#1
Does anyone here use , or have any experience with the use of Beta Blockers in order to calm nerves before playing on stage?

I used to almost depend on being either drunk or stoned for any performances , but I intend on quitting both of these terrible habbits within the next few months so they will not be an option anymore.

Besides they are not exactly ideal for performing considering I play in 2 progressive rock bands so I need to be as focused as I can and being drunk just makes you sloppier.

I read that 22% of serious Orchestra members take Beta Blockers before an important show.

Thanks to anyone who has any information regarding this subject.
" Nature has given us two ears, two eyes, and but one tongue-to the end that we should hear and see more than we speak. "
- Socrates


Winner of the John Lewis and Cambridgeshire Music young musician Award 2008
#3
beta blockers basically inhibit the nerve pathway that activates a stress response - i.e. racing heart, sweats, high blood pressure and pale appearance.
they work well, but are effective in different people to different degrees - my sister used them prior to tooth extractions, but apparently they did very little.
perhaps consult with a doctor first and see what they suggest.
#4
Quote by MightyAl
You know BB can cause erectile dysfunction, right?


I would not be intending on using a high dosage at all , and the most frequently ive played gigs has been once a week.

I get a boner too easily anyway lol .
" Nature has given us two ears, two eyes, and but one tongue-to the end that we should hear and see more than we speak. "
- Socrates


Winner of the John Lewis and Cambridgeshire Music young musician Award 2008
#5
Wikipedia is our friend, man!

"Improvement of physical symptoms has been demonstrated with beta-blockers such as propranolol; however, these effects are limited to the social anxiety experienced in performance situations." (example- an inexperienced symphony soloist)
#6
Quote by LadyHellraiser
Just play your shows.

You shouldn't need any chemical substances to get through a set.

If you do, then don't perform.


unfortunately some people want to do things that they know they will get nervous about. eventually, beta blockers wont be neccessary as you'll get used to playing in front of people - but at first they may be useful.
#7
Quote by LadyHellraiser
Just play your shows.

You shouldn't need any chemical substances to get through a set.

If you do, then don't perform.


lol terrible incorrect advice , but thanks anyway.

Its not that I cant "get through a set" , its that when im nervous my playing becomes stiff , and I cant just playing fluidly like I normally can.
" Nature has given us two ears, two eyes, and but one tongue-to the end that we should hear and see more than we speak. "
- Socrates


Winner of the John Lewis and Cambridgeshire Music young musician Award 2008
#8
Dude you need to go to rehab or something. Nobody needs drugs in order to play on stage, they just think they do.

Anyway, recent studies on beta blockers show that they might just be placebos IIRC.
#9
Quote by Deagle-Eyes
Wikipedia is our friend, man!


Hi thanks for posting , but ive already read the entire wikipedia article on them , aswell as a discussion from a violin forum.

I was just looking for advice from people who have had first hand experience with them , in a gigging scenario.

(all the people on the violin forum play with orchestra's , which isnt really the same as 4-6 people on stage)
" Nature has given us two ears, two eyes, and but one tongue-to the end that we should hear and see more than we speak. "
- Socrates


Winner of the John Lewis and Cambridgeshire Music young musician Award 2008
#10
i almost took beta blockers for my first project presentation at med school.
sometimes you can surprise yourself and manage without.
#11
Just play your shows and learn how to handle it.
Being concious of your breathing works well, as does massaging the palms of your hands.
Seriously, dealing with nerves is just something that musicians have to do. If you bypass that, then you miss many of the lessons that are so valuable in learning how things work.
#13
Quote by ChillofWinter
I would not be intending on using a high dosage at all , and the most frequently ive played gigs has been once a week.

I get a boner too easily anyway lol .

At any rate, unless your nerves are causing collapse, it's unlikely your doctor will prescribe anything like that. They'll most likely advise you to try an over-the-counter remedy first.
#14
Have a beer or two before a show. You will barely feel the alcohol but it might relax you more, limber you up a bit.

I wouldn't recommend anything else untill after the show. Hell, after the show you can take whatever you want.

RMF


I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.
#15
Quote by yuMayumA
Stop being a puss.


your not helpfull , an I can garuntee that I am ten times less of a pussy than you.

Is it wrong to want to give the BEST PERFORMANCE I possibly can each and everytime?
I strive for perfection , I dont want to be on stage and make a messup of a technical instrumental passage or solo. I just want to be able to play like I can at home , or at a band practise but on stage.

I asked for first hand experience with this , and get a bunch of people insulting me , grow up please. Its not my fault that im very self-concious.
" Nature has given us two ears, two eyes, and but one tongue-to the end that we should hear and see more than we speak. "
- Socrates


Winner of the John Lewis and Cambridgeshire Music young musician Award 2008
#16
Quote by LadyHellraiser
Hey, I go up onstage in front of larger crowds all by my lonesome and you don't see me taking beta blockers. You think I don't get nervous? I don't have a band, I AM the band. And i have enough anxiety within me to make a band of five seem nervous before I play a show.

