Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
CJguitar
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Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by CJguitar » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:23 am

I enjoy playing the classical guitar, I really do. I love reading music, practicing new repertoire, playing in small ensembles, researching people of the guitar and talking to fellow guitar enthusiasts. However, the one thing that has made my guitar journey an absolute nightmare has been the aspect of performance.

I can get through a performance, but that's about all I can do. Teachers always try to convince me that it gets easier over time or I'll learn to like them. It never ends up happening though. When professors set me up with a performance, all I can think about is the upcoming date, even if it's a year away. I lose sleep over it and I can't relax fully until that point in time has passed. Also, the harder the repertoire gets, the more stressful these performances become.

Does anyone else feel the same way? Do you enjoy the guitar but not performing?

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petermc61
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by petermc61 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:59 am

Yep. Never played for anybody. Happy that way.

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lagartija
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by lagartija » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:06 am

Well....I did believe my teachers when they told me that and it *does* get easier with time. :-D Is it easy yet? No, not for me. I am distracted by the eyes looking at me....waiting expectantly. I fear making a huge slip that I can't cover well enough. I still lack the experience of performing regularly to keep me desensitized to it. There just aren't enough opportunities where I am. I have no problem playing where people can hear me, such as a park or building lobby or somewhere where people are coming and going and not really paying attention to me. Just when they seem to be actively listening to me I start to feel self conscious.

I am scheduled to perform in a masterclass this Sunday. :chaud: I have been recording myself because pushing that red button makes me self conscious...just like a performance. We'll see how I do.
It is a head trip, CJ. You have to know in your heart of hearts that it is not about YOU. It is about the music. People want you to succeed. They want to hear a nice piece of music and hear the story you tell with it. See if you can convince them. See if you can show them how beautiful you think that piece of music is.

I want to do that. I want to do it enough that I will keep trying to figure out how to not be derailed in performance by hearing something I didn't like in my playing or being distracted by people looking at me. The music deserves to be heard. I DO have something to say.... now I just have to convey that to the audience so others will hear what I hear in the piece.

Performing is not a comfortable place for many of us in the beginning. For some, it never becomes comfortable. Once a year is not enough. I found that it took five days of performing in front of an audience twice a day for me to become desensitized where I was no longer nervous. That situation only occurs at the Summer Guitar festival I attend. All other times, the performances are at best several months or more apart. I know that makes it more difficult for me to get into the right frame of mind.
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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:23 am

"I found that it took five days of performing in front of an audience twice a day for me to become desensitized where I was no longer nervous."

You have it in you, literally. You've been there, done that. I bet you'll find that place this Sunday. Plus, you've already premiered the piece that you'll be playing and everyone loved it.

I'm making strides in playing in front of my teacher--that's how far back I am. But it counts. I can suddenly see that it's just music, on the one hand--no one gets hurt--and that I can actually bring it out and make it blossom (I'm playing Julia Florida) and finally, blessedly forget myself. Like when I'm having a conversation and trying to get an idea across. No big deal.
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Jim Davidson
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Jim Davidson » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:22 am

I mean, I don't like performing badly. Nobody does.

At the same time, good performances mean it's worth it. Everybody has good and bad days.

The more interesting conversation is on enjoying performance aside from ability. I have a fairly talented high-school student who simply doesn't feel any compulsion to share her craft with others, despite easily having the ability to do so. If we have the talent, do we have some social obligation to share it?
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Non Tabius
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Non Tabius » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:07 am

I know Ive said this so many times.But as someone once said "The more I practice the luckier I get."I believe that is the same with live performances.Live performances as I see it are the same as doing a speech for instance.There is preparation involved.In speech preparation one allows for that little bit of "jitters" which will happen on the day.Its the adrenaline that kicks in that makes the speech less boring.I see the guitar in the same light .I did a background gig for some old folks the other day,and tried my hand at Allegro solemne and Andante religioso (Barios).

These are pieces I would never dreamed of even attempting years back,but here I was getting through them,granted it wasn't a "Performance" or "Concert" but still the folks were still sort of listening to Cavitina,bits of Giuliani Op 107,Asturius softly flying away at 135 bbm .I felt pretty chuffed with myself actually getting through them.
Its as Largitha says "the audience is a lot more sympathetic than perceived" or words to that effect or meaning,The trick I found is "not to be your own worst enemy".You can only do your best!

