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Nervous habits when performing

GUEST,DTM 02 Dec 16 - 06:39 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Dec 16 - 10:04 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Dec 16 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Desi C 04 Dec 16 - 09:55 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Dec 16 - 10:36 AM
Tattie Bogle 04 Dec 16 - 03:28 PM
GUEST 04 Dec 16 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 04 Dec 16 - 07:47 PM
meself 04 Dec 16 - 08:19 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Dec 16 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,ST 05 Dec 16 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,RA 05 Dec 16 - 12:48 PM
daithi 08 Dec 16 - 07:57 AM
Acorn4 08 Dec 16 - 01:00 PM
punkfolkrocker 08 Dec 16 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Guest 09 Dec 16 - 07:42 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Dec 16 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 09 Dec 16 - 08:57 AM
Jack Campin 09 Dec 16 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Tattie Bogle 09 Dec 16 - 07:34 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Dec 16 - 08:15 PM
Roger the Skiffler 10 Dec 16 - 05:49 AM
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Subject: Nervous habits when performing
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 02 Dec 16 - 06:39 AM

I continually rub my nose when introducing a song. It irritates me when I see myself on a playback. Also, I sing with my eyes shut which I don't like but I find it hard to get out of the habit. I'm sure other performers have their own little idiosyncrasies e.g. de-tuning and re-tuning strings that were originally in tune.


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Dec 16 - 10:04 AM

I remember that 12-string man Bill Caddick looking ruefully down at his guitar, saying that he usually ends up retuning the only string that was in tune in the first place. 😂 Try to make eye contact with one or two people in front of you. Pretending that you're having a real conversation should do away with the nose-rubbing. And keep tbe chat brief!

Eyes open or shut can cause rows on his forum!   Again, make eye contact with one or two people, maybe towards the back, if you want to keep your eyes open. It will come with time. It took me several years of trying before I could play the harmonica in front of people with my eyes open. I found it far more relaxing and it made me less prone to mistakes. Just my experience!


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Dec 16 - 10:05 AM

This forum, not Bill Caddick's!


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 04 Dec 16 - 09:55 AM

I used to suffer from chronic stage fright till I found talkng made me calmer so now I have to tell a bio/story ab out any song I sing, might bore others but it cured my stage fright!


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Dec 16 - 10:36 AM

Trouble is, if you go to the same folk club with the same people and tell the same story...


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 04 Dec 16 - 03:28 PM

Playing with the microphone is the one that does my head in! Your sound man will hopefully have set it up just right for you, so leave it alone unless it develops "microphone droop" or you're in a quick change situation after someone much taller/shorter than you has just used it! Do NOT massage it, keep taking it in and out of its holder, just LEAVE IT ALONE, and twiddle your thumbs instead!
And as an aside to that, try to stay 'on mike" while singing: glancing down at your fret-board (or in my case, buttons) can take you right "off mike", so know your instrument well, so that you can do the playing part by "muscle memory".
And hands: do not wave them about, unless its an action song or emphasising a point, conduct yourself (this seems popular among younger singers these days, why?) Arms loosely by the sides is fine if you're not playing an instrument: least distracting.


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 16 - 04:46 PM

As for the eye-shutting part, I often do that, so have taken to the habit of trying to find something on the opposite wall to look at - a clock, a picture, or just a stain is good enough


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 04 Dec 16 - 07:47 PM

What is this "mike" thing?


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: meself
Date: 04 Dec 16 - 08:19 PM

I think it's what they insist on calling a 'mick' or something nowadays.


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Dec 16 - 04:25 AM

A friend of mine attended a workshop where a young woman singer insisted on standing on one leg and clutching the nearest object for support when she sang - one of the worst things you could possibly do to create unwanted tension.
Most habits are caused by nervous tension and this can be controlled and reduced by simple exercises that can be shotened the longer you do them.
When I worked in workshops, the practice we adopted was to ask singers to prepare a number of songs and perform them in front of the group for critical analysis and suggestions of improvement.
Aside from the practical help of having a group of friends assist you to see possible alternatives to what you are doing, once you have undergone an experience like this you will never feel nervous in front of an audience again (or at least, never allow it to spoil your performance) - having returned to singing after decades of not doiing so, take my word for it.
A baptism of fire!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 05 Dec 16 - 05:06 AM

I nearly always close my eyes when singing unaccompanied and quite often have my hand cupped over my ear - but then I always think of myself as a singer of songs and certainly not as a "performer" so my first duty is to the song.   I'd rather look worse and sing better than the reverse. I'm probably not people's first choice of what to look at at the best of times and, after all, if I've got my eyes closed, there's no reason why any audience can't do the same if they don't like what they're seeing.

I appreciate if you're going to set yourself up as a performer or an entertainer then image may be important but I'm just someone who simply wants to keep some songs alive and enjoys singing. I do appreciate though that my habits could be annoying to anyone who can't stop themselves from looking at me so - my apologies!


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 05 Dec 16 - 12:48 PM

I have a habit of tensing my leg muscles while performing. I don't notice I'm doing it at the time but often when I come off stage, particularly after a longer performance, my leg muscles are aching!


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: daithi
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 07:57 AM

I play mainly Irish trad , some more generally folky stuff and the occasional Pogues cover (I know...)with a couple of mates under the name Gone to the Dogs.
Our singer/guitarist inevitably announces the next song, maybe gives some background - and the fiddler and I get ready to go; at which point the singer almost always reaches out for his drink and takes a mouthful!
Why can't he take the drink first (during the applause for the preceding piece maybe) THEN announce the song, so we can go straight into it! Drives me crazy :-)


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: Acorn4
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 01:00 PM

I always used to play with guitar accompaniment, but got into unaccompanied singing later - big problem with what to do with hands which used to flap around not being used to being unemployed.


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 01:44 PM

Provocatively grabbing and squeezing your crotch might have worked for Michael Jackson on stadium stages
in front of a crowd of thousands and international TV audiences...

But probably ill advised at your local folk club,
or afternoon gig at a retirement drop in centre with an audience of elderly widows sat mere feet from you...??? 🙄


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 07:42 AM

I get played hell with by she who shall be obeyed for rattling my change in my pocket.

I'm sure there are worse things to do when performing but perhaps it's best not to go there.


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 08:19 AM

"I get played hell with by she who shall be obeyed for rattling my change in my pocket."
Wonder if she plays hell with you for referring to her as SWSBO?
I wouldn't have room in my pockets if I did it - they'd be taken up with my balls, which she'd have ripped off!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 08:57 AM

GUEST:"I get played hell with by she who shall be obeyed for rattling my change in my pocket".

Don't see the problem as long as your jingles are in time with the song.


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 09:03 AM

According to Robert Mylne, the Reverend David Williamson ("Dainty Davie" in the song) had three testicles and used to play pocket billiards with them in the pulpit while he was preaching.


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: GUEST,Tattie Bogle
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 07:34 PM

Especially need to get your jingles right this time of year!
(Just back from a gig where we played "Jingle Bells", with appropriate percussion, as the final tune in Dashing White Sergeant set!)


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 08:15 PM

Rev. Williamson came up to me in the pub once and said to me, all confidentially like, "Hey Steve, between you and me we have five testicles!"

"Really?" said I, "Have you only got one?"


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Subject: RE: Nervous habits when performing
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 10 Dec 16 - 05:49 AM

Chis Barber still shuffles and stammers as if nervous in his eighties and after 60 years of performing, who cares!
RtS


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