What helps you play in front of people?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Myshilohmy, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Well you can't imagine them naked because you will smile and that is the wrong type of embouchure :lol:. Seriously, try to find a church that is brass friendly and you can play there. A church that has contemporary music will provide you with lots of playing time and nobody will know what you are supposed play, so you can relax. There will probably be some type of membership requirements though.
  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I did that on Saturday -- closed my eyes. Oh, it was like my 2nd gig as a comeback player. Both times solos (just a song or two each time). I was still a bit nervous, but closing my eyes and focusing on the sound, and the breathing -- all of which were practiced and rehearsed at home. That helps.
    I would rather do a duet, or trio, or group, but the fact is -- I am always asked to do a solo -- so I just do it --- so far those 2 little gigs have boosted my confidence immensely, as they went well. I feel confident for the next time --
  3. Bay Area Brass

    Bay Area Brass Piano User

    Mar 2, 2007
    San Francisco
    Hi Myshilohmy- first of all you have received some very good advice already from everyone who posted already- I thought I would add my 2 cents as well.

    When I first started out, it was an issue for me as well. As others have said already, the more you do it, the easier it gets- this is very true. Early in my career, I would often get quite nervous-now I play in front of large crowds a lot and I don't even think twice about it. This just happens over time.

    You made an interesting comment- you said that when you get "really mad and aggressive and just go for it" or "close your eyes", it isn't as much a problem. When you get mad, that overrides your self doubt and allows you to focus on what you are playing, not what others think of you. What helped me to get over this was flipping a switch in my mind so I wasn't playing for the validation of other musicians who might be listening, but rather for the music itself. It will help you to focus more in making a musical STATEMENT- playing to "express, not impress."

    All one can do is to be well prepared, present in the moment and to play the best they can. Anything else is beyond your control and therefore not worth putting any energy into. The next time you're nervous, try playing more to the musicians you are playing WITH than the audience- that will work for you in a way similar to when you close your eyes, because you will be focusing your attention more on what you are playing instead of what others think.

    The last thing I will add is that for the most part, audiences applaud your effort and heart more than perfection. If you make a mistake, it's gone in an instant. It's ancient history and the next note is an opportunity to play something really beautiful. I know you can get past this- I did :)
  4. ska

    ska Pianissimo User

    Sep 12, 2009
    How to overcome stagefright? I don't know, I have never felt it, but I can assume that you are thinking about what will happen if you mess up - well it's reallly simple on that part - your job is to focus on the piece you are performing, and nothing else - forget that you are performing in front of a public, that is completely irrelevant - your only goal is to focus on what you are doing - in this case playing the horn.

    Let me give you an example - It was a preliminary exam in the music school - we had these each semester until the grand finale ( the graduation exam) - I had to play a tune that I hadn't practiced really that much - During the time others were performing, I kept thinking about the tune, it was all in my head, and I stretched my brain really hard there, and when I finally had to perform - I was so locked in my thoughts of that piece, I didn t even have attention for anything else - I played it, and I was thinking bout the tune eveeery second of my performance, and I realised that FOCUSing on the tune is mandatory for succesful performance. I did mess up on one part but I didn 't stop dead in my tracks, I was thinking how to keep playing and I kept playing a similar pattern (but not the exact one that there had to be ), it was my first experience of an improvisation. As it was said before - what helps is preparation - I guess you can say that this is an example of a possible preparation.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  5. melza

    melza Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2010
    Im still trying to overcome performance nerves myself. I have found I can be prepared(which does help) and still crack at the last minute, but I have found the more times I perform in public the better. Even Charlie Parker got laughed off stage early in his career.
  6. ska

    ska Pianissimo User

    Sep 12, 2009
    What exactly is it that makes you feel scared? Is it the possibility that you will mess up? Are you focusing on the possible negative outcome of your performance?
  7. melza

    melza Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2010
    'What exactly is it that makes you feel scared? Is it the possibility that you will mess up? Are you focusing on the possible negative outcome of your performance?'

    I probably was but I am trying to overcome the negative thinking from creeping in.I know it doesnt help.
  8. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    At least for jazz, I always had a little saying I'd tell my band mates...if you make a mistake while improvising make it again and call it a riff!
  9. Clarion

    Clarion New Friend

    Oct 3, 2010
    N.E. Ohio
    "If you make it once, it's a mistake. Twice, it's jazz. But repeat it three times, it's an arrangement.” - David Bowie

    Everyone's different. It may be hard for some (fortunate) people to understand, but some of us are predisposed to various levels of anxiety. It is often irrational, but it is real and often difficult to overcome.

    As I get older, I've noticed I care less and less what others think, and such things have gotten easier. Caring less what others think doesn't change their thinking, but it does make you feel better. :D
  10. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    Notice ska says they never experienced stagefright. This is because, from the sound of it, they grew up playing music and being on stage from school stuff on.

    I've never been seasick. I attribute that to the fact that I grew up with the ocean as a playground, and being on boats, surfboards, etc. Also a ton of swimming and diving. So far on large ships etc as well as small boats, I've never been seasick. I'm desensitized to ocean motion.

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