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Trumpet Discussion Discuss nerves during performance in the General forums; Hey, I played a performance today and I just choked. I kept missing my beat and sqeaking and squealing notes ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User melza's Avatar
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    Mar 2010

    nerves during performance

    Hey, I played a performance today and I just choked. I kept missing my beat and sqeaking and squealing notes and not hitting as high as I can. During rehearsals I was fine, does anyone have any tips on how to beat the nerves?

  2. #2
    Utimate User
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    Aug 2009
    Jackson NC

    Re: nerves during performance

    Perform, perform, perform ad infinitum. We've all been through such initially ... although some won't admit it ... or then didn't recognize it. It's only a matter of confidence.

  3. #3
    Fortissimo User
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    Re: nerves during performance

    Hi Melza

    I know what you mean about nerves, I've sung in concerts and on stage (in a few operas) and being on stage is far easier. On the concert platform I have been known to physically shake during a song (unwanted vibrato). The only way I can beat it is to be well prepared, and then to focus on my breathing. If you are used to performing it may be just one of those things that can happpen to us all. If you're new to performing I would try make sure that you don't dwell on it. Nothing makes you more nervous than thinking "I choked last time out" I also find concentrating on getting that first entry solid helps then you are into it and semi coasting at least emotionally. Some people suggest imagining empty rooms or rehersal spaces. I'm not sure about this one, it can work but you also run the risk of suddenly rembering that you are not in that particular space and It can make you go to pot.

    Hope this ramble helps



  4. #4
    Fortissimo User trumpetnick's Avatar
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    Re: nerves during performance


    That has already been discussed. Use the search feature. Meanwhile, check (Nerves, adrenalin etc that may affect your performance)

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    Re: nerves during performance

    Inderal (sp), beta blocker. Blocks adrenaline production, eliminates nervousness
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  6. #6
    Pianissimo User melza's Avatar
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    Re: nerves during performance

    Thanks for the advice everyone, I did use the search engine but couldnt find anything

  7. #7
    Fortissimo User SteveRicks's Avatar
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    Re: nerves during performance

    I had similar issues from the time I started playing at a very young age. I was fine in ensemble, but where there was a solo -always botched by nerves. This kept me from playing lead or solo parts in many bands. Believe me, music was 100% of my life and nerves were keeping me from achieving; hence, I tried every suggestion out there -visualization, breathing, confidence exercises, practicing until the chops bled, etc. Still, no luck.

    Twenty years later, in a nonmusic occupation, and as a result of a number of honors, I suddenly fould myself facing public speaking every day, sometimes to audiences in the thousands. I was having the same problem as with the horn -just couldn't handle the nerves -to the point my heart was actually going into arrhythmia. I mean, it isn't good to drop dead as you walk out to the podium. It became a battle between my job or nerves.

    I finally went to a Dr. about it. He put me on Inderol -low dose-one tablet 15 minutes before speaking. Bang. Immediate improvement. Nerves completely gone. I have been regularly speaking to large audiences without a problem since (did a major presention in Phili last Thursday with a fairly large audience and with 3 cameras in the room and in Little Rock Monday). This also worked for my horn playing. No vibrato from the shakes any longer, or loss of coordination of chops from too much adrenaline.

    The nice thing is after about a year of using inderol before speaking, I found that my body no longer "hypes up" before a session. I haven't had to use inderol in years. And, my confidence has improved greatly.

    All this being said, medication ALWAYS needs to be the last route. And only under the supervision of a Dr. My Dr. told me that many professional golfers also use it as even a slight increase in heart rate, adrinaline can slightly alter their swing.

    Again, only as last resort and under guidance of Dr.
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    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: nerves during performance

    Quote Originally Posted by jason_boddie View Post
    Inderal (sp), beta blocker. Blocks adrenaline production, eliminates nervousness
    yeah, but you still play like crap if you don't have the experience/nerves. Drugs only makes you aware of how crappy that you are playing.

    You should all NEVER forget that it is not isolated things like nerves, mouthpiece, horn, embouchure that make us good or bad. It is the synergy of all the factors that determine whether something works or not.

    Drugs are the most idiotic thing that you can do to yourself unless you have covered all of the other bases like simply playing more. I really feel like blowing anybody that recommends DRUGS without the proper context, warnings and qualifications off of the map. It is the most irresponsible thing that I can think of to put the idea of a chemical solution in the heads of the gullible and inexperienced.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  9. #9
    Forte User Al Innella's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Levittown , NY

    Re: nerves during performance

    Experience , the more you perform the easier it should get. Most, if not all of us got nervous when we first started , after a while it does go away.

  10. #10
    Mezzo Forte User mchs3d's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Provo, UT

    Re: nerves during performance

    If you are nervous, then you are not prepared as well as possible. Prepare more, and focus on your breathing.

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