#1
So I have a bit of a problem. Whenever I'm playing by myself, I can play fine (i.e. not great, but it's not too bad), but as soon as I get together with the band or play in front of other people I just tense up and my technique falls apart. It doesn't really matter if I'm just playing power chords or whatever, but as soon as I try to play leads it just sounds awful.

I suppose it's because I'm nervous, but I don't really feel that way because I know I can play the stuff, I just always screw up at practice or performing. Anyone have any idea how I can make this stop happening?
#2
Ignore the audience in your head. I go into my own little "zone," and I'm cool as can be. My body is still nervous...aka, I shake during the first 2-5 minutes of a set, but it's all good. But my head is totally clear, so I don't really mess up the playing or anything.

Just be calm! Don't try to be an attention ***** first off, just be concerned with having fun and playing LOUD!

Hey guys! I just started playing electric guitar should I get a Gabson Lay Pall or a Femdor Startokaster. I like the picks on the gabsons but i like how sweet femdors look. Beforre i get a gabson what company makes them?
#3
just relax, everyone that your infrount of has so much crap going on. noone is actually paying attention to you, mite as will be playing alone in your room. thats what i tell myself to keep from completly falling apart infrount of people anyway
#4
I often make the mistake of over-complicating my solo stuff. Nerves are always a factor for me and so I often end up repeating the same sort of phrases and using the same techniques.

Keep it simple and I think you'll find better ideas come to mind, and you're be able to carry them out with ease.
#5
i have the opposite..i screw up when practising but when i have an audience its perfect ( most of the time )

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#6
The worst thing you can do to not screw up is focusing really hard on not screwing up. You will basically make yourself more tense and more prone to mistakes. A few mistakes should be assumed, but the best way to get by not screwing up is just to practice a lot before hand and just performing more and more often.
#8
Yeah the more you do it the better you get. Also when you practice with the band, practice in the same sort of positions you play live in so you get used to the setup and everything.
Gretsch 5120
Marshall TSL60/1936 Cab (2x12 Celestion)
Pedal Train:
Vox Wah / Boss TU2 / Ibanez TS9 / Boss GE7 EQ / Boss NS2 / Line 6 DL4

Proud owner of possibly the only good Fender acoustic...
#9
Start your set with something super easy, but at the same time cool sounding. That way the crowd gets into it, you get confident and relaxed, but your odds of screwing up are slim-to-none.
#11
The way I like to think of it is that the crowd came to see YOU! You didn't come to see them, they came to see you. And if they came to see you, then what do you have to worry about? They want you, and you're giving it to them.
#12
Quote by bananaboy
Start your set with something super easy, but at the same time cool sounding. That way the crowd gets into it, you get confident and relaxed, but your odds of screwing up are slim-to-none.


+1
I always write out the set list for my band, and I have the same problem, so I start out with out easiest, song. After the first song I'm usally not nervous anymore.
Quote by fob12
Him -"Hey, give me a high five!"
Her -"hahaha why? *high fives*"
Him - "Because I just dumped you for the lulz!"
Her -"... what?"
Him -"*runs away*"


Quote by Lefty7Stringer
killswitch engage has some dissonant riffs, they're kind grindcore tho

#13
It takes time. Some people are born with the ability to not be nervous, I aparently was haha.
But to help myself an extra bit, before a show, I grab some of my band members and we go outside and jump around to get pumped up. Me being the lead singer/lead guitar I drink an energy drink like an hour before, and drink only water right before so it doesnt mess up my voice.

The first song will always be weird though, but weird doesnt mean you'll be nervous or mess up.
Quote by BigFatSandwich
it took you 15 consecutive hours of practice to realize that playing guitar makes you better at playing guitar. congratulations.


Quote by snowbert
SMOKE UN-DER WATER!!!


#14
Quote by markisouvlaki
So I have a bit of a problem. Whenever I'm playing by myself, I can play fine (i.e. not great, but it's not too bad), but as soon as I get together with the band or play in front of other people I just tense up and my technique falls apart. It doesn't really matter if I'm just playing power chords or whatever, but as soon as I try to play leads it just sounds awful.

I suppose it's because I'm nervous, but I don't really feel that way because I know I can play the stuff, I just always screw up at practice or performing. Anyone have any idea how I can make this stop happening?

Don't worry little Souvy, just bust out Back In Black.
#16
Quote by PaulTheVillan
Get drunk and enjoy it


Getting drunk doesn't make anything better. You loose focus and play more sloppy. Drunk musicians doesn't notice their own mistakes. So getting drunk is a bad idea :P


I don't have any new tips for you, other than NOT getting drunk =)
C4C
Please check out some of my original music and leave me a comment @ SoundCloud
(or in my profile!)

