#1
Right, i have an issue. I can never play at my best infront of people, whoever it may be, family, friends, live performances, it's always a different situation, always same outcome.

I've been playing for roughly 10 years, and i'm never clumsy whenever i'm playing at home, and i love what i'm capable of doing when i play at home, but the second someone wants to actually hear me play, shit goes down the drain.

I don't think it's nerves, i've been nervous for a performance before, and it was different. They may be, i'm not to judge.

How do i fix this? Any of you have that same issue?
#2
Try playing in front of people at home where you're comfortable, and work from there maybe.
#3
I kind of have that same issue. I focus too much on not screwing up and playing perfectly, and I usually screw up because of that. I guess you have to just be relaxed when you play and not worry about that. And when you play difficult parts, just ignore the other people and focus on your instrument.
#4
Imagine they're all pineapples. not because you're nervous, but because you should be able to play in front of pineapples.
#5
Play in front of a mirror. Or several mirrors at different angles. It really helps you visualize how you look, what you're doing, and how a crowd would view you.
#6
Smoke some pot. That shit should chill you down. Not too much of course.
#7
That's true of pretty much everybody. Your worst day of practice is the best you can expect to play in performance - so practice a LOT!

That said, once you get used to performing, you can really tear it up. The stuff you play when it matters is what will stick with you the best. Having on-stage chops is another level entirely from bedroom shredding.
#8
Adopt the attitude that you don't care. You don't care what others think of your playing. You are there to play for yourself and your own enjoyment.
#9
Quote by cdgraves
That's true of pretty much everybody. Your worst day of practice is the best you can expect to play in performance - so practice a LOT!

That said, once you get used to performing, you can really tear it up. The stuff you play when it matters is what will stick with you the best. Having on-stage chops is another level entirely from bedroom shredding.


yeah pretty much
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#10
I have the same problem, but I only really feel it when I'm playing solo. The only thing you can really do is to do it a lot. You'll get used to it eventually.
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#11
You'll hear the same thing from even the most experienced actors. The fact is, you never get over stage fright.

The only thing you can possibly do, is power through it.

If, (or when), you summon the nerve to play in front of people, how you do will affect your next encounter with the situation.

If you do well, you can use that to put your fear into perspective. Like this, "it's only stage fright, everybody suffers from it, I know I'll be all right when I perform".

If you don't do well the first time, practice some more, and work your way back in front of people, one song at a time.

You might try playing when people you know very well are in the room, but doing other things, and not concentrating on you alone.

Stage fright does have a 1st and 2nd party paradigm in which it manifests. It requires your expectations of absolute attention being paid to you, as well as how much you're expecting from yourself, to appear at it's most severe levels.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 29, 2014,
#12
I used to have exactly the same problem, but now I play in front of people quite frequently - I still screw up sometimes, but its not guaranteed:P

I found that the "cameras out" technique really works for me - the idea basically being that you go onstage (or in the centre of the room, or sit on your chair, or whatever) and you look at whoever's watching you. You look at THEM rather than just worrying about them looking at you. (Kind of like the pineapple thing suggested earlier, except I'd find being suddenly surrounded by pineapples a bit unnerving:p) Acknowledging and accepting your audience somehow makes them instantly less threatening

Hope that helps!
#13
Do other things that force you to get in front of people. Public speaking, debating, whatever. Get used to being looked at. Its great.
#14
Just realize that if you have a show and don't play infront of people that your going to be an even bigger pussy. It's inevitable with being in bands and such so just suck it up and face the music. I used to have the same problem and people would come up with all sorts of remedies that "work over time" but really when it comes down to it you just have to suck it up realize that half of the fourty year old in the bar your playing will probably never see you again unless they like you and in that case you have lost nothing
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#15
TS I know you said that you don't get nervous because it was different from all the other times, but nerves are the ONLY reason why you would play differently infront of other people. Nerves manifest them in lots of different ways.

That said, nerves are generally a symptom of underpreparation, so practice your parts until you're bored of them. At this point even if you're nervous your body should be able to take over and just play the part whilst you get over being infront of people.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#16
I think your problem is confidence.

You think you'll mess up when you are in front of people because probably you experienced it once and was not able to get over it.

Accept it and move on. Just play and rock hard!
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#17
AlanHB's right, just play em til yr bored, you'll be surprised what else will start to jump out at ya during those moments (ie: you can start to hear licks within licks, phrases around phrases, timings over timings, feel against feel...etc), not always, but remember not to lose sight of the original lick(s)...
Last edited by tonibet72 at Apr 1, 2014,
#18
Quote by weirdzaid
Right, i have an issue. I can never play at my best infront of people, whoever it may be, family, friends, live performances, it's always a different situation, always same outcome.

I've been playing for roughly 10 years, and i'm never clumsy whenever i'm playing at home, and i love what i'm capable of doing when i play at home, but the second someone wants to actually hear me play, shit goes down the drain.

I don't think it's nerves, i've been nervous for a performance before, and it was different. They may be, i'm not to judge.

How do i fix this? Any of you have that same issue?


It's nerves. The only way to overcome it is by playing in front people often. It will eventually be a non issue. When you perform things are different - you may grip the guitar harder, overthink a part etc - these lead to fatigue and mistakes. The real way to get better at performing is to practice performing.
#19
Quote by AlanHB
TS I know you said that you don't get nervous because it was different from all the other times, but nerves are the ONLY reason why you would play differently infront of other people. Nerves manifest them in lots of different ways.

