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Author Topic: Stage Fright  (Read 3408 times)
strawintogold
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« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2009, 12:31:17 PM »

good times...good times...


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« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2009, 01:10:26 PM »

I don't play guitar in public.  I used to when I was a student and had copious substances in my blood stream to dull my grip on reality.  I look back with embarrassment at how I must have sounded and looked!!  However, I did used to play golf to a high standard, and definitely found adrenaline to be a good thing, at the right time.  However, adrenaline/stage fright on the first tee is a bad thing.  I found that practice drills prior to starting the round that put me personally under pressure helped.  A lot of professional golfers do it.  For example, hole 100 practice putts from 3 feet in a row.  When you get to 95 the pressure becomes pretty genuine, believe me!!!  Something similar may be transferrable to guitar.  Maybe play something that really challenges your ability when practicing immediately beforehand, and get the frame of mind right.  Going on stage cold to anything is a recipe for disaster in my opinion, whether it is sports, music, public speaking or whatever.  A suitable method of preperation is essential to begin a performance on the right foot.
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« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2009, 01:36:41 PM »

it is what it is?
I keep hearing (several times a day) people say this. what the heck does this mean?

The first person to utter the phase was Jimmy Williams, baseball manager, at the time for the Boston Red Sox.  The Boston sports media talked about it constantly after he said it and it's turned into an everyday phrase that like most everyday phrases...doesn't quite say much of anything but people say them all the time.   I'm guilty of using this one on occasion, and I'm not proud of it.

As far as stage fright.... Numbr5 has some excellent comments that I can identify a lot with.  Mostly play like you a are playing for yourself and enjoy it for yourself, then let the audience experience it too.  Nobody's perfect.
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« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2009, 07:50:07 PM »

it is what it is?
I keep hearing (several times a day) people say this. what the heck does this mean?

 Nothing's worse than describing every little thing as "amazing."  You can't see 10 minutes of TV without hearing that word from some hollywood moron.  As for "it is what it is."  I meant that.  I know because I don't think I've never used the phrase before in my life.  I just meant that it's very common, very understandable and legitimate. 
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canoe65
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« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2009, 07:57:24 PM »

All of the above posts have been very informative and helpful to me.  Maybe there is some truth in the statement, "Misery Likes Company" .

Like many, many others, I often experience 'stage fright' and 'performance anxiety' when playing in front of any audience.  It's worse when I am playing alone ... and not so bad when there are other musicians / performers playing at the same time.

I have tried to identify just why I get like that, and the best I have been able to do is identify a variety of factors that may (or may not) be present that may result in my 'stage fright'.  Most of which you have all identified also.

But when you look at 'stage fright' from a different perspective ... you have 'stage fright' because you CARE about what is about to happen and what your contribution is going to be in that event.

Some years ago there was a hockey goal tender named Glenn Hall, who played for the Chicago Blackhawks.  He used to get so nervous before each game that he'd become nauseas, and he would regularly be sick before he first could go on the ice.  I would think that Glenn's 'stage fright' may have been connected with his 'caring' about the team's performance ... Glenn Hall is now in the Hockey Hall of Fame as one of the greatest players who ever played in his sport.    



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« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2009, 08:38:43 PM »

Nothing's worse than describing every little thing as "amazing."  You can't see 10 minutes of TV without hearing that word from some hollywood moron.  As for "it is what it is."  I meant that.  I know because I don't think I've never used the phrase before in my life.  I just meant that it's very common, very understandable and legitimate. 
OK. I'm down widdat.
as to "amazing", I can dig it. that word is totally awesome...

...dude.
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« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2009, 10:02:05 PM »

For example, hole 100 practice putts from 3 feet in a row.  When you get to 95 the pressure becomes pretty genuine, believe me!!!   

OMG,  100 practice putts? I know people that would have to get to the golf course 8 hours early to have time for that.  You know the kind that look at it for 3 minutes and then stand over it like they turned to stone for thirty seconds before they pull the trigger, only to miss and start the process all over again.   AAAARRGGGG
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« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2009, 11:13:35 PM »

I have been entertaining...well, maybe "performing" would be a better word...for more than 55 years and I still get nervous before a performance. I've tried every trick you can think of and the one that works the best for me is prayer and meditation. I once heard that you should imagine the audience as sitting out there naked and if that don't work put their clothes back on. 
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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2009, 04:33:09 AM »

The more you do it, the more comfortable you will become with it. You already know that you're not going to nail it every time. No one does. I've seen big names performing that step on themselves. Realizing that you will never be perfect really helped me a lot. Now I try as hard as I can, but don't beat myself up if I fall short.

Sometimes, it's the recovery that counts. The worst thing to do is to stop. The second worse thing to do is to continue out of key. If you can keep a syncopated strum going with dampened strings until the chord progression comes to you, I find a lot of people won't even notice. As well, practice NOT looking at others if they lose it. Hopefully they'll return the favor when it happens to you.
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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2009, 06:30:28 AM »

Dave they say little bit of nerves are good for you that is how the phrase came about .Break a leg. I find the more open mics and playing in front of people you do this will slowly go away.Just have fun and laugh at your self. I have had nights where things did not go right and other nights you get in a zone and rock the place. The main thing is you are up there doing it because there alot of people who cant even get up there.
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2009, 05:32:50 PM »



Submitted for your consideration......

