#1
I have played guitar for about 2 years, never took lessons just learned from the net, videos etc. I can improvise solo fairly good which mean that it doesn't sound like **** nor terrific. When i watch a video of some pro playing he looks so relaxed.

Now to my problem. Whenever i ask my gf or some friend to listen to a song i play i totally mess up! When Im alone Im relaxed and I play the song flawless but whenever someone is watching I just play like crap. I really dont understand why. I get nervous and focusing more on the other person than my playing.

So experienced ppl out there how did you get rid of the nervousness? Could you give me some pointers?
Gear:

Epiphone les paul standard
Peavey Bandit 112
Dunlop Cry-Baby
#2
just dont worry about ppl watchin ya - it goes away after a lot of public playin (in the meanwhile you can just get slightly drunk to sharpen your wits but not too much as to slow your co-ordination)
#3
hmm it seems like you know what part of the problem is at least
focusing more on the other person than my playing.


How about starting with an audience of good(s) friend(s) and an easy song. At the beginning just focus a maximum on your playing, ignore your audience.
Once you're okay with that, try peeking out from your imaginary bubble just for a second at a time, and learn to get used to it and enjoy the feeling

Oh and try to pick an occasion where your playing is not like the center of attention, where you don't have any pressure to "perform"
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Last edited by Kroach at Jan 29, 2008,
#4
yeah thats what i do too i play really good when i'm alone but when i'm playing front of someone i will f*** it up
#5
haha, I thought about getting slightly drunk to do that. But I never did and I played a show of at least 300 It was intense, but easy.
My Gear:
Gibson Flying V (active Emg's 81, 85)
Peavey 6505 Amp

Avatar Cab /w Vintage 30's / G12H-30's
Schecter Damien-6
ISP Decimator
Vox Wah Pedal
Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer
Roland Cube 60
#6
just remember, your playing for their enjoyment, not to show off, so when was the last time you were nervous about doing something good for someone?

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/general_music/playing_live_what_to_do_with_the_little_voices_in_your_head.html

maybe not exactly wat ur looking for, but it might help
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#7
every musician has to go through this. it's natural to be nervous when you play infront of people; you just have to develop confidence. you're the one playing, they're watching you. which means that you are doing something at least a little special. there's no easy way to get over this, you just have to keep practicing alone, and keep playing infront of people. Just like getting good at guitar, it takes practice to get good at playing under pressure. keep at it, once you find your comfort zone people will marvel on how you keep your cool.

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#8
Trust me, man: it's nothing serious to be worried about. A large majority of players have an issue to that degree. I don't know if you've ever played in front of an actual crowd, but it's different than a one-on-one playing. When you're in front of a group, you're worried about so many other things, that your mind takes over and you'll usually play better than ever. In that case, your nervousness HELPS.

Now, in the smaller situation, with like your girlfriend, it's just plain nervousness. You're worrying too much about what she's going to think, and not enough about how to play. Playing relaxed can be a mindset as much as it can a facade; fake image of confidence. I know many players who are nowhere near confident with their guitar, but they still play well, because they know they're able to play how they're able to play.

My advice, is to seriously just not worry about it. It can be a hassle, but as you play around her more and more, you'll realize that it'll fade in time. Being a nervous wreck in front of someone like your girlfriend, when you're playing for them, is just natural. Just play, and keep it relatively simple; nothing flashy, no showing off, etc..

Eventually you'll come around. Even I still have issues with playing in front of people, but you just gotta have fun with it.
#9
you think its bad playing in front of people, wait till you want to start playing and singing! thats nerve racking until you get good (or just stop caring) these guys are pretty much right. the best thing you can do is keep playing in front of people and eventually you get used to it and its no big deal.
#10
Quote by Kroach

How about starting with an audience of good(s) friend(s) and an easy song. At the beginning just focus a maximum on your playing, ignore your audience.
Once you're okay with that, try peeking out from your imaginary bubble just for a second at a time, and learn to get used to it and enjoy the feeling

Oh and try to pick an occasion where your playing is not like the center of attention, where you don't have any pressure to "perform"


And don't play infront of pretty girls the first time either...
#11
wow, thank a lot guys, this really helped!
The thing is, when i play alone i can play stuff i never really though i could play, and afterwards i just think; what the hell was that?! So i ask my gf to listen adn then, it's like i hit a wall or something, my finger are not relaxed. It's like my abillities are lowered for a moment.
I really appreciate the advice i got (keep em coming), n I will try to do my best.
Gear:

