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BS: Shyness and Music

GUEST,Hiding 02 Apr 02 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,jonesey 02 Apr 02 - 01:20 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Apr 02 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Slickerbill 02 Apr 02 - 01:57 PM
Herga Kitty 02 Apr 02 - 02:02 PM
Noreen 02 Apr 02 - 02:04 PM
Rick Fielding 02 Apr 02 - 02:15 PM
DMcG 02 Apr 02 - 02:17 PM
Zhenya 02 Apr 02 - 02:27 PM
Steve Latimer 02 Apr 02 - 02:29 PM
Sorcha 02 Apr 02 - 02:30 PM
NELLIE 02 Apr 02 - 02:33 PM
JenEllen 02 Apr 02 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,Hiding 02 Apr 02 - 03:52 PM
C-flat 02 Apr 02 - 04:02 PM
MMario 02 Apr 02 - 04:08 PM
GUEST 02 Apr 02 - 04:16 PM
Herga Kitty 02 Apr 02 - 04:21 PM
GUEST,Hiding 02 Apr 02 - 04:34 PM
Willa 02 Apr 02 - 04:44 PM
Willa 02 Apr 02 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,not as shy as I used to be 02 Apr 02 - 07:10 PM
JulieF 03 Apr 02 - 10:55 AM
NELLIE 03 Apr 02 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Les B. 03 Apr 02 - 02:23 PM
Celtic Soul 03 Apr 02 - 06:34 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Apr 02 - 08:03 PM
53 03 Apr 02 - 09:16 PM
GUEST,Steven G. 03 Apr 02 - 09:49 PM

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Subject: Shyness and Music
From: GUEST,Hiding
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 01:05 PM

I would be very interested in getting involved in my local music scene. But I can't seem to get past this numbing shyness to do so. It seems such an ordeal to go out and meet new people, much less find the ones that are interested in making the kind of music I am.

Any ideas on overcoming shyness? It seems ludicrous, I know. It's extremely embarrassing for me to admit which is why I'm hiding cookieless in the corner.

I've spent my time getting my music fix on the 'net. It's getting old.


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 01:20 PM

Hiya Hiding...grab your guitar(or whatever), find a place where folks play music for fun, introduce yourself to the nearest person and join in on the chorus. You'll be amazed at how quickly you forget your fear. Have fun!


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 01:43 PM

Is there a place you can kinda sidle in to without attracting a lot of attention, and EASE your way into a group? On one level or another, we've all been stricken by shyness in our lives. The first time I got up and sang a song, I was terrified. I came to learn that everyone really WASN'T watching my every move. I've seen people who were enormously shy just show up at a concert series I used to run, and for a long time never say a word to anyone. But, through time, people started to engage them in conversation and it time, they became very comfortable in the group. You would never have guessed that they were shy when they first started coming. I think of a person, in particular, who is now involved with running a folk festival and is quite out-going.

Go at you own pace, but push yourself a little, too. There's only one way to overcome shyness... don't accept it, and do something about it, no matter how small that first step might be.

Go for it!

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: GUEST,Slickerbill
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 01:57 PM

I used to be painfully shy. Wouldn't even play in front of my wife. I kind of took it in increments; plaed in church a bit, get together with a couple of friends and play, then perform in a group once in awhile, and so on. Getting up by yourself with a guitar solo, I find is still the most difficult of all, but I've gotten to the place where I can and have done it and will continue to do so, because it's a blast. But you don't have to force yourself into the tough stuff right away.

I had some great advice given to me by a friend when I started though. He said that really, most of your audience, and I mean the vast majority, are on your side and want you to succeed, and are very supportive and forgiving. Most of them won't even notice when you make a mistake, AS LONG AS YOU DON'T LET ON, which is hard at first. You know, that wince you give when you screw up. Just keep on as if it was meant to happen. And those out there that ARE watching for mistakes? Who might not want you to succeed? SCREW EM!!!; what kind of person is that anyway, and why would you care what they think? Don't worry about them, in other words; play for the guy up front who's diggin' your music and relax and enjoy yourself.

Good luck. SB


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 02:02 PM

Have you any good friends who would be willing to just come along and listen to a music session, and keep you company, or are you just trying to find a way of boosting your confidence to turn up alone, even if just to listen?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: Noreen
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 02:04 PM

I know exactly how you feel.

Can you find someone on the Mudcat (maybe start a thread?) who is local to you, and could accompany you to an event? That's how I first got involved in the local music scene, when I was in a bad way- very down, shy and lacking in confidence, I answered a request for local mudcatters and we met up, having exchanged some details by PM first.

