Does anyone else NOT like performing?

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

Post by twang » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:26 pm

Steve Langham wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:54 am
My daughter is 8 and plays the Cello and she has no qualms about performing in front of anyone, definitely an age thing - not as self conscious, not worrying about a wrong note or a bad performance, just goes and plays and enjoys it.
I recently attended a kids CG recital. The kids performed in order from youngest to oldest. There was an obvious dividing line around the early teen years. Before the line there was little or no anxiety, afterwards, everyone had it.
"An amateur is he who takes up the study of an instrument as a relaxation from his serious occupations." -- Sor

Andrew Pohlman
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:33 pm

My stage fright has only gotten worse over the time I've been playing classical. I started doing all manner of meditation and calming preparation. And I can perform. It gets worse as the performance progresses, i.e., I'm less nervous at the start after all the medication and such. I'm at the point now that I am returning to good 'ole rock 'n roll. I still really enjoy playing classical. But performance? Only rock. Mental preparation for classical is just too much work, is not fun in any way, and is a completely separate exercise than the music itself. The odd thing for me is that I can play solo rock and I'm not nervous at all! I think it's the whole attitude that rock is far less formal. I can jump around and do all manner of crazy guitar gymnastics on stage and just let my musical self merge with my physical self. I find that impossible with classical.
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malc laney
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by malc laney » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:20 pm

Andrew should combine the two worlds , it would probably solve his problem , and be worth paying money to see!?! Video please.

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:41 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:53 pm
Well that's the best of all worlds! Lucky you Andrei!
Thanks!
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

Steve Langham
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Steve Langham » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:29 pm

twang wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:26 pm

I recently attended a kids CG recital. The kids performed in order from youngest to oldest. There was an obvious dividing line around the early teen years. Before the line there was little or no anxiety, afterwards, everyone had it.
I find that very interesting having pre teen kids myself. The innocence and general optimism of the pre teen kids is heart warming. Then the teens kick in and a lot of that is lost, and you can see that as you said, reflected in their performance.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Adrian Allan » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:56 am

Has anybody tried hypnotism, or does anybody think that hypnotism would work?
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Smudger5150
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Smudger5150 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:52 am

Somebody mentioned playing in folk clubs. I started performing at a University folk club (well, more of a acoustic club rather than strict 'folk') and I think that kind of group situation where nearly everyone is 'having a go' might help a lot of people gradually get used to performing.
I was really nervous when I 1st played in front of them but I think it would have been multiplied tenfold if I'd started off with a recital of some kind, even if it was informal. I think jumping in at the deep end where one is by oneself for the 1st time might be too much for a lot of people.
But the encouragement I got from the club players, and it helped that some people were in the same boat as me i.e. playing for the first time, was very helpful.
Trouble is, not everyone can find this kind of club or group setting to gradually ease into playing to an audience. When I was having lessons at Stoke, the guitar teacher used to do annual concerts for all his pupils so everyone could have a go and that was helpful as well albeit a bit more scary because of being up on a raised stage but at least we felt like we were all in it together i.e. it was an encouraging and appreciative audience.

On another note, I think the beauty of playing any instrument, but especially classical guitar, is that you can gain great enjoyment from just playing for yourself. Either one gets the pleasure from the achievement or one can have their own concert - i.e you're your own audience! So it's definitely not a loss or waste of time if one never performs in front of others. imo.
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Rasputin
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Rasputin » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:12 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:56 am
Has anybody tried hypnotism, or does anybody think that hypnotism would work?
A former housemate of mine tried hypnotism to deal with more general problems and it had no effect that I could discern.

I suspect the key to beating performance anxiety is to perform very often, as in most days, and the reason why people get stuck with it in the guitar world is that opportunities do perform don't come up that often. It is always a long build up and a big day, rather than an everyday thing that has more riding on it some days than others.

To be honest I don't really understand why someone who is not a natural performer would go to such lengths to reprogram themselves in this way. Performance opportunities are very hard to come by and pay next to nothing. Audiences are likely to be disappointingly small and reviews are almost bound to be mixed. If someone just has a burning desire to perform, I can understand that they might tolerate all of that - but why anyone would want to manufacture a desire to perform, just to put themselves in that position, is beyond me.

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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by markworthi » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:55 pm

Recently, I've realized that stage fright-- the fear that I might perform badly-- is not my real trouble. What prevents me from performing is the certainty that I will perform badly. I am simply not a competent player yet, and I don't really have any desire to inflict my performances on innocent bystanders (except for family members and my guitar teacher, who are all well aware of my current limitations).

I like the idea of performing one day. In fact, it's one of those vague but persistent visions that constitute a far off ideal version of myself. It's tied inextricably with the notion of one day becoming at least a very good player. Quite far off!

But I mean it very seriously when I say that the very slow improvements I've made over time allow me to glimpse the fact that stage fright-- at least in its most crippling form-- is dissipating and will one day be gone. I find this more encouraging than my prior belief that being paralyzed by performance anxiety was an part of my nature.

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lagartija
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by lagartija » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:35 pm

“Rasputin” wrote:
To be honest I don't really understand why someone who is not a natural performer would go to such lengths to reprogram themselves in this way. Performance opportunities are very hard to come by and pay next to nothing. Audiences are likely to be disappointingly small and reviews are almost bound to be mixed. If someone just has a burning desire to perform, I can understand that they might tolerate all of that - but why anyone would want to manufacture a desire to perform, just to put themselves in that position, is beyond me.
Hmmmm....from my own experiences, I offer the following explanation.
There are at least two personality patterns that people fall into. The first is the person who from an early age is rewarded by praise for something they do well, either because of talent and/or inclination. When they grow up, they continue to do that in which they can excel, and generally avoid activities that they feel they are “not good at” or in their estimation, will never excel at.
Then there are people who see both their strengths and weaknesses, accept the strengths but are driven to correct a perceived weakness by challenging themselves until it is “conquered “. I put myself in the latter category, and my husband in the former.
I’ve practiced martial arts for many decades. Besides the physical activity, there were other aspects that drew me to it; I felt discomfort with physical or verbal conflict and my ability to deal with such a situation and this gave an opportunity to learn how to deal with it in a safe environment; I understood that confidence comes from a very clear understanding of yourself and this sort of practice holds up a mirror so you can see both the good and the bad; there is an emphasis on taking that which is your weakest technique or inclination and making the effort to strengthen it so that it is as strong as your strongest technique or attribute.