If you start taking them before you play, you naturally are going to become dependent on them to get you through a show. You don't need beta blockers to go onstage and do a bang up job.


yeah whatever, you know best.
#17
I take beta blockers to ease my hyperhidrosis, and if you do decide to take them i'd recommend talking to your doctor... they can have some pretty gnarly side effects. it's a bitch to get to sleep most nights as i feel like i'm totally wired on caffeine, you can't drink alcohol, you can suffer from hair loss, constipation, fatigue, nightmares, confusion, dry eyes.... the list goes on.
#18
After a while you'll get used to playing on stage and your nerves will hopefully fail.
Try pretending they're not there. You may feel self concious but if you want to be a performing musician you have to deal with it, without the aid of drugs.
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#19
i saw just go with the flow and dont be dependant on them. eventually you'll learn to be loosey goosey on stage
#20
Take Codeine
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#21
Quote by OddOneOut
After a while you'll get used to playing on stage and your nerves will hopefully fail.
Try pretending they're not there. You may feel self concious but if you want to be a performing musician you have to deal with it, without the aid of drugs.


Yeah. I mean, I've never heard of any influential performers who used drugs. It just can't be done.

In all seriousness, you're better off not using them and just coming to terms with your stage fright alone.
I play by my own rules. And I have one rule; There are no rules... but if there are, they're there to be broken. Even this one.


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#22
Am I the only one that absolutely loves a crowd? The bigger the better?

When you go up on stage, if you want a great way to combat your nerves, just remember that you're up there to play for all those poor peons in the seats. They're there to listen to you no matter what, and they're going to love what you play no matter what. If they wanted to listen to you play each song extremely perfect and with precise work, they'd buy an album. They want to see you get ****ING HYPED on stage and have some fun.

tl;dr Focus less on your technical work and more on being bat**** crazy when you play.
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#23
Quote by NotAGuitarHero
Am I the only one that absolutely loves a crowd? The bigger the better?

When you go up on stage, if you want a great way to combat your nerves, just remember that you're up there to play for all those poor peons in the seats. They're there to listen to you no matter what, and they're going to love what you play no matter what. If they wanted to listen to you play each song extremely perfect and with precise work, they'd buy an album. They want to see you get ****ING HYPED on stage and have some fun.

tl;dr Focus less on your technical work and more on being bat**** crazy when you play.


Yes I do absolutely love playing gigs , but that doesnt stop me from ****ting myself when I go on, and I play music where you HAVE to focus on the technical aspect , id rather produce intresting music than play generic crap while looking like a dick... i mean cool.
" Nature has given us two ears, two eyes, and but one tongue-to the end that we should hear and see more than we speak. "
- Socrates


Winner of the John Lewis and Cambridgeshire Music young musician Award 2008
#24
how did you get to be this good at guitar?

practice.

how will you get good at gigging?

practice.

everyone is crap at the beginning but the only way you'll get better on stage is by starting how you intend to carry on. I'm sure you'll have thought that eventually you'd be able to play without booze or drugs, look how well that turned out.

you might as well jump in at the deep end.
Rhythm in Jump. Dancing Close to You.

Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#25
Quote by ChillofWinter
Yes I do absolutely love playing gigs , but that doesnt stop me from ****ting myself when I go on, and I play music where you HAVE to focus on the technical aspect , id rather produce intresting music than play generic crap while looking like a dick... i mean cool.


There's a difference between having fun and looking a like a dick.

What kind of music do you play anyways? I'd imagine anything short of "Melodic Metal Shredding Solos Melting Faces" would allow for a slight margin of error.
Quote by top shelf

I couldn't do it [masturbate] with the cast on however. That's when I dug out my baby sister's stuffed animals and went to town

Quote by Tubyboulin
Is it bad that I imagined you saying that in a really sexy voice?
#26
I am going to the doctor today to ask for beta blockers. I found this thread while researching about beta blockers and performance anxiety. I understand that drugs aren't the answer, but right now it's too late to work on my psychology. I am performing my first concert next weekend and I am freaking about it. I can play well, but even when I get together with my band I get nervous. I hate it. I've tried everything, positive thinking, etc. It just seems when I get in front of people I get freaked and my motor skills seize up. Drugs or alchahol just make me sloppy and mess up. I don't care what everyone says to this, I need something to get me through the show without messing up. Take it or leave it.
#27
Quote by ChillofWinter
Does anyone here use , or have any experience with the use of Beta Blockers in order to calm nerves before playing on stage?

I used to almost depend on being either drunk or stoned for any performances , but I intend on quitting both of these terrible habbits within the next few months so they will not be an option anymore.

Besides they are not exactly ideal for performing considering I play in 2 progressive rock bands so I need to be as focused as I can and being drunk just makes you sloppier.

I read that 22% of serious Orchestra members take Beta Blockers before an important show.

