Nerves

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jazz9, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    357
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    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    Tonight, I just played the star-spangled banner for my school's senior night basketball game. It wasn't before a huge number of people (just 300-400), but I got so nervous. :bash:

    I believe I pulled it off with a few rough spots doing so. I found that I absolutely love playing in front of people. (I already knew that, tonight just reassured me)

    Anyway, my nerves got to me and I stuttered on the first note. I got through the rest ok, but this bothered me. I get that way when I have any type of solo or big audition. My heart starts beating so rigorously that I can feel it throughout my entire body, and I struggle to keep steady. I can breathe just fine, but it's the shaking that hurts me. I don't know why I do it.

    I have enough confidence in my playing, and my equipment was a borrowed Connstellation that plays like a dream. I just got nervous. I would like to know if anyone else has gone through this. I realize there have probably been previous topics about this, but they are not exactly what I am looking for. I would like some advice from someone who has done this sort of thing and overcome it.

    Does it get better the more you do it? Any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
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    Everybody gets nervous. Most get over it with experience.
    My suggestion is simple: when you practice things like this, write the breathing marks in at the very beginning and PRACTICE them. When you get nervous, your breathing can easily get out of sync. If you have good breathing habits, it is the best insurance that a trumpet player can have. Breath in and out a couple of times before playing. If you haven't seen my post on the circle of breath, check this:
    im gonna have a heart attack!! - TrumpetMaster
    out.

    Just do it! It works!
     
  3. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

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    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    Thanks, Rowuk. I didn't even think to put in breathing marks. I'll try that the next time I have some solo or something. I think my breathing is ok, though, on the whole. I just need to decide when exactly to do it.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
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    Jazz9,
    it may surprise you, but even after over 40 years of intense playing, I still mark all of my my scores. EVERY player should practice breathing in real time in the pieces that they perform. You would be shocked at how many fine players stumble because of simple breathing mistakes!
     
  5. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

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    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    It makes sense. I just never thought to do it. Sometimes I find myself running out of air and I don't even know why. Now I do.
     
  6. pipedope

    pipedope Pianissimo User

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    Sep 2, 2007
    I always have gotten very nervous before a performance. It is worse if it is a solo or very small group,

    It helps me to reframe the nervousness as excitement as I say to myself, "This is exciting to get to share this show and music with these people. We are about to have FUN."

    The feeling is still there but my mind is better prepared to make music.
    The rough feeling stops with the first note out of the horn and then I feel great.

    For the first note it helps me to remember what Claude Gordon said,"Hit it hard and wish it well."

    I am a very emotional cat and I guess the nerves I feel before the start is the price I pay for the joy during and after the performance.
    I don't want to stop or reduce the emotion because it is key to my music.
    Without emotion, music is just sound.
     
  7. Toobz

    Toobz Mezzo Piano User

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    Feb 5, 2007
    Your mouth gets dry, your heart pounds. It happens !
    I still remember my first piano concert at age 5. I stopped and scratched
    my hands several times during my piece. So nervous !
    It wasn't until much later that I realized what a rush performing was,
    and now I look forward to experiencing those emotions. It never gets old !
    Be prepared ! The tips above are all great. And learn to love that nervous feeling,
    it's not everyday that we get to feel like that.
    Trust me, being bored on stage is far worse !
     
  8. Firestas'1

    Firestas'1 Piano User

    471
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    Dec 21, 2006
    New Jersey
    To the above I might add that the more times you perform with a sucessful outcome, your mind will be conditioned to associate the feeling you experience as a positive thing.
    Like everyone said, the feeling does not go away, you just learn to use it to your advantage.
     
  9. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

    218
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    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    Ditto rowuk! The breath marks you place on your score should be treated with just as much attention and care as the notes! You should "play" the breathing marks too just as if they were the rest of the notes.
     
  10. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    1,502
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    Jun 11, 2006
    What is your "game face" before you perform? Try smiling.
    When you are waiting to perform, smile.
    Do not put on the gladiator game face. Smile at the crowd. It relaxes everybody.
     

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