46

I had a teacher who liked to say "The key to overcoming performance anxiety is through rigorous application of technique." This basically means: practice, practice, practice. Practice not until you get it right, but until you can't get it wrong. Practice until the technique you have to execute on the guitar is just as natural as clapping your hands. There ...


44

Absolutely. Nobody ever expects (extreme case) Itzhak Perlman to stand. Personally, I'd be a happy audience if a flautist sat on a barstool, as many guitarists tend to do. Now, performing while on a unicycle...


39

There are several reason. The most basic would be “so that they could play together”. A symphonic orchestra is much bigger than a band, and being in perfect sync with the player at the other side of the stage or pit can be hard without visual cues. In smaller ensemble, such as a quartet, quintet, or even chamber orchestra, there might be no conductor or the ...


38

For some reason, practice isn't always enough for prepare us for a performance. That's not unusual. Some things that have helped me and others I've talked to include: "Practice" performing in situations that are less high pressure. Singing karaoke at a small bar or taking an improv class are examples. Meditation and/or visualization on a regular basis can ...


33

Well pretty much anything can be played as a performance piece but many of them would be very dull to listen to. Personally I find Hanon extremely boring and I believe many other people do too. Czerny less so but still there is not enough in most of them to make then sufficiently interesting for the listener in a concert setting. Having said that there is ...


31

Well, ok, I see what you're saying. Keep that record button down all the time then. If that makes you suck all the time, then so be it. Suck and slowly improve. If your music is only being listened to by you, how do you really know it's any good to begin with? You can't judge yourself while practicing. That's a skewed view. You have to judge yourself ...


31

Do you sit there and prevent the audience from clapping until you want that rest to finish its extended duration? I've always thought this is pretty much what a fermata like this is about. When classical music is performed, there are initial motions, playing of instruments, and final motions. Audience members who attend a lot of concerts usually understand ...


30

$2 for 10 minutes of stage time is nothing. If you include the changeover between acts the hourly rate is about what the waitresses earn before tips. If you get a free beer out of the gig you are ahead. If each of you get a free beer you are way ahead. You are not paying to cover costs, it will barely cover the power bill for the stage systems. It's 'honest ...


30

Here's how I'd interpret it. Excuse my lack of drawing skill. There are four beats in the right hand, each a crotchet in length. I've drawn lines between each beat to make them clear. The left hand seems to be using quintuplets, but they've omitted the little "5" you'd normally expect. So yes, it is a polyrhythm; 5 against 4. I've seen omitted markings ...


30

I've never seen a flutist sit, but I've also not seen very many flute soloists. What I have seen is plenty of soloists that do sit, so you'd be in good company! And keep in mind that cellists, pianists, harpists, tubists, etc. sit. Why should you feel out of place for sitting? Do whatever helps you perform the best!


29

I find any learning process goes in cycles: At first, you're pretty bad. And you know it. Then, you start getting better. You're playing pretty well. Everything is great. And then you realise that you're not as good as you thought you were. Back to step one. You sound like you've reached step three. It happens to all of us. I work with a lot of younger ...


28

Musician's representatives, including the Musician's Union in the UK are diametrically opposed to the entire concept of pay to play. As they point out, somebody is making money from these gigs, and it is wrong for the performers themselves not to make money from them. The Musician's Union Fair Play Guide says that co-promotion deals can work: The MU’s ...


28

From a sound design / sound engineer context As an effect, distortion is any process that alters the sound in the harmonic (tone, timbre) domain. Overdrive is a type of distortion. It is achieved by saturating (overdriving) the valves in an amplifier (or a simulation of this dynamic). In that context, overdrive is a subset of distortion. From a guitar ...


27

Collective improvisation doesn't mean "everyone plays at the same time". Playing jazz is as much about listening as it is being able to play your instrument. In that kind of situation, a player isn't thinking about "what should I play next", but rather "what is the music, at this moment in time, missing that I can provide?" Cacophony is more likely to ...


27

I'm reminded of what my mother once told me. Music is not competition. Leave the racing to the horses. Having taught children myself and having lived in a house of teachers for 22 years I can tell you sometimes it is refreshing to be able to talk to your pupil like an adult. You are constantly running the proverbial mine field when trying to teach children. ...