Really helped me get my confidence back. Thank you, Mudcat!!!

All the Mudcatters I have met have been very friendly, 'nice' people, so it's safer going somewhere with a catter than walking into a strange place full of strangers.

Good luck, and PM me if you wish.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 02:15 PM

Hiya Hiding. Oh can I relate. I was PATHALOGICALLY shy for years....absolutely no self-confidance, and simply terrified of school, dances, and a lot of other things. I discovered that you have to create your OWN environment...one that makes folks come to you, on YOUR terms. Maybe that's music for you...it was for me. Practice like the devil til you're BETTER than most, and then take a deep breath, and force yourself to play for others...JUST ONCE. Your shyness will start dissipating.

Folk music is absolutely FULL of shy people. Many of us went INTO folk and blues (rather than mainstream rock) 'cause we were too nervous, too shy, too fat, too smart, too skinny, too ugly, too short or too tall. Funny thing happens once you DO get into the folk community.....You discover that YOU"RE JUST FINE!

I'm pretty out-going now (in real life and on Mudcat) but put me in a room full of non-artistic folks, talkin' Condos and retirement plans and Monster Truck rallies (without my guitar) and I'll regress back to that shy guy REAL fast. Unless I'm playin for them (for pay) I just stay away from them whenever can.

So....get real good...jump in (even if it hurts) and see how good it feels. Folkie folks are the best.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 02:17 PM

I know you're intested in real live people, but one other angle you could try is to join in the Paltalk sessions on Sundays (see this thread) I know that part of my embarassment at turning up to any session with an instrument would be finding that I was asked to play it and suddenly discovering I had ten thumbs. Same with singing - I have sung all my life on my own but the first time I had to sing in public I could barely croak. Once you've overcome that hurdle, you may find it easier. Listen to Jerry's advice though. Go at your own pace. Find anything at all that is a stepping stone to where you want to be - and take it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: Zhenya
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 02:27 PM

I agree with some of the suggestions above, especially the one about asking a friend to accompany you, if possible, the first time you go to a session/concert venue, etc. Then you can comfortably check out the situation and you may decide you'll feel comfortable going alone the next time. This has worked for me.

Another thing that really helped me was to start with music classes, rather than plunge right into sessions or other informal gatherings. This way you can meet a small group of people in a structured situation who share your musical interest. Music classes tend to be very interactive and usually meet for several sessions, so you see the same people for quite awhile and just naturally end up getting to know them. Then you may find some new company for concerts, sessions, etc.

In general, I've found that people interested in tradtional music are for the most part really friendly and very open to having more people join in. Of course, not everyone will be; it's unrealistic to expect that. But don't give up if you hit one bad apple! Most of the people are really nice. Zhenya


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 02:29 PM

Go to some Open Mikes just to listen at first. We all expect performers to be perfect, but there are a lot of people performing who you are probably already better than. Listen for a few times, get up some courage after a few weeks. If the Open Mike is in a bar/club the majority of the people there won't know or care if you're good or not. But, know your song well before you start singin'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: Sorcha
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 02:30 PM

Could you invite a few musican friends into YOUR home where you would have more control over the environment?


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: NELLIE
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 02:33 PM

I USED TO SING IN FOLK CLUBS MANY YEARS AGO AND HADN'T SUNG IN PUBLIC FOR 20 YEARS, UNTIL RECENTLY. YES, IT IS AN ORDEAL, YOU FEEL AS IF YOU WANT TO DROP THROUGH THE FLOOR IF YOU DON'T SING OR PLAY WELL. BUT, WE ARE LUCKY HERE IN DEVON, ENGLAND, WE HAVE TOLERANT GOOD NATURED FOLK PEOPLE, WHO JUST LET YOU GET ON WITH IT, LAUGH WITH YOU WHEN YOU DO A PLONKER, SO JUST SHUT YOUR EYES, AND DO WHAT YOU LIKE DOING.

THAT'S THE REAL GIST OF IT. IF YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU DO. MOST FOLKS, EVEN PROFESSIONALS HAVE BEEN THERE. IF YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH, COME TO OUR PRINCETOWN FOLK EVENINGS, IF NOT FIND ONE LOCAL TO YOU, IF THEY ARE SNIFFY, FIND ANOTHER. YOU WILL FIND ONE THAT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE IN EVENTUALLY.

