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View Full Version : Help! N-n-n-n-nervous Jitters!!!!!!



Papa Tom
03-21-2015, 08:20 AM
I'm about three hours away from making my public debut as a banjoleleist and I've suddenly forgotten all three chords to the one song I have to play!!!!!

As a drummer, I played in front of capacity crowds at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, and all sorts of concert arenas, but I've never been as nervous as I am having to accompany two of my neighbors on "Danny Boy" at a party of about 150 guests!

At this point, all the fingers I'll need are right on the verge of splitting from having run through the song so many times. I don't want to rely on a chord chart because the girls are young and inexperienced and I want to be "there" to guide them through the song and encourage them to "build" as each verse/chorus comes along. However, it's been so long since I've performed in front of grown-ups and I have no idea if I'm going to freak out once I've got to hit the intro. It's really THEIR show, and I don't want to be the one to screw it up for them.

Anyway, I'm not quite as much of a basket case as it may sound, but I thought I'd share this feeling while it's happening so that others might at least have a chuckle about the first time THEY performed live. Wish me luck!

ScooterD35
03-21-2015, 08:35 AM
Try to relax, and have fun! Always remember, the audience want's you to succeed. They are always pulling for you, so draw from that confidence.

Nifty old trick, get a magic marker and make a chord chart in large friendly letters and put it on the ground in front of you. Position it so that, when you look at it, the audience will likely think you're just looking at your fingers. Besides, everyone will be focused on the girls, not you.

Break a leg,

Scooter

Icelander53
03-21-2015, 09:10 AM
I'm about three hours away from making my public debut as a banjoleleist and I've suddenly forgotten all three chords to the one song I have to play!!!!!

As a drummer, I played in front of capacity crowds at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, and all sorts of concert arenas, but I've never been as nervous as I am having to accompany two of my neighbors on "Danny Boy" at a party of about 150 guests!

At this point, all the fingers I'll need are right on the verge of splitting from having run through the song so many times. I don't want to rely on a chord chart because the girls are young and inexperienced and I want to be "there" to guide them through the song and encourage them to "build" as each verse/chorus comes along. However, it's been so long since I've performed in front of grown-ups and I have no idea if I'm going to freak out once I've got to hit the intro. It's really THEIR show, and I don't want to be the one to screw it up for them.

Anyway, I'm not quite as much of a basket case as it may sound, but I thought I'd share this feeling while it's happening so that others might at least have a chuckle about the first time THEY performed live. Wish me luck!

Ha ha! Barbra Streisand had the same problem. I have cured my self by never playing in front of anyone. Its worked like a charm. I'm kidding but only a little bit. I definitely have stage fright issues but once I've done the deed and it wasn't a complete disaster then I'm all about doing again right away. I love to be noticed. But that's not really why I want to play in public and with others so much. It's the camaraderie and merry music making that I crave. See I'm not a people person and always avoid them in favor of my dogs but when it comes to people doing music I have no issues and really want to connect.

stevepetergal
03-21-2015, 09:26 AM
My suggestion: Don't go through with it, whatever you do!!

phil_doleman
03-21-2015, 12:00 PM
I feel your pain. I played in bands for several years with no problem, then in the early 90s 'went solo' and suffered terrible, debilitating stage-fright. I would shake, throw up before (and sometimes after), and the whole gig would be a blur as I just tried to get to the end in one piece. It took ages, then one day I came off and realised I'd got into the music and enjoyed the performance. Not much help for your performance, but it does get better!

Papa Tom
03-21-2015, 03:50 PM
It went fine. Funny, though. Most of the people at the party knew my history as a drummer, so they sort of expected me to be a ukulele wizard. You know...you play one instrument, you can play them all. If they only knew how I had tortured myself to pull those three chords together and make it look like I knew what I was doing!

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement, all. Even YOU, stevepetergal. You gave me a good laugh!

kohanmike
03-21-2015, 07:04 PM
I know how you feel. After playing guitar for 50 years, ukulele for 18 months, I took up the bass. My uke group of 50 is doing a gig April 18 and I'm going to be the bass player. I've been working on the first of 15 songs we're doing, really worked on them Wednesday before a rehearsal Thursday. Did real well in practice, but as soon as rehearsal started, I bumbled like I had never done these songs before, and that was just rehearsal. Going to be working real hard the next few weeks.

Ukejenny
03-21-2015, 07:27 PM
It went fine. Funny, though. Most of the people at the party knew my history as a drummer, so they sort of expected me to be a ukulele wizard. You know...you play one instrument, you can play them all. If they only knew how I had tortured myself to pull those three chords together and make it look like I knew what I was doing!

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement, all. Even YOU, stevepetergal. You gave me a good laugh!

Glad it went well! I hope you enjoyed it while you played. Just remember your percussion swagger, get out there, and swing that big bat.

wayward
03-22-2015, 12:14 AM
I'm really glad it went well Papa Tom. In case anyone else reading this thread also struggles with performance confidence/nerves, I've got to echo what Phil Doleman said:
I feel your pain. I played in bands for several years with no problem, then in the early 90s 'went solo' and suffered terrible, debilitating stage-fright. I would shake, throw up before (and sometimes after), and the whole gig would be a blur as I just tried to get to the end in one piece. It took ages, then one day I came off and realised I'd got into the music and enjoyed the performance. Not much help for your performance, but it does get better!
I'm a Drama teacher of 27 years experience, but I've always suffered from the kind of performance nerves mentioned here, so I simply haven't performed. A year and a half ago I somehow found myself (at the age of 48) in a gigging band :eek: and although I tried to opt out the other guys wouldn't let me. So, I rehearse everything by myself, then in front of my dogs and ponies, then to 1 or 2 others, then I record myself and finally film myself... and I still have panicky moments, but I've learned to act as though everything's fine (the Drama comes in useful here) and it has got better! So, if anyone else really wants to play for more than a couple of dogs (still my most appreciative audience!) hang on in there: it can better... and maybe it won't take 48 years for you! :D

Papa Tom
03-22-2015, 02:27 AM
>>>> I hope you enjoyed it while you played.<<<<

Yeah, it felt "right." The most touching moment was when I looked out and noticed that my wife, who hasn't seen me perform in about 20 years, had tears in her eyes.

Icelander53
03-22-2015, 02:38 AM
I'm really glad it went well Papa Tom. In case anyone else reading this thread also struggles with performance confidence/nerves, I've got to echo what Phil Doleman said:
I'm a Drama teacher of 27 years experience, but I've always suffered from the kind of performance nerves mentioned here, so I simply haven't performed. A year and a half ago I somehow found myself (at the age of 48) in a gigging band :eek: and although I tried to opt out the other guys wouldn't let me. So, I rehearse everything by myself, then in front of my dogs and ponies, then to 1 or 2 others, then I record myself and finally film myself... and I still have panicky moments, but I've learned to act as though everything's fine (the Drama comes in useful here) and it has got better! So, if anyone else really wants to play for more than a couple of dogs (still my most appreciative audience!) hang on in there: it can better... and maybe it won't take 48 years for you! :D

Thanks for sharing this.