Progressive|Thrash|Math|Metal
#18
i am like u man, i get well nervous, ive just thought, if ur gonna be playing solos then u should maybe face the other way like towards ur drummer for a bit to get used to the audience being there. ohh and i get worried that ill drop my pick grr lol. thts not good at all and very embarrassing!
#19
Quote by guitaristben
i am like u man, i get well nervous, ive just thought, if ur gonna be playing solos then u should maybe face the other way like towards ur drummer for a bit to get used to the audience being there. ohh and i get worried that ill drop my pick grr lol. thts not good at all and very embarrassing!


that happens quite often to me
i just keep playing with my fingernail,, usually works fine,, until you reach a solo, then it gets more difficult, but hey,, you don't really have a choice!
My Gear:
Guitars:
OLP guitar,
Washburn X-12,
Amps:
Marshall MG15CD,
Marshall MG Microstack,
Behringer GMX212,
Pedals:
Digitech RP80
#20
Quote by DerekDudage
The way I like to think of it is that the crowd came to see YOU! You didn't come to see them, they came to see you. And if they came to see you, then what do you have to worry about? They want you, and you're giving it to them.


That could backfire...some people might freak out thinking "they came to see me?! i better not mess up!"

Good advice, though, dude, that's the way I do it.
#21
Quote by Mikeizzle
man i have the same problem, good thread idea.

mine is more with other guitarists, they seem to judge more, causing my nervousness causing ****-ups.


You will never please other guitarists. EVER. Don't try its impossible, we all sit and nit pick and bitch and say how weak the guitar player on stage is. If its a talented guitar player (or mature guitar player) as long as you don't be a douche they will appreciate your talent and drive.
As far as being nervous, just remember that you're into this to have fun! have fun, don't worry about other people, you will be judged no matter what .
#22
Quote by Earang
that happens quite often to me
i just keep playing with my fingernail,, usually works fine,, until you reach a solo, then it gets more difficult, but hey,, you don't really have a choice!


If you have a Strat or similar guitar you can usually wedge some picks under the pickguard. Makes you look like a pro AND you don't lose picks as easily.
#23
Quote by Earang
that happens quite often to me
i just keep playing with my fingernail,, usually works fine,, until you reach a solo, then it gets more difficult, but hey,, you don't really have a choice!


I always keep picks in my pocket or w/e place I can think to put them just incase.
Quote by BigFatSandwich
it took you 15 consecutive hours of practice to realize that playing guitar makes you better at playing guitar. congratulations.


Quote by snowbert
SMOKE UN-DER WATER!!!


#24
Get drunk and enjoy it


If you write and rehearse drunk then there is no problem


Bad idea, and really bad idea. If you actually believe that you wouldn't last 2 days with me. Getting drunk makes you play worse, much worse. I've fired musicians for getting drunk onstage and making the entire band sound like crap. I've seen a lot of good bands sound terrible after two sets because everybody onstage was sucking on a beer between songs. 3 beers and you don't play well any more. 4 and you won't be in my band any more. Show up for practice drinking once, you get a warning. Twice you're fired. Period. Ditto for onstage. Play now, party later is my motto. All it takes is one guy drunk and screwing up and the whole band sounds bad.

Want to see it for yourself? Write down this sentence, sober:

I can still play good when I drink.

Sign it.

Drink a beer. Write it down again. Sign it. Drink another. Repeat till you pass out or get as drunk as you want, whichever comes first.

Look at it the next day and see how many beers it takes until you can't read your own signature any more. My guess is 4, maybe 5. If you can't write your own name, you think you can play? Not a chance. I say get the whole band in on it, have them all do the same. It's quite an eye opener.

Better yet, record yourself sober, then the same song drunk. Sit back and listen. I don't have to ask which one sounds like crap.

Thread starter:

What I usually try to do is make sure the first 3 songs are always the same ones, and good but fairly simple songs everyone can play without thinking about it. Forget the audience, focus on playing and getting the bugs out of the sound, getting yourself loosened up and relaxed. The more you play live the easier it will be. I rarely have any trouble, but I do it this way because a lot of other people do get butterflies, stage fright, so it gives them a chance to start off simple and not have to struggle to play difficult pieces right out of the gate.

If you drink at all, which I strongly recommend against, drink ONE ONLY. That's it for the night, ONE beer or mixed drink. You can still play but will relax a bit easier. After two you start playing sloppy. I don't drink at all, so I've seen this many times. I'm usually the only person onstage who doesn't drink, I see them get sloppy after two beers night after night and people usually refuse to admit it. But two beers and you're playing IS sloppy, I guarantee it. After that it goes downhill all night till I'm disgusted and don't want to be there any more, the band sounds like crap. I usually don't stay in a band like that very long, I really don't want to be known as a member of a crummy band just because everyone else is drunk.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Last edited by Paleo Pete at Nov 23, 2007,
#25
^The general rule of thumb among musicians is usualy one beer when you've set your gear up, then if you're still nervous, another just before going on.
Obviously this all depends on a few variables, f'rinstance, how much time you have between setting up and going on and how much you drink normaly. If you don't drink at all then this is obviously a ludicrus idea, if you only drink a little or haven't been drinking very long, just stick to the one beer about an hour befor the gig.
The best way to get over this problem of nervousness is to practice in front of people. Invite folks along, to your rehearsals, the more the merrier (up to a point of course) and maybe even supply them with a couple of beers while they sit and watch. (hey, if it helps your problem, it's worth spending money on, besides, how else do you attract people to your rehearsals) Then eventualy, when you play gigs, they'll just seem like another practice session.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Nov 23, 2007,
#26
Practice playing whilst standing, it feels very different so make sure you are competent playing parts standing up?
Quote by The Spoon
i wasnt wikipediaing blow job okay, it just happened


Quote by primusfan

one time i fucked a sofa.