Song;  Stage Fright
Lyrics by Robbie Robertson
Recorded by The Band

                                       My brow is sweatin' and mouth gets dry 
                                       Fancy people go driftin' by
                                      The moment of truth is right at hand
                                       Just one more nightmare you can stand

                                       See the man with the stage fright
                                       Just standin' up there to give it all his might
                                       And he got caught up in the spotlight
                                       But when he gets to the end
                                       He wanna start all over again

Stage Fright.  It's natural for everone to experience it.  Only way to overcome it is to just get up there and do it.  Don't underestimate the empathy factor..... the audience is pulling for you to do well and they are willing to overlook minor mistakes without a thought.  They want to be a part of something special that you are trying to do and they'll give you support if you let them.

Tuffythepug
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« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2009, 05:36:08 PM »


Submitted for your consideration......

Song;  Stage Fright
Lyrics by Robbie Robertson
Recorded by The Band

                                       My brow is sweatin' and mouth gets dry 
                                       Fancy people go driftin' by
                                      The moment of truth is right at hand
                                       Just one more nightmare you can stand

                                       See the man with the stage fright
                                       Just standin' up there to give it all his might
                                       And he got caught up in the spotlight
                                       But when he gets to the end
                                       He wanna start all over again

Stage Fright.  It's natural for everone to experience it.  Only way to overcome it is to just get up there and do it.  Don't underestimate the empathy factor..... the audience is pulling for you to do well and they are willing to overlook minor mistakes without a thought.  They want to be a part of something special that you are trying to do and they'll give you support if you let them.

Tuffythepug
great tune.
great BAND.
and as to your comment beneath the lyrics, you are correct of course, and for those of us who have stage fright we have to keep reminding ourselves of this.
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2009, 09:13:56 PM »

Queequeg
I don't mean to over-simplify it.   I'm just as terrified as the next guy;  maybe more so.    I think that some classes I took in school long ago were a real help to me.  Speech, debate, and drama courses are great for getting rid of the butterflies in the stomach to a degree.  I don't mind giving a speech or a presentation in front of a crowded house but I get terrified If I have to play and sing in front of more than 5 or 6 people.  I don't quite have the confidence built up yet.

Tuffythepug
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« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2009, 10:25:11 PM »

A little is good. I keep this in mind as sort of a mantra: Be the seer...not the seen. To me that means I look at the audience as an individual and it tends to deflect self consciousness. Also waiting to go on and having the "imaginaries" is the worst part. Once the music starts I try to get tranced. Don't always work but I find my comfort zone pretty quickly most times. Otis
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« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2009, 04:29:21 AM »

I read all of the suggestions with interest, and I think some of them might help me.

I have such bad stage fright that my hands tremble uncontrollably, at which point I can't find the strings and I pretty much have to stop abruptly.  This only happens when playing the piano or guitar in front of people I don't know.  To make matters worse, it happens pretty much without warning, i.e. I'm playing fine and then suddenly, I hit a wall.  I have had this problem pretty much my entire life, e.g. in college recitals my professors used to have to sit behind a screen, otherwise I completely shut down.

This stage fright only happens when playing an instrument.   I have no problem with public speaking regardless of crowd size, venue, level of preparation, etc.  I really enjoy public speaking, in fact, so it's not "being in front of people" that freaks me out, it's "playing in front of people" that freaks me out.

Again, thanks for the suggestions.
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« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2009, 07:25:00 AM »

NotConvicted

I think your symptoms are perhaps a little more severe than "standard" stagefright (whatever that is)
I doubt if any advice we could try and pass on would be of much help to you.  Sounds like it's pretty persistent and might require some professional guidance to sort it out.  Self-hypnosis techniques have long been believed to be of some benefit but I've also heard that hypnosis is bunk so who am I to say ?
From the way you describe the loss of control of your hands on your guitar and the shaking I don't think I'd want to subject myself to that:  hats off to you for even trying.  I hope someone can be of help to you in overcoming this problem.

Tuffythepug
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« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2009, 01:13:03 PM »

Playing in a jam or song circle with a small group may help. Find a friend to jam with at home until you're comfortable. Then go out to a larger jam or invite a few more friends over to the house to expand the group. When playing with others, you'll come to realize everyone makes mistakes and everyone still has fun and keeps going. Have a non-playing friend join to sing along... thats an audience.
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strawintogold
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« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2009, 02:37:06 PM »

I read all of the suggestions with interest, and I think some of them might help me.

I have such bad stage fright that my hands tremble uncontrollably, at which point I can't find the strings and I pretty much have to stop abruptly.  This only happens when playing the piano or guitar in front of people I don't know.  To make matters worse, it happens pretty much without warning, i.e. I'm playing fine and then suddenly, I hit a wall.  I have had this problem pretty much my entire life, e.g. in college recitals my professors used to have to sit behind a screen, otherwise I completely shut down.

This stage fright only happens when playing an instrument.   I have no problem with public speaking regardless of crowd size, venue, level of preparation, etc.  I really enjoy public speaking, in fact, so it's not "being in front of people" that freaks me out, it's "playing in front of people" that freaks me out.

Again, thanks for the suggestions.

Yep, thats me. In a nutshell, so to speak. Have you tired a beta blocker or 10 mg's of Xanax?

holly
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« Reply #38 on: March 13, 2009, 06:49:04 PM »

Yep, thats me. In a nutshell, so to speak. Have you tired a beta blocker or 10 mg's of Xanax?

holly

5 mgs help me. I used to have really bad stage fright and I'll tell you what works for me. If I can have someone do or say something funny, or if I do or say something funny before I start, I find that it is much easier to perform.

What scares me most is a roomful of somber looking people who act as though they have never smiled and certainly don't intend to any time soon.

Also, as mentioned, involve the audience...they love it.

My pet peeve word is "viable".
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« Reply #39 on: March 13, 2009, 09:12:20 PM »

Whenever I get in front of a roomful of somber looking people who act as though they have never smiled and certainly don't intend to any time soon, I give them George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television" routine. Works every time!
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