape.

Also love the 2 piece, but of course I think you need keys.
Ultimate Guitar is also Ultimate Piano!
Feeling comfortable on stage requires a mixture of things.
Firstly I would say that the amount of practice and preparation you put into your performance (i.e learning your parts, rehearsing as a band, dialling in your tone etc) will affect how good you feel on the night.
If you show up unrehearsed for example, your nerves may start to rattle as you kick yourself for not practicing enough.

Another factor is just plain simple experience - as you gain experience you start to feel less nervous and uncomfortable on stage. You begin to feel confident looking at and engaging with the audience, and you feel less self conscious.

Take time to learn about sound engineering techniques, especially topics pertinent to your instrument - I play guitar and find that sound engineers have varying opinions on how my amp needs to be set up, where the mics need to be etc and it helps if you have an understanding of the various approaches to this.

Record your performances - I use a zoom q3 video/audio recorder to shoot my shows - this gives valuable feedback on my playing and also my visual delivery of the show (if relevant).

I've undoubtedly missed things, so feel free to ask more questions.
I never played a guitar live, but I did DJ gigs for the better part of my life.
Nervousness of performing live goes away with practice, and it's like trying to get a hot girl on a date - it's all about confidence.
When you go out and in front of the crowd, you already scored some brownie points because you're the dude on the stage. And unless you straight up suck, chances are, the crowd's gonna like it, because they'll be blinded by alcohol/adrenaline/party rush/your awesome blinding light of a performer demigod. Did you ever in your life see a performer who got booed off the stage as soon as he went on it? No, because people will automatically like you in the beginning. And if you manage to harness that positive energy and give it back through the non-verbal communication with the crowd (gestures, body language, dancing, even as little as smiling), coupled with as much as average performance, they'll love you even more, further feeding you with the positive energy, and so on, the effect is cumulative.
Basically, your attitude amplifies your performance, and if you spontaneously go apeshit like Skrillex in the middle of a concert, they'll love you for your confidence and self-esteem.
Just be relaxed, enjoy, let yourself loose, and embrace the experience spontaneously, don't think like "ok, here comes the solo, after I'm done and the vocals start, I'll do the wildest fistpump ever!".
Last edited by Casull454 at Apr 15, 2012,