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Improving my confidence on stage?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Fassa Albrecht, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Basically I'm hoping to start playing regularly again at church, but the one thing which knocked my performance (according to the bandleaders) was that I seemed unconfident when on stage.

    What should I do to improve my confidence? :bassist:
  2. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    Work on the material a lot. Know it well. That's where I would start.

    Oh, and if and when you do make a mistake, just keep playing and don't let it shake you up.
  3. MickMichaels


    Jan 16, 2008
    Try Alcohol.
  4. try to not stand still like a statue, make some eye contact with the crowd, and smile.
  5. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    Believe in the music you're playing. Maybe a cup of tea to calm the nerves.

    Hey Mick, did you miss the part about the OP was playing in church? Or are you Aussies just hip with drinking in the house of God? If that's the case GET ME A PLANE TICKET! :D
  6. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    You're playing in church. Have you prayed?
    Put your playing in His hands. Give it up, let it go, and do it for the Big Guy.

    Then find individuals in the audience, connect with them, share their faith and share yours with them.
    And smile...
  7. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    There's an old expression: "Fake it until you make it." In business, we say "if you hope to become an X in the future, starting acting like an X now."

    Have a friend or family member videotape you while you're playing. When you watch the tape, try to observe specific behaviors that might suggest a lack of confidence. Then watch video footage of self-confident bassists (YouTube), and see if there are specific behaviors you can emulate.

    Try to remember that fear and excitement are opposite sides of the same coin: the same brain chemicals and autonomic responses are involved. The attitude you choose is often the difference between success and failure, not the circumstances.

    Good luck!
  8. winner
  9. jsm81


    Jan 25, 2008
    keep going on stage, and like i told my guitarist, "Don't be nervous, until they start paying us, we're just free entertainment so they can't fire us!!"
  10. Here's an article I read a few years ago that affirmed some thoughts I had but never really realized. It is written about performing acoustic guitar at open mic venues, but much of it is relevant to any performer.


    Pay particular attention to his "Rule Number One":

    Absolutely every person in the audience ... in ANY audience ... wants to see you do well. Really well. They are rooting for you from the moment you get on stage.

    I've found it to be true in almost every situation, except when there are guitarists in the audience.

  11. MickMichaels


    Jan 16, 2008
    We could use a guy like you !!!!
  12. You guys rock!
  13. exactly what the crowd will be saying after your performance as long as you look like you're enjoying yourself, which will cause them to as well.

    :bassist: afterall, why are we all in this?
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    And remember, god is on your side.

  15. Yep! :hyper::hyper::hyper::hyper::hyper::hyper:
  16. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    Confidence is one of those things that you can't fake. If you try, it appears contrived, phony even pathetic. You either ARE confident or you're not. Just play like you mean it. Expericence leads to confidence. If you're serious it'll come on its own soon enough.
  17. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    +1 for believing in the music... the best advice i ever gave (to a girlfriend who was freaking out over a scholarship audition on piano) was that she should forget about who the other people are in the room and what the might think... you're playing the music because you love playing it and that's all that matters...

    actually i gave that advice and THEN applied it to my own playing... it was sort of a verbal revelation... haha
  18. Equin


    Aug 20, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I have extreme stage fright but when I've got a bass in my hands I can lose it pretty quick. Some advice:

    GROOVE. Feel the music. Transfer your nervous energy into groovy movements: bob your head, tap your foot, just move to the music. Don't go overboard, though.

    Breath deeply if your heart is beating fast. I never understood the point of this until I really focused on it, you need to breath in a controlled manner and bring your heart rate down.

    Use the adrenaline to your advantage. Be more alert of what's going on in regards to what you are doing and what the music is doing. Be happy.

    Turn your bass/amp up or dig in harder. Lack of confidence creeps into your sound like a tick into skin. You will start playing quieter, question how you sound, and wish you weren't on stage. This is NOT how you should be performing. Enjoy yourself, play LOUD and CLEAR and hold that bottom!
  19. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    eat a banana before you play
  20. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    i know this may sound odd to some, but when i'm grooving, when i'm jamming away, when i feel the music the most, i turn around.
    yep. i play, for the most part, with my back to the audience. i also usually have my eyes closed.
    because i know that if i look up and see a crowd of people, i'll start scanning the audience to see who's praying, who's singing, who's checking me out, or i'll start looking for hot chicks, yadda yadda... all things that i shouldn't be doing at that time. all i should be doing is playing and letting God move. and watching the drummer's foot :)
    so... try playing backwards. this also gives you a better line of sight with the drummer. of course turn around to communicate with the band leader during the song.

    either that, or a shot of Jack should do you fine! :)

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