Does anyone have tips on overcoming nervousness on stage? Some folks resort to use of harmful substances to assist.
What do you think?
For me - just only practice and experience. No alcohol or something, everything just getting worse on the stage. I always feel some kind of nervousness before stage. But when we complete 1st song me and my musicians feel more relaxed.
This is the best way to go. To get rid of nervousness on stage its good to know what one is doing, enjoy yourself and relax and do not think too much of what other people are thinking...
In my experience the best you can do is to know the songs by heart. I used to get very nervous when I had to play difficult passages that I knew were coming, but that was mainly because I had not studied them enough to the point of being able to play them by heart. Once I forced myelf to study them I wasn't nervous about it anymore. If you're playing with other musicians make sure you rehearse until the band sounds tight.
And also try not to worry about mistakes and simply go on and have fun. The times I felt I was playing better live was when I was not worried but having a lot of fun. Of course one beer always helps calm the nerves. But just one, if you get drunk you will lose concentration!
For me this was a massive problem when I started to play live, whereas others appeared to be fine from the start. Over time the more I played in front of an audience the less I felt like it was an unfamiliar and exposed high pressure situation - it's just another day in the office for me now, so I would compare it to the process of starting a new office job - the difference between the nrevous period of turning up for a job interview and the first few days of working at a new office job compared with how completely settled and in control you feel at that office job a few weeks later.
However, this is no help to you when you first start performing so you need to find a way to keep it under control so that you don't make mistakes. I had terrible finger shake when I first started to play classical guitar live years ago. If that happens in classical guitar you can't perform - the finger precision is essential and there's nowhere to hide when you are the only performer. I actually did my classical Grades when I was an adult and had such bad shaking during the first exam that I only just scraped through the pieces whereas at home I could play them effortlessly. That for me was the last straw so I found out about proplanalol which is a prescription drug used to lower blood pressure, but widely used by surgeons, snooker players, musicians etc. I went to my GP and explained the situation and asked if I could get a prescription. She checked that I was ok (do not try and get hold of proplanalol without going to a GP as it is not suitable for all) and I took a tablet before I performed at my next classical guitar grades exam. The result was 100% corrective. I had absolutely no finger tremor whatsoever despite still being completely alert and mentally sharp (and still healthily nervous!). It was a magical experience - life changing at that time.
Over the next couple of years, on and off I would take a tablet for occasional high pressure situations (classical performances, first dance performances at weddings that were fingerpick style etc), but I gradually got to the point where even these events were so familiar and everyday to me that there was no anxiety. I don't ever need them now. For those of you who specifically suffer from finger tremors when anxious I highly recomend you consider this.
Playing and performing in public can pose a problem for some people, so much so, that I know a couple of people who gave up performing completely due to their inability to perform publicly. When it comes to public performance, there are a lot of things that one needs to consider.First of all, perfecting the songs is important. If you are planning on performing, knowing the songs by heart is the first step. But knowing the song is not always good enough if a person doesn’t build up the courage to get up on stage and start doing their craft.In my personal experience, I have realized that the most important thing to have when performing are the people who support you and like what you do.It doesn’t matter if they are your friends, your family or your bandmates.I can guarantee that having them in the audience or on stage with you will help a lot to ease up the stage fright. Even though I grew up as a choir singer and was used to performing from an early age, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have the shakes when I was performing in front of a big crowd for the first time. The stage was on a high level, the lights were bright and there were more than 400 people in the crowd. The butterflies in my stomach were going crazy and suddenly I was running everything that could go wrong inside of my head.What if I forget the lyrics.or the guitarist messes up the song arrangement even though we practiced for months and knew the songs inside and out.Honestly, we were so well prepared that I could probably sing the guitar solos. Still, for some reason, I was afraid. Just as we were about to start the guitarist and my friend came up to me, gave me a fist bump and said: “It all gonna be cool man”. As soon as he did that, the fear was gone and I was more than ready to sing my heart out on stage. One more thing that all performers need is energy, not everything is in hitting the correct notes and proper rhythm. Believe me, I've seen my share of the bands who played perfectly yet the crowd looked like they were at the funeral cuz the band was too stationary focusing only on what they were playing.A truly great performance, in my opinion, needs to be a perfect blend of technicality, emotion, and support.Only then the performance hits its true potential.
For those of you who specifically suffer from finger tremors when anxious I highly recommend you consider this.
Interesting, I have taken propanolol before because I also suffer from finger tremors (even when not anxious), but I have never taken it before a gig. Probably because I've played live so many times I don't get that nervous before playing, and I usually have a beer or two before the show which for some reason calms me down a bit. But I will keep the propanolol in mind, especially for gigs that could potentially make me more nervous than usual (large venues, things that may go wrong, etc).