Paul Nicholas wrote:Thanks for the advice! I think for me it's mainly a confidence thing. I spend most of my professional life in front of folks giving presentations, lecturing, etc. and have never had any issues getting up in front of people until I picked up a guitar. I think it has to do with the expectations I have for myself and not wanting disappoint anyone or be embarrassed or criticized. As for playing professionally, i don;t envision that happening. I'm mainly thinking of recitals, church, family gatherings, small parties... I simply cannot see anyone paying me to play! LOL!
Thanks again! I'll keep practicing and look forward to any additional advice!
Hi Paul - I'm very similar in that I play things very well on my own but not so well in front of my teacher which I find very frustrating. I also do presentations to people for work and don't find it a problem. Put a guitar in mind and it's a different proposition!
I recently did a CG grade exam which forced me to confront my 'issue' as I'd have to perform and do the exam in front of an examiner which is even scarier.
As per the comment above, what I found helped was that when we'd have friends over visiting, I'd force myself to play a short piece in front of them. They are obviously a friendly audience so it didn't matter if I stuffed up (which I did early on). I found it also helped me confirm whether I really knew a piece or not. I remember one time when first starting to do this, in front of a really good friend and his wife, I played a piece i thought I knew well and I was very nervous and half way through my mind went blank, completely and utterly blank and I just had to stop. It was the strangest most puzzling thing. I just laughed it off, felt a bit embarrassed but given they were good friends this didn't last long. Then just chatting with them I started playing another piece and because I was then relaxed played it very well. The mind going blank only ever happened once. The other times I might stumble over a certain section and I'd realise that I didn't know this bit as well as I thought so this was good feedback.
For the CG exam, I was nervous but because I did know my material very well, even though at times I could see my RH shaking (!) it all went very well.
So I'd suggest if you have someone over, just explain you'd like to practice performing in front of someone and they are the lucky person. I found after a while I wasn't quite as nervous. Good luck.