Does anyone else NOT like performing?

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

Post by Evocacion » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:41 pm

zenking wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:53 pm
When sitting on the couch by myself, my playing can be excellent.

Once I'm playing for someone else, not so good. I seem to have stage fright.
zenking
When I'm playing alone I find that I am far less concious of the errrors I make. If I play a wrong note, I just play the right one, and carry on. But if there is an audience, the error can't be just glossed over and ignored, so it becomes much worse.
My solution is to use a recorder, and listen to what I actually played, rather than accept my faulty memory.
Last edited by Evocacion on Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

julian94
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by julian94 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:54 pm

The real problem for me when playing classical guitar for other people is that i barely listen and perceive my playing, i.e., the music itself.
Of course, i perceive the notes, but not so much the music as a whole. And therefore i play sort of "blind" and with a lot of tension and worry because i actually don't listen to myself when playing.

BUT when i sit in a particular position and play the guitar i listen to my playing much better, and appreciate the music with a wider espectrum of perception. In this way i appreciate the internal estructure of the piece and it's meaning as a unit itself and not so much only the notes and therefore i play with greater joy and less and/or ZERO tension. It's similar to the difference between listening to myself and listening to others. Obviously i listen to what others do much better than what i do, partly because i'm totally focused on playing the guitar and doing music. And in a different sitting possition i perceive my playing as if it was another person playing it. Therefore for me, the real problem when playing classical guitar, not only when playing to others, is that i don't really listen to my playing and as a consequence i play with a lot of tension.

It's understandable to play with a lot of tension since i don't really listen and perceive the music i do the same way i do when listening to other people. That's why many times when i hear my playing in a recording machine i can either frutrate myself entirely or feel surprisingly happy. That's the real problem. Not listening to myself.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:32 pm

I'm not playing classical programs in concerts, but I do play what we call 'Jazz Chamber Music'. I find it always difficult before the concert, but when it started, I sort of get more relaxed and enjoy it more and more... But before I always think: "Why am I doing this for Gods sake... I should cancel the gig".
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...
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Evocacion
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Evocacion » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:17 pm

Posted in error...

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twang
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by twang » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:44 pm

julian94 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:54 pm
The real problem for me when playing classical guitar for other people is that i barely listen and perceive my playing, i.e., the music itself.
Of course, i perceive the notes, but not so much the music as a whole. And therefore i play sort of "blind" and with a lot of tension and worry because i actually don't listen to myself when playing.
It's useful to recognize that so much of our time in the practice room is spent tuned into the technical aspects of each note we play: Was that tone right? Did that note buzz?, Did I connect those two notes? Did I hold that one long enough? What fingering am I using? These are things we have to focus on intently from our first day with the guitar. A performance is not about these things; but our training makes us so sensitive to them. Any little technical error during a performance tends to pull our attention down into the technical weeds and away from the message.

Recordings help us hear this. A flub that sounds huge while we are playing is usually much less so on a recording.

Recognize also, that we are trained to hear every flaw but our audiences are not. I am always amazed at the technical errors I have learned to hear in professional music. Stuff I listened to for decades, I'll now listen to and find myself saying, "Wow, did he ever flub that!"
"An amateur is he who takes up the study of an instrument as a relaxation from his serious occupations." -- Sor

rpavich
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by rpavich » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:55 pm

julian94 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:54 pm
The real problem for me when playing classical guitar for other people is that i barely listen and perceive my playing, i.e., the music itself.
Of course, i perceive the notes, but not so much the music as a whole. And therefore i play sort of "blind" and with a lot of tension and worry because i actually don't listen to myself when playing.

BUT when i sit in a particular position and play the guitar i listen to my playing much better, and appreciate the music with a wider espectrum of perception. In this way i appreciate the internal estructure of the piece and it's meaning as a unit itself and not so much only the notes and therefore i play with greater joy and less and/or ZERO tension. It's similar to the difference between listening to myself and listening to others. Obviously i listen to what others do much better than what i do, partly because i'm totally focused on playing the guitar and doing music. And in a different sitting possition i perceive my playing as if it was another person playing it. Therefore for me, the real problem when playing classical guitar, not only when playing to others, is that i don't really listen to my playing and as a consequence i play with a lot of tension.

