Coping with audition-fright?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by JAL, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. JAL


    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Hey TBers!!!
    The time has come.
    My Berklee scholarship audition/admissions audition is in 9 days, and im freakin out. I'm definatly prepared. However, just thinking about it wigs me out! I'm reaching into the TB pool of experience for some advice for calming the pre-audition jitters. Any help welcome.
    Thanks, -J.
  2. Honestly playing cards works like a charm for me.
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Do what I do when I audition bands. You're going there to audition them, to see if you even want to go to that cheesy school.
  4. Use nerves and the adrenaline to your advantage, think you're going to nail it, and don't allow yourself to think about making mistakes and blowing the audition.

    Assume up front you will make mistakes, then ignore them when they occur. Move on. Mistakes will happen in live performances. How you handle them and recover without missing a beat ought to be as important as how well you play. Stopping and swearing is not acceptable in a musical situation. How did the the Galaxy Quest motto go? "Never give up. Never surrender." Do you get flustered, lose your place? Pros don't, and they goof up all the time. They just hide it so well you don't even notice.

    Remember to play with a light touch, when nervous, you tend to get a deathgrip on the bass. That will fatigue you quickly, slow down your fingers. Warm up good beforehand too.

  5. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    When I did my grad recital YEARS ago at Humber College I prepared by playing my solo pieces in front of someone I did not usually play in front of but whose opinion I respected and valued. I was nervous playing in front of that person but when it cam to the recital it ended up being easy. Almost like an out of body experience since i played in front of a critical ear. Good luck
  6. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Read the Inner Game of Music.
  7. Er... Tips for easing fright/panic:

    Inhale slowly and deeply using your nose, and slowly exhale, again, using your nose.

    Oxygenate your brain... don't eat/drink anything beforehand and obviously, practice.

    In all honesty though, I used to have severe audition fright and considering I went through the EXACT same situation as you with Berklee, I learned that there are two types of anxiety: Frightened, and Excited. Use both to your advantage.
  8. First of all don't worry or dwell on it.

    Make sure your hands are warmed up. You can wash them in warm water which works great.

    Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared. If you are prepared then walk in confident NOT COCKY, but confident in yourself.

    Just play, that's all. Just do what you trained yourself to do.

    Most of all remember this when you walk in the room. Every audition is a two way audition. THey are auditioning you, but YOU are also auditioning THEM. If you remember that everything will be in it's proper perspective and jitters get reduced.
  9. Someone once gave me this advice and its helped in all my audition scenarios. I usually find myself getting nervous not just before the audition but on the ride there or the waiting around for my turn. Just take a few minutes, close your eyes, and take 10 DEEP breaths, slowly. Just focus on that for a few moments, and it will (as previously stated) help oxygenate your brain, and help calm your nerves. It really only works if you focus on it though, but don't worry yourself about focusing :p Just relax, and try not to tie your own worth to your playing, or the results of your audition. Good Luck!
  10. JAL


    Dec 15, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Thanks for all of the usual, TB is incredible.
  11. Also carry a large bottled water with you. If you get so nervous you lose bladder control, pour the water over yourself and say you were hot. They'll never know. That's what Ozzy Ozbourne does to cover, but his bladder control thing is a medical condition, not nerves.