Performance Anxiety

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by skuni, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Good catch.
    My boss had a little wine with his neighbors (and betablockers) and when he stood up his heart couldn't react fast enough and he blacked out. He cut his face on the concrete and his knee twisted. I learned from that why I get a little lite headed when I stand up quickly.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    You've raised a good question, Skuni. I asked a similar question in the following thread: and got some good replies, but not the complete answer I was looking for. I dunno, maybe someone with a voodoo doll was poking it in the chops during your gig. Have fun!
  3. skuni

    skuni Piano User

    Jan 20, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    Thank you everybody for all the great info. I played a concert on Sunday and I had some solos and did not have the same level of anxiety, so i think it really was the fact that I had not done a wedding in many years and need to get a few more under my belt and I'll be fine.
  4. andrewboring

    andrewboring New Friend

    Apr 9, 2007

    I didn't get a chance to post earlier while at work, but i wanted to comment a little on Khora's statement (which I wholeheartedly agree with):

    Performing takes just as much practice as playing. Those of us who aren't used to being in the spotlight need to practice being the center of attention. Street performing is one good way to practice playing solo in public (and you can tell you're getting better when people start throwing money into the hat - positive reinforcement!).

    Some ideas for non-musical ways to practice this:

    - Join your local Toastmasters club
    - Stand in the middle of your local park reciting poety
    - Try out for a local theater part, or sign up for your church play (especially something with a long monologue).
    - Take an improv comedy class (one that has at least one performance).

    The art of performance carries across disciplines.

  5. kurto

    kurto New Friend

    Jun 2, 2007
    paris, tennessee
    Try this on. Drink a big Starbucks before rehearsals, and you get used to playing while you are a little jittery. (Don't do it before the gig, obviously.) Kind of an inverse beta-blocker.
  6. Shihan7

    Shihan7 New Friend

    Apr 16, 2007
    Desensitization training. Get people together and play for them. Keep increasing the number of people and do it all the time. Soon you will begin to desensitize the imaginary threat. I will be doing it too. Psychological tool used by therapists.
    Prayer is the best way for me....:D
  7. kurto

    kurto New Friend

    Jun 2, 2007
    paris, tennessee
    Since the idea of prayer has been suggested, I recommend the book, The Relaxation Response by M.D. Herbert Benson. Most public libraries have it, and the author details the benefits of all brands of meditation. relaxation response
  8. FrankGreene

    FrankGreene New Friend

    May 20, 2007
    Hey! What's up guys?

    Just wanted to send a reply pertaining to Playing Anxiety...

    The book: "The Quiet Mind for Musicians" is available to help to cure Performance Anxiety issues. It is at: online store. (or you can stop by his walk-in store in Orlando, Fl.)

    You can also see a brief exp. of the book on my web site: or (they both go to the same place).

    I hope it helps you. I have received amazingly great feedback about came out about three months ago.

    All the best, Frank
  9. mbtpter227

    mbtpter227 New Friend

    Feb 3, 2007
    The biggest thing (I've had a string of concerts this week) that's helped me is just remembering to smile. Yes, just smile. When I smile I find it easier to breathe and the nervousness just washes off of me. Then I close my eyes just before I go on and picture what sound I want produced and what I need to get done.

    It's helped me a ton this week.. Part of it may be that I just love to perform, however.

    Good luck :-)
  10. trumpetdiva1

    trumpetdiva1 Piano User

    Jun 6, 2004
    You may want to try reading Barry Green’s book, "The Inner Game of Music." Think positive. No one ever played a perfect performance. Think that the audience is on your side and that they want to hear you perform well. In a lesson with Susan Slaughter she told me that “concentration is important. You can still see movement in the audience in a concert. You need to get someone in your practice session to distract you. They can do anything except touch you.”

    Best wishes,


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