Quote by Draken
Freedom of speach?

on a private website?

Based in Russia?

i'm sorry comrade, but you fail.
#27
I have the same problem and I'm a drummer. During my first gig, our practices were good, but when I got onstage I messed up so much. I even dropped my drumstick in the middle of one of the songs (I only had one pair) and looked like an idiot when I had to actually get out of the seat to pick it up. Luckily there were only about 10 people there (most being the band's family)

However the second gig (that same week as the first one) was a bit better, the only part that messed up was one of my drums started to move a bit because I forgot to tighten one of the wing nut, but I fixed it after the song, and it didn't affect the music.

I recently played another gig at church, I screwed up there I don't know what happened but I lost the beat near the end of the song, but we recovered and from what I heard it wasn't noticeable.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I have this problem..I just have a tendency to screw up live when it really matters, but during practices I do alright. Maybe it's just the nerves?
Last edited by OpposingForce at Nov 27, 2007,
#28
Quote by OpposingForce
Anyway, I'm not sure why I have this problem..I just have a tendency to screw up live when it really matters, but during practices I do alright. Maybe it's just the nerves?


That happens to me, but during recording...during practice and shows, I'm amazing, but as soon as they hit 'Record', it's like I was just beaten with a rake...
#29
get really, really drunk.
MIA 1979 Fender Strat
Epi LP Standard
Squier Strat


Tanglewood

Laney TF300
Fender Frontman 15G

Zoom G1
#30
uh..... no drinking, especially if you're just getting used to the songs and the set

your inefficiency in playing is probably caused by stage fright and worrying about messing up (mine was) the best thing you can do is start playing in front of people. friends, family, anyone who will listen. i play acoustic songs up at my local karaoke bar (when other people karaoke i'll just grab the guitar and sit down and play instead of karaoking to pre-recorded music, i seem to get a better response) keep playing in front of people until you adopt the f#ckit attitude. eventually you'll get to the point where when you make a mistake you won't care and you'll keep going and i've noticed that the less you care about making a mistake, the less prone you are to make them. and to reiterate

DON'T GET DRUNK, IT DOES NOT HELP, IT ONLY MAKES IT WORSE
(there are some addendum rules to this, but i'm assuming you're not 21 so these aren't applicable to you regardless)

peace out and good luck to ya.
#31
Quote by Earang
that happens quite often to me
i just keep playing with my fingernail,, usually works fine,, until you reach a solo, then it gets more difficult, but hey,, you don't really have a choice!


Easy solution to this is to stick a spare pick to your guitar with blu tac, although you not want to ruin the finish on your beloved guitar .
#32
Quote by Earang
that happens quite often to me
i just keep playing with my fingernail,, usually works fine,, until you reach a solo, then it gets more difficult, but hey,, you don't really have a choice!



that's why it's good to double-sided tape your pick to your guitar body or headstock for quick removal when you drop one
07' Gibson LIMITED EDITION Classic w/Emg's (replaced with Blackouts)
Jackson RR3
Peavey 6505+ Head
Avatar G212 (Hellatone 60L's)
CryBaby
Ibanez TS9DX Tube Screamer
ISP DECIMATOR
MXR-10 EQ

www.myspace.com/dispozal
#34
nuh-uhhh.

do not get drunk.

worst thing you could possibly do.

if i've got a solo coming i just turn towards my amp instead of the crowd, you don't look like a total twat because it looks like you're checking settings.

got me through my first few shows.
#35
NEVER RELAX.

I'm not kidding.

You, along with your band, has to be THE LEAST bit pumped up before taking the stage. Make sound check fun and use that to release your nerves. Remember that your bandmates have the same amount of "pressure" on them as you do, so why not take initiative and loosen them up? It's easy for some people, hard for others, but the important thing is to play every show like it's your last, and make it clear (don't bluntly say it, that's retarded) that you love music with a passion.
#36
Quote by ChurchNSkate
Ignore the audience in your head. I go into my own little "zone," and I'm cool as can be. My body is still nervous...aka, I shake during the first 2-5 minutes of a set, but it's all good. But my head is totally clear, so I don't really mess up the playing or anything.

Just be calm! Don't try to be an attention ***** first off, just be concerned with having fun and playing LOUD!



+1
And a suggestion if your still neverous for the first couple of minutes of your set, play one of your easier songs, but make sure it's still a good one, and one that the majority of the audience will like so that they get into u guys. Trust me, when the audience is into it, your job becomes A LOT easier. If they just kind of stand there and listen it just makes you feel awkward and out of place.

Think of it as a conversation. If you and your bandmates are energetic then the crowd is more likely to be energetic and respond. Like in a conversation, if you say something interesting then the person your talking to is most likely to respond with something good to say back.

Make sure your into it, make sure your bandmates are into it, and make sure your audience is into it and your job will be easier.