BEST OF LUCK, BUT DON'T GIVE UP, SCREW UP YOUR COURAGE AND DO IT.

JENNY


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: JenEllen
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 03:01 PM

Combatting shyness once you've taken the plunge will also be a repeat occurance. Be prepared! *g* I'm still a victim of occasional (constant) pre-sing freak-outs. If you aren't a little nervous, then you aren't stretching yourself.

What kind of music do you like to sing? One simple way to take a plunge is at a shantey session. Even if "you" are singing, you will have a lot of voices with you to help you float. It's a great way to start, and you can ease in by hepling others with harmony.

Best of luck, and SING,
Jen


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: GUEST,Hiding
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 03:52 PM

Thanks for the advice. I will be working on it.

I have played/sang in public before, but it's been a long long time. For now I'd like to go to some local places and just listen. I get nervous about taking other people, because the whole time I'm obsessing about if they like it/hate it are bored, want to go home, etc. I guess that's the same thing I obsess about when I'm just talking to people which is why I don't talk to people. Sigh.

Anyway, thanks again. Nice to know I'm not alone, even though I don't enjoy the thought of others going through this!


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: C-flat
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 04:02 PM

You really owe it to yourself to do it! I don't know where you're from but many areas have "singaround" nights which often only consist of a few regulars who've played all their best stuff there before and would love to hear someone new. You'll only need a song or two and the other players will be willing you on! Once you've broken the ice it's the best feeling in the world and you'll want to do it again. Like a lot of people, nerves are just something you need to manage and may always be a concern but it needn't stop you singing and playing in public. Don't die wondering!


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: MMario
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 04:08 PM

And if you can get only Paltalk - you can listen only - listen and "chat" in the text boxes - or perform. (and if you don't do well you can always blame it on the internet!)

Just don't try to read what people are saying WHILE you perform - inevitably you will either break up laughing or forget your lyrics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 04:16 PM

A hint for Jenny. Most users consider all capitals as yelling. Thanks


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 04:21 PM

OK, so you need to work out in advance whether a particular venue will be in (or at least close to) your comfort zone or not. If you're hiding you won't want to tell us where you are, but there are various folk club guides for different parts of the country, so you might want to give us a clue which will let us tell you which publication might cover your sort of area.

If you're worried about talking to people, you might want to start with a concert type event where people mainly listen rather than talk.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: GUEST,Hiding
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 04:34 PM

Kitty

I am not too far from Chicago Illinois.


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: Willa
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 04:44 PM

See, Hiding, you've already taken the first step by talking to all these people, and the sort of response you've got is pretty much what will happen at most folk sessions - plenty of helpful advice, a willingness to listen,lots of 'me too' responses even from those you might well imagine to be completely in control of their nerves. Give a little more information about which area you're in and you may find there are local mudcatters who'll help you take the next step.


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: Willa
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 04:46 PM

See, Hiding, you've already taken the first step by talking to all these people, and the sort of response you've got is pretty much what will happen at most folk sessions - plenty of helpful advice, a willingness to listen,lots of 'me too' responses even from those you might well imagine to be completely in control of their nerves. Give a little more information about which area you're in and you may find there are local mudcatters who'll help you take the next step.


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: GUEST,not as shy as I used to be
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 07:10 PM

Hi Hiding,

True story, just about 12 months ago I first called in at a local session- it was one of the best things I have ever done in my life. Other than listening to music and maybe singing several months down the line - I had no expectations. All the session co-ordinators I know accept people passing-up a turn, or 'just' sitting listening/joining. Most performers I have come across LOVE to have others joining in on the choruses - so I doubt there's any time pressure on you. You can ake as much time as you like to build up a repertoire again - decide what what you WANT to sing and which venues feel most comfortable for you. I now sing/play guitar a couple of times a week - and in FRONT OF PEOPLE - not just in the car ! But also get to hear a wide range of music. I'm still a shy person - so to some extent it is still hard work, but from just gradually getting to know people I now have more friends now than at any other time of my life. Something that keep on surprising me is just how nervous MOST people are - you really won't be the only nervous person in any room. If you spot somebody there by themslves they may be particularly glad of someone chatting to them. - And with music there's always something to talk about !

Keep on keeping on Hiding, maybe reflect on each evening, & pick out a small peice of progress each time - perhaps you heard a song that you really want to sing, or you have learnt that a particular type of venue is/isn't for you, or a chat with somebody went particularly well.

