Getting nervous during performances

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

  1. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    Being prepared and being nervous should be two unrelated issues and can be in very little time.

    Now, I am using the term "nervous" to represent a level of anxiety that results in disfunction, which is what you are experiencing.

    That level of "nervous" is never a good thing. Being that I have been in almost your exact situation, let me opine that nothing that has been suggested is going to help you manage your anxiety.

    Whenever anxiety is so intense that it adversely affects your ability to function you need to get expert help, not listen to a bunch of guys shooting the bull on a forum.

    As for preparation, well, I got called to play lead for a local college band that needed some help. I had no time to even look at the music and showed up at the theater as the group was walking on stage. Nervous? Yes, but not to the point of any disfunction, only to the point of a faster pulse and a little sweaty, no noticeable effects on my playing.

    I biffed only a couple riffs, but overall did a fine job on short notice and site reading.
    When you are confident in your skills being thrown into a totally new situation without practice will not scare you, it will excite you as a new and interesting challenge.

    Back when I was struggling with anxiety I would have totally melted down if faced with that scenario.

    my 2c,

  2. mlagatic

    mlagatic New Friend

    Mar 24, 2007
    Northern NJ
    If you have the time, I would suggest reading "The Inner Game of Music" by Timothy Galway and Barry Green (if memory serves me right) Its a great book that deals with the mental blocks that we face as musicians. I got a lot out of the techniques in the book. Perhaps it might work for some others as well. Anyone else out there read this book?
  3. rviser

    rviser Pianissimo User

    Dec 26, 2008
    I haven't read through all the posts so I apologize if I'm echoing something. I used to get EXTREMELY nervous, like to the point of almost throwing up. In the past year, I've been playing at a lot of clubs and bars, and I think for me, the fact that there are people out there talking and enjoying themselves eases the nerves. As opposed to when there is a room full of people just staring at you and listening to every note you're playing. However, playing in noisy, club-like environments makes you not nervous in front of all those people, which I promise will correlate over to the more "tense" environments. For one, you get confident that you're playing well in front of people and you get confident in you're playing. You know, last night I played at a club, and between one of the sets, I came out of the men's room and thought to myself "Wow, look at all these freakin people in here" (It had gotten quite crowded), I think for a slight tiny second there, I started to think about it a little too much and might have started to let it make me just a little bit nervous. Then before the thought really even started, I thought "Man, you've played these songs a thousand times, you know the changes for the solos inside and out, there is absolutely NO reason to be nervous" and it was gone. So, just my two cents, play in more forgiving environments and it will build your confidence and courage big time!!

Share This Page