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Old 11-19-2020, 07:55 AM
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Default Do you freeze up when you play in front of people?

I used to, but not anymore and neither could you. I hope this helps.


Last edited by Toby Walker; 11-19-2020 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 11-19-2020, 08:05 AM
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I'm not able to watch the video. Is it me?
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Old 11-19-2020, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Jelly View Post
I'm not able to watch the video. Is it me?
Ditto, vid will not play

I never had issues playing in front of people but it took me a while to find my singing legs. Had to work on relaxing my face, neck and shoulders, and to properly breath. Leg bone connected to the face, neck and shoulder bone
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Old 11-19-2020, 09:15 AM
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It says that the video is private when I click on it. In answer to the question, no I don't freeze. I'll admit that at first it was difficult and I literally had to force myself to sing and play even in front of my family. But over time I find myself looking forward to getting out and entertaining people. In fact I'm hooked on it. This covid has really cramped my style this summer.
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Old 11-19-2020, 09:33 AM
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The only time I ever froze was during my first piano recital when I was in the 5th Grade.

In the audience and performing just before me was the girl I had a crush on at the time. She also happened to sit at the desk right behind me in school.

"Judy" got up and played her two tunes to perfection. I got up and totally butchered mine. Worst of all, I could hear her laughing as I screwed up. I never got to first base with "Judy".

But I later got into public speaking training/contests with the Optimist International Club and did a LOT of presentations during my working career. That transferred over to my guitar playing and singing and I've never had a problem performing in front of crowds since.
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:22 AM
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The first time I ever "soloed" for an audience was at a saxophone recital, about age 11.

I still remember the tunes--Greensleeves and on Top of Old Smokey.

I was scared stiff. Afterwards my teacher said the vibrato was nice, but don't overdo it. I said that wasn't vibrato, I couldn't stop my lips from shaking!
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Old 11-19-2020, 03:21 PM
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Sorry folks. The video should work now.
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Old 11-19-2020, 03:28 PM
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Thanks Toby, great advice. I never had any problems performing in the old days. Once I began again after a long break I found that performing SOBER was a much greater challenge! It's not a problem now but I recall thinking during the first tentative open mics after sobriety "I understand why I used to drink before getting on stage" I'm a much better player now and as a bonus remember all of my gigs!
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Old 11-20-2020, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leew3 View Post
Thanks Toby, great advice. I never had any problems performing in the old days. Once I began again after a long break I found that performing SOBER was a much greater challenge! It's not a problem now but I recall thinking during the first tentative open mics after sobriety "I understand why I used to drink before getting on stage" I'm a much better player now and as a bonus remember all of my gigs!
I understand and can relate to the difference one feels in sobriety. It's a worthy challenge for sure.
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:03 PM
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Thanks Toby. That video's subject it too often underemphasized in lessons: the whole area of how to perform vs. how to play. Many of us (I'm one) have weaknesses in both of those areas, and both of them are important.

I doubt I'm the only one, but I find my "stage fright" is higher in very small groups. Some of my biggest jitters have been playing in front of 4 or 5 people. And if any one in that small room is an accomplished musician, and I know that? I'm off the scales! On the other hand, I've played in front of hundreds in a theater with little or no issues at the time.

Toby's video suggests practicing in front of small groups. In cases like mine that's a strong dosage. I don't know if that's necessarily bad. For some it might help one get used to the (higher) performance fright state and at least learn how to cope with it, and by doing so then dealing with it's lesser version on stage better.

What I used to do whenever I could before a public performance was practice exactly how I would perform by myself. Same guitar, same piece or set of pieces in the same order. Standing or sitting or however I will perform. Play the piece from start to finish. If you flub anything, do exactly what you would on stage (such as playing through a small error, or starting over with an apology if the opening bars are off, or whatever). You never stop and reset when doing this in a way you wouldn't want to do for an audience. Then repeat your piece or set from the top, and repeat again until you feel you have it. It's even better if you do this on more than one day so you get the experience of starting off from a dead start. It's actually good if you make an error in one of those practice passes and need to "practice" what you'd do on stage (most often, simply recovering and playing through the error) because it'll give you a feeling for how you can survive that kind of imperfect performance.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:28 AM
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I don't play in front of anyone. I tell my friends I'm a recording star, not an entertainer,
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:32 PM
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I remember my first gig. And it was in front of 500 people to boot. I remember thanking God I had over memorized my singing part (I didn't play guitar in the band at the time). The words just came out of me without much effort. Otherwise I would have been in trouble.

I think the secret to not freezing is to rehearse over and over and over and over. Once you're successful you chill and it's not so bad.
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Old 11-22-2020, 05:08 PM
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It seems to me that the suggestion here is to simply play in front of friends and family to overcome stage fright, and then move up to open mikes and the like. If one is already quite nervous playing in front of friends and family, simply stating that biting the bullet and doing so is somehow mystically and magically going to alleviate that sense of dread does not make a lot of sense to me. It's akin to saying to someone petrified of snakes to just start by picking up a smaller snake and work their way up to bigger ones, it just ain't going to happen.

When I briefly took lessons a few years ago, I could learn to play the song I was learning without even thinking about it, until I had to play it for the instructor the next week, then I fell to pieces. I ended up having to video myself playing the song and then playing that back to the instructor to show him I really did know how to play it.

Interestingly, I have many times had to speak in front of audiences, teach a class, etc., and while it made me nervous to do so, I didn't have a choice not to and just did it anyway. With performing musically, I suppose since I do have a choice - which is simply not to perform for anyone - it makes the situation different.

I believe, rightly or wrongly, that many who perform begin to perform at an earlier age when such fears and phobias have not yet had an opportunity to take firm root, and that overcoming such fears as an adult, irrational as they might be, is not quite as simple as suggesting it should be just that, simple.

Great topic Toby, thank you for posting your thoughts - I do appreciate it.
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Old 11-22-2020, 05:49 PM
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No, not me, but I'm an old ham.
Of course it doesn't mean that I don't fluff notes or forget words, or that I don't still get nerves.
Frankly, I think that if you don't get ANY nerves, you might be getting over confident.

There was one night when, I was dog tired after digging over my allootment,and after a nice meal and a bottle of wine with my wife the phone rang and I was asked to go play at a club by friends.

I said OK. Three of them turned up in a tiny car wth three guitars inside already - no way could I fit humble self and my guitar inside.

I had to drive in my car! To a club I'd never been to, with little notice ... and the directions were ridiculous. We found it and they pointed to what we thought was a parking area - bang ! Took my front bumper off!

I was a tad rattled by then. I got a really nice build up, got up, and simply couldn't remember the first line of my most requested song. I apologised and walked off stage.

Never happened before, nor since, but I've seen it happen to folks at my club and elsewhere, and I can empathise.

Preparation is all, and learning that an audience is not scary and not to show or be put off by flubs.
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Last edited by Silly Moustache; 11-22-2020 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:01 PM
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No, but I have an outside gig next Friday and I hope the evening is not too chill.
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