Stage fright

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
djwilliams
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:06 pm

Re: Stage fright

Post by djwilliams » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:01 am

Hi
I used to get nervous in front of my teacher and when the fingers got sweaty used to slip and make lots of mistakes. I think problems of trying too hard and thinking too much about what you are doing when playing in front of others causes the most problems
Cheers
Dave

Nick Clow

Re: Stage fright

Post by Nick Clow » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:22 am

Five years ago I was almost incapable of even considering the thought of playing in front of an audience having had several bad experiences and
lacking the understanding of how to achieve my dream of being a performer.

It has not been an easy road but I can now say that I have the confidence and desire to play in front of people and share my music.
Good to read your post choctawchas, it nicely illustrates that the rewards have made it (more than) worth it!

Gwynedd
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:38 pm

Re: Stage fright

Post by Gwynedd » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:10 am

Yes, Rachmaninoff was known for stage fright and one of the variations of the Paganini Variation is known as the "Crème de Menthe." Seems someone gave the great Serge a glass of liqueur before he went on stage and the effect was so salubrious, he got through the trickiest bit. (Think: this piece was so hard the COMPOSER, one of the world's greats, had trouble with it.)

I played last weekend and despite a lot of practice using the metronome, exercises for tough parts, and simply enjoying the beautiful Carullli op 50 #7, I still was nervous. So I sounded bad and my tempo was all over the place. I tried playing for friends several times before our monthly get-together and it still was nerves, nerves, nerves. (No crème de menthe and I hate sweet liqueurs.)

We're thinking to have a weekly workshop with an eye to performance (my estimable instructor's idea.) I think it's a good plan. The reason I go and embarrass myself once a month is to find a way to play better, and playing when you are performing IS the test. I fool myself into thinking "hey, that sounds pretty darn good" but you know, it may be my ears editing what I'm doing.

wchymeus
Posts: 208
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Stage fright

Post by wchymeus » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:56 pm

Gwynedd wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:10 am
We're thinking to have a weekly workshop with an eye to performance (my estimable instructor's idea.) I think it's a good plan. The reason I go and embarrass myself once a month is to find a way to play better, and playing when you are performing IS the test. I fool myself into thinking "hey, that sounds pretty darn good" but you know, it may be my ears editing what I'm doing.
For some reason I have the feeling that you are on the wrong path. Take this comment in an absolutely positive way, by no means I am thinking anything negative.
I believe that if you want to improve how you play, going on stage may not be the unique solution. It may be a solution - that I don't know - but probably not the only one. I somehow believe that technique and stage fright are different things. You can work your technique home alone and record yourself - record your practice sessions -, critically listen to yourself or ask your teacher, watch/listen other players and this will lead you to a great technique.
Practicing stage is good imho if your fundamental objective is to share with the audience or if you want to entertain them. Being a good stage performer means that you accomplish just that: please, delight an audience.
Mixing stage and technique improvement is tricky as sometimes - personal experience - you have to let go some technical aspects to improve your stage performance. Let me explain this: I may feel that my tempo is wrong, or I screw up a passage while on stage, but yet I am conscious that what matters is to bring consistence to the piece: I won't immediately change the tempo to rectify things, or will not go back and replay... I have to move on and adjust little by little (and perhaps even repeat a mistake so it's consistent...). Ah, of course, I have no intention to be as good as X, Y or Z... just want to share enjoyable music moments and emotions, my way.
Field 2014, Oberg 2013, Vincente Sachis Badia 1977

Jeffrey Armbruster
Posts: 1611
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:16 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Re: Stage fright

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:12 pm

Hi Nick: well, Yosemite is in my backyard, essentially. (well, four hours away.) I'm not a climber. I became involved in a discussion on a backpacking site about Honnold. The immediate reaction was awe and respect; all well deserved. But I dared to suggest that his climb was reckless and was flamed. I know that he prepared like mad and did all the due diligence that he could. Moreover Honnold is single with no children, precisely because he wants to free solo and knows the risks. I respect that. I just think that no single free solo is worth dying for. You know how this works. Soon there will be yet another report of a free soloist falling to their death. What I worried about on the backpacking site is the valorization of wild risk that only encourages more people to free solo inappropriate climbs. If more people said, well, it's not o.k., it's reckless and stupid, maybe climbers would think twice.

anyway, the few climbers that I've spoken with about this all have said what you did: they wish Honnold would tone it down. Everyone loves and respects this guy and so wants him to live and keep climbing.

