FIRST PERFORMANCE good but guitarist is/was nervous

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by All_¥our_Bass, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. All_¥our_Bass


    Dec 26, 2004
    We were awesome. Few minors mistakes that no one noticed and the songs flowed very well. We played in a church that had a sort of "coffee-house sytle get together" where people played music, read poetry, etc. Despite the adience being people mainly in the 30-40 years range, our music was well recieved. Sadly our second guitarist was nervous so she turned herself down, but was later noted by one member of the audience that she was (in this person's opinion) the most talented.

    and by the way does anyone know ways of overcoming stagefright (for our guitarist). Any tips ,etc.
  2. I've never had a big problem with stage fright, but I think the main thing to remind yourself of is that most people in the audience would love to be up there doing what you're doing. Just getting up there and playing makes you look cool, in and of itself. Also, you need to remember that even if you _do_ screw up, most people aren't going to notice anyway.
  3. bonscottvocals


    Feb 10, 2005
    Upstate NY
    Stage fright will become easier to deal with once he's played for more crowds. I still get nervous before a gig, and I've been playing out since the 70's. One just finds ways to deal and cope. For me, I like to connect with a single person in the audience who looks like they have a kind face. Then I can move my gaze around. If you get into staring at the fretboard to work through your nervousness, it will go to crap.

    Congrats on your first outing.
  4. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    All excellent answers... More playing time will definitely alleviate the nerves... Consider this: I play in a four-piece roots band. The drummer, harp/vocals, and I have all played many gigs with different bands over the years. This is the guitarists' first, true gigging band... Even though he's fiftyish, he's played very few gigs throughout. Used to get very uptight at gig time... stressed over every mistake, (this isn't uncommon, even with veterans... more later), and was very stiff onstage. We are starting to gig quite a bit, and it is so refreshing to see him loosening up and enjoying himself, (this is why we play after all, isn't it?)

    The other thing, with all due respect to invader3k, I would change this line ==> even if you _do_ screw up to when you screw up... Face it, you and every member of the band will make mistakes, and you have absolutely every right to! The true measure is in how you react to them... Crowds are generally supportive and are made up of human beings just like yourselves. Sure, you get the occasional butthead, but that happens in work, school, even the grocery store... Allowing mistakes equals allowing growth. It's just live music... It's gone as soon as it's played, (I always say "It's on it's way past Venus right now").

    Turning down so as not to be heard is understandable, but you have to help her get over it... People will realize that they can't hear the second guitar. Stagefright just sucks the fun out of playing and can lead to a quitting attitude... I hate to see that happen to anyone...

    BSV's suggestion of keying in on a member of the audience is spot on. I first heard this from a lighting technician back in the eighties, when I was first dealing with the same issues your guitarist is... Find someone who is bobbing their head or looks even remotely into it... Play to that person for half a tune, the scan for someone else... Soon you'll find folks are kind of clamoring to get your attention. This not only helps with stage fright, it build an audience. A few words to these same people during break, ("Glad you could make it down", "Thanks for listening"), will do alot for bringing them back next time you play...

    Good luck!

  5. My trumpet teacher used to say if you play a wrong note, play it again twice as loud and people will think you meant to do it. Therefore, it is not a mistake. That's how you erase mistakes.

    Everybody makes mistakes, if you freak out about a mistake, you'll spend more time fumbling around trying to get back to where you should be.

    Worse yet, if you are freaked out about making a mistake before you've made one, the correct notes you play BEFORE YOU EVEN SCREW UP will be stiff and mechanical, and unmusical.

    Some of the best nights I've had were where I played more mistakes than usual, but was having fun, relaxed, playing with a lot of energy so that the grooves were better. Better to have 90% of the night go better and have a few mistakes than to play the entire night dull and lifeless trying desperately to avoid making a mistake.

  6. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    "and by the way does anyone know ways of overcoming stagefright (for our guitarist). Any tips ,etc.[/QUOTE]"

    Bong hits work for me :D
  7. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I am the veteran in band of talented, but new musicians. This is everyone's first band. Our guitarist got so nervous the first show that he was literally loosing his legs. I could see him wobbling on stage. Later he told me that his legs were shaking so bad he could barely stand and hopped off the stage and walked out into the audience to get them to stop. This guitarist was perfectly confident with his playing, and enthousiastic about the performance, and that still happened.
  8. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Wobbly-legs is the weirdest thing ever. Happened to me many times over the years - but for some reason not in my current band; i'm very comfortable onstage with these guys and they're no veterans either.

    Heh, we have a gig at a new venue for us this week, tho, watch me get wobbly myself again.... doh.
  9. Valium and massive doses of Whiskey can cure nerves..... I hear heroin works wonders too :D

    As far as mistakes go, just don't be one of those bozo's that shoots a look at the cat who just flubbed. Total no-no in stage performance. If you make an error don't make a face, just play like you meant to do it. Most people won't notice sadly enough.

    Some people never get over nerves but usually experience will be the cure.