Stage Fright at home

67 goat

Member
Messages
503
Get an acoustic, go to a Bluegrass festival, ask around the parking lot where the beginner's jam circle is. You'll get a chance to learn new songs, new techniques, and the opportunity to play in front of others in a no judgement zone (as long as your acoustic is not an Ovation, then there will be judging).
 
Messages
5,150
If you are trying to learn well known songs, and you're not practicing with other musicians, you might try playing along with a backing track once you've learned the song all the way through. Doing so forces you to play in time, and really tests your complete knowledge of the song.

Once you can do that a few times without making any mistakes, try singing along to the song, even if only singing to yourself in private. After a while, playing the guitar parts becomes somewhat ingrained. (Obviously, I'm not talking about singing while furiously soloing, and some songs can be too complicated to easily sing over.) If the song is too complicated, try just singing backup melodies, or just the verse or chorus, or just humming the vocal parts.

Singing while you're playing different changes and rhythms really builds your guitar skills. Its the difference between shooting at a stationary target, and shooting at a moving target while someone is shooting at you.
 

Evilution

Member
Messages
961
I have been practicing with my Fender Mustang head phones setup for a long time now, I am used to it no one hears me play but me. Yesterday, I played on the amp, and let my wife hear me play some songs I had learned from my Mel Bay Grade 1 book. I was so nervous and worried about what her opinion would be, whether she could recognize the songs or not. I kept making mistakes and had a really hard time focusing and getting my fingers to react correctly and play the song perfectly each time. After about 5 or 6 times through I would get the song about 95% right, so I can do it. How do you guys and girls get yourself to calm down so you can focus on your playing of the guitar??? At the rate I am going I will never ever be able to gig for anyone else, let alone an audience of more than one person at some place. I need help...
For me it has always been more difficult to play in front of just a few people perhaps sitting close by, if the audience is bigger like perhaps in the hundreds it gets much more anonymous and much less intimate so its much easier. You really need to be well rehearsed to pull it off on stage especially if you tend to get nervous and most probably do at least to some extent or at least for a while, if im nervous i tend to be it in the first few minutes of the gig and it almost disapears after that.
 

FLX

Member
Messages
19
It is WAY harder to play for people you know than for total strangers. My first time performing for the rest of the students at the music school I went to was a complete disaster. I decided then and there to play to that same audience as often as possible (wound up being every semester) and graduated with performance honors.

Long story short, just do it! It's fun!
 

CharAznable

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,510
When I first started playing, I immediately got suckered into joining a band. I barely knew 3 chords. My first gig involved forgetting the solo to Smells Like Teen Spirit in front of the entire school.

After experiencing maximum humiliation, it only gets better from there.
 

IAE

Member
Messages
2,635
I can play my own material perfectly but as soon as I hit that record button I turn into Homer Simpson.

Playing live never bothered me, first time I played was just fine.
 
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Al Chapo

Member
Messages
97
Playing to a crowd has never intimidated me, and I've never doubted my abilities. The first time doing a stadium though? I think I got a refresher on my last 3 meals backstage. It was the only band I was playing in at the time where I wasn't singing, and I couldn't have been more thankful!

A wise man once told me of the spotlight effect - and followed it up with "everyone is too busy caught up in their own to give a damn what's going on in yours". That always resonates with me when my mind goes there.
 

jbd3

Please Don't Sell Me Any More Gear
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,941
I have been practicing with my Fender Mustang head phones setup for a long time now, I am used to it no one hears me play but me. Yesterday, I played on the amp, and let my wife hear me play some songs I had learned from my Mel Bay Grade 1 book. I was so nervous and worried about what her opinion would be, whether she could recognize the songs or not. I kept making mistakes and had a really hard time focusing and getting my fingers to react correctly and play the song perfectly each time. After about 5 or 6 times through I would get the song about 95% right, so I can do it. How do you guys and girls get yourself to calm down so you can focus on your playing of the guitar??? At the rate I am going I will never ever be able to gig for anyone else, let alone an audience of more than one person at some place. I need help...

I've played some big gigs and not had any stage fright at all. But the only thing that makes me more self-conscious than playing in a music store in NY/LA/Nashville is when my wife comes home when I'm playing. It's like they're two different kinds of stage fright! Good news is, somehow, it's way easier in front of a bunch of strangers in a club. So, don't worry too much!
 

jbd3

Please Don't Sell Me Any More Gear
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,941
Playing to a crowd has never intimidated me, and I've never doubted my abilities. The first time doing a stadium though? I think I got a refresher on my last 3 meals backstage. It was the only band I was playing in at the time where I wasn't singing, and I couldn't have been more thankful!