26

As I'm sure you're aware, you can transpose any tune to whatever key you like. One reason to choose a certain key, is simply that it sounds good. It might be that you feel that notes of a certain pitch inherently sound pleasant on your chosen instrument. I happen to like the tone of my guitar with a capo on the 7th fret, for example. Or it might be that ...


25

The short answer is - because they can hear how the song goes, and they know how to translate those pitches into a chord progression on their instrument that quickly. Because they went to music school or because they have many years of experience or both. It's not faked or rigged or a trick. While it does look like magic, it is a surprisingly common skill ...


24

I write from personal experience -- I now always wear earplugs as an audience member in big gigs. When music is very loud, it impairs your ability to hear detail. Pitch and even rhythm become difficult to discern. At a certain level of loudness, your brain "fills in" the detail. This is why it's a good idea to play demo tapes loud to A&R men, but keep ...


23

I'd recommend just finding a number of fade-out songs and looking for live videos on YouTube (etc.) to see how they're handled. There are a number of ways, but here are some common ones: If the recorded version ends in a vamp, it'll be based off of a repeated harmonic progression. Just end the progression in a cadence at some point. Often there's a brief ...


22

The key to overcoming this is simply to do it a lot, just like the key to getting better at playing is to practice. Kill two birds with one stone- practice in public. If you're constantly practicing where others can hear you, a performance ends up being the same as a practice and won't feel so psychologically nerve-racking. There's a spectrum of performance ...


21

You should do both! When I just start working with other musicians, I like to get a cover or two under our belts so we can feel each other out and learn to play as a group. Literally at the same time, I like to meet for songwriting sessions to start putting stuff together for originals. Both covers and originals will improve your skills, but perhaps in ...


20

Dealing with pressure Get a sound recorder or use your phone and record your performances. The extra pressure of recording yourself will cause similar pressure to an actual performance. Also practise occasionally with a metronome - once again, the pressure of having to keep a strict tempo will distract you. You may be surprised that your tempo is off, ...


19

This is common for mainly two reasons: Most musicians are clueless about gain structures, electronics, and acoustics. It is easier to turn one knob up than every other knob down. The solution: Wear ear plugs, use in ears, or just live with it. Chances are you can't change these people. If you feel you can then try to reason when them. The situation is ...


19

Let me try to add to the excellent answers. In general: Your question is legit, but it can be readily explained with scale. Compare: "me and my brother built a doghouse yesterday - why building a skyscraper needs an architect and blueprints?" :) More in detail: The musicians are presumably professionals who have had much practice at this point, so why ...


17

My hands can shake if I just think about performing to others. I used to play at church. The first few times I got really anxious and kept making mistakes. After few months of performing, I got used to it, and everything was quite fine. Once it got worse because I had to perform in another place, out of my comfort zone and normal audience. I was totally ...


17

This may be wrong in your case, but given the evidence in the question, it's likely to be stress and adrenalin. When you practice in a relaxed environment, you play in a relaxed style. You don't tense your muscles. You don't fret any harder than necessary. With performance nerves, and the buzz of being on stage, you tense your arm, you fret more ...


17

I know exactly what you mean and I've thought about it quite hard myself. Not everyone can do this, but as you attune to music more and get used to what a drum kit or guitar playing in a room sounds like, it's easier to pick out the characteristics of live vs. recorded. I think it's a mixture of things: The mix- sometimes live music isn't mixed as well as ...


17

The admonition I run into again and again, attributed to such lights as Thelonius Monk and Louis Armstrong is "play the melody." Of course you will syncopate it, put a little ornamentation here and there, but simple is fine That covers soloing pretty well, but what about comping? Guitarists with jazz chops rarely hang on the same voicing for more than a ...


17

"Technical" means that it requires an impressive amount of sheer technique (that is, muscle control) to play. Paganini frequently pressed the possibilities of the violin to the extreme. His music includes very fast runs and arpeggios that require extremely skilled fingering and bowing, complex sequences of double stops, harmonics, advanced bowing ...


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