#1
I do have stage fright. My first gig wasn't too long ago, the second one is coming up very soon. The stress before the very first show was tremendous, by the time i got up on the stage, i was already worn out, exhausted and tired because of it. But i did it, nevertheless.
I watched the video, and in the very beginning, holy shit, i were so sloppy that i cringed and facepalmed, and quickly closed the video at first.
It went well afterwards with a few hiccups here and there, but quickly recovered.
This is my absolute fear, making mistakes, i would make me and my band look bad. I always fear that people in the audience are going to judge me, diss me, point fingers at me, boo, all the bad stuff. Even though i know my stuff, i lose it when i'm making a mistake in front of people. Whenever i make a mistake or play even slightly sloppy i cringe.
Last edited by lebawss at May 15, 2016,
#2
I think your being hard on yourself if you have only had one gig. Newsflash YOUR GOING TO MAKE MISTAKES, A LOT OF THEM! So no reason to get worked up go out there have fun and just put in all your effort.

Really though don't put so much pressure on yourself over making mistakes it's just gonna make you make even more just try to relax and have fun. Also if you make a mistake don't cringe just play it off like nothing happened..
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#3
I remember the feeling when I gigged the first few times and how much of an idiot I felt being up on that stage. I was really hard on myself for even minor things like screwing up a couple of bars in a 40 second solo, for missing some of the backing vocals or for telling the uninspired audience to get their groove on one time too much and slightly too enthusiastically.

Here are a few words to calm your nerves: we're all new to this stuff at one point. Neither your audience or the owner of the venue expects you to be perfect or great or even good as a live band right off the bat. They expect you to suck but that you'll learn from your mistakes and improve with experience. That's why you're playing your local club on a cheap beer night and not Madison Square Garden, and that's why people don't spend 100 bucks to see you.

And although you never see it on the over-produced blu-rays even people who have been in the business for 40 years screw up from time to time. A friend of mine went to see Judas Priest at one point and they had to stop in the middle of the song to let K.K. tune up. And people were simply laughing it off and having a good time. No one was angry or feeling let down. If that's what you're fearing that's just your mind playing tricks on you.

Look at it this way: live performing and entertainment is a craft like everything else. The first time you sat down with a guitar you sucked and the first time you performed it sucked. That's expected. You need to put in time, learning and reflection to get anywhere. Let it take time and you'll become a better performer and your band will be tighter and gain a reputation.
#4
One of the most important thing I learned is - don't give a shit. That's right. Sounds "wrong" right? But that's what you have to do!

Don't give a shit about people judging you, about you making a mistakes, about anything. That's what causes your fright. Focus only on having fun, whatever that means! You know..."why so serious?"

So first of all, focus on your relaxation and everything else will come with it. It's about having fun and as a result you play good! Not the other way around! You're not gonna miraculously play great and it will make you relax.

You're making mistakes? So fucking what?! We all do! And the truth is - most people don't hear them. I know that "just be cool" is much easier said than done, but try to implement this "don't give a shit" idea into your head

Rise above.
#5
And most importantly: If it's your first few gigs noone will expect anything from you. And honestly most people are not listening that well. And most people are not musicians. And most people drink at gigs.

What I'm saying is you could make a hundred mistakes, and the only one to notice would be the sound guy - who wouldn't care.
#6
Mostly good advice above. I have been playing gigs for 40 years on a regular weekly basis. Whenever I play in a club/bar (whatever) that I have often played at before, everything is great and I don't have any nervous feelings but when my band is playing at a new venue, there is always a little nervous tension. It's a new audience and a new club owner and we want to do well, get the crowd on our side yet stay relaxed and look like pros. That brings on a little bit if nerves and stress. Even after 40 years and a few thousand live gigs it can still happen.

My point is (at least for me) that initial nervous feeling is probably a good thing. It keeps you on your toes and makes you want to play better. Let that nervous energy and the adrenaline rush work for you. If you ever completely lose that feeling, you probably will lose your edge, become complacent and bored and it will show in your playing. After you do it awhile you will not only accept that feeling as natural but look forward to it on some level.

One thing you'll probably hear is from someone is that it might help have a few drinks or smoke something etc. That will only make you paranoid and give your fellow band members a good reason to be mad at you if you major make any mistakes. Enjoy the nervous energy. It's the same in the sports world. Every batter getting up to try to hit a baseball before crowd of 30,000 fans, every basketball player taking a shot that might be a game ender, every quarterback throwing a pass, they all have that feeling but they learn to embrace it and make it work for them.

John Lennon said he got so nervous before the Beatles went on stage at big shows that he would often throw up.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at May 16, 2016,
#7
We've all been there. If you didn't care it wouldn't happen to you and caring is good. We all make mistakes and so do most of the big bands. Just like you I tend to make them at the beginning of the set, as the gig goes on all the practical aspects of playing and entertaining take over and you settle and get better. Most live bands I hear are pretty much like that getting tighter as the evening goes on.

Most experienced bands choose a first song they are really secure with just to settle their nerves. Have a little routine before you go on too, something that calms you down and gives you something to do in the last five minutes. There's nothing worse for nerves than just sitting around winding yourself up and a routine takes your mind away from your worries.

Remember nobody goes to a gig hoping to have a bad time. The audience are on your side. The non musicians in the audience rarely notice a mistake. If you do make a mistake then glare at the drummer, the audience will think it's them Unless you ae the drummer.
#8
Practice. Practice the songs until you know them in and out. Practice until you can play them if someone wakes you up at 3.20am. Practice so much that you can play the songs and hold a conversation while you are playing them. Im also nervous if i play songs that i havent practiced enough, or that i managed to play perfectly only a few times before preforming them live. I guarantee that you are gonna be much more relaxed if you know you played the parts perfectly hundreds of times over before.

Also, practice standing up. Practice how you are gonna move, practice what you are going to say (if you are the frontman). Practice when you are going to take a drink, practice when you are going to tune up. Practice the entire show. The worst thing is when bands go up on stage, play great, and then have an awkward show with a bunch of interuptions for drinking and tuning, and also have no idea what to say between songs.

Knowing what you are suposed to do next, not just playing wise, makes the show go a lot smoother, for everyone. And not only that, it gives you a boost in confidence as well. When you dont know what to do after a song, you are always nervous, thinking "oh shit, what am i gonna do between the songs, fuck, this sucks!". But when you know what happens between one song and the next, you are suddenly in a position of control over the entire show. Even if you mess up your parts, you know you have to do a guitar spin next, so you just put it behind you. And even if you are playing for 4 people, you still put on an awesome show, simply because you know what you have to do, so the "coreography" (kinda a ba expresion, but whatever) forces you to play with energy and enthusiasm.

And of course there is also the "stop giving a shit" thing. If you mess up, 95% of the time nobody is even gonna notice. Hell, at my last show the guitarist broke a string and had to change guitars mid songs. Even i didnt notice, and i was right next to him, and when i talked to peple after the show, everybody was surprised that they didnt really notice. So unless you fuck up majorly, you dont have to worry. This also gets me to the point about having a backup for everything, at least your guitar. Knowing that there is another guitar on stage that you can use if you break a string is also a big confidence boost for me.
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#9
what always works for me when im nervous is only focusing on what im doing and not the crowd. Literally mean focus...vision...kind of how you can focus your vision on a close object and technically everything in the background is blurry. I often would focus my eyes on a point on the stage so the crowd was pretty much just a blur. Eventually I did not need to do that anymore, but it helped me to tune them out when the nerves were kicking in...I also sweat bad when nervous, so I at first I always looked like I just worked out in the Yard lol.