Sorry for thread drift! Imagine playing Chaconne in front of an audience, and if you missed a note, you'd fall to your death.
Paul Weaver spruce 2014
Takamine C132S

tothebroccolifields
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:57 pm

Re: Stage fright

Post by tothebroccolifields » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:21 am

Alan Green wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:39 pm
My method:

1 - be properly rehearsed and prepared before you go on

2 - play something at the start of the show that you can play well and isn't too complicated. My show opens with Manuel de Falla's Miller's Dance, from the three-cornered hat
This is excellent advice. In addition, playing something 'easy' backstage helps you go on stage with confidence. I've played Bach back stage, and it definitely did not help me. Sometimes I even just play through some Giuliani right hand studies, it helps me walk out relaxed.

Søvnløs
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:22 am

Re: Stage fright

Post by Søvnløs » Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:17 pm

I have not even played for more than a small group of people that I know and I still deal with nerves. I even get nervous sometimes when I play in front of my teacher for an examination or the like and it seems to happen randomly.

One thing that I've noticed is that if I record audio or video of myself playing a piece, I noticed that I have nerves too, usually of a lower level than playing in front of people though. I'm planning to do it more so I get used to performing while under stress. I tell myself that I'm going to post the recording, no matter the quality of play, online for people to see and that ups the ante and creates more tension. I'm hoping this will help me deal with my nerves. Maybe this would help others? I haven't done it much but I'll let you know how it works for me.

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chrispeppler
Amateur luthier
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat May 02, 2015 5:26 am
Location: Lonehill, Gauteng, RSA

Re: Stage fright

Post by chrispeppler » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:00 pm

Keep going and fake it until you can pick up the music again where the mistake occurred - best advice for me so far from this thread. Yesterday I played before a group of about 20 people and lost my way half-way through the piece I knew best of all of all the pieces - so I kept going with a twiddle or two and picked up again seamlessly. Not only did it work but it gave me the confidence to play the harder pieces that followed.

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Finn Wandahl
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:16 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: Stage fright

Post by Finn Wandahl » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:44 pm

It's alright to be nervous, but it doesn't work if you are affraid or scared. Too much nervous tension can take away as much as 50% of your tecninal ability. For me the quality of my sound somehow reflects my selfconfidence. It is therefore of the outmost importance for me to get my sound under control as soon as possible when playing in public.
Finn Wandahl - Copenhagen

Gwynedd
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:38 pm

Re: Stage fright

Post by Gwynedd » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:42 am

For some reason I have the feeling that you are on the wrong path. Take this comment in an absolutely positive way, by no means I am thinking anything negative.
I didn't take this the wrong way and I think you are making a subtle and excellent point: is performance the "true" test because stage fright is an artificial situation? So far, I'm playing for our salon (where we critique after playing and you sometimes get a do-over.) I've seen do-overs even in actual audience attended concert (we're kind of casual) but in general it's a one shot, give it your best and what the hey. Because this is a friendly "all guitarist group" it's not quite like a concert.

I also started to record myself playing. So one Saturday, I dropped my headphone's mic down the soundhole and hooked it up to my phone (I know, this isn't Roden and XY and it was crude.) But I got a decent sounding recording and could hear where I was speeding up the tempo and where I didn't have the sound I wanted from my A finger, etc etc. It was really helpful. So I did it again with a Carulli waltz and darned if I couldn't hear that I was hitting an accompaniment note too loud compared to the melodic note.

In short, there are a lot of ways to test out what you are doing, and I agree, concertizing is not the best way. It's just ONE way to get feedback.

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