It's understandable to play with a lot of tension since i don't really listen and perceive the music i do the same way i do when listening to other people. That's why many times when i hear my playing in a recording machine i can either frutrate myself entirely or feel surprisingly happy. That's the real problem. Not listening to myself.
Wow...that describes me pretty accurately.
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mverive
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by mverive » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:38 am

I played solo and with a harpist for several years at a hospital, merely to provide soothing entertainment for patients and their families. I actually enjoyed playing for for others than I do just for myself. When I'm playing for others, I allow myself to make mistakes and move on. It allows me to focus on the piece as a whole, rather than the technical aspects. I save THAT for practice!
"(P)Lay on, MacDuff, And damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'"

gingko
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by gingko » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:23 am

I really like performing when "I" disappears and there's only music. That happens sometimes and it is wonderful. Otherwise, I just try not to have a "train wreck." I have no musical reputation to promote or protect so, admittedly, my performance bar is low. I do enjoy sharing music, if I'm able.

I remember when public speaking, even for a tiny group, just terrified me--weak knees, nausea, shaking, etc. It took some practice but I got comfortable with public speaking. For work I sometimes had to present to audiences of several hundred people. Somehow I could do it. I just figure I need more performance opportunities.

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Les Montanjees
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Les Montanjees » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:34 am

I wonder whether it's something to do with the perception that classical guitar music is somehow more "serious" and "sober" than other forms of music and that therefore the audience is more likely to be severely critical if it's not played well? As others have mentioned, performing in a folk club is so much fun because folk music itself is mostly fun (mining disasters and deaths at sea excepted). I love it and if I play some bum notes I know I can just laugh about it with the audience and they'll forgive them if the song is half decent. Put me in front of an audience to play classical guitar music and I'd rather do 10 years in Guantanamo Bay, no matter how well I've prepared. It's just the (possibly exaggerated) perception that I'm under far greater scrutiny.
I think there's also a difference when people are paying good money to hear us play as opposed to playing for free. I know I feel far less pressure and therefore play better when I do a free gig.

Pirooz Emad
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Pirooz Emad » Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:02 am

Performance has not been a goal of mine. I know that my performance experiences over the years have enforced this non-goal, but to be honest I'm not sure of the cause and effect here. Music is a big part of my life. I love working on pieces, I practice regularly and get huge satisfaction from solving my own problems and improving my proficiency (albeit subjectively). But from day one what drew me to classical guitar was the sheer beauty of its sound and the expressive polyphony that it enables, not performing.

Rognvald
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Rognvald » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:54 pm

Performance anxiety is minimized when playing in an ensemble. In solo playing, there is no place to hide. . . ergo, greater potential performance anxiety. I have always loved to perform. Perhaps it's ego, love of Music, or personal challenge. Does it really matter? Whether playing electric guitar as a pre-teen/teenager, saxophone well into my thirties and CG for the last 25 years, I've always looked forward to a performance. I'll never take a gig unless I know I will be well prepared and have a solid well-rehearsed program. The last two gigs I had before a quite long hiatus from music were at a local wine festival with a crowd in the hundreds and a local gourmet bistro's 1st-year-anniversary party. A month prior to these gigs, I played 3-4 hours a day and had 2- 40-minute sets memorized. The day before the performance, I played through my sets as if in a performance. The day of the performance, I relaxed and did some warm-up exercises 2 hours before the performance. Both gigs went well and were well-received and, of course, there is always the occasional muffed chord/note that creeps into the performance. As some have mentioned previously, the best way to overcome performance anxiety is to be prepared and perform as much as possible. As in many things in life, the greater your knowledge, the greater the level of your own criticism. Ever see a three-chord guitar banger with stage fright? Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

ddray
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by ddray » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:17 pm

