Stage fright

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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andi33x
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Re: Stage fright

Post by andi33x » Tue May 09, 2017 6:18 pm

I agree with Karen. Taking videos is a good thing.

After having some concerts with our quartet I saw that talking to the audience before the concert helped a lot. Speak with them. Help them to get a good seat etc. Ask them if they also play guitar. You learn that the people are nice and friendly and the stage fright is almost gone. You feel like being a part of them with a better seat.
There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of a guitar - maybe aside from that of two guitars (Frederic Chopin)

ricarva
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Re: Stage fright

Post by ricarva » Tue May 09, 2017 7:56 pm

As much as I have tried in various ways I could never deal with the anxiety before and during stage performances. After a few dozens of shameful classic guitar public performances I have just quit and only play home.
But it's funny because I have never had the problem with electric guitar on public, or even with theater/drama performances.

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lucy
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Re: Stage fright

Post by lucy » Fri May 12, 2017 5:33 pm

andi33x wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 6:18 pm
I agree with Karen. Taking videos is a good thing.

After having some concerts with our quartet I saw that talking to the audience before the concert helped a lot. Speak with them. Help them to get a good seat etc. Ask them if they also play guitar. You learn that the people are nice and friendly and the stage fright is almost gone. You feel like being a part of them with a better seat.
This is a really important point. Although I agree that filming yourself does help you learn to deal with nerves, what is missing is the interaction with an audience. Perhaps, that is what scares some people, but personally, I find it far harder to record myself playing at home, than to perform in public. (By the way, although I do film performances, when I can, I usually forget the camera is there.)

The shared experience of a public performance, can feel like quite an occasion, so it can really focus the mind. I think a lot of musicians see it like this. You can "feed off" an audience's reactions, which are hopefully reasonably positive. If not, as people say, they don't want to see you fail, (unless they're cruel people!), so at the very least, they hope you'll play well. After all, they have chosen to come to see you play, (in many cases), so they'll want to have a good experience themselves. They want to enjoy it, so they're not going to try and make you feel uncomfortable, so you play less well than you can!

As several posters have said, one of the most helpful things to do is turn those butterflies into excitement. Embrace the (certain amount of) uncertainty and let those butterflies fly freely, rather trapping them in your stomach.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. Theodore Roosevelt

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andi33x
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Re: Stage fright

Post by andi33x » Fri May 12, 2017 7:20 pm

lucy wrote:
Fri May 12, 2017 5:33 pm
The shared experience of a public performance, can feel like quite an occasion, so it can really focus the mind. I think a lot of musicians see it like this. You can "feed off" an audience's reactions, which are hopefully reasonably positive.

Haha, Nina, we know each other so long now via youtube and facebook that I really understand that YOU write this. Looking at your perfomances it is just as you write. You can focus the mind during a concert and you "feed off" an audience's reactions. This is a really good ability which you own! And I see this on your past videos.

I also play usually better in concert as at home in front of the camera. The concert is an exciting situation which worms out "the artist" of you. The interaction with a real audience is a different thing as a micro. And in the concert the acoustics are better :)

But stage frigth is not in this area. I believe it is based on certain considerations. I sometimes think something lile "they are all interested in Pop music and the boring Bach and Sor and Tarrega etc. which I play are not any more "hot", so I have to convince them that this is beautiful, too". And then I feel overstrained and the stage fright is here. Indeed, to "convince someone" has nothing to do with art and music. Such considerations are destructive and of course absolutely wrong, but what can I to do to loose them?
Not Having such considerations is a result of self-confidence, a deep believe in the own performance and, believe me, It is a merci!
There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of a guitar - maybe aside from that of two guitars (Frederic Chopin)

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lucy
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Re: Stage fright

Post by lucy » Mon May 15, 2017 1:19 pm

andi33x wrote:
Fri May 12, 2017 7:20 pm
lucy wrote:
Fri May 12, 2017 5:33 pm
The shared experience of a public performance, can feel like quite an occasion, so it can really focus the mind. I think a lot of musicians see it like this. You can "feed off" an audience's reactions, which are hopefully reasonably positive.

