28

You could remain directly facing the audience, with the smile gradually dripping from your face to be replaced by something between boredom & abject terror... ...or you may find it a lot easier to just quarter-turn & watch the conductor. You're still up there, looking professional, paying attention, but aren't being subjected to the actinic glare ...


21

These types of recordings are usually called or "play-alongs" or "play-a-longs." A company called Music Minus One has been making classical music play-alongs since the 1950s. The company is now owned by Hal Leonard. They produce accompaniments for some of the most famous concertos for all instruments, including Saint-Saen's 2nd Piano Concerto. For the play-...


20

Some performers prefer the "look busy" approach. I once attended an oboe concerto performance in which the oboist swabbed out his instrument every time he had more than 4 measures' rest. I suppose a violinist could rub down excess rosin, pretend to tweak the bow tension, re-set the comfy rag under the shoulder rest, etc. In any case, looking attentive, and ...


20

I got 2 weeks to learn 7 finger-burning songs on bass. Any ideas on what should my strategy be? Tough challenge based on how you're framing it up: Their songs are way more complex than pretty much everything I've played before.. I got 2 weeks to learn 7 finger-burning songs on bass. First thing to do, if you are comfortable doing so, is to talk to your ...


17

How often do you practice in front of others? You could try asking people to join you while you practice, or find a public piano and jump on to practice. The idea is to have more experience playing in front of people than just at the recital or test. The more familiar you are with a given situation, the more comfortable/less anxious you're capable of ...


17

I'm going to assume the usual way I get given new material to learn, as I don't read... so I get some recordings & have to figure it out from that. Edit This method is definitely intended to leave you a lot of mental space, never get bogged down in a difficult bit, move on to something else & come back later if you struggle. At any point in the ...


15

My go-to approach for this is just to let your eyes guide the audience to where you believe their attention should be. If you look at the orchestra after you have been the center of attention for a bit, they'll do the same thing. Lead the audience to where you want them to be...both with your music, and with your body (and eye!) language. Edit: Once it's ...


14

What I used to do before giving a lecture to a large crowd was the following ritual. (I never had time to do this in a music context.) First, hit the restroom; next, eat one small slice of cantaloupe. The purpose being not to worry about discomfort during the talk (or performance); second to get a small amount of water and sugar into the body so that one ...


10

I have a few suggestions. Drop it and play something else. Some_Guy's advice of playing something else is really sound. However, the worst thing about doing this is feeling like a quitter or that you've found a mountain you're not capable of climbing. My thinking here is that there are some pieces -- or even composers! -- that are just not compatible ...


10

Being nervous beforehand is part of performing. Back when I was practicing law and arguing cases before the Maine State Supreme Court, I noticed that when I wasn't nervous beforehand my argument would be labored and flat. The key is to use that nervousness. In my case I thought through the various lines that the argument could take and how I could respond; ...


10

More performances. Lots more performances. If it's enough to make you nervous, that's a performance. Does just pressing record make you nervous? That counts. Get a friend to randomly come in the room. Stuff like that.


8

As discussed on many other posts here, you don't need any theory in order to be able to play well, however it will really help you in a number of ways: playing from a score is straightforward enough when you have learned your instrument well, and learned how to sight read, but understanding why the notes were chosen, and the progress of themes and melody, ...


8

There was a study done where it was attempted to reframe pre-performance anxiety as excitement. The idea was that you could choose to interpret your physical reaction (fast heartbeat, etc.) as fear or excitement -- that the body behaves similar in both circumstances. The paper is available online, but The Atlantic also covered it. Here is the abstract (...


7

Apart from the obvious practice for and by yourself; get out and play with as many different musos as possible - different instruments, different genres, different styles, different experiences (beginners to seasoned players), different venues (from small cosy clubs to arenas- if you make the chance). You maybe only play one or two styles, so doing these ...


7

There are some exercises you can try. I'll share a few that work for me and I'm sure others will add (or even subtract). First of all, it is natural for people to speed up and slow down during a performance. This a natural part of the dynamics of music and we are not robots. That being said we should be able to keep a steady beat, especially if we are ...


6

It really isn't a whole lot harder than playing or singing right side up. It is just stage performance. It is in the best interest of performers to interesting things. The normal challenges associated with being upside down would continue to apply. Playing and singing upside down would certainly present some challenge but that would most likely be due to ...


6

I can't speak for recordings, but most concertos (at least the famous ones) have a piano arrangement of the orchestra. This way, the soloist can practice playing with the accompaniment, but the accompaniment is simply someone at another piano. As one famous example of this, consider the following comedy bit by Victor Borge that uses Tchavikovsky's First ...


5

A lot of these questions come down to - "what is meant by theory"? Does 'theory' mean 'all musical knowledge'? Does it refer to the 'canon' of music theory commonly taught? Does it refer to musical ideas beyond a certain level of abstraction from an extant, real-world sound wave? The English language is not rigidly-defined and there's no correct answer ...


5

Play something else. I wish someone had given me this advice when I started out. My first instrument was the flute, and I used to practice the piece my teacher had given me, whatever that was. And, especially before exams, sometimes I would play the same thing over and over again until I sometimes actually felt like I was getting worse, not better. For ...


5

As I often mention on this site, theory is basically two major things: An explanation of what is happening within the music; A language used to read/write/discuss the music. With that in mind, I would agree with other answers that suggest you can use parts of music theory at a time, in particular, when you are reading, you are using the language. In a ...


5

I can't find a good image of the score but I am guessing that this is English Fingering. Seldom used now, you find it in older editions of piano music. The thumb is indicated by either a plus sign (+) or a cross (x) then the other fingers are numbered 1 (index finger) to 4 (pinky). Hope that helps


5

Nerves are a sign that you care. This is a GOOD thing. An actor once said to me: There was once an actress who was so scared she was having heart palpitations backstage before going onstage. She was so nervous she couldn't walk onstage. Instead, she stood there, worrying she was going to mess up. An actor came up to her and informed her that it was simply ...


5

I'm used to seeing the top notation in marching bands - the winds sustain the whole notes (and often crescendo), while the percussion plays some rolls or fills, and then there is a big crash on the downbeat. The eighth note on the end is often called the "release" or "release note."


4

"Bowing was originally a gesture (a movement of the body) which showed deep respect for someone." After a performance, bowing is basically a sign of respect to the audience, for listening and potentially clapping. More about bowing here.


4

I strongly recomend that you go to a specialist doctor. If there is a physical condition, anything you do may worse the situation and perhaps cause irreparable damage. If after doing a thorough examination there is no apparent physiological cause, then you may start to apply possible study and performance techniques to try to overcome your difficulty.


4

I find that knowing theory can be a double edged sword. Reading well written stuff, it all makes far more sense, and therefore easier to play and remember, seeing the story of the harmonies unfold. Conversly, if a piece is not so well written, it's darned hard work. Like missed rests, or a chord written one way, but the dots show another (in E, Abm written ...


4

Most colleges have musical groups - orchestras, bands, folk groups etc. - so if you can find one of those to join then you would have a framework for playing and practising regularly. If the college has a music department then that is the first place that I would enquire. If the college does not have these there may be other groups in the surrounding area ...


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