A wise man once told me of the spotlight effect - and followed it up with "everyone is too busy caught up in their own to give a damn what's going on in yours". That always resonates with me when my mind goes there.

Unless you have audience members from TGP--they're the most critical audience of all! If they think Jimmy Page and Neil Young suck, what hope do I have??
 

Steadfastly

Member
Messages
4,992
For me, I just had to come to the realization I would let nerves get to me. Letting people know ahead of time helped me calm my nerves so they didn't control me. It's basically teaching myself not to sweat it. I'm not the only, first or last person to make mistakes.
 

Dasherf7

Member
Messages
348
It takes practice and time; everyone who plays in front of people had to work through that at some point.

It's easier if you can play along with other musicians. Doing that has its own kind of stage fright at first, but it greatly helps having each other to maintain focus.
I find the band thing to be true...I don't tend to please myself (worst critic scenario). I let the band thing go in '98 (life happened) and tho I was better then, my bit of playing not in a band has "broken me" over time...nobody's fault but mine...the ideas are there, but the fingers aren't...yet...
Be patient with yourself and keep "woikin'"...(me, too!)
 

jenksdrummer

Member
Messages
384
I have been practicing with my Fender Mustang head phones setup for a long time now, I am used to it no one hears me play but me. Yesterday, I played on the amp, and let my wife hear me play some songs I had learned from my Mel Bay Grade 1 book. I was so nervous and worried about what her opinion would be, whether she could recognize the songs or not. I kept making mistakes and had a really hard time focusing and getting my fingers to react correctly and play the song perfectly each time. After about 5 or 6 times through I would get the song about 95% right, so I can do it. How do you guys and girls get yourself to calm down so you can focus on your playing of the guitar??? At the rate I am going I will never ever be able to gig for anyone else, let alone an audience of more than one person at some place. I need help...
The harshest opinions to hear comes from the ones you value most in your life.

A) People in your inner circles
B) Those that you respect as peers

Everyone else, meh.
 
Messages
25
Post_tests-.jpg


...just kidding, dont sweat the small stuff, just keep playing.

They don’t call it “liquid courage” for nothing.
 

Jeff Gehring

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,409
Got thrown in the deep end, moving from home player only to co-lead guitar in an Allman Bros/Wishbone Ash/etc double lead-centric band a year or two out of high school. Quit gigging in the mid 70s, so I suppose if I was to play out again, I'd need to re-acclimatize. But that's not going to happen, thank goodness.

Now, 'record' lights, there's something scary!
 

jogogonne

Member
Messages
1,778
I also think part of it is personality.

Some people have a lot of ballz and/or don't care what others think.

I've always had 'some'.

But I've played so long and lived with my GF for a few years, she's heard me play everything I know. She gets a free concert that she doesn't want to attend whenever she doesn't want it.
 
Messages
33
I have been practicing with my Fender Mustang head phones setup for a long time now, I am used to it no one hears me play but me. Yesterday, I played on the amp, and let my wife hear me play some songs I had learned from my Mel Bay Grade 1 book. I was so nervous and worried about what her opinion would be, whether she could recognize the songs or not. I kept making mistakes and had a really hard time focusing and getting my fingers to react correctly and play the song perfectly each time. After about 5 or 6 times through I would get the song about 95% right, so I can do it. How do you guys and girls get yourself to calm down so you can focus on your playing of the guitar??? At the rate I am going I will never ever be able to gig for anyone else, let alone an audience of more than one person at some place. I need help...
Since it seems like you consider yourself hopeless, I'll offer you $200 for your guitar collection...NO?!...then I guess you're going to stick with it. Listen, music is about sharing. Sharing within an ensemble and sharing your talent with other people. Those that know you best, are the toughest audience to try to impress. Don't!
They know you, there's no mystique that goes along with your performance. So, you truly are laid-bare in front of your audience. The good news is they already like you, love you, and want to support you and want you to do good. So don't sweat it...Regarding trying to be perfect...don't ever stop playing if you miss a note, keep going or you'll become really good at stopping every time you miss a note. I quote: "Yes, I know I missed a verse, don't worry." - Jimi. Pretty good company;)
 




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