Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright

Drum Lessons Forums DBD Member Lesson Discussion Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #30746
    Marcus
    Moderator

    This topic came up on the student FB page.  I believe there are many many many musicians who suffer from this.  I know I  have.   I believe this can and should be overcome.  I don’t think we can really play if we are experiencing fear.  Anyone interested in starting a discussion on this and seeing if we help some people out?

    #30752
    Grant
    Keymaster

    This is a great topic to weigh in on. How have some of you overcome your fears?

    #30760
    Robert
    Participant

    As discussed on the FB page, this is a huge topic that is hard to cover in this type of forum.  I know when I feel legitimate nervousness or fear (as opposed to just the typical pre show nervous energy), I really have to focus on the cause of the fear.  I know there have been gigs where I had no fear and gigs where My fear was large enough that I worried about counting the first song off correctly.  Therefore, I know it is not just performing in front of a crowd that causes it since every gig involves  crowd.  My fear has generally been around either not feeling as prepared as I’d like to be or whether people will like what I play or the group as a whole.  With the former, the solution is increasing the focus in my practice sessions to tighten up any potential problem areas, or at least become aware enough that I can process it in the moment.  For the latter, I just have to reflect on why the potential judgement bothers me.  If I and the band are happy with what we play and we know we don’t sound like a train wreck, why worry about it?  A lot of times it’s not that people don’t like your playing, they just don’t like the style of music.  It wasn’t until I started picking this apart and working to identify the root cause that I was able to better manage my fear and anxiety.  it also helps to look for the first sign of toe tapping.  Once I find evidence of that, I feel like we’re clicking and I can really focus on the groove.

    #30796
    Marcus
    Moderator

    For me, I gotta know the song well.  If I am focused on a fill or trying to remember a certain part etc.  my nerves are definitely up because I feel unprepared.  I have to know it cold.  I also quit worrying about what other people think.  Not everyone will like what I do.  That’s okay.  Really, I’m not playing for them.  I know that sounds weird, but I am playing for me.  I am playing with my band mates, I am playing for the song and when I play in a worship setting, I am playing for God.  Once I took the judgement out of playing, a great deal of the stress and nervousness left as well.

    I played really poorly at a gig recently, but I wasn’t nervous.  I knew it sucked.  I knew I didn’t prepare as I should have and I paid the price.  Oh well.  Nobody died.  Lesson learned.  I won’t make the same mistake again.   But in the end, I wasn’t scared or nervous…just disappointed in myself.  I can handle that.

    #30845
    Stephen
    Keymaster

    I’ve found that my nerves stemmed from a few places: new experience, new playing environment, unfamiliar with the material, or pushing my limits.

    For me, being overprepared has always been the way to go to help this issue. I have a rehearsal tomorrow. I’ve known a lot of these songs for years. And I’m still gonna go back over the charts in a few minutes.

    I also have found it helpful to sort if it’s really “stage fright” I’m feeling. Oftentimes it is a mixture of excitement, anxiety, too much caffeine, regret (being unprepared), anxiety…and so many times, the nervousness or stage fright are honestly the smaller of the bunch. Once we can identify that, we can see that it’s excitement we’re feeling and deal with that, etc.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #30746

    Marcus
    Moderator
    • Offline

    This topic came up on the student FB page.  I believe there are many many many musicians who suffer from this.  I know I  have.   I believe this can and should be overcome.  I don’t think we can really play if we are experiencing fear.  Anyone interested in starting a discussion on this and seeing if we help some people out?

    #30752

    Grant
    Keymaster
    • Offline

    This is a great topic to weigh in on. How have some of you overcome your fears?

    #30760

    Robert
    Participant
    • Offline

    As discussed on the FB page, this is a huge topic that is hard to cover in this type of forum.  I know when I feel legitimate nervousness or fear (as opposed to just the typical pre show nervous energy), I really have to focus on the cause of the fear.  I know there have been gigs where I had no fear and gigs where My fear was large enough that I worried about counting the first song off correctly.  Therefore, I know it is not just performing in front of a crowd that causes it since every gig involves  crowd.  My fear has generally been around either not feeling as prepared as I’d like to be or whether people will like what I play or the group as a whole.  With the former, the solution is increasing the focus in my practice sessions to tighten up any potential problem areas, or at least become aware enough that I can process it in the moment.  For the latter, I just have to reflect on why the potential judgement bothers me.  If I and the band are happy with what we play and we know we don’t sound like a train wreck, why worry about it?  A lot of times it’s not that people don’t like your playing, they just don’t like the style of music.  It wasn’t until I started picking this apart and working to identify the root cause that I was able to better manage my fear and anxiety.  it also helps to look for the first sign of toe tapping.  Once I find evidence of that, I feel like we’re clicking and I can really focus on the groove.

    #30796

    Marcus
    Moderator
    • Offline

    For me, I gotta know the song well.  If I am focused on a fill or trying to remember a certain part etc.  my nerves are definitely up because I feel unprepared.  I have to know it cold.  I also quit worrying about what other people think.  Not everyone will like what I do.  That’s okay.  Really, I’m not playing for them.  I know that sounds weird, but I am playing for me.  I am playing with my band mates, I am playing for the song and when I play in a worship setting, I am playing for God.  Once I took the judgement out of playing, a great deal of the stress and nervousness left as well.

    I played really poorly at a gig recently, but I wasn’t nervous.  I knew it sucked.  I knew I didn’t prepare as I should have and I paid the price.  Oh well.  Nobody died.  Lesson learned.  I won’t make the same mistake again.   But in the end, I wasn’t scared or nervous…just disappointed in myself.  I can handle that.

    #30845

    Stephen
    Keymaster
    • Offline

    I’ve found that my nerves stemmed from a few places: new experience, new playing environment, unfamiliar with the material, or pushing my limits.

    For me, being overprepared has always been the way to go to help this issue. I have a rehearsal tomorrow. I’ve known a lot of these songs for years. And I’m still gonna go back over the charts in a few minutes.

    I also have found it helpful to sort if it’s really “stage fright” I’m feeling. Oftentimes it is a mixture of excitement, anxiety, too much caffeine, regret (being unprepared), anxiety…and so many times, the nervousness or stage fright are honestly the smaller of the bunch. Once we can identify that, we can see that it’s excitement we’re feeling and deal with that, etc.

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