Haha, Nina, we know each other so long now via youtube and facebook that I really understand that YOU write this. Looking at your perfomances it is just as you write. You can focus the mind during a concert and you "feed off" an audience's reactions. This is a really good ability which you own! And I see this on your past videos.
Thanks so much Andreas. That's very nice of you to say! :)
andi33x wrote:
Fri May 12, 2017 7:20 pm
I also play usually better in concert as at home in front of the camera. The concert is an exciting situation which worms out "the artist" of you. The interaction with a real audience is a different thing as a micro. And in the concert the acoustics are better :)
Love that phrase, it "worms out the artist of you". I'll remember that!
andi33x wrote:
Fri May 12, 2017 7:20 pm
But stage frigth is not in this area. I believe it is based on certain considerations. I sometimes think something lile "they are all interested in Pop music and the boring Bach and Sor and Tarrega etc. which I play are not any more "hot", so I have to convince them that this is beautiful, too". And then I feel overstrained and the stage fright is here. Indeed, to "convince someone" has nothing to do with art and music. Such considerations are destructive and of course absolutely wrong, but what can I to do to loose them?
Not Having such considerations is a result of self-confidence, a deep believe in the own performance and, believe me, It is a merci!
I agree that self-confidence is extremely important. I don't think that's been mentioned yet in this thread. I think it's something that can be built, though. Hopefully, people get more positive experiences than negative ones. That should help!

As for worrying that people won't respond well to your repertoire, I have to admit that I do play a certain amount of popular tunes, mixed in with the classical pieces. That always helps. Then when you play something classical, they're already engaged with you, as a musician.

But, perhaps people are more open minded than many of us think? I like to think that anyway. Certainly other musicians, of other genres, seem to be. Last night, I actually played a little in a PUB!! And my cousin's musician friends were very complimentary about my playing, before proceeding to do a blues jam and play Purple Haze - very loudly! I'm not sure what the pub regulars thought, they didn't say, but it might not have been their thing?

I suppose you can't please everyone, but for me, the most important thing is to try and show what the CG can do. And I don't mean fast scales, etc. necessarily. As you say, it is a very beautiful instrument, that is one of its biggest strengths, so vary the tone, craft the phrasing nicely, strum the odd chord, stick some rubato in - and milk it!
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. Theodore Roosevelt

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Douglas1947
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Douglas1947 » Tue May 23, 2017 10:21 am

I get "stage fright" whenever I turn on my webcam. I can play a piece "perfect" many times in a row, but as soon as I start recording, my music begins falling apart. Years ago, when we just had tape recorders, the same thing would happen. So for me the fear isn't playing in public. I'm not sure what exactly it is. Maybe its just having one more responsibility (glancing at the volume; making sure you are centered in the camera; etc.)

I know it's just a psych out, because I can hear myself thinking I'm going to make a mistake. A particular hard passage is coming up, and I've already convinced myself I'm going to mess it up. (Sure enough, I do.) Not sure what I can do about it, but all the advice given to you, above, seems to be as valid for playing in front of an audience, as playing in front of a recording device. Do you also get stage fright when recording?

muahchee
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Re: Stage fright

Post by muahchee » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:39 am

I think that it's possible to start first by performing for family or friends. Another way would be to use a livestream social media app on your phone and give a "trial performance" not many people would watch but it gets you a little more self aware, from then it's easier to know what parts of your body is tense and give you a better understanding on how to perform under pressure. I personally just started using this method not long ago and I've learned some stuff from it, so maybe it'd work for you too.
So if I type anything here people will see it?

Gwynedd
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Gwynedd » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:50 am

We practice playing in public by a monthly "salon." I have stage fright even in front of my teacher (who is very critical but a superb and patient teacher and I adore him.) There's a clue there; either I'm critiquing myself as I play or he is and it makes me nervous. We joke in salon about who has a supply of propranolol to ease the jitters. (I use that for blood pressure and it does nothing for anxiety for me....in case you wonder.)

When I'm not nervous, it's after we've chatted about the piece I played (badly) and then I do it again with some of the changes we talk about. And at that point, I can get into the music and forget the audience and even myself. I call that "being in the music" or "in the bubble." Nothing exists but you and the guitar and the music and it's all a unit. If I could find a way to hypnotise myself into that space, I would not have stage fright.

