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Nerves

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GUEST,Les in Chorlton 08 Dec 03 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Diva 08 Dec 03 - 02:53 PM
treewind 08 Dec 03 - 03:11 PM
Catherine Jayne 08 Dec 03 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton 08 Dec 03 - 03:42 PM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Dec 03 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton 08 Dec 03 - 03:57 PM
Joybell 08 Dec 03 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton 08 Dec 03 - 05:29 PM
Dave the Gnome 08 Dec 03 - 07:01 PM
Leadfingers 08 Dec 03 - 07:12 PM
Willie-O 08 Dec 03 - 09:11 PM
Mary in Kentucky 08 Dec 03 - 09:58 PM
Peace 08 Dec 03 - 10:04 PM
Fred Miller 08 Dec 03 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,Diva 09 Dec 03 - 03:07 AM
Trevor 09 Dec 03 - 04:43 AM
smallpiper 09 Dec 03 - 05:17 AM
mooman 09 Dec 03 - 05:55 AM
Fred Miller 09 Dec 03 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,bananas 09 Dec 03 - 10:02 AM
VIN 09 Dec 03 - 11:15 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Dec 03 - 01:43 PM
GUEST 09 Dec 03 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,skipy 09 Dec 03 - 03:52 PM
Fred Miller 09 Dec 03 - 04:31 PM
Joybell 09 Dec 03 - 04:49 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 09 Dec 03 - 04:50 PM
Kim C 09 Dec 03 - 05:09 PM
SussexCarole 09 Dec 03 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,skipy 09 Dec 03 - 05:28 PM
Joybell 09 Dec 03 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 09 Dec 03 - 06:37 PM
fantum 09 Dec 03 - 08:40 PM
LadyJean 10 Dec 03 - 01:19 AM
Trevor 10 Dec 03 - 04:34 AM
Fred Miller 10 Dec 03 - 09:47 AM
Greycap 10 Dec 03 - 10:03 AM
the lemonade lady 10 Dec 03 - 11:37 AM
Trevor 10 Dec 03 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,MCP 10 Dec 03 - 07:35 PM
the lemonade lady 11 Dec 03 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Claire 11 Dec 03 - 04:55 PM
the lemonade lady 12 Dec 03 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton 13 Dec 03 - 11:19 AM
the lemonade lady 13 Dec 03 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Lidy 13 Dec 03 - 03:28 PM
Les in Chorlton 12 Jun 04 - 03:30 AM
Strollin' Johnny 12 Jun 04 - 03:52 AM
Les in Chorlton 13 Jun 04 - 04:32 AM
Wolfgang 16 Jun 04 - 03:42 PM
Amos 16 Jun 04 - 04:29 PM
jimL 16 Jun 04 - 05:50 PM
Diva 06 Mar 09 - 01:34 PM
gnu 06 Mar 09 - 01:39 PM
Amos 06 Mar 09 - 01:59 PM
Don Firth 06 Mar 09 - 02:04 PM
Megan L 06 Mar 09 - 02:07 PM
Micca 06 Mar 09 - 02:13 PM
Wesley S 06 Mar 09 - 02:40 PM
wysiwyg 06 Mar 09 - 02:49 PM
Diva 09 Mar 09 - 01:12 PM
Diva 14 Mar 09 - 04:07 AM
Megan L 14 Mar 09 - 05:45 AM
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Subject: Nerves
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 02:50 PM

I have sung and played guitar at folk clubs for a many years. I have been playing tunes on the Mandola for about 2 years and about once a month at the club for the past year. I can play about 50, some in pairs, at home, most without many mistakes. When I get up to play I feel much more nervous, forget how many As and Bs I have played and make many more mistakes?

Sound familiar? More beer? Other substances? Yoga? Deep breathing? Tantric tuning?

Any help o0ut their?


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,Diva
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 02:53 PM

I was given the most wonderful advice about nerves from a good friend, who is also a semi profesional musician. Apparently we need them and when we stop getting them, we should give up. So heres to the nerves!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: treewind
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 03:11 PM

Yes, but we don't need to forget how many A's and B's we've played, or to make mistakes or forget words, or (my worst bugbear) get bow shake when playing the cello. The latter can happen even if I'm not feeling very nervous, and I can't control it.

