Stage fright

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Dekselsedek
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Dekselsedek » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:30 pm

a banana and two shots of wodka :wink:

Lawler
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Lawler » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:01 pm

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:I think that it needs to be acknowledged that there is a spectrum of degrees of stage fright.
Definitely. Also a spectrum of types of stages.

Lawler
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Lawler » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:15 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:Some amazing guitarists and musicians have mostly given up the stage because of anxiety... Jose Tomas...
I performed in one of his masterclasses. During the class he had a uniquely beautiful sound and sense of expression in his playing. Everything he played sounded easy, natural, intelligent, rich. He played a lot during the class, demonstrating musical ideas. His verbal teaching skill had similar qualities. He played a recital after the class was over and, sadly, it was like a different person was playing... tense, uncomfortable.

Adrian Allan
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Adrian Allan » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:46 pm

According to an interview I once read with Manuel Barrueco, he had nerves to an extreme degree, but he managed to overcome them in his career.

Jose Thomas is an interesting example of one of the world's most respected teachers who rarely performed live and only produced one LP, I think.

I also had a teacher who was one of the best players of his generation and was taught by Julian Bream, no less. I once asked Julian Bream after a concert about my teacher and he remembered him well as being a great player, and passed on his good wishes etc. However, the teacher in question decided to opt out of playing as he could not deal with the nerves and the pressure. I saw him a few years ago and he was still teaching groups of young kids for Stockport Music Service.

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:26 am

Lawler wrote:
Rick Beauregard wrote:Some amazing guitarists and musicians have mostly given up the stage because of anxiety... Jose Tomas...
I performed in one of his masterclasses. During the class he had a uniquely beautiful sound and sense of expression in his playing. Everything he played sounded easy, natural, intelligent, rich. He played a lot during the class, demonstrating musical ideas. His verbal teaching skill had similar qualities. He played a recital after the class was over and, sadly, it was like a different person was playing... tense, uncomfortable.
You're very fortunate. My teacher also studied with him.

So this supports an earlier comment. Sometimes it's not about preparation.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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lucy
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Re: Stage fright

Post by lucy » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:47 am

Another player who has suffered from performance anxiety is David Leisner. Apparently, this problem developed some way into his career, so he sat down and analysed what was going on. It resulted in this article: Six Golden Rules for Conquering Performance Anxiety. Worth a read!

http://davidleisner.com/six-golden-rule ... e-anxiety/
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. Theodore Roosevelt

rg.2714
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Re: Stage fright

Post by rg.2714 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:51 pm

cedartop wrote:I think for most people, the biggest fear is probably that not that you will make a mistake, or not play as musically as you wish, but that you will forget where you are and have to stop the piece. .

God that has happened to me... I was having trouble in the rekhins prelude and fugue no 6 in Dm .. I have my music 90% memorized but I always have my sheetmusic as a safety net. I started playing the prelude and everything was fine but once the fugue started it all fell apart cuz there was very low lighting and I got nervous and completely forgot what I was doing and had to end it abruptly :( ever since that day I fear playing it lol but I'm proud to say I started working on it again and it all seems to be going much better now. Let's see how it goes next time I play it in public.

robert e
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Re: Stage fright

Post by robert e » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:27 pm

Smudger5150 wrote:Topic also reminds me of a Frasier TV episode regarding performance anxiety.
The extract I'm thinking of went like this:-

Bulldog: .....It's me I'm worried about,
I've got some serious butterflies going here.
Frasier: Bulldog, you're on the radio all the time.
Bulldog: Yeah, but that's me being me. This is acting, it's scary.
Frasier: Listen, that's all part of the thrill of the live performance.
Butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, scratchy throat,
pounding heart! I suppose you have all of those?
Bulldog: I do now!
Thanks for the laugh!

That bit reminded me of one of several strategies in The Inner Game of Music for dealing with performance anxiety, which is to acknowledge and observe your own physical reactions (the butterflies, sweaty palms, etc.). If I recall, there were a couple of rationales: diverting one's attention from the imaginary scenarios that caused the anxiety reduces the anxiety, and familiarizing oneself with the phenomena of stage fright makes it less of a catastrophe in itself, and more a condition that one can systematically learn to cope with, like playing with a cold.