I mean with the good support one gets from kind friends on this forum what else do you need,Remember the mistakes are yours nobody else's.Better luck next time.Just like any baseball player or cricketer.That's how I bluff myself into doing it anyway.In fact I even got requested to come back one day.
Last edited by Non Tabius on Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rasputin
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Rasputin » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:18 am

CJguitar wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:23 am
Does anyone else feel the same way? Do you enjoy the guitar but not performing?
Yes very much so. IMO there's no link between enjoying music and wanting to perform, although there are practical links between learning guitar and *having* to perform. Obviously we have to play for teachers, at least, if we want to get any good.

I think those of us who don't like to perform have to be honest with ourselves about whether it's a case of wishing we could but being held back by anxiety or whatever, or or whether it's a case of not having any interest in the first place.

If you're in the first category then obviously it makes sense to try and get rid of whatever it is that is holding you back. If you're in the second, it really depends on whether your education / career requires you to perform. If so, better fix this. If not, it's really fine to be a guitarist who doesn't perform.

malc laney
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by malc laney » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:25 am

As a teacher there was a phrase "setting up to fail" if you've played in ensenble , you are "performing " in front of others.The classical guitar thing of playing a bucking bronco solo in front of people some who you know disagree about that pause you put in half way thru bar 6 is not joyous!
Think about someone entertaining others in a folk club etc.. tha agonised rictal face of the CG player is not there , why?

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:11 pm

It only gets easier to a certain degree. As far as I know, all big names who perform regularly also have some stress when they are on stage. I don't know anyone who feels as if he is playing for himself on the stage. The thing is that one learns to control it and even benefit from it over time.

I agree with Malc, it's much easier to play in a band or ensemble than solo.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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Paul Janssen
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Paul Janssen » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:12 pm

I don't perform much these days, but last year I accompanied a singer friend of mine who sang the Australian National Anthem at the Grand Final of the Womens National Basketball League. It was a full stadium (plus it was live streamed), so whilst I was nervous, I got through it and felt I did a pretty good job. Oddly enough, I accompanied the same friend at a small intimate gig a month ago and got so nervous at the start that my left hand cramped up causing me to miss changes. I got over this after the first song and managed to regroup from that point,. Still, I think I find smaller gigs much harder than larger ones for some reason.

Curiously, my friend when asked if she enjoys singing in front of an audience happily answers "to me it's the closest thing to flying - I LOVE IT". I wish I shared her sentiment.

PeteJ
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by PeteJ » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:19 pm

I heard once that Artur Rubenstein used to be physically sick before many performances. It's an odd thing. Give me an electric and a stack of marshalls and I'd be happy to play the Albert Hall, and it wouldn't be great playing, Give me a CG and I'd worry about playing at my local OAP rest home. An old friend used to play violin with a touring band (Stackridge) and thrived on it. I saw him playing Bach in a performance and he looked like a rabbit the headlights. There's something about a 'classical' performance that turns up the pressure in an odd way.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:31 pm

I've never understood why there should be any correlation between musicality and wanting to sit in front of an audience solo.
That makes guitar pretty lonely, though, but that's fine if you only use it as a meditation method.
But I've always loved orchestras and groups.
Part of the problem is expected standards (what do you expect? What does your audience expect?).
Performing to or above expectation is nice.
Performing below par is horrible.
I love gigs with my uke group - par is so low, it's hard to fall below it, lol!
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mts132
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by mts132 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:50 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:19 pm
An old friend used to play violin with a touring band (Stackridge) and thrived on it. I saw him playing Bach in a performance and he looked like a rabbit the headlights. There's something about a 'classical' performance that turns up the pressure in an odd way.
This is how I am. I really enjoy performance and am able to feed off the jittery feelings of the unknown that come with it. Will I do well? Will I suck? Will anyone even know the difference? It's a rush. My problem is there are not enough venues for me to play so I don't get out as much as I want to.

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:02 pm

Very interesting!
Myself...? It is little bit complicated.
1. I made my living for 40 years almost ONLY by performing... :)
did I like it or dislike it?
I love music and when I have a "good sound" I enjoy it myself.
Last 20 years I worked mostly amplified, and by the way I worked as a electric guitarist too and certainly been amplified as well.
Therefore when I have/had good sound I had a real "kick" from it - but when my sound (system, amp etc, acoustic of the hall etc.|) was not good - when I .. just did my job.. not so much enjoyment.
2. But ... I usually ,,, do not give a damn about audience (I love people, I love communications but) but I play for MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!
and if I enjoy it - when audience (probably) will :)
Last edited by AndreiKrylov on Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

Rasputin
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Rasputin » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:53 pm

Well that's the best of all worlds! Lucky you Andrei!

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