That said, nerves are generally a symptom of underpreparation, so practice your parts until you're bored of them. At this point even if you're nervous your body should be able to take over and just play the part whilst you get over being infront of people.


I'm not sure. It's a big part of it, for sure, but different people have different confidence levels and anxiety levels and it's not always related to how prepared and/or good you are. I think the research has shown that confidence is a very poor proxy for ability, for example, and is only slightly better than random chance at guessing whether someone is competent or not. And then you have the whole dunning-kruger effect type thing where people who are actually less good tend to overestimate their abilities while those who actually are competent tend to underestimate them.

I don't have any answers, I'm just saying that it's actually quite complicated- yet at its root is actually quite simple- some people like being up in front of other people, some hate it, and a lot of the time it's not related at all to how good or prepared you are. And the people who don't mind being up don't seem to "get" what the people who don't like it are going through.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#20
^^^ I don't recall saying anything about confidence.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#21
Sure but I'd say that nerves are a pretty big part of that too. Someone who has confidence and who wants to play in front of others probably doesn't have nerves (at least to the same extent where they're crippling).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#22
I'm not sure - Im pretty confident with public performances, but sometimes before a really big or important gig I'll get a case of the nerves. I'll be like what the hell, this is my 40th gig this year and I'm getting nervous!

But because I know the songs back to front I'll jump up and play the same thing I always do. Somewhere in the second or third song the nerves will change to adrenaline and its party time.

So I don't think it has to do with confidence - its about internal pressure you place on yourself for that particular performance. The most important thing you can do is to know your parts back to front so that you can conquer the nerves quickly. I still stand by the argument that nerves are primarily a symptom of unpreparation however, or at least a major factor that can either calm or frenzy your nerves.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#23
I think it depends on whether the nerves are coming from not being prepared, extra pressure (as you said) or anxiety.

For the first two, I agree with you. You could probably even make the argument that a few nerves are good because they get you into the zone and make you take it seriously (like you said, the changing into adrenaline thing)- and that sometimes people who aren't nervous at all get hit with crippling nerves the instant they go on stage.

the problem is when it's the anxiety thing (or even just a personality type, as I'm not sure I agree with the arguable overmedicalisation of everything). in that instance rational stuff sort of goes out the window, unfortunately. practising more might even do more harm than good for some people, as it's keeping their mind on it.

I mean, plenty of famous people have had stage fright, and I doubt they hadn't practised enough.

even in my own life, I can't play piano in front of people. Yet I could play drums just fine (and even actively enjoyed it). I never practised drums. I didn't exactly overpractise piano either but I practised it a lot more than drums.

It can definitely be psychological, in other words. and different people have different ideas of what "being prepared" means. I've seen people before up on stage playing stuff and (at least to the outside observer) having the time of their lives and thinking they did great, when I'd have been mortified had I played in front of other people like that.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Apr 1, 2014,
#24
I teach guitar in Brooklyn, and this is something my students often discuss with me. What I tell them is that everyone feels this way about performing, no matter how much experience they have, and the best security a performer can have is confidence in his or her material. Do you feel comfortable with the songs you're performing? You want to choose songs that fit you well. Have you played the songs many times so that you can play them without thinking about the chords or the words?

Let us know how you make out with this.
#25
Quote by AlanHB
TS I know you said that you don't get nervous because it was different from all the other times, but nerves are the ONLY reason why you would play differently infront of other people. Nerves manifest them in lots of different ways.

That said, nerves are generally a symptom of underpreparation, so practice your parts until you're bored of them. At this point even if you're nervous your body should be able to take over and just play the part whilst you get over being infront of people.


This.
#26
The secret is to drink booze before your performances.

It worked for Eddie Van Halen and it can work for you.
#27
^ I know you're only joking, but a lot of musicians do self-medicate in that way. I'm not convinced it's a good idea, if you ask me you're risking swapping one problem for another.

I should also clarify that, despite what I said above, practising the crap out of what you're going to be playing so you know it inside out (as everyone has been saying) is a good idea.

Quote by brooklynjordan
I teach guitar in Brooklyn, and this is something my students often discuss with me. What I tell them is that everyone feels this way about performing, no matter how much experience they have, and the best security a performer can have is confidence in his or her material.


Everyone may well feel like that to a certain extent, but that doesn't means that some people don't feel it worse than others, either.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#28
You should be confident with or without "medication" of any kind, and that comes from practice. Being loose and comfortable is ideal. A couple of beers or a toke isn't unusual in the least, but obviously moderation is needed.
#29
I used to experience some of that. I got better at it with time because the community supported me.
#30
yes, i agree,performing in front of large crowd or strangers is bit hesitating, but we can overcome it by practicing in front of mirror, it will surely minimize a large amount of hesitation from our mind
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Last edited by deborahgord at Apr 18, 2014,
#31
We were playing my alma mater - 600 tickets sold.
4,600 people showed up.

The bass player (band leader) was sick and late.
I had a real case of nerves.

When he did show up, he told me - close your eyes and play like in rehearsal.
After the show I was mobbed.

I have never been nervous since.
I feed off that energy, now.

I hear my name and get pumped.
#32
I'm not in a band, so I don't gig regularly. I did have the opporunity to play a couple of songs with a few bands (my dad usually knows someone in the band), and I never had any sense of nervousness. For the most part, I get very excited and actually enjoy playing in front of people. That could change when I start a band and gig regulalrly.
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