Getting nervous during performances

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by The Weez, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Rick14A4A

    Rick14A4A New Friend

    Jul 29, 2008
    I think everyone handles this in different ways. Nerves are good as long as you don't let them get the best of you. I have had nerves destroy me before, but looking back I think it has more to do with how prepard I am. If I'm totally prepard, musically, then nerves are an asset because they keep you attentive anf focused. If just somewhat prepard then I let them get the best of me. So, for me, it just all depends on me and if I'm ready. Also, I find that the larger crowds seem to blend in to the furniture so to speak and therefore don't bother me as much. The smaller crowds have more of the intimate setting and gets me to thinking about other things rather than focusing on my music.
    Here again, it's just how I deal with it and what I have learned to be my catalyst of nerves. Being prepard helps me to be more focused.
  2. gglassmeyer

    gglassmeyer Piano User

    Apr 28, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    try to think about recording you've heard or live bands you've seen and there are mistakes made. Timing may off a bit, slightly out of pitch etc. Post almost any recording for this audience to hear and someone will mention it sounded too dark or bright or the articulation was wrong... Mistakes can and will happen with musicians at all levels, it's part of being human. Most people (particularly in church) are very supportive and appreciate what you do. Many think to themselves "I could never do that" and many of them can't. If you do mess up, then you still bring joy to people. Little kids in the car on the way home will have something to talk about, then they'll be more attentive the next week when you nail everything. I go through a lot of the same issues when I play in church and I've found if there's a way to situate yourself so that you're not staring right into the eyes of the congregation that can help. The fact that you got more nervous with Dad around is easy to fix. There have to be tons of things you've done that are way more embarassing in front of him throughout your life, than missing a note here or there. And us Dads are always proud of our kids no matter what happens.
  3. oohhh yeah

    oohhh yeah Pianissimo User

    Nov 23, 2008
    B.C. Canada
    You get nervous when your dad is in the audience? You have grown up and lived with him for a long time, how can you still be shy around him? If you are really that shy around him, I suggest thinking that he isn't in the audience, and when your tone is shaky, you should sit down a bit, as that will stop the shaking.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    confidence is built with rewards. That is simply how we human beings work. Positive response from the audience is great, but we can also reward ourselves for accomplished goals. If you have met a practice goal (32 16ths at quarter=152 for instance), go out to a nice dinner, or something else that you do not normally do. Associate success with well being. A glass of good wine and a nice cheese can work WONDERS!
  5. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    Inasmuch as most of my musical endeavors are church related i feel that my method has merit.

    When playing in church do you think about entertaining the congregation, or, do you consider your music to be a "joyful noise unto your Lord"? If it is simply to entertain the congregation you might well continue to have nerve problems ongoingly. If your music is a sound of praise for your Lord, it should make it easier.

    As an aside to this, total preparation of the selected music is an absolute must to not only make your musical offering a worthy one, but also to give you the confidence born of experience with that musical offering.

  6. bigpapajosh

    bigpapajosh Pianissimo User

    Aug 10, 2008
    Titusville Florida
    some really cool scientists discovered bananas are a chemical way of relieving stage fright, though ive never tried it myself. some of my friends say it works.
    Avoiding Performance Anxiety
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi weez,
    What you are experiencing is a heightened emotional state when placed in certain situations, right?
    Sometimes we label (identify)our feelings in ways that are counterproducive.
    Whats the difference between "EXCITED!!" about something and being "NERVOUS!!" about something? often, how a person intrprets it.
    You appear to be excited and calling it nervous. You have no reason to be nervous or scared. No one is going to punish or eat you if you make a mistake, right?
    Think "EXCITED!!!" like a race horse before the bell, not scared and NERVOUS like the rabbit who is about to be eaten by the fox.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  8. rhosch

    rhosch New Friend

    Feb 19, 2009
    You could try a beta-blocker. :)

    OK, so giving pseudo-medical advice is a really bad idea. In all seriousness, the comment about asking yourself what your real motives are is spot on. People listening are much much less critical than you are of your own playing. Focus more on doing something that they enjoy listening to, and less on doing something that gains you recognition and praise. If you accomplish the former, the latter will naturally follow. If you focus on the latter, you might achieve neither.
  9. soloft

    soloft New Friend

    Jan 14, 2009
    I am not a psychologist, so I am not going to talk about playing for your dad as some other people have been.
    Advice from my teachers has always been to
    1) practice so much that you just have it down to a routine, like you can play that piece in your sleep.
    2) play for audiences. Find someone that you would normally be nervous to play around and ask them to listen to your performance. As many or as few people as you like. Prior to auditioning for the state band, I performed for my church choir, parents, friends, band director, and teacher. I didn't make the state band, but I placed 10 ranks higher than anyone else in the city, and I didn't feel nervous much at all.
    I still get nervous, so I am not sure how to get rid of it permanently, but I have learned to just prepare for it. My band director always said that your worst rehearsal is going to be your best performance. While it is negative, it can be true.
  10. trumpetPA2009

    trumpetPA2009 New Friend

    Jan 19, 2009
    Pittsburgh PA
    turkey sandwich

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