One thing experience has taught me is that you can't have too much overkill in practicing for performance. One of my favourite quotes (I don't know who said it originally) is about the difference between a professional and an amateur: an amateur practices until he can play it right, and professional practices until he can't play it wrong.

I've been playing most of my instruments for many years, but I've had the "falling to pieces" experience recently with the pipes, which are a new instrument for me, especially with no other wind instrument experience.

So one answer is you somehow have to be able to play OK even when you're nervous. I've heard tales of internationally famous concert performers (in the classical music world) who had to be pushed into the stage...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 03:11 PM

I second that comment Diva, it was the advice giving to me when I was performing on a regular basis!


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 03:42 PM

Thanks, I get the point from Diva about needing a bit but treewind has my symptoms and its stopping me progressing. Will I ever?

I used to find with snooker that zero beer was not much good, 1 pint was better, 2 maybe and downhill after that. Does a similar curve exist for tunes?

Eyes shut or open. I did find that total concentration on the tune in my head helped, obvious I suppose?


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 03:49 PM

Les Chorlton said, in part:

"Sound familiar? More beer? Other substances? Yoga? Deep breathing? Tantric tuning?"

I can't answer to the putative benefits of beer, other substances, or yoga.   But as to deep breathing, I have one word: DON'T!

At Banjo Camp North a couple years ago, Peggy Seeger was addressing the subject of nervousness, and she said something like, "That's the last thing you want to do."

But she went on: "EX-hale, all the way down to your crotch. Let your shoulders fall. This is very relaxing. Then just let normal breathing take over; DON'T take a big inhalation.

"When you take a deep breath, you fill up your capacity and you raise your shoulders, and you tense up. Now, with your lungs full, and tense, you can't get a breath, and it makes you panicky and you tend to fall apart. EX-haling does the opposite for you."

I probably haven't said it as well as she did, but that's her message in essence.   And I can tell you from personal experience that it works.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 03:57 PM

Thanks Dave (& Peggy) I will go and do it


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Joybell
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 05:20 PM

As a singer Les, you will have already developed all the skills for coping with nerves - visulizing the audience without clothes on, focusing on a good listener, deep, slow breathing beforehand whatever, but playing an instrument is a whole different matter isn't it? A friend of mine had so much trouble, as a beginner, in remembering tunes that he became an excellent improvisor. He knew his instruments so well that he could do amazing things with the tune until he found his place again. Nobody ever knew how many times he'd played a B part and he always forgot himself - he just found his way to the end somehow and wonderful things happened in the meantime. He could even do it within a group. You still have to cope with the nerves but if you are confident about being able to find your way out of the woods, there's one less thing to worry about.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 05:29 PM

Thanks Joybell. I guess the songs have a slower pace and a story to follow. Tunes are technicaly more difficult. The half way house is sitting playing with a few or just one other, that seems to be OK, its that audience -performer thing. Is that why sessions are so popular?


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 07:01 PM

EX-hale, all the way down to your crotch...

Aaaaarrrrggghhhh

Too much information.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 07:12 PM

Having done my first paid gig in nineteen fifty eight at the Royal
Tournament, plaid in Dance Jazz jug and Crilidh bands and done the solo Pub entertainer bit , I still get nervous before playing,even a floor spot in my local club if its NEW material. Diva has it right - If you arent nervous then give it up.Otherwise , Les , Just practice and then practice a bit more.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Willie-O
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 09:11 PM

Learned a great practice technique for getting familiar with a tune recently (from Cape Breton great Jerry Holland):

Learn tunes by repeating two-bar segments. No pause in between, just cycle and cycle them. He was using this to teach us a tune by ear, but it would work just as well for getting really comfortable with the hard parts of a tune. Better to spend your time that way than playing a whole tune over and over when there's just one or two tricky bits you sometimes get wrong--as is usually the case.

Also, as a mandola player myself, I know it's a bit of a problematic instrument re: choice of keys. If you're playing with others in the conventional key for the tune, you have to get comfortable with going up the neck.

Since I am a lazy sod, I tend to sit around and play mandola by myself using the same fingerings as I would for mandolin...but the tunes come out in another key a fifth lower. Sounds fine in my basement. If forced into the previous-mentioned situation (sociability), I regret this...so, are you practicing the tunes in the same fingering and tempo as you have to perform them?   

