Stage fright

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpet520, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. trumpet520

    trumpet520 Pianissimo User

    Oct 25, 2006
    I have a problem,
    I'm a sophmore in highschool and i have a solo in highschool christmas concert. The thing is i can play it perfect by myself but even during rehearsel whenever i play it i get really nervous and my hearts pumping and i play it sub-par. Its really bad.

    does anyone have ANY suggestions at all on how to get over this.
    they would be GREATLY appriciated.

    Any suggestions at all!

    thank you in advance.
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Practice these ways:

    On one or two days practice wearing the clothes you're going to wear.

    On one or two days play for everyone in your family and, if possible, ask a friend to be there as well, preferably a friend who doesn't know much of anything about music.

    Find out what it's like to take a very full breath before you play but don't HOLD your breath before you play. Breath in, breath out.

    Drop and give me fifteen pushups and then play through your piece. Take as big a breath as you can before you start.
  3. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    I once had a student who had terrific stage fright. I consulted with my dear departed artistic director boss, who had me do the following: at the beginning of every lesson I was to find her and we would grab whoever wasn't busy for five minutes and have the student play something, anything, short and not too difficult for five minutes in front of people. It was a rocky road at first but after about six months he got over it and felt much more relaxed and natural. He's at Yale now.

    Michael McLaughlin

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin
  4. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA

    That's great!!! I've never heard that before! I'm going to share that with my students before solo festival this year.
  5. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    I've also tried running in place to simulate shortness of breath and pounding heart.

    The first thing you need to do is get control of your breathing. You most likely have a few more band rehearsals before the concert to practice this technique. Breathe in nice and deep, through the nose, then out nice and long through the mouth as if saying "poooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh". Do this a couple of times, and slow down your breathing.

    Think about the music and how it goes and how you want it to sound. Manny said something a while back that I printed and put with my excerpts that might be helpful: "Imagine playing with the most beautiful sound in the world with the best orchesrtra (band) backing you up." Think about how well you play it at home in your room when practicing.
  6. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Your post has caused me to reflect back a long time!

    24 years ago when I was in Jr. High I was a lead trumpet player. I too had stagefright for a little bit.

    Here's what I did. When I got set out front of the band I'd find a fimiliar face in the crowd. Usually Mom and Dad. I'd point the bell of my horn directly at them and deploy tunnel vision. I'd see only them and only my music.

    I'd convince myself that I was playing for them. After a few concerts I found that I no longer had to have that type of focus. I got it in my head that no matter how I played the aduience would clap! They want you to succeed; not fail! No one comes to a concert and boos those on stage. I've never seen that. So maybe you can keep these things in mind as well as the great advice you've already been given.

    My .02

  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Our body doesn't know if it is nervous or excited when it starts speeding up the heart and sweating and all those things. The difference exists in our mind -- if we perceive these symptoms as excitement they add energy and intensity to what we do (sometimes too much, like the Fantastic 4's Thing holding a glass) or we can call it nervousness, turn it into fear and channel the energy in the wrong direction. When you get those feelings, just realize you are in a "Superman mode" and play the heck out of the piece by relaxing and enjoying -- just be careful shaking other people's hands afterwards -- you don't want to hurt them!
  8. Siegtrmpt

    Siegtrmpt Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 21, 2005
    Maybe a little introspection would be helpful. When I'm anxious it's usually because I'm thinking about something other than the music at hand and wondering if I'll get it right. More preparation and practice = more confidence and less nerves.
  9. Energy411

    Energy411 New Friend

    Nov 8, 2006
    I've had the most success with overcoming nerves by reading Don Greene's books and doing what he recommends. 'Fight your fear and win', 'Performance Success' and particularly with 'Audition Success'. If your'e up for a quick read, go grab the audition success book. I wouldn't just expect the nerves to magically disappear in a week or two, learning how to perform with them is the key. That's why dropping and giving 15 pushups is such good advice. It creates a similar adrenaline experience to perorming. Performing under pressure does take practice.... so does performing WELL under pressure. Good luck, let us know how it goes!
  10. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    You consistently give real quality advice on these forums. I always find it interesting to read and informative.

    We're lucky to have you around. Thanks for the great thoughts.


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