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Old 03-25-2023, 08:49 AM
jschmitz54 jschmitz54 is offline
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Default 4.5 years and finally a breakthrough

I’m not a shy person, if fact I’d say I’m more outgoing than anything else.
I’ve had an extremely hard time playing and singing in front of anyone. I would sweat bullets, become so nervous I couldn’t play well if you could call it playing at all. It was more like fumbling around.
Last night I was at a small get together at our neighbors home. He is a life long player and we’ve played together several times but just the two of us.
For whatever reason I just picked up a guitar last night in front of seven people and started playing and singing. A bit nervous at first but then I just forgot they were there and concentrated on the guitar. Played a few songs and sang a few and to my surprise I got a big round of applause. It felt freeing to not be frightened and just concentrate on the playing like I do when I play alone.
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Old 03-25-2023, 08:51 AM
jpd jpd is offline
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Thumbs up

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Old 03-25-2023, 09:11 AM
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cliff_the_stiff cliff_the_stiff is offline
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It’s taken me 20 years to get there.
It is a rewarding journey.
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Old 03-25-2023, 10:42 AM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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Well done. After my first open mic last fall, I wrote of the experience that it was actually more fun than buyng a new guitar. There. I said it again. It must be true.
I took up the guitar at 62 as penance for a youth well-spent.
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Old 03-25-2023, 01:15 PM
gfirob gfirob is offline
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Congratulations. Eventually we have to walk through the circle of fire of our fears to find out the flames aren't really that hot....
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Old 03-25-2023, 11:01 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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Good job! That's one of the "secrets" to performance that I have found...

Focus totally on the song, on giving it all I've got to give to the audience...


...Oh, and do remember what you learned from this!
"They say Jonah, he was swallowed by a whale...
but I say, there's no truth to that tale.
I know Jonah, he was swallowed by a song..."

"Jonah" (Paul Simon)
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Old 03-25-2023, 11:33 PM
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b1j b1j is offline
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How nice. Thank you for sharing that with us. I suppose it helps when those around us aren’t expecting perfection.

In my life, moments like that stand out. I can still vividly recall the evening I tranced out — or something — on a borrowed 12-string in Houston in 1982, and the time around the campfire in 1986 when I played with friends songs I’d scarcely played before. Both times I played with skill and confidence and filled the night with music enjoyed by all. It was like I was outside myself. Two times I’ve never forgotten.
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Old 03-26-2023, 04:50 AM
broy broy is offline
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Very cool, congrats to you!!!

Huge milestone - and well wishes on where walking through that door allows you to go!
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Old 03-26-2023, 05:04 AM
rmp rmp is offline
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yep familiar with the feeling.

at one point I guess we all just realize that we do what we do, each one of us individually, and it's probably at the very least some what better than we give ourselves credit for

finding the songs in our own personal wheelhouse is a big part of this too I think.

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Old 03-26-2023, 07:44 AM
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Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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For me the trick is to concentrate and only pay attention to what you the player is doing. If a person does that the rest will fall into place. It's all that thinking that screws people up.

Good for you!
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Old 03-26-2023, 02:36 PM
JackC1 JackC1 is offline
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I'm a shy person, but I think playing an instrument is all about making music for others.

I force myself to step out of my comfort zone for this guitar hobby. Why? I guess I like learning the guitar but I find it pointless without being able to play for others. So, to give my guitar learning a purpose, I force myself out of my shell.

I do a few specific things to help lessen my shyness/anxiety:

- My first public performances were with a group; that really helps as I didn't feel anxious at all (it also helps that I've played with the group privately many times prior to the public outing).

- I need to be super prepared. My first solo performance was for children and I had 10 songs "ready"; turns out I was only able to recall 5 of them because there's a million things going thru my mind and I can only play the ones that's 500% ready.

- I practice in public often. When I have to wait for my son's activities (sports, music lessons, chess <-- this is multiple-all-day practice time), I take a guitar and find a nice bench to play.

- I do only 1 take when making videos to post online. This best simulates the live performance effects on my nerves. Although I will admit that sometimes I do a second take because the first is too crappy even by my standards.

I perform at every opportunity I can get as long as it fits my skill level. I mean, if somehow I'm asked to perform at Carnegie Hall, I'll turn it down because I don't like to publicly embarrass myself; but if friends come over and ask to hear my guitar (and this happen often because my wife loves to advertise that I own tons of guitars to our friends), I love to play for them.

I'm still a shy person, but I'm ok with performing for people because I make specific efforts to do it.
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Old 03-27-2023, 01:10 PM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
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Fabulous! Glad to hear that you could settle into the song and let that be your anchor. It is a great feeling and worth all of the jitters getting there. :-)
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Old 03-27-2023, 01:14 PM
Woolbury Woolbury is offline
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This is great. Thanks for the inspiration! I did do a summer of open mics pre Covid, but fell out of that after the couple year layoff. I enjoy playing with other players, but performing on my own, I haven't quite crossed crossed that bridge. Lately Ive ben more disciplined in my playing and considering getting out there again. Thanks for the boost!
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Old 03-31-2023, 04:13 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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I'm in a very similar position.

I have played with a band or in a duet quite a lot. But the transition to solo performing is difficult. I'm forcing myself to take up opportunities to play solo, as I know that it is only through practical experience that I will get better at performing. I'm playing tomorrow night - a solo slot in a local concert with an audience of 70+. So I'm doing all as much as I can to prepare; right down to choosing a pick that's not my favourite tone but it's one that is really easy to play and hang on to. The audience is not going to worry about the nuances of pick tone!!!! And I'm simplifying the guitar work and getting the key right for my voice at that time of day. I know that I'm going to be nervous, and that adrenaline will have some effect on my fine motor skills - so I am trying to do what I can to take that into account. But I also know it's going to be a lot of fun! And every time I play in front of other folks solo I get better at it.
I'm learning to flatpick and fingerpick guitar to accompany songs.

I've played and studied traditional noter/drone mountain dulcimer for many years. And I used to play dobro in a bluegrass band.

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Old 04-01-2023, 01:36 PM
tmargul tmargul is offline
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Default Way behind you, brother

Unfortunately, I am way behind. I can't play even if there is some one in the other room that might overhear me. I even get performance anxiety in front of my wife.... no not THAT... I mean guitar performance.
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