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What to do after I panic?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by leanne, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    I'm going to play in public for the first time tomorrow night. It's not a big deal, I'm just gonna sit in for one song at an open jam. But to me it is a huge deal. I get all shakey just thinking about it. I'm a big baby. I even get super nervous in my lessons sometimes. My teacher will be there--it's his place I will be taking.

    I won't get to warm up, I won't be playing my own bass, and I don't know if the whole band actually knows the song--I'm only sure about the singer. Also, I haven't played with other people at all since December, and I've not played with any of these guys ever.

    No matter how hard I try, I know myself well enough to believe that I'll probably be a wreck when I get up on stage. So what do I do after I'm up there and I am all scared? I'll be playing an easy enough song ("I'll Take You There") but I'm just really frightened. If I do panic up there, how do I just jump into it after that?

    I have gone to this gig just about every week since December, but I've been too scared to play. I decided it was time to get over it and just do it, but now I'm not sure how well I will be able to handle it. :meh:
  2. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    You've got nothing to lose and nothing to gain,from this space you can just play.Forget the need to sound good and just play.When you take the stage,close your eyes for a second and pretend you're out in the crowd watching yourself.Focus on breathing,real breaths not fake ones,you'll be fine.:)
  3. 72beetle


    Jun 10, 2001
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I can understand how you feel - I went through the same thing many many years ago when I was in school. The important thing to remember is just do your best, and no matter how it turns out - life will go on. Just like your first kiss, the first time you drive all alone, the first time you do anything, it ultimately doesn't really matter if it was good or bad - just that it's over, and that the stigma surrounding it is gone.

    Like kissing and driving and everything else you do for the first time in your life at some point, playing in front of people is just another little milestone that once you get past it, you'll look back and think 'wow, I can't believe I got all bent out of shape over that.'

    Go with the flow, play as well as you can, and most of all, relax. It'll all be over tomorrow. :)

  4. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    One word of advice - don't drink. I remember getting really nervous before my first gig, so I thought I'd settle the nerves with some beer. Well one beer turned into 5. I was quite young, so by the time it was time to play, my sheet music was doing backflips and I was clinging to the floor so I wouldn't fall off it.
  5. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    One thing that I've learned after many public performances is this: Practice makes perfect. If you practice and practice and know your songs well then that will come through and most of the time practice will prevail over nerves. No matter how nervous you get then if you practice you'll always have that to fall back on.

    brad cook
  6. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    I agree with the advice on breathing. Seriously.

    Also, since you are not sure the rest of the band will play the song the way you know it, keep your EARS and EYES open. Listen for the drummer and try to lock in and groove your a** off.

    One more thing - if you make a mistake (which you will) don't make a face. Just carry on like nothing happened.

    Oh yeah, Break a Leg!

  7. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    You are going to handle it just fine. Your probably familiar with how the songs go since you went to the gig almost every week for many months now. And if you do hit a bad note or two, remember its not the end of the world, nothing to be ashamed of, and that everybody even the best of the professionals hits bad notes.

    Just take a few deep breaths before you jam and think to yourself, "Im gonna own this gig"

    Break a leg and let us know how it turned out
  8. I don't know if this will help, but I'll try the analogy anyway.

    There are lots of uncertainties that can make us nervous in first-time circumstances like this - will I embarass myself? will I remember what to do? will anyone laugh when I make a mistake? will I enjoy it?

    Sort of like the first time you are about to have sex.;) (in this case the "audience" is only your partner, at least in most circumstances....)

    Then, after it's all over, you feel pumped. You know you enjoyed it, and you know you could do it better next time and can hardly wait to get back at it.

    Sort of like after the first time you have sex. :D

    Anyway have a blast!
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    C'mon, Josh...ya gotta know this tune!
    I'll Take You There" by The Staple Singers?

    Hey Leanne, isn't there a little ol' quasi-bass solo on this classic R&B song? ;)
    If possible, stand back near the drummer & have fun!
    After the one tune over, done, & in the vault, you'll probably be wishing there were more!
  10. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
  11. - Breath
    - Relax
    - clear your mind.

    Remember you know how to do it. Just now there happens to be people that are in the same room, who may or may not be paying attention to you. You are not the only one on stage.
    I am lucky, I don't get nervous playing infront of crowds (only done a couple of talent shows)
    But I do get nervous when I compete in martial arts tournements. If you don't relax and clear your mind you will just make yourself mess up worrying about wether you are doing it right or not. you will make yourself think too much. When you stop thinking and just do somethin that you know how to do and done many times you will do great. I promise. (unless you suck at bass :eek: just a joke to try and help you relax)

    Relaxed practiced song=good.
    Feeling flow=better.
    Stealing show with amazing bass solo at end=priceless...I mean best.

    have fun. It is a great feeling if you have people congratulating you on playing well, and if no one does, don't worry about it they probably wouldn't know a good bassist if they came up to them and said "Hi, I'm a good bassist!":)
  12. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    whatever happens - it will make you a stronger and better person!

    try eating two bananas on your way over - it used to work for me (potassium?)

    now i really never get nervous (i just don't care anymore!!)
  13. leanne, here's what you will do after you panic:

    You will realize how much fun you are having, you will have the time of your life.

    You are now a performing musician. Or, better yet, you are a perfrorming bassist. That is an extremely cool and important set of shoes to fill.... congrats and good job, glad to be in the club with ya!!

    :D :bassist: :)
  14. 72beetle


    Jun 10, 2001
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I think I speak for everyone in this thread when I ask...

    Well? How'd it go?

  15. Ditto! Inquiring minds want to know.......:D
  16. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    I didn't get to play. :( Some heavyweights showed up late, and because I was waiting until late in the night to play, I didn't get the chance.

    The singer brought me up to the stage before the last tune, and I wasn't even feeling nervous at all (beer :)), but the other dudes were oblivious and just tore into it.

    I'm disappointed, but it was a good show anyway. :)

    Next week.
  17. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    ...that hadda be a major buzzkill.
  18. How disappointing! :(

    We've all gone through those first time nerves but believe me it's worth it! I don't think I slept for a week before my first gig.

    My brother once told me not to worry about making mistakes because when things go wrong everyone thinks its the guitarist anyway :) Try to laugh off any mistakes - most of the audience couldn't attempt to do what you're doing.

    If I'm feeling under pressure I like to just shut my eyes and pretend I'm at home playing my heart out. Mind you - I wouldn't like to do this on someone elses bass - couldn't you take your own along?
  19. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I warned you about that!!!!!!!!
  20. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    Well, I played last night. Again, I wasn't nervous (beer).

    It was the worst experience of my entire life. Really. I can't even explain how bad it was. I hardly practiced all week, and I didn't practice the song at all, and I was quite drunk (yeah Petebass, I know...), but I did it anyway. And it was so awful. I couldn't do it. The string height on the bass was uneven (I guess), and I was drunk enough that I couldn't adjust, no matter how hard I tried. By the end, I was just playing a bunch of C's. No matter what I did, I couldn't play the right notes. After having such trouble with my right hand missing the strings and stuff, I couldn't even remember what the hell the notes were. It was so bad. It was humiliating. It was beyond humiliating.

    But I was so drunk that I just shook it off. Today, I feel like a complete idiot, though. Good god...

    BUT it can't get any worse than that. And I survived it. I'll try it again next week, and I'll try to drink a little less. jeez...

    On a good note, I actually got some compliments (drunken fools, hehe), and the drummer and guitar player asked me to play another song (yeah right, no way!). Why, I have no idea, but at least they didn't want to shoot me or something. But they should have. I'm so incredibly embarrassed.