Another strategy from the book--there's much more to musical performance than simply hitting the right notes in the right order, just as there's more to an actor's performance than pronouncing every syllable in the right order. Most of us enjoy a heartfelt musical performance with some mistakes far more than a clinically perfect display of technique, and the people in the audience are no different. They're there for the music, not the notes. And they're rooting for you--the better your experience, the better theirs, and vice versa. I'm conflating Barry Green with Benjamin Zander, but they teach essentially the same thing: When the mind is preoccupied with the emotional and intellectual content that we're trying to communicate with the language of music (and which we've diligently considered and refined as part of our preparation), there's less room for the anxiety to expand into.

I think I read once that John Duarte suffered from performance anxiety. He was fine playing in jazz ensembles, whether on guitar, bass or trumpet, but disliked being alone on stage.

Swin
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Swin » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:49 pm

lucy wrote:Another player who has suffered from performance anxiety is David Leisner. Apparently, this problem developed some way into his career, so he sat down and analysed what was going on. It resulted in this article: Six Golden Rules for Conquering Performance Anxiety. Worth a read!

http://davidleisner.com/six-golden-rule ... e-anxiety/
Rule #4 was my favorite. Be in the giving mode, not in the receiving. Excellent advice for more than just playing guitar. Thanks for sharing!

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:52 pm

lucy wrote:Another player who has suffered from performance anxiety is David Leisner. Apparently, this problem developed some way into his career, so he sat down and analysed what was going on. It resulted in this article: Six Golden Rules for Conquering Performance Anxiety. Worth a read!

http://davidleisner.com/six-golden-rule ... e-anxiety/
Thanks for sharing this Lucy. I also read Noa Kagayama's blog. He's a violinist/performance psychologist. His take aways are very science based and well researched.
http://www.bulletproofmusician.com/about/

It doesn't help that most of our audiences are comprised of mostly other CG'ers (but that's he subject for another post viewtopic.php?f=1&t=111054). It's hard when playing at the local society meeting to not think everyone is evaluating every note and fingering choice. So here's a suggestion for audience participants: your job is to encourage not critique (unless you're THEIR teacher). Give the player a hearty thank you and bravo after the performance. I've always had a rule in life: always applaud the musician playing quietly in the corner of the bar. You've, after all, been in their shoes or will be one day.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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lucy
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Re: Stage fright

Post by lucy » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:04 pm

Thanks Rick. I've come across that site before. He mentions someone called Don Greene, as the person who helped him. I've been reading one of Don Greene's books and very interesting it is too!

It's amazing how much successful performance is all in your mental approach to it. Of course, some people are more "naturals" at it than others. Enough practice goes without saying. I've even had it said to me by a music college professor, "It's not all about practice!"

http://dongreene.com/live/
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. Theodore Roosevelt

mrs.musgrove
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Re: Stage fright

Post by mrs.musgrove » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:20 am

Hi, I just joined after returning to playing after a long break. Stage fright was the main reason I stopped playing, I think. I am reading a bit about it now and it seems that it takes more than practice because you may be able to play perfectly by yourself, like a tree falling in the forest that no-one hears, but still tank at performance. It's a different thing. So far I have read Coping with the Limelight and have just started Notes from The Green Room - Looking forward to finding out more and will post again if anything interesting comes up.

Swin
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Swin » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:10 pm

mrs.musgrove wrote:Hi, I just joined after returning to playing after a long break....So far I have read Coping with the Limelight and have just started Notes from The Green Room - Looking forward to finding out more and will post again if anything interesting comes up.

Welcome back! I'm interested to hear what some of the key points were in the books that you read... What struck you or resonated with you in some way?

mrs.musgrove
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Re: Stage fright

Post by mrs.musgrove » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:23 pm

Thanks for taking an interest. The main point from Coping with the Limelight was many famous performers suffered from stage fright and NEVER got over it - you can sympathise but it's a bit depressing, no? To be fair, the author did recommend some visualisation and relaxation techniques. I will get on with the Green Room and let you know.

Swin
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Swin » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:27 am

I remember going to a concert in the early to mid 1990's... the bass player of the opening act faced a speaker with his back to the audience the entire performance. They sounded good, though, so I guess he did what he had to do to get through it... It did look a bit odd, though.

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