The challenge brings you to a point where you understand the nature of your weakness and when you conquer it, you have grown as a person. Not everyone is motivated to do this, but for some of us, that is what floats our boat. :-D
And that is why we try to perform even though we are not “naturals” at it.
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Rasputin
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Rasputin » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:31 pm

Well, I’m not very good at speaking in an even voice while stabbing myself in the leg with a compass, but I don’t feel the need to work on this ability because I don’t see it as a failing. It’s not something I would want to do even if I had a world-beating talent for it.

For any given person there will be a million things they don’t have a natural aptitude for – I mean things that other people enjoy, not daft things like stabbing yourself in the leg with a compass – and even if you look at each one as a weakness, you can’t possibly correct all of them. With only one lifetime to go at you have to be selective, so I think it is still legitimate to ask why anyone would pick performing music when the payoff seems so underwhelming.

In your martial arts example there is a clear reason - it gives you the self-assurance that comes with knowing you would be able to deal with a situation of conflict if one were to arise.

In the performance example, I suspect the underlying reason is that the person wants to be seen - or to see themselves - as a real musician, but believes that the only real musicians are those who perform. It’s really that belief that I was challenging. It's probably easier to get rid of the cognitive dissonance it causes by getting rid of the belief itself - which is dodgy anyway - than by trying to bring your personality into line with it.

I think Andrew Pohlman made a good point when he said:
Andrew Pohlman wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:33 pm
Mental preparation for classical is just too much work, is not fun in any way, and is a completely separate exercise than the music itself.
I agree, and would rather invest my time an energy in the music itself.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Adrian Allan » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:20 pm

One thing I have found encouraging from this thread is the number of people who have come to the conclusion that playing/ practising the guitar at home is an end in itself, and not a means to an end (performing). This is despite a popular perception that musical practice must always have an end goal of performance.

I have always believed that practice for its own sake is a rewarding and spiritual experience, and "spending the rest of your life playing in your bedroom" should not be belittled, as it so often is.
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Evocacion
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Evocacion » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:32 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:47 pm
Kent wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:50 pm
Guitar is a form of meditation, so it is certainly OK to practice and play with no desire to perform.
I would recommend that you eventually record and share your music that way.
No, recording is worse than an audience! The most nervous I have ever been is when I was being recorded playing the piano.

Lol, but seriously, I'm not so bad nowadays - I have recorded the odd bit of practice and wasn't nervous. Otoh, I am on the maximum dose of beta-blockers!
I've never played in front of an audience, and have no wish to, but I occasionally record a piece (I have a Tascom DR-40) and send it to my daughters, who live some distance away in varying directions. The thing about recording is that if you make a mess of it, you can just reset the recorder and try again. You can even cheat a bit by editing the recording...
Obviously you can't really stop in the middle of a piece and start again at the beginning if you have a live audiencer. With the exception of my cat, who tends to sleep through both reasonable performances and complete car-crashes. Sometimes I think she doesn't really understand music.

Ceciltguitar
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Ceciltguitar » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:30 am

I am in complete agreement with the posts of Andrei Krylov and Carlos Castillo.

As a sidebar, I think that many of the decamp forum participants would enjoy the videos that Carlos has posted on his web page.

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lagartija
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by lagartija » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:09 am

In the performance example, I suspect the underlying reason is that the person wants to be seen - or to see themselves - as a real musician, but believes that the only real musicians are those who perform. It’s really that belief that I was challenging. It's probably easier to get rid of the cognitive dissonance it causes by getting rid of the belief itself - which is dodgy anyway - than by trying to bring your personality into line with it.
I can’t speak for anyone else and their motivation, but being seen as a “real musican” isn’t what drives me (because I am not... I am merely a student of music) and I don’t have the belief that one must perform to be a real musician. Perhaps the performance is the test of whether or not I have learned something as well as I thought?
I would never belittle someone who only wished to play in their bedroom. I get great pleasure from playing for myself, but I want to play beautifully and experience music brought forth from my own hands. For me, playing is totally different than listening to music played by others. So I agree that that is certainly sufficient reason to play and performance is not a requirement. However, you did say that you don’t understand why someone would do it if they do not find it natural and easy, and I tried to explain why I would challenge myself. The confidence to face an uncomfortable situation you understood in the example I gave of martial arts. Why would you not accept that for me, performance is a slightly different challenge, but the confidence it takes, the focus it takes, the exposure of your vulnerability it requires is the same type of test. You may not see the value. That is why I was trying to explain it. We do not see this the same way. I accept that for you, you may have no desire to correct something you do not see as a weakness (not a failure...that is something different). I only offer this explanation so you might realize that we all have different motivations and that is what makes human beings interesting to observe. :-)
I know from experience that music can ease physical pain, (my own and that of others). At some point I would like to perform and ease the sufferings of others. Perhaps in a Hospice or in the lobby of a medical center. I have gone to appointments at Dana-Farber in Boston. They often have students who come from New England Conservatory who play in the lobby. One time it was a harp, another time it was a viola. Each time I sat and listened. It was calming and eased discomfort. At some point I would like to do that for others.
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

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