W-O


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 09:58 PM

Les, something that helped me.

You learn a song two ways:

1) muscle memory

2) thinking memory

Use both. Practice over and over and over until you can just let yourself go and your fingers seem to automatically go to the right place. Also memorize different starting places by thinking about what notes to play...be able to name them.

Have you ever lost your place and had to go back to the beginning to get back on track? If you practice the second type of memory, thinking memory, you can start anywhere. Jitters seem to go away when you are "over prepared."


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Peace
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 10:04 PM

Nerves are the things that help us. I can't recall ever going on stage without having a case of nerves to a greater or lesser degree. One evening--no booze or dope involved--I puked lots before going on. Got a standing ovation for the half dozen songs I did. I see nerves as things that require an akaido-type handling. Use them to your advantage. Learn that you have them and 'make them your friend'.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Fred Miller
Date: 08 Dec 03 - 10:41 PM

I don't play out much, but when I do, get moderately nervous. I auditioned the other day for the school showcase at the Ky Center For The Arts, and the atmosphere of playing 7 minutes for a panel of adjudicators got to me a little. I wasn't sure how to deal with them as an audience--since I mostly play participation things with kids. And I got a cold the night before, and worried about singing and managing my harmonica. But the other people there seemed so nervous it relaxed me a little--I wasn't THAT nervous. This thread helps too--I tend to imagine a world full of assured performers, plus me and my nerves.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,Diva
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 03:07 AM

I have to say I still get them but once I'm into my ballad,eyes closed,they seem to vanish. Funny thing is,people who don't know me assume by my persona on stage that I don't have a problem with nerves.   Breathing is good, so is a little rescue remedy.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Trevor
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 04:43 AM

Good point Diva, about the audience not knowing about your nerves. Another thing to remember is that, generally speaking, your audience wishes you well. Yeah, I know that sometimes they're testing you out, but more often that not they want it to be OK - that's what they're there for, not to be embarrassed on your behalf.

Also as Fred says, knowing that lots of other people feel the same can help. One of the local regulars, who I have been in awe of for years, told me recently that he always feels uptight before performing a song, and talking to most of the others there is at least a feeling of nervous anticipation, even if its just as your turn in the pub singaround approaches.

And having made a living for the last thirty years out of standing in front of people and 'performing', if I didn't feel nervous before a presentation I'd be worried that I was dead!

Did you get the job Fred?


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: smallpiper
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 05:17 AM

When I stop being nervous I'll give up. I also find that if I start thinking about a tune I'm playing then I go wrong, so I try not to and just try and let the music come out. It really doesn't matter how many times you play A & B parts and generally if you don't think about it then you've probably got it right.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: mooman
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 05:55 AM

I'm afraid to disagree with some esteemed colleagues above!

I think too much is made of nervousness being a good thing IMHO. The adrenalin rush is definitely beneficial once one is performing. I used to get quite nervous before going on but after years of meditation now see any performance as "no big deal at all", even a big gig. This helps and relaxes me a lot. When I make a mistake (and I make a lot), I now don't get too bothered and either turn it into a "deliberate variation", a joke or just disregard it. I've seen dozens of top musicians fluffing stuff up over years and it really doesn't matter unless you let it bother you and affect the rest of your performance.

I used to play for years with an otherwise virtuoso fiddler who couldn't remember at all how many A, B, C, D and even E parts he had played. It even got included as an amusing feature of the act with me feigning complete bewilderment on occasion! When playing at dances, he often used to face away from the audience and get completely carried away. On one or two occasions, when I noticed one or two dancers beginning to expire after the tenth tune, I had to give him a kick or "pull the plug" to stop him playing.

Don't get too bothered Les and, most of all, relax and enjoy yourself!

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Fred Miller
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 09:56 AM

Mooman--I think that's a good idea. Whatever you do or tend to do, make it part of your personality as a performer. You give the audience permission to take you as you are.

That said, there are a lot of things I play, that I wouldn't play as a gig thing, or at least not until I was warmed up and comfy. Nerves affect my fingerstyle stuff more than say, flatpicking. So I tend to start out with thumpier, broader stuff.