Epiphone les paul standard
Peavey Bandit 112
Dunlop Cry-Baby
#12
^ its not that your abilities are lowered, its that you're distracted. which if theres a cute chick then thats gonna happen. the idea is to get so good at a song that you don't have to think about it, you just play it. that way you don't have to worry about being distracted.
#13
Quote by _one
wow, thank a lot guys, this really helped!
The thing is, when i play alone i can play stuff i never really though i could play, and afterwards i just think; what the hell was that?! So i ask my gf to listen adn then, it's like i hit a wall or something, my finger are not relaxed. It's like my abillities are lowered for a moment.
I really appreciate the advice i got (keep em coming), n I will try to do my best.


Try playing infront of (or with) a close male friend, as you will not be trying to impress him the same way you would try to impress your girlfriend...
#14
Quote by _one
I have played guitar for about 2 years, never took lessons just learned from the net, videos etc. I can improvise solo fairly good which mean that it doesn't sound like **** nor terrific. When i watch a video of some pro playing he looks so relaxed.

Now to my problem. Whenever i ask my gf or some friend to listen to a song i play i totally mess up! When Im alone Im relaxed and I play the song flawless but whenever someone is watching I just play like crap. I really dont understand why. I get nervous and focusing more on the other person than my playing.

So experienced ppl out there how did you get rid of the nervousness? Could you give me some pointers?


I have that same problem. My friend tells me it goes away, you just have to be comfortable by playing in front of people, and you become comfortable by playing in front of them. I'd just play in front of your gf or family first, then start playing in front of other people.
"Music is my religion." - Jimi Hendrix

Guitars:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
ESP LTD Alexi-600
Ibanez RG3EXFM1

Other Gear:
Carvin V3 amp head
Marshall MG15DFX
Digitech RP250 pedal
#15
Busking is a wonderful cure for this.

The attitude shift:

Stop thinking about what people think of you
instead, think of the music.
(I mean think in the real time sense
#16
"your not a coward for getting nervous
its not about fear
its about managing that fear is what makes a man."

i qoute that from my football and wrestling coach

i think about that all the time when im doing something that makes me nervous and usually after the begining of the even like a game or a match it goes away so just somethin to think about
i think if u jump around and have fun and practice that way it will build confidence and might help get that nervousness out
#17
Nervousness is completely normal at first. You just need experience with having to perform instead of just play. What I've done before that seemed to help me is trying to record myself playing. I try to get a mistake free take down and that puts similar pressure on me as someone watching. In my case at least, experience at this seemed to be the equivalent to experience performing in front of someone.
#19
well, this was very helpful. I actually tries to record myself playing and i have to say I got pretty dman nervous. But I will practice this! Thanx guys!
Gear:

Epiphone les paul standard
Peavey Bandit 112
Dunlop Cry-Baby
#20
"Courage doesn't mean that you're not afraid, Courage is being afraid and doing it anyway."
#21
everyone here has good advice for dealing with your nerves. now, here's the other side of it. tell your g/f that you care SOOOOOOO much for her opinion and that she matters SOOOOO much to you that it gets in the way of being able to concentrate. from that point everything you do will sound good to her no matter what.
\m/(>_<\m/
ROCK ON!!


Fender Stratocaster Standard
Fender Twin Reverb II 105 Watts
Takamine EG-330 cutaway elec/acoustic
Ibanez Demon Wah Pedal
Various Effect Pedals
#22
First time I played for my girlfriend I was nervous as hell so I played the easiest song I knew, Enter Sandman... She thought that was awesome and that gave me the confidence to go on and play tougher songs in front of more people.
So basically, start with something you know you won't mess up.
Gear List:
B.C. Rich NT Jr. V (With Seymour Duncan AHB-1 Blackout in bridge)
Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff
Marshall MG15DFX
Jazz III picks
DR strings
Planet Waves Cables
#24
Quote by Peaceful Rocker
i enjoy playing infront of people, once you're creating music how can you not?


I do enjoy but like i said...i **** up. Though i start to get a hang of it =)
Gear:

Epiphone les paul standard
Peavey Bandit 112
Dunlop Cry-Baby