Thanks to anyone who has any information regarding this subject.


Drink some Relentless.

However, being nervous before a show usually brings out the best in me.
#28
Well, I just got a prescription for beta blockers. I just took my first one. I have a rehearsal tonight. I'll let you know how it goes.
#29
Quote by ChillofWinter
lol terrible incorrect advice , but thanks anyway.

Its not that I cant "get through a set" , its that when im nervous my playing becomes stiff , and I cant just playing fluidly like I normally can.


Its not bad advice, just phrased badly, people can perform in whatever state they want, its just they might make themselves look like an idiot, in some cases it goes well but alot of the time it goes the other way and they just mess up completely. But the point remains, its better to not rely on substances to help your performance.
WHOMP

Think of that next time you are not allowed to laugh.
#30
"i want to quit my addictions to alcohol and weed for stage preformance by taking drugs". doesn't sound to great to me

try working out before a show (maybe just quick push ups and situps). it can really help. also, fapping is actually legitimate advice for this
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#32
"Improvement of physical symptoms has been demonstrated with beta-blockers such as propranolol; however, these effects are limited to the social anxiety experienced in performance situations." (example- an inexperienced symphony soloist)


Lol.
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#33
If you are taking them for angina, your chest pain should become less frequent and less severe. If not, you may need a bigger dose, a different type of tablet or a combination of tablets. If you are taking them for high blood pressure, you are not likely to notice any benefit: high blood pressure gives very little, if any, symptoms, anyhow. However, you will be helping reduce the longer-term risk of heart attack or stroke. Some of the most dramatic benefit is seen if you have an overactive thyroid gland. Trembling, sweating and palpitations all get better within a day of starting treatment. Because beta-blockers have effects all over the body, they quite commonly cause side-effects. Many people find cold hands and feet a problem due to reduced blood circulation: this may be reason to stop the drug. Impotence may be a problem in men. If you are a diabetic, you may lose some of the warning symptoms of a low blood sugar level (such as palpitations and trembling). You may need to take special care to avoid your blood sugar falling too low. Asthma can be triggered by beta-blockers of both types: these drugs should not be used if you have asthma or bronchitis. Some people have disturbed sleep and nightmares.

Do not use beta blockers unless told to by a doctor. I have heard of people developing resistance to beta blockers, if you develop a resistance and your heart is damaged you are FUCKED but your life.


Edit some more
Everyone, without exception, must obtain their beta blockers from a physician. It is a violation of federal law in the United States, and many other countries, to give prescription medications to someone other than the person for whom they were prescribed.

Beta blockers are prescription medications for good reason. There are several conditions, such as slow heart rate, bronchial asthma, and heart failure, which can cause serious medical problems, even death, when taking this medication.


and
Beta blockers block the receptors for the physical effects of a person's natural fight or flight response. They are not sedatives, and they can't help anxiety of a purely psychological nature.Blocking beta receptors can cause decreased heart rate; decreased force of heart contractions; bronchoconstriction (can cause asthma attacks in people with asthma); uterine contractions; decreased blood pressure; relief of migraines; and decreased tremor.


tl;dr DON'T DO IT
Last edited by Mitzz at Jun 4, 2009,
#34
Quote by chris21125150
I am going to the doctor today to ask for beta blockers. I found this thread while researching about beta blockers and performance anxiety. I understand that drugs aren't the answer, but right now it's too late to work on my psychology. I am performing my first concert next weekend and I am freaking about it. I can play well, but even when I get together with my band I get nervous. I hate it. I've tried everything, positive thinking, etc. It just seems when I get in front of people I get freaked and my motor skills seize up. Drugs or alchahol just make me sloppy and mess up. I don't care what everyone says to this, I need something to get me through the show without messing up. Take it or leave it.
Do whatever you want, fool. Just know that you'll be missing out on one of the most glorious parts of the on-stage experience. The adrenaline rush is amazing. That weak-in-the-knees feeling your first time out, priceless.

Plus you have the opportunity to grow some balls and work through this.
If you wanna continue to walk around with BBs in your sack, that's cool too.
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#35
Quote by ChillofWinter
lol terrible incorrect advice , but thanks anyway.

Its not that I cant "get through a set" , its that when im nervous my playing becomes stiff , and I cant just playing fluidly like I normally can.


not incorrect, its very correct. if you dont have the balls to perform live your you cant be comfortable without using substances then maybe you need to find something else to do
xxx


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#36
Do whatever you want, fool. Just know that you'll be missing out on one of the most glorious parts of the on-stage experience. The adrenaline rush is amazing.

I'm fine with that. The adrenaline rush isn't something I handle well, it makes my hands shake and I mess up. It's an easy trade off for me. I find it's already helping even with my rehearsal last night. I'm on a really low dose so it's not bad. It could be all in my head that it's helping, but even if it's just a 'placebo' (SP?) reaction, I'm fine with that too. Whatever gets me through the show.