I saw a kid melt down at a school drama showcase a few weeks ago--it was awful. I think it was a bad idea to have one child have to come out and start the play--get them all to do something together first, and it would take some pressure of the kid, having to start off cold like that in front of her whole school.

Thanks for asking Trevor--I don't know. They get back to you in a few weeks. I auditioned in both music and visual art. Maybe I'll get one of them.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,bananas
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 10:02 AM

Hi all
Best advice I got was to eat bananas - as recommended by this very forum. natural beta-blocker apparantly


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: VIN
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 11:15 AM

I don't think nerves should ever put anyone off from singing and/or playing. Neither should the fear of messing up on a song or fear of what those in the audience might think of you or your presentation of a song. Being 'backward at coming forward' so to speak, stopped me for years. Now, in my fifties i'm inclined to think 'sod it' and just have a go (occasionally) and i've not bin booed off (so far). Now i wish i'd done it years & years ago. As Martin Carthy once said in an interview:
'I've had an audience for 40 years that would pay and listen and let me walk up blind alleys, fall flat on my face and make a fool of myself, learn things, unlearn things, try another way. They've allowed all of us to do that. Can you think of a better reason to do something?'


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 01:43 PM

Thankyou all. As ever, the Mudcat has much wisdom. I shall let you know how your advice works out


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 03:47 PM

nerves huh!I wish it was just nerves I suffer "flashbacks" - moments of great terror whilst driving or working I remember how badly I sang a particular song ,I remember the venues, the faces,the song.
I have no folk club to go to so I sing vary rarely under extreme pressure at the odd festival or two per annum. The sad thing is I am a cracking "car singer" as long as I have no passenger.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,skipy
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 03:52 PM

What happened there then?
I was still typing the above when it suddenly launched itself into the ether!
I was about to say - how about a few major festival having workshops for the terrified to sing to each other + a bit of professional help!
The sad thing I would probably be to scared to turn up!

Regards Skipy
Currently singing my heart out as I am alone!


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Fred Miller
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 04:31 PM

um, no. I didn't get the job.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Joybell
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 04:49 PM

Bananas? What a good idea! At the very least they could become a sort of Dumbo's feather. Must try them.
Diva - Funny thing how people see you. Inside I'm a painfully shy person but everyone including quite good friends would fall about laughing if they read that confession.
Skipy - I often organize a little group of terrified singers at one of our Aussie festivals. They never believe I'm one of them inside but they turn up anyway. Are you in OZ or are you too afraid to say?


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 04:50 PM

I agree with the 'practice until you can't play it wrong' advice... I recently took a month off from my dulcimer playing , in order to build a new one... and it came out great! However, I took it out to our local open mic in order to show it off, and POW... there I was, trying to play it like I could play my others... without having practiced for a month... Now, my point here is... I had no 'nerves' that night. If I had, I never would have gone on with a new dulcimer and no experience with it. I wasn't too very wonderful...

Nerves are normal. Practice is the answer. Superhuman confidence is the result!
Good Luck, ttr


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Kim C
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 05:09 PM

I'm nervous till I get started. Then I'm okay.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: SussexCarole
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 05:23 PM

As I shook with nerves once before going onto a 'stage' the advice from someone very special was " Just think that this is the last time that you are ever going to be allowed to sing so just get on and enjoy it" It worked that time and has done ever since.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,skipy
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 05:28 PM

hi Joybell
Thanks for that, no I am in the U/k, but if I ever stray that far south I will let you know.
Which festival? I have a friend in Cairns
Regards Skipy


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Joybell
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 05:41 PM

Way down in Victoria, Skipy, it's a very small festival but if you ever stray this far South you'd be very welcome at our place.
Carole - what great advice!


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 06:37 PM

Sing us one of the old songs George
One of the songs we know
Try old man
Do what you can
And we'll make the chorus go

We won't forget how it used to be
In the days when life was new
So sing us a song
And if you go wrong
We'll help to pull you through.

The less I play the more nervous I become, the less I sing the more I forget the words or leave a verse out or put them in the wrong order - yet the local folk club audience seems to be no less apppreciative - in fact they seem to like my songs more than ever. As an ultra introvert I really suffer but I tell myself that people do not remember the mistakes, I know they do not even recognise they are mistakes a lot of the time.

