1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Stage Fright

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by sergeantsquirlie, May 9, 2000.

  1. sergeantsquirlie


    Apr 29, 2000
    I have not yet performed in a band yet, nor have been in one.
    But, I have been in a couple of church plays, and school stuff.
    Sometimes, My legs will get all shaky, and I start to get really nervous.
    Is anyone else like this, any help on what might prevent it or help me feel better in front of a large audience?

    I'm only a caveman, I don't understand these things...
  2. just dont look at the audience look at the bass, the floor, the ceiling, look at the rest of the band, whatever works. I do all those especially when i look at the rest of the band. when i do i get this sudden rush of excitement and it keeps me playing. as a matter of fact my theatre class had a play the other day and im the main character so i just stared at the wall the whole time. but i guess i looked stupid doing that. --jr
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    When I was a teenager, the only thing that helped (as I was very shy then!) was to drink 6 pints of Cider (at least!)before each performance. The other members of the band had other substances that they used, but I preferred to stay legal - just about!

    I would say that a better recommendation is to practice and know your stuff so much that you are confident that you won't make a mistake and in fact are keen to show others "what you can do". I know a fair number of Jazz performers who are very shy in their private life, but get them on a stage and they know their stuff so well, that they can't help coming out of themselves.

    If you've got something to "give" to an audience, there is no reason to be frightened about this - they want to hear good stuff. If on the other hand you are just into "posing" and haven't really got anything to say musically, then I can see there might be a need for some artificial help!
  4. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    That was one of Danko's best tunes

    Seriously, better nervous than bored!

    [This message has been edited by Rockinjc (edited May 10, 2000).]
  5. TCollins


    Apr 4, 2000
    I agree with one of the previous posts "that there is no substitute for knowing your material" -That will give you TONS of confidence. But, just wait 'til some pretty girl starts "giving you the eye"--then you may find yourself having some difficulty keeping up with what your supposed to be doing--wow!
  6. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    Competence is highly overrated! Don't wait until you are perfect to get out of the house. Perhaps you could just scale your gigs to small groups of people you know are supportive. I think it is more about momentum than perfection.


  7. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Dude, you've got nothing to be afraid of!
    All those people who are staring at you only WISH they could be in your shoes. Try to think about the positive aspects of being on stage: being envied by the audience, chicks, free beer, chicks, free beer, chicks, etc, etc, ad nauseum. The point is: relax and have fun!
  8. Usedtobejim


    Jan 3, 2000
    I agree with the look around idea. I'd recommend wearing sunglasses so people think you are actually moving around and performing instead of seeing you scared.

    Give it a try

  9. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Hey SS--
    I've done the sunglasses thing. It really works. Another thing you could try is to find something in the back of the hall to look at. Like a clock or a window or anything. You will still be "looking" at them but you don't have to look at any specific person.

    Chris A.
  10. sergeantsquirlie


    Apr 29, 2000
    Yeah Chris,
    In school right now, I'm learning about public speaking. And I was doing a speech, I would look at everyone, but not really. I was just looking at the wall, but acting as if I was looking at them. It seems to work.

    Thanks for all the advice.

    I'm only a caveman, I don't understand these things...
  11. papafunk


    Jan 27, 2000
    Yeah, I was always the "look at the back wall" kind of performer. Helped me in theater in Jr. High and was never scared again.

    I am also a big fan of "know thyself". Nothing worse than not knowing the change when it's a'barrelin' around the corner. But guess what? Most people don't notice when you goof, and those same people won't notice how deftly you pulled off that snappy pocket groove with the drummer during the guitar solo. (sigh)

    Keep your peeps on the walls above their heads and also the forehead...eye contact screws me up because you sometimes get distracted by reading peoples reaction (re:chicks again). And remember: if you don't feel dorky, you're not. You're ON STAGE.
  12. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Playing at friends' partiers is always a great way to get your feet wet beforegoing out and playing in front of people who don't care about you. I thought I had my stage fright licked until I had my performance debut in front of a bunch of fellow music majors at the University. I have already broken the Ice and know what the stage feels like so it should all be easier with repetition. It always is.

    Will C. cool.

    You can't hold no groove if you ain't got no pocket!

  13. foolfighter24

    foolfighter24 Guest

    Apr 22, 2000
    I have only played 3 gigs but on the first one I was as nervous as hell! My legs and fingers(ahh) were shaking like crazy. My advise is to eat something(I eat like a sandwich or pizza). Also don't pay attention to anyone but your fellow band mates...chances are they'll will be looking at you and you will sound or look bad.

    Or you could imagine the crowd in their underwear.... rolleyes.
  14. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i've probably played 300 gigs in my "career" - not that many i know, but still, i still get seriously jittery before we play everytime.

    goes away by the time i put my bass on, though.


    strings! strings! i need more strings!

  15. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I'm not sure I'll ever beat the stage fright thingy. The grp I play with has found that if the first tune of the night is something that we've we have down cold that the jitters are usually gone before the first song is through. That same adrenlin that makes you nervous can make you a better performer if it's controlled. eek.
  16. Being an A* drama student I've gotten used to the whole stage thing...so I guess it all goes away as you get on stage more. When in doubt just don't look anywhere near the audience.
    I'm a pretty shy guy IRL, but if I know my stuff and I get on stage then I know I can do it...I just don't get cocky. Because I tried that once, and screwed up real bad.

    Über Sheep

  17. demon53


    Mar 27, 2000
    I don't really think that it matters how many gigs you've played. Knowing your material will definatley help a ton, but for me personally, I still puke before every live show. I know it sounds terrible,and most of the time it is, believe me!!. I'm not saying that its right for everyone, but hey, it works for me, and by the way, its not self enduced vomitin, its just that my nerves get the best of me. Really sux most of the time, but I deal with it. Good luck with the nerves thing, I think we all suffer in some form or another.
  18. demon~just dont have a show everyday, or like more then one a day for awhile, cause like, your doctor would think you were balemic. just tell him that your diet was gigging
  19. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    To be honest, I kind of like being a little nervous when I play -- part of the experience is to get a little excited, a little pumped up, and a little bit anxious. Part of the rush. As you get more experienced and more confident, you won't be quite so nervous -- I just hope you don't lose the feeling entirely.
  20. ~Loxley~

    ~Loxley~ Guest

    Apr 9, 2000

    I agree. Kurt Cobain actually says in his suicide note, that one of the reasons he killed himself was because he never found any thrill in performing. It had simply turned into a rutine.


    Never trust a man who doesn't drink - Winston Churchill

    [This message has been edited by ~Loxley~ (edited June 16, 2000).]

Share This Page