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Is there a stage fright thread?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by thedudebrah, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. I put this in humor because I thought there might be some comical discussion. If it was wrong to put it here, feel free to move.

    Anyone struggle with mild to major stage fright? Any weird superstitions or rituals before/during your set?

    I've just recently gotten back into a gigging band and we've played two shows so far. I used to sing in my last band and while singing, I couldn't handle looking anyone in the eyes. I would actually mostly keep my eyes closed.

    In my new band, I sing very little back up. I still can't bring myself to look out into the crowd. I even had a few drinks before my last gig, which used to help, but I couldn't get over the fear of looking out into the room and kinda stayed rooted in place.

    Any advice for loosening up on stage? Before and after our set, I'm actually quite loud and outspoken, but put me on stage and I get super shy. And I've usually imagined all the girls in their underwear before we play anyway ;)
  2. Yerf Dog

    Yerf Dog

    Jun 29, 2009
    Carol Stream, IL
    My stage fright goes away as soon as I start playing. Waiting beforehand is the worst.
  3. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I am very comfortable on stage. I have played some pretty big stages in front of a few thousand people.

    My first church gig at a little rural church about 10 years ago scared the living crap out of me! I don't know why, and I remember asking myself what my issue was at the time. I bet there weren't 50 people in attendance, and I was actually shaking!

    Now my one and only standing gig is playing at church for better than 1,000 people a weekend. It doesn't scare me, but I do have to remain aware of my surroundings........
  4. alembicguy

    alembicguy Lone Wolf Miner of iron ore Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Once I drop my Pre show poop I'm good to go.
  5. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Pre-show??? Oh, you are good! :bag:
  6. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Take the thread starter's advice and have a few drinks first. That's what I always do before I go to church.
  7. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    The only stagefright I've had since my first big gig in 1965 (about 500 folks) was when I had to play for a grade in music school before the whole student body and faculty, as well as jury exams for selected faculty members (this was all classical stuff, very picky). As far as regular bands go, nah. Opened for the Atlanta Rhythm Section before about 2-5,000 souls with nary a tremble. I don't know why, I'm shy about other things sometimes. I guess if I didn't know the tunes very well I'd be worried, but still not frightened. Played a street dance last summer for about 2,000 with no problem.

    Also, no rituals or anything like that. Just set up, tune, check things out, and go get a drink. About it.
  8. Corevalay

    Corevalay Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    New Jersey
    That's interesting because I'm pretty much the opposite! I'm a very quiet and reserved person in general. Once I get on stage though I'm completely different. Very active and outgoing. I've been told numerous times how good my stage presence is. I've always been told countless times "Wow, I can't believe that's you up there". I guess being on stage is a bit of an outlet for me. Seems to do the opposite for you.
  9. Haha!

    I never thought of myself as a stage fright kind of person until I was no longer the front man of a band. I don't know what's been going on with me recently. It's almost like I'm over thinking what I need to be doing. I wouldn't be surprised if I was red faced during our whole set lol
  10. Art Araya

    Art Araya

    May 29, 2006
    Palm Coast, FL
    Nerves are normal. I think the more comfortable you are with your instrument and the tunes, the less they affect you.

    I think this goes for anything...

    I DREAD oral presentations! Make me sick to my stomach. The times I've done best however was when I spoke on a topic I was very knowledgeable of
  11. I've been playing for 12 years now and was in my last band for about 7 of those years. We played some larger gigs and they were never a problem for me. I'm hoping the nerves go away with the more gigs we play and I can get back to normal.
  12. throughthefire


    Oct 1, 2010
    I'm the opposite. Stick me behind a bass guitar and I'll play to any number of people. Before and after the show, however, I don't do the small talk with individual people - it frightens me....
  13. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    I got kinda clammy-handed and shaky-kneed the FIRST time I did something new - the first time I played at a piano recital, the first time I was in a school play, the first time I played piano at a church service, the first time I sang a solo in church, the first time I played with the high school band, the first time I played bass on stage, etc. After the first time, everything is fine. And I am so old now I'm pretty sure I don't have any firsts left! My last episode of performance anxiety was in the early 1980's.
  14. How are you feeling with the material you guys are playing? I find that when I know the material more then anything, I can focus on just jamming the songs and getting everyone into it.
  15. denhou1974


    Mar 6, 2008
    I used to have it really bad. I think stage fright is really a fear of judgement. You have to realize that all people aren't judgemental, most of them just want to hear music. I've now played over 500 shows so it's completely gone away. But leading up to this point my attitude evolved into this:

    I'm a good enough player to be playing with this band
    I know the material
    I've practiced the material
    I'm on stage and you're not
    The audience usually does not know or care if you make a mistake
    Don't take yourself so seriously
    If you make a mistake, do it again so that it looks intentional ;)
    Stop worrying and have fun
  16. Very comfortable with it. We usually only have an 8 song set. Simple Clash type punk songs mixed with a blues feel. I rarely have any flubs when playing, and if I do they don't bother me. I just can't shake the feeling of how many people are staring at me, which I should be used to since I have full sleeve tattoos lol
  17. denhou1974


    Mar 6, 2008
    Interesting. It sounds like you're doing something right. I get mad when they don't stare!
  18. Mike in Chicago

    Mike in Chicago Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    Im a stand in back guy. Never liked the feeling of being noticed...now, you want nerves? Do what I do, go to your son's hockey game. He's a goalie.

  19. My younger brother is a goalie as well. Played for Rider University. I know the feeling lol
  20. bolophonic

    bolophonic SUSPENDED

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Smoke a whole bunch of weed right before you go on.