Just thinking about this makes my hands go cold and my palms sweat, and I wonder why I put myself through the ordeal - but it seems I have to do it - I need to go through the process and it is usualy OK, and I feel great afterwards.

I wonder if it is some sort of ancient requirement of acceptance by the tribe still lingering in the Human psyche. Maybe doing it wrong used to have much greater significance. Maybe doing it wrong and getting no assistance from the crowd was something you really did not want to happen, but you had to get up and perform anyway.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: fantum
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 08:40 PM

Everything you need is given above I add my bit that works for me

Practice till your hands do it automatically and your mouth opens and the words come out. Practice so much that you dont need to engage the brain autopilot will do it.
Nerves affect us all and a little nervous tension prepares the body for action but keep it in perspective
Start your performance with stuff you know well you will settle into it better
Made a mistake so what get on with it
Beer in very small amounts but otherwise no
Enjoy it

Fantum


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: LadyJean
Date: 10 Dec 03 - 01:19 AM

I got my driver's license 6 years ago. I'd been told that I wouldn't be able to learn to drive, so I was really nervous, whent I took my lessons. I would dash off to the toilet, the minute the lesson was done.
Until one day a friend said something I didn't care for, and I took my next lesson mad as hell! We drove down Negley Hill, experienced drivers avoid it, but I was cool, calm and collected right down to the bottom.

Before I took the test I had a big liverwurst sandwich. I was worried, but not about driving. I passed the test. There's a lot to be said for distractions.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Trevor
Date: 10 Dec 03 - 04:34 AM

Hard luck Fred!


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Fred Miller
Date: 10 Dec 03 - 09:47 AM

Thanks Trevor--but probably for the best. Made me realise I should work with a partner, a normal person, so I don't have the pressure of pretending to have any educational value. That's the part that makes me nervous.

I don't know if this thread encompasses how one deals with rejection. But I think it can be a very positive thing. What makes one want to audition for roles one doesn't really want to play? One's ego? One's urge to get out of the house? One's need of work that pays? One's spouse?


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Greycap
Date: 10 Dec 03 - 10:03 AM

No audience is gonna kill ya - they're basically nice and there for a good time.
Just do your very best, and make sure it's fun for you.


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 10 Dec 03 - 11:37 AM

I am now a fan of Donny Osmond! Yes really! He seems an ok kind of guy these days. He had a really bad time with nerves. Now he's back and his words of wisdom are "Don't try for your best ever performance, go for mediocre" or words to that affect. Works for me. Sometimes it turns out to be the best performance yet.

Sal


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Trevor
Date: 10 Dec 03 - 07:19 PM

Hey Guest Diva, don't let Sally Lemon catch you singing with your eyes shut!! (see previous thread on the subject) BG!!!


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 10 Dec 03 - 07:35 PM

The classical world takes performance anxiety seriously these days. See for example Royal College of Music - Look under Research and then look for the Zoning In project. This covers research into various aspects of affecting performance, including anxiety.

There are several approaches to handling performance anxiety and many books available on it - try an Amazon search on performance anxiety.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 08:02 AM

#;-D


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 04:55 PM

I think nerves are a result of two things: comfort with your material, and comfort with your environment. If one is secure, you can mess with the other a bit.

In the more familiar the environment, I can experiment with material or do a song that I have not sung for a while. My brain isn't muddled and I can generally think while singing. A little bit of cutting edge can make the gig interesting.

However, if I don't know the environment, and I would include many types of events for this.... ie a new concert venue, a session in another city, a company talent show, or singing for my great aunt's Thanksgiving dinner party, I do only extremely familiar- sing it in your sleep material. For a concert, I try to go on stage before and just get the feel for singing, or peacefully standing at the mic in the venue.

In most situations, I have a tendancy to get nervous for the BIG song. The one ballad I get to sing unaccompannied in the evening. I struggle with my nerves, but I often use a particular thought to drive away the heebees.... Though it is not verbalized, it is basically that I only have one chance to give them this present of the song. I think about the meaning of the song going from me to them and going in. I also intellectually remember to work on breath control while singing the Biggie. I've learned the hard way that my breath is always the first thing to go.