When I was first starting singing at sessions - I found I could guage when I felt I was ready to sing a particuar song when I could sing it at work & not stop if somebody walked in the room.

...But whatever works for you Hiding

Good luck to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: JulieF
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 10:55 AM

Its definately best to start with just a few people about and just listen. I was able to go to a folk chorus and just sing along. Eventually, I managed to sing the solo bits as well. I still mainly sing only with people I know and who know that I sing and have heard me before. Its still a bit of an ordeal to sing even in front of new people or friends who haven't heard me. My shaking was legendary , so much I became embarrassed because I felt I was saying "my fear is deeper than your fear."

But I am getting better. I can breathe in the right places and sometimes remember my words without resorting to the paper. I even let my partner hear me sing which was a big step- not so sure about my daughter yet.

All the best for the future - remember slow and steady.

Julie


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: NELLIE
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 12:53 PM

Sorry Guest, didn't realise I had the caps lock on all the time. I'm not yet computer literate and concentrate on what I am putting into the computer, so get blips occasionally like that one.

Apologies anyone who thought the same.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 02:23 PM

Hiding: - When I think back to the times when I've been shy, I realize it has to do with not knowing the "rules" of the situation.

Several years ago I visited Ireland, and stumbled onto what was apparently a "beginners" pub session. While sitting nearby and listening, I was politely asked if I cared to do anything. I got real shy, and demurred, even though I've been playing for years in jams here in the US. I kicked myself afterwards, but realized it was because I was afraid of violating their rules; I'm used to singing while accompanying myself on guitar or banjo --they seemed to be doing their singing unaccompanied. And, I wasn't sure how they would react to an old time country or bluegrass song - so I just said no!

More recently, at one of our weekly jams, a young man came in, listened, and finally borrowed a spare guitar and quietly strummed along. Next week he came back with his own guitar and quietly strummed along in the background. The next session he came in, sat in the circle, and "passed" the first three times around. Finally, toward the end of the evening he plucked up his courage and sang & picked beautifully. He was just getting used to us, and the "rules".

My advice, is to find a group that seems to be doing your kind of music, lurk until you feel comfortable with their proceedures, then jump in with both feet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 06:34 PM

Absolutely!

Here it is, the long and the short of it: Commit to a gig, and then do it.

Worked for me, anyway! Here it is, nearly 20 years later than the date I decided to do just that, and I have not one regret or complaint. :D


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 08:03 PM

One thing that's funny about shyness is that it attaches to different activities, depending on the person. It may be that we're all shy in different ways.

I'm not a musician but I have been an amateur actor. I have known some people who are excellent actors who have no problem performing in front of an audience, as long as they're well rehearsed and performing a well written script. But they would fall apart if they were asked to improvise, or sing, or give a speech. And there are some good singers who wouldn't dare try to act, dance, or tell jokes to an audience.

Some people are fine unless certain people are in the audience—their parents, for example. Other people would find it comforting to have their parents in the audience. I guess it depends on the kind of relationship you have with your parents, and maybe on the kind of material you're performing.

Depending on your circumstances, there might be some things you can do to reduce your stress, like inviting your parents, or NOT inviting them!

To show you you're not alone, here are some other threads on the same (or a related) topic:

Stage fright - Help!
Performance Anxiety
BS: Are You Scared To Dance?
Help: Beat the nerves help?
Help : tricks for a nervous throat?
BS: Pre Audition Nerves!
BS: Stagefright...er terror..ever overcome?


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: 53
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 09:16 PM

I've been playing guitar for 37 years and I have just begun singing in the last year, cause i was shy about my singing. Just go out there and do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Shyness and Music
From: GUEST,Steven G.
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 09:49 PM

Hello, Hiding

I know the feeling of being shy in front of people. For me I been playing guitar for about 19 years now, since I was 7 years old. And always called myself the "closet performer", because always sang and played my guitar in my room. My parents always thought I was good enough to play in public, but I always would shy away. For me, shyness always kept me from playing in public.

Just last year, I started to play in public. I remember my first concert playing music, I was very nervous, but I played my songs with no problems. It took me nearly 20 years to do this, but I done it, and it felt great. After the concert, I told my Mom "Why didn't I do this years ago." But now, I really enjoy playing in public. The comments from the audience after you do a song make it worthwhile to continue playing and practicing. So any chance you get play in public. You meet new people in the music scene, learn new things, and also for me I got over a little bit of my shyness.

Anyway, keep up the good work

Steven G.


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Mudcat time: 9 August 10:50 PM EDT

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