Rognvald wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:54 pm
Performance anxiety is minimized when playing in an ensemble. In solo playing, there is no place to hide. . . ergo, greater potential performance anxiety. ...
I'm not so sure about that. Performing in an ensemble, especially a top-flight one, requires quite a bit of precision. You can get away with a lot more playing solo. It isn't that you can "hide" in an ensemble -- you can't -- it's that whatever anxiety there is is shared and diffused to an extent. In either case, in the classical music realm I suspect that a lot of anxiety stems from the knowledge that the audience contains quite a few "anal" types who'll listen to performances to see what errors they can pick out...maybe a little like the people who go to auto racing just to see a crash.
Bei einer andächtigen Musik ist allezeit Gott mit seiner Gnaden Gegenwart.
-- J. S. Bach

CathyCate
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by CathyCate » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:02 pm

ddray wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:17 pm
Rognvald wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:54 pm
Performance anxiety is minimized when playing in an ensemble. In solo playing, there is no place to hide. . . ergo, greater potential performance anxiety. ...
I'm not so sure about that. Performing in an ensemble, especially a top-flight one, requires quite a bit of precision. You can get away with a lot more playing solo. It isn't that you can "hide" in an ensemble -- you can't -- it's that whatever anxiety there is is shared and diffused to an extent. In either case, in the classical music realm I suspect that a lot of anxiety stems from the knowledge that the audience contains quite a few "anal" types who'll listen to performances to see what errors they can pick out...maybe a little like the people who go to auto racing just to see a crash.
The current posts on this thread support yet another possible theory re: performance anxiety.
Could it have something to do with cooperation vs. competition?

I feel best about performing when I am playing with others in an ensemble. I reach a comfort zone when I am working with others and sharing the performance experience be it a success or a train wreck. The spirit of cooperation rules the day and the outcome. When I play alone, if I sense the slightest hint of competition I am done for! It's me against the world, and the world wins almost every time. Athletes speak in terms of their "personal best". Perhaps that is the way to turn down the volume on the destructive brand of self criticism or the focus on real or imagined criticism of others that derails my solo performances more often than not.
Maybe the situation improves by caring more about doing one's best rather than about being the best one? I think this is worth a try and will report back to any interested parties a few more performances down the road. Thanks to all those who have shared their experiences and insight on this thread so far.
Cathy
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Rognvald
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Rognvald » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:34 am

Maybe the situation improves by caring more about doing one's best rather than about being the best one? CathyCate

Introspection is everything. You've already solved your problem! Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

julian94
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by julian94 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:40 am

rpavich wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:55 pm
julian94 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:54 pm
The real problem for me when playing classical guitar for other people is that i barely listen and perceive my playing, i.e., the music itself.
Of course, i perceive the notes, but not so much the music as a whole. And therefore i play sort of "blind" and with a lot of tension and worry because i actually don't listen to myself when playing.

BUT when i sit in a particular position and play the guitar i listen to my playing much better, and appreciate the music with a wider espectrum of perception. In this way i appreciate the internal estructure of the piece and it's meaning as a unit itself and not so much only the notes and therefore i play with greater joy and less and/or ZERO tension. It's similar to the difference between listening to myself and listening to others. Obviously i listen to what others do much better than what i do, partly because i'm totally focused on playing the guitar and doing music. And in a different sitting possition i perceive my playing as if it was another person playing it. Therefore for me, the real problem when playing classical guitar, not only when playing to others, is that i don't really listen to my playing and as a consequence i play with a lot of tension.

It's understandable to play with a lot of tension since i don't really listen and perceive the music i do the same way i do when listening to other people. That's why many times when i hear my playing in a recording machine i can either frutrate myself entirely or feel surprisingly happy. That's the real problem. Not listening to myself.
Wow...that describes me pretty accurately.
Its actually very simple. most of the times, and especially when i play the same piece over and over again, it sort of fades away from me. And i lose the perception of how the piece itself sounds, because it has been internalized in me for a long time. The term "itself" means the piece as a whole and without my point of view. Thats partly the reason why I cant listen to the music itself, because it has been affected by my own intellect and perception. The goal should be to try to perceive the piece as something external from you, in spite of being you the one who is playing it. Because thats the reality of it. After all we are all interpreters, performing music created by other people. I think this basic principle should be constantly refreshed and remembered.

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