I hope this is helpful, a couple of new thoughts for you.

Claire

PS I love the banana idea


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 12:56 PM

When we're nervous we breath shallowly. This means less oxygen is getting to the brain and we become confused. Deep breathing girls. Oh and the three "t's"... Teeth, tits and tonsils ! Ooh did I say that out loud? Sorry.

Ok my coat's over there.

Sal


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 Dec 03 - 11:19 AM

Ok I have tried really breathing out and lots of practice and I think things are getting better.

Thanks again


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 13 Dec 03 - 03:22 PM

To mis-quote Hancock (?) "Breath, frequently". Try breathing in too!

Sal


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: GUEST,Lidy
Date: 13 Dec 03 - 03:28 PM

Imagine that your entire audience is deaf and is only there to see you because of your sheer physical magnetism. Works for me!


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Jun 04 - 03:30 AM

Ok I opened this thread 18 months ago.

I guess nerves are a bit better. I am not sure it is simply nerves. I heard somewhere that under stress the amount of available memor drps dramatically and the brain goes into survival mode, fight or flight? Does this ring a bell?

Any fresh ideas?


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 12 Jun 04 - 03:52 AM

Les, are you a solo performer or a sessioneer (I can only speak from experience as a solo performer)?

Start with something you know very well, one of your 'best' numbers.
Don't get into the difficult stuff until you're well 'warmed up'.
Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to bolster your confidence with alcohol or any other intoxicant - the only person who thinks you're performing better when you're pissed is you! (The Greatest Lesson I ever learned!).

The adrenalin's the cause of the 'survival' thing - it happens to us all, the important thing is learning to control and channel the 'fight/flight' energy, and some of the excellent earlier posts give ways of doing that, you just need to experiment and find a way that works for you.

Good Luck, feel encouraged and keep playing!
J :0)


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 Jun 04 - 04:32 AM

thanks again.

I have just had a good look at performance anxiety on lots of musical sites. It clearly is a problem for lots of musicians.

I was looking for 6 easy tricks, which I guess is a bit simple minded. I did find some of that although tricks didn't sem too simple.

The fight/flight/freeze business is well rehearsed and seems to lie at the heart of the problem.

Some current learning theories explore this - all that brain gym and brain-based learning (is their another kind of learning?) and drinking water stuff.

Sound familiar?


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 03:42 PM

One trick is overlearning. That is don't stop practicing a tune when you are error free. If you are better than perfect, you may still be good when nervousness and divided attention are preying on your ressources. You should be able to play perfect even with half your ressources. To test, play a tune when half of your attention is somewhere else and your arousal is high. For instance play when watching Englang play in the Euro 2004. If you are still good then, you also will be good on stage.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 04:29 PM

Or just stop flinching from an audience....


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Subject: RE: Nerves
From: jimL
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 05:50 PM

I think all this stuff about "not breathing deep" but breathing *out* is actually a way of getting you to breath with your diaphragm. Once you do that automatically, you won't raise your shoulders or over inflate your ribs - these days when I breath in deeply, I expand my belly, not my ribcage. I never thought about it before, but Peggy Seager was right in that if you breath *out* to the limit, you use your diaphragm to force out the last of the air, then when you relax you actually breath back into the lower part of your lungs, which is where you should be breathing to calm nerves, and to sing properly. It's a good way to get shallow breathers to feel what they ought to be doing.

J
    Threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: BS: Nerves
From: Diva
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 01:34 PM

I have been singing for a gey long time and I still get troubled by nerves before a performance. Now a very wise singer once told me that the time to stop performing was when the nerves stopped. I've got a gig coming up..book festival nice fee and a night in a very posh Glasgow hotel and since the final cofirmation came in I've been sick with nerves. Its the realisation that I can't just turn up in my tatty jeans and please myself like i usually do.

The latest bit is fretting about getting from station to hotel........yep I know get a cab..... But the anxiety is not helping with the song learning. Thing is once I'm there and singing I'll be fine.

Does anyone else get this? how do you cope? Dunno know if I need a hug or a kick up the bahookie!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nerves
From: gnu
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 01:39 PM

Been a few threads on this.... maybe someone can help?

And, a clone to move this above the line, as well. This should not be in the BS section????


