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Mind Games

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by SunneyBoy, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. How much does your mental state have to do with how well one plays .

    i think i play alot better when iam relaxed or in a really good mood and having fun . like in my living room at 1 in the morning.
    But when iam up on stage i feel the urgency to perform better tense up and actually play rubbish.
    Especially when my fellow bass playing mates from the club down the road pull in to my gig to see whats cooking and say high.

    Do any of you out there have any techniques that you use to relaxe before a performance or session ( i dont even want to go into how tense i get then)

    Jaco , Wooten, Bona, tom kennedy . Awesome players!!!!!! but they just human flesh and bone like you and i . yes they have done loads and loads of work. What makes them special is their state mind and i have come to think that this is what seperates the the GODS from the guys. !

    I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. any opinion is welcome.
  2. macintushy


    Dec 8, 2005
    Being a psychotherapist and a vocalist/occasional bass player, I too suffered from a similar problem before. This may not work for everyone, but for me I tried to actively invite the kind of stress when I'm practicing (oh yes, it takes some talent and practice). Slowly my body and mind came to take the stress much better and I also realised how I tended to over-emphasise the stress.

    Hope this helps.
  3. rprowse


    Dec 17, 2005
    Wellington NZ
    I think performance nerves come from two main areas:
    1) "All these hot players will be there, they'll see right through my playing. They'll laugh at me and tell everyone that I suck!"
    2) "I'm about to play and I don't feel I'm in control. I'm not ready to play this!"
    Solving no.1:There are two solutions...
    a) Practice until you are better than everyboby else (in your mind, at least). This solution may or may not be realistic.
    b) Accept yourself for what you are and that you have a right to be playing. You have no control over what others think of you, so why bother worrying about it? Anyway, most people will spend more time thinking about how they play and probably won't care too much how you play! If someone is spending all their time trying to tear your playing apart, they're probably a jerk and other thinking people will realise this too.
    Solving no. 2:Practice will go a long way to fixing this one. Also, try to avoid playing material that you don't feel ready to play. I know that, in a band, sometimes you won't be able to choose what you do and do not play. 'Go for it' and sometimes you will surprise yourself! Now and again you won't quite get it together, but, I've found that when you step outside of your comfort zone you can really rise to the occasion.

    Remember: Music is supposed to be fun and mistakes are okay. I'm sure that even Victor has off days... nah, I can't really convince myself of that one!

    Richard from New Zealand.
  4. For me, the key to relaxing and being free on stage was being relaxed and free off stage. Forgive a brief aside for a moment...

    Some people need to feel validation or approval from others in order to feel good about themselves, and performers and artists in particular get their fix through their performing. Consequently, they feel under a lot of pressure onstage... it's like their whole self-worth is tied up with how good they lookin front of everyone tonight and what the people in the audience think of them.

    ... so for me, working on not needing approval from others (on or offstage) in order to approve of myself was what allowed me to chill onstage, because my self-image wasn't then affected by my performance and what people thought of it, and therefore of me. Talk about a burden off one's shoulders!

    As always... that may not be the case for you.