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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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, ...


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 ...


16

Firstly, realize that it's normal to be anxious before an important performance. Experienced performing musicians often still have some level of anxiety, and there are even stories of some big-name artists who still get nervous. That said, there are definitely some things you can do to lessen both the anxiety and its impact on your performance. Use the ...


16

A good practice exercise I've found to help with this is to play along to a metronome and not play every other bar. For example, play bar 1, then sit in silence for bar 2 whilst imagining the sound in your head, then play bar 3, silence bar 4, play bar 5, etc. Once you have done this a few times the next exercise would be to silence bar 1, play bar 2, ...


12

One thing to keep in mind is that you should know it is not the end of the world if you do mistakes. Most mistakes that you do will not even be noticed by the audience, even if you think it's a big mistake. Because of this, you must continue as nothing happened. Knowing this fact, you can also have more confidence, because you will know that it is not ...


9

I don't think there's a silver bullet answer. Here are a few thoughts though. Have you tried chamomile tea? It's easily available at practically any grocery around here. There are practice techniques that help to improve your technique while nervous. For violin, there's the one-minute-bow practice, where you try to produce a tone for an entire minute on one ...


8

Mistakes are inevitable. Learning to play through mistakes is its own skill, one that has to be learned. The technique for learning to play through mistakes is different than the technique for learning to play a piece. I've learned two ways to practice a piece: Practicing for perfection, and practicing to perform. They compliment each other, but are done ...


7

There is some good advice here but I think the most important thing to remember is to learn to shift your mind to focus on the music and not on yourself. Think about presenting the music in the best possible way for the sake of the music. If you can forget about everything but the music and make the music the focus, you should have no trouble at all. ...


6

What you have is hardly rare. It's a phenomenon that seems to occur more in some adults than children. Having run an examination centre periodically, I've heard far more grown-ups say "I really don't know why I'm doing this", as nerves kick in. It's probably due to the fact that kids are doing test and exams day in, day out, whereas adults hardly ever do, ...


6

Someone has already suggested you some important advice on how to overcome the fear of performing in front of an audience... I'd like to give you mine, too: When you're on a stage, in the spotlight and everyone is looking at you waiting and, often ready for one's criticism, begin thinking that everyone smiles, cries, feels happy or sad, feels strong or weak,...


6

@endorph's answer is probably the best for this, but I have some input as well: It's awesome that you have the opportunity to play with those who might be better than you and even play at a professional level. These people can be very helpful to you- they'd be great to ask for tips and advice! If possible, you can arrange to play with them outside of ...


5

I agree with Finbar to a certain extent. The only way to overcome your fear of performing in front of an audience is to do it often. Take your guitar to a park and play while you're there. Entertain the passerbys and if you mess up, who cares? Perform in front of friends and family members, but avoid those who will tell you that you're awesome no matter ...


5

Record yourself. Once you can create a usable audio recording, make a video, with the intent to put it up on some video platform (be sure to use material that is not under copyright in order to avoid the pesky rightholder corporations barging down your door). You'll be surprised at the level of focus and self-consciousness and number of retakes it takes to ...


5

There is a difference between practicing for performing and practicing for practicing. When you practice, do you experience that the first play-through is worse than the second or third? When you practice, do you keep playing the same piece or part of the piece over and over again? If that is the case, you are practicing to improve practicing. You don't ...


5

Given what you've said about that piece being a favorite, and one you've played many times over many years, I think it's fairly clear the issue is not one of not spending enough time on rote memorization. In the past, while performing or speaking publicly, I struggled with a tendency to completely lose the flow of something that I supposedly had memorized ...


4

(NOTE: This answer was written for a different question (pianist, problems with audience-fear on stage), but got migrated in here, so not everything might match up with this question!) I'm guitarist, but I might be able to help you. (Because we all have to deal with being nervous from time to time) Some people just say that you just need to get better or ...


4

Those two points help me get through anxiety on the day of the concert. The days before are usually better used practicing than thinking about it. My life is not in danger. It may sound obvious, but to our old reptilian self, it's pretty much alike. Keep in mind that whatever happens, you probably will not lose something really important. You may fail an ...


4

There is one problem we could overcome when memorzing music if we consider how the form of a music piece would look like if there wouldn't be the layout of 3 bars per line as most sheet music is designed. I hope that my advice can help you for the next performance but you should regard it from the beginning of practicing a new piece: If we compare a piece ...


3

Being nervous about playing music in front of others is not that uncommon. I really don't think that you should meet with a professional to understand the problem. Unfortunately the solution to this issue is to put yourself in uncomfortable positions where you're forced to play in front of others so that you can overcome the nervousness. Familiarity breeds ...


3

In my experience, breathing is the one of the most important things there. When we get anxious we trend to block our breath cycles and this causes more anxiety, as the brain seems to start working in an "under danger" mode. If you can get back to the basic breathing (don't forget to exhaled! most initial artists forget that to take a deep breath you need to ...


3

best way to overcome it is to do it, then in time you will be used to being in front of a crowd. you might be best performing with a group of people so that you can get used to the idea of being on stage in front of an audience, then in time one will get used to not feeling really conscious while on stage. from there on its fairly easy to get up and "just do ...


3

You say you only sometimes play with other people. I think that's a problem here. Play more with other people. Join other groups. Even better, join a folk or jazz group where improvisation is important, and where sometimes the flights of fancy inevitably won't always work. Of course you'll still fluff the occasional thing, but with a group it's larger than ...


3

A common technique I use is memorizing discrete chunks of a piece (one or two lines to a page long), and mixing them up. For example, I will play from memory the entire piece backwards (chunk 20 to chunk 1), and then I’ll have my teacher call out numbers and I’ll play that. It’s very challenging, but after you master that you are much better prepared for the ...


2

1) Knowing your piece(s) so thoroughly that your fingers can play even when your mind is occupied or distracted is one step towards performance confidence. 2) Practicing rough spots over and over in isolation will give you comfort and should reduce nervousness about making mistakes in front of an audience. 3) Lastly, recruiting a friend or family member ...


2

I do know this question is marked as Answered, but I'd still like to offer up some additional advice by telling you how I overcome this. I have been playing guitar since I was 7 and I am now 21, I have played in many events for school, and have played in a few bands as well as done a few solo acts my self. My first big show was at school in front of over ...


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