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Subject: RE: BS: Nerves
From: Amos
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 01:59 PM

1. Deep breathing is a relaxant.
2. If you run through the whole performance in your inner eye, several times over, the actual event will seem already familiar and more comfortable.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Nerves
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 02:04 PM

I posted a few thoughts on stage fright a short time ago, Diva. Rather that repeat it, I'll link to it.

CLICKY

Been there. Done that. Good luck!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Nerves
From: Megan L
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 02:07 PM

When I started as a trainer someone told me to imagine them all sitting there naked DO NOT DO IT do you know thw mental trauma of standing in front of six sixty something male examiners I couldny sleep fur weeks :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Nerves
From: Micca
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 02:13 PM

Diva, I would wish you luck, but I am sure that luck will play very little part in your performance. I am sure you will do really well, because you are a very fine singer with an excellent voice and control and with a good, full knowledge of your material and the skill to carry this off with style, (You might need help with mopping up the blood from the "high body count" in those Border ballads you sing :o)!!!!) So I send best wishes and may it go as well as you would want. Please come back and tell us how it goes
Micca


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Subject: RE: BS: Nerves
From: Wesley S
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 02:40 PM

"2. If you run through the whole performance in your inner eye, several times over, the actual event will seem already familiar and more comfortable."

Amos is right but I'll go a step further. I'd run through your entire performance out loud, full volume and in sequence if you have a proper place to do so. Nothing helps like rehearsal. Repeat until comfortable.

And drink plenty of water. Just not so much that you'll have to leave in the middle of the performance to find the loo.


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Subject: BS: Nerves
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 02:49 PM

In my late 30's, I had to deliver a speech to 1000 people, in a VERY upscale environment loaded with academics. Back in the pee-in-my-pants terrified days. One per day, in a week-long state tour. And I'd brought this on myself-- what WAS I thinking?!?!?!

At the last stop, I was even more scared-- at advance-prep, setup time I walked in with my boxes of literature to see the most upscale, largest, scariest place of them all. "Well," I thought, "This is either a chance to run like hell or a chance to harvest something GOOD. Cuz either way, it's BIG."

I decided to try for GOOD, and noticed there'd been no welcome-staff all week. My host from the Lieutenant Governor's office readily gave me permission to "be" that "welcoming" "staff"person.

So-- I met each arrival at the hall's door with the brochure off the table they'd otherwise have ignored (mine), and greeted each arrivee warmly and personally, directing them to please take a seat near the front.
(I just pretended I was handing out campaign literature to commuters, which I had done in the past. A smile almost guarantees converting an "ignorer" to a "taker" as you say something nice, or funny, or whatever as you size each person up, and the thing you say cocers your reaching out with the brochure. They take it without realizing they took it. Maybe these folks thought it was a program.)


When most of them were in, I went and sat on the dais with the other planned speakers, last to take my seat.

By the time my speech came (last, as the wrap-up of the whole week's tour), I had sat there looking out at all my new "friends" for about a half an hour and, by the time I got up, it really WAS just a relaxed chat with friends I knew were ready to hear me.


Needless to say it was a lesson learned a tad late-- the preceding talks of the week's tour were HELL. :~) But this one netted me half a dozen big job offers. :~) Same speech, different me.

Try it, it works.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Nerves
From: Diva
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 01:12 PM

Many thanks for the good advice and good wishes and the link...I remember there being other threads. Micca its a Burns concert so no dead bodies but lots of writhing live ones! And five very coorse songs.

Have gone and got the regulation bottle of rescue remedy and will remember to breathe


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Subject: RE: BS: Nerves
From: Diva
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 04:07 AM

It went very well. Burns Room of the Mitchell Library was full. An audience of the great and the good. A couple of friends from home so it was nice to see folk i knew.

Valentina talked and I sang and at one point i've got this room full of folk singing along....

I remembered to relax and enjoy it and by 11pm we were sitting in the very comfortable bar of the Malmaison sipping Bellinis.......well I didn't think I could sit with a pint of Guinness

The book festival folk couldn't do enough for us they were lovely. Back to auld claithes and porridge today!


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Subject: RE: BS: Nerves
From: Megan L
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 05:45 AM

Well done glad you had a good time


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