I don't have stage fright when I play piano as an accompanist or in a duo or something like that. I do get it playing in recitals alone. But for piano, it's easier for me to get out of my head and into the music. I'm so new to guitar, I'm very self-conscious. So I play guitar in front of others monthly to make myself get over myself.

ashepps
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Re: Stage fright

Post by ashepps » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:24 am

To all:

I am almost sure I read all the posts in this thread and if I did not and I missed the answer to my question, my apologies! Also, my apologies for just jumping in here, so deep in the thread.

I have Stage Fright, but I find even knowing I am going to tape myself, alone and never to have anyone listen, it still weighs heavily on my mind.

I gave up the guitar due to a muscle spasm when I was young, nearly 40 years ago and picked it up again about 3 years ago, my problem somehow must have left me, good news on one front! I felt I may not have those fears of playing in front of people as I must have at least changed my fears over the course of my lengthy hiatus. That was not the case.

If I am as bad as I say I am, will either video taping or just plain recording work. if I keep at it with sincerity? I am willing to do whatever it takes, but I need to know that a method will work or I won't buy the constant effort into it.

I must be the on the edge of the Bell Curve for Stage Fright, what should be my best road to take in the above two choices if I can be convinced one will work?

Thanks very much,

Alan
Alan Sheppard
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Doug Crosswell
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Doug Crosswell » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:11 pm

Oh boy stage fright . I have always had those issues and it's pretty common . What works for me is that I play for maybe 2-3 people because that's what my confidence and nerves can allow for now . Ultimately when I when I have full confidence , I hope to be able to play in front of multitudes .
Glad to see these discussions with these kinds of topics , because I think we can all learn something from each other and also shows how much we as classical guitar lovers have in common.

pasigenyo
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Re: Stage fright

Post by pasigenyo » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:54 pm

I've been performing in public more frequently now than before. My stage fright is less about playing in front of an audience, but more about how prepared I am to perform my program. My mind starts to race when I feel that there are passages in certain pieces that I did not practice well enough. What helps me calm down is having a music stand with a folder (and any sheet music on it) in front of me. Even if the actual score is not displayed, it helps me visualize the piece as I play it. I also talk to the audience (if it's a concert setting versus playing at a dinner event) to establish some connection with them and help me prepare to play the piece. Otherwise, if I'm just providing background music to an event (where no one pays attention to me), I just tell myself that it's paid practice time and I never think about stage fright at all.

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tgwilt
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Re: Stage fright

Post by tgwilt » Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:41 am

I struggled for many years with debilitating stage fright. I think it's essential to be a bit nervous prior to a performance, but stage fright for me included shaking hands, tachycardia, and stuff like that. I went to a doctor and was prescribed Inderal, a beta blocker. It really helped with the trembling of the hands.

None the less, I finally came to the realization that the problem was based on my ego. I had never really grokked that music is a gift and performing is the act of giving this gift to others. Once this finally settled in, things went much better, even better than when using a beta blocker.

It's been my experience that most people who listen to you are not listening for the mistakes. They just want to enjoy your gift to them.
Cheers,

Tom Gwilt

ashepps
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Re: Stage fright

Post by ashepps » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:08 am

Tom, I find it is still the mistakes that bother me and it is just not simple to forget that! I have started to record myself, but that is just a day ago. That does bother me, as mentioned, but I hope it helps. There is nothing else that I can see to do.

Cheers,

Alan
Alan Sheppard
1986 630mm Asturias JM-15 Spruce
1955 650mm Framus SL-32R
2015 650mm Yamaha SLG110N

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Non Tabius
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Re: Stage fright

Post by Non Tabius » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:33 am

And of course don't forget to use Chet Atkins's favorite ice breaker "For those who have come to listen for mistakes, you wont be disappointed either."Or something to that effect.

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chrispeppler
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Re: Stage fright

Post by chrispeppler » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:23 am

ne huge tip is that no matter how much you screw up you should make sure you look awesome doing it! I'm serious, actually. If you screw up don't stop for anything (if you have to repeat a section because you forgot the next one for god's sake do it) and continue to look utterly relaxed and oblivious. Smile... this is too much fun to care about a little mistake!
I really appreciate this tip. I am only an intermediate level player and my recitals are just for friends and small groups, so I feel I can apply the advice given and have fun while still trying my best. I have no problem with public speaking but when it comes to playing the CG in front of others I struggle.

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