Nervousness before a solo. Please help!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Adena422, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Adena422

    Adena422 New Friend

    May 28, 2011
    Hello. I'm a high school senior and will be perfrming in local solo ensembles this Saturday. The piece I'm doing requires good tone, but I'm certain I'll get nervous, which makes my sound shaky. Any advice on how to calm my nerves and/or rid of the shaky sound in general?Thanks!
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Wow... It's like deja vu all over again. I just posted this what seems like just minutes ago on another thread that I must admit.. if reading the title, one would think it was about feet and not lips... But here I go again:

    ANXIETY. It can be functional. It can be detrimental. That is why we humans evolved to where we are as a species in which anxiety plays a POSITIVE selection advantage.

    So in confronting anxiety to keep it functional, I also choose behavioral change over drugs, even though I am a physician and have a license to prescribe (as I tell my patients... my license is 007... license to kill).

    So here it is: Extinguishing therapy is best. As mentioned above... Play out in front of a crowd (at a park, in the subway, up in the balcony mid way through a Chris Botti concert) any place where for you... it isn't a make or break moment.

    Also... drink plenty of water, and have a glass of iced water with a big wedge of lemon in it close by when you are playing to keep your lips moist... or at least to give you the impression that your lips are moist.

    If you are still nervous, then just before a performance, breath rapidly and repeatedly into a paper bag until you start filling giddy and a tingly feeling takes over...

    AND THEN AND ONLY THEN if the above does not work... come to me and I will provide you with drugs...007 license to kill.

    There you have it... no great feet.
  3. tjer52

    tjer52 New Friend

    Nov 24, 2009
    It is a natural thing to be nervous and there is nothing you can do about it. It's how you handle it that matters. Just make sure you practice your piece as much as you can so just in case you slip, you will be able to recover quickly. Good Luck.
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Our bodies react to fear and excitement in just about the same way. It's a mind thing. If we perceive ourselves as being afraid we play defensively, if we sense excitement we can play our socks off. No great "feet" required.
  5. BinaryHulledIon

    BinaryHulledIon Piano User

    Nov 23, 2012
    Spartanburg, SC
    I always just try to immerse myself in the music. It has a double effect: your audience just sort of fades into the background while you're focused on what you're doing and not what you think they're thinking, plus then you play the music instead of the notes.
  6. tjcombo

    tjcombo Forte User

    Nov 12, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    First part is practicing until you know the song backwards -I'm hoping that you're already getting there. Second is self-actualization - play the performance over and over in your mind with you nailing it each time, seeing your friends and family knocked out, feel the applause wash over you.
    At the moment you're picturing shakiness. Switch this around, set yourself up to succeed.
    Break a leg!
  7. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I use to get a few seconds of nervousness at the beginning of a piece when I was standing on stage. First I would try not to think about the solo walking up in front and would smile and enjoy the feelng of just being there. The downbeat would hit and I would do what was stated above ... get absorbed in the music ... no fear as it doesn't help. I really think playing in an auditorium was the easiest as I couldn't see anyone through the lights and secondly a trumpet sounds absolutely killer in a hall! What a rush.
    So breath , relax, and totally dig the moment.,,, because that is a much better experience than feeling like someone is going to kill a puppy if you hit a clam.
  8. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 1, 2011
    Play your heart out, that's it. Remember its only a high school concert and not a high paying symphony gig where one chipped not might cost you your reputation. But do take it seriously. Play with panache. If you miss a note play the next one perfect. Don't bog down.

    If you are soloing don't be a wuss take the stage because you earned it.
  9. BinaryHulledIon

    BinaryHulledIon Piano User

    Nov 23, 2012
    Spartanburg, SC
    Best three pieces of advice on this thread, and applies to more than just nervousness:

  10. Joe44

    Joe44 Pianissimo User

    Apr 21, 2011
    Upstate Ny

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