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Author Topic: I am terrified...  (Read 4780 times)
Treblemaker
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« on: April 27, 2012, 06:21:46 am »

I am having trouble playing in front of people. I get tense, my fingers get tangled up and my mind draws a blank. I sing before people at least seven times each month, and I'm not really nervous, but my voice is one thing and playing an Ocarina is totally different. I am such a perfectionist that if I make any mistakes it throws me off. Instead of being in my right brain and making the mistakes part of the song, like I do when I'm alone, I am totally in my left brain and I freeze and make more mistakes. SIGH I hope I can get over this soon, I've been playing for 3 1/2 months now. Does anybody else have this problem?

Woefully,
Treblemaker    Huh


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ubizmo
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 03:01:50 pm »

There's a thread on "performances" in which Ben wrote about playing at open mics. This put the idea in my head, and I decided to try it. I wrote about the first time I did it. I was pretty nervous, and felt my hands shaking a bit. It's a normal thing, and soon passed.

I'm glad Ben mentioned open mics; it's something I hadn't really known much about before. I strongly urge you (and everyone) to explore this option. Some open mic venues are more "stagey" than others. I go to a few, but the one I call home is a pub a few blocks from my house. This particular open mic has been going on for over 30 years, the atmosphere is very relaxed and informal. There's no stage, and no mic! There's just a space at one end of the room where people get up and play and sing.

Before I ever played there, I just went and listened. I saw that people make all kinds of mistakes, sometimes even to the point of stopping and starting a song over. No one cares. People just come to hear real music, not virtuoso performances. You have to remember that many of your "mistakes" will go completely unnoticed by everybody in the room except you. As for the others...just keep playing. Music doesn't have to be perfect; it just has to be musical.

Just as when you sing, the appreciation of the audience washes away the tension of the mistakes. Since much of the audience at an open mic is other musicians either waiting their turn or having already played, they are a forgiving and appreciative audience, which is why it's such a good way to ease into performing.

I don't have many videos of open mic playing, due to the awkwardness of setting up cameras etc., but here's one from 2 years (and 40 lbs.) ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcgT9t-dXh8


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Harp Player
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 04:02:42 pm »

Excellent advice ubizmo.  I will have to agree that playing in public is a hard thing to do at first.  I have never been to an open mic they are not any that I know of in my area.  I do have some other ideas that might help some though. 

1) Play on the front porch of your house where other people can hear you.

2) Play some for friends and extended family members.

3) Play in parks or,  while taking a quick break shopping in the mall.

4) Find a picking parlor and play there some (this will require you to find a group that plays songs that you know or are willing to learn).


That is just a few ideas that come to mind.  The main thing is to expose yourself to playing around people without the pressure of preforming. And like ubimzo said when you mess up just keep playing everyone makes mistakes (even the professionals).


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Treblemaker
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 10:24:36 pm »

Wow, Ubizmo, that was great! And thank you so much for the good advise too. I'll see if I can find an open mic. Also I'm going to play at the beach and the Back Bay trail as well. And the leader of our Thurs night group says he's going to keep pushing me to play with them  Shocked .


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Treblemaker
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 10:31:24 pm »

I appreciate your good advise too, Harp Player. I think I'll try parks as we as the Beach and definently my friends!  Wink


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ubizmo
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 02:52:53 pm »

Here's a web site that might help: http://openmikes.org/



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Treblemaker
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2012, 12:51:03 am »

Thanks, Ubizmo!


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