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Rllink
09-24-2015, 04:47 AM
I suppose that getting past my stage fright is one of the many reasons that I took up the ukulele. And believe me, I suffered from stage fright. But I purposely wanted to face that fear, and the ukulele was intended to be my tool to do so. I've kind of gotten over that this summer. That anxious feeling is still there to some extent, but it has become more of an adrenaline rush than knee shaking, paralyzing, fear at this point. Anyway, I thought that I would share that, and see who else has overcome similar obstacles by playing the uke.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
09-24-2015, 05:53 AM
Thanks for sharing and for taking the leap into performing... in spite of your fears!

It's wonderfully freeing, once we get over it (never completely, but to some extent :) ).

keep uke'in',

Debby
09-24-2015, 06:05 AM
I only get stage fright when it comes to playing the piano. Not so much with the uke. But I can relate to the feeling.

good_uke_boy
09-24-2015, 06:39 AM
Yes! I've used arranging uke tunes, then playing and singing them in front of strangers, as a way to build confidence when presenting to work colleagues and clients. Thankfully most of those strangers have been at a monthly uke jam, have been sympathetic and encouraging, and now aren't strangers any more -- they've become uke buddies.

bunnyf
09-24-2015, 06:50 AM
I took up the uke to entertain myself but I do enjoy sharing music with others, so I have had to get over my stage fright. For me it was a matter of successive approximation, little baby steps toward my goal of playing comfortably in front of strangers. I started by participating in uke jams, then to occasionally leading a song I brought to the jam, then playing in semi-public places like beaches, parks, and campgrounds (not playing for people, but near people), then to performing at public music jam circles with a variety of musicians (different instruments and skill levels, but mostly fairly good guitarist), and then to open mics (but in a fairly casual, welcoming setting). It's been a journey to get to where I am today, but I have enjoyed it. I can't say that I'm completely comfortable in all settings though. It has to be a fairly low pressure situation. I don't think I'd ever get really comfortable since my skill level is only mediocre and my voice is so-so. I try to perform only songs I really like and want to share and are commensurate with playing level and compatible with my limited voice. If you choose wisely, I don't think you have to be the best singer or player to perform successfully.

Cornfield
09-24-2015, 06:51 AM
The first time I played before strangers I had to curl up into a ball afterwards. Now I'm used to the boos and snears.

coolkayaker1
09-24-2015, 06:53 AM
The first time I played before strangers I had to curl up into a ball afterwards. Now I'm used to the boos and snears.

I curled up into a ball beforehand--and during.

peanuts56
09-24-2015, 10:28 AM
I found that as I aged I began to suffer more anxiety. I teach instrumental/classroom music and have done chorus also. My main instrument is trumpet and I also do a passable impersonation of a keyboard player. I have accompanied groups on uke and piano and have never had a problem with stage fright. The focus is really on the kids so it doesn't bother me. If I had to play alone then it would really bother me. Same with trumpet, playing in a pit for shows would not give me a problem.
When I was about 20 I was hired to play the national anthem at a football game. There were 3-4 thousand people in the stands. I played it perfectly, collected my $50 and left. If I had to do this now at almost 60 I would probably throw up.

acmespaceship
09-24-2015, 11:06 AM
The thing I have to keep reminding myself is, performance is not about me! It's about the music and the audience. The people out there came because they want to be entertained. That means they are on my side. My job is not to impress them with my prowess (ha, good luck with that). My job is to let them have a good time.

The worst thing to do is wait in the wings thinking about yourself "oh please don't screw up." Far better to think about the music. "This is such a great song, I can't wait to share it with you guys, you're gonna love it."

Auditions are a whole other problem.

ScooterD35
09-24-2015, 11:48 AM
This is from an interview in 1992...


"I'm not a relaxed sort of person. I always have stage fright, I'm always nervous before a show. It only lasts until the show starts, but even soI don't think I would feel right if I weren't that way, you know what I mean?"

~ Jerry Garcia ~


Scooter

DownUpDave
09-25-2015, 03:01 PM
Rolli, I really respect your attitude and your willingness to move beyond where you are and where you started from.

A couple months into learning the uke I got up on stage with three others for an open mic performance, no big deal, piece of cake. I am in sales and talk for a living so I am comfortable with people. My first solo act was a whole other story. Was confident, started strong, heard some mistakes and got shakey towards the end. Second solo performance was the same.

I use to think I had a decent singing voice, than I recorded myself, not as impressive as I thought. So I was sliding backwards into solo performance avoidance. But I have talked to some good experienced performers and many feel the same. They realize perfection is unattainable but they get up and give it their all anyways. I am so glad you posted this, we all need to move forward.

Cassie
09-25-2015, 07:49 PM
That's good. I'm glad you were able to get passed that.

kohanmike
09-25-2015, 08:26 PM
When I was young I had terrible stage fright, couldn't even give a book report in school or get up front of the congregation with the other kids to sing at the end of services. When I was 20, I got a job as an usher for a TV studio in Hollywood, and realized that I had to tell all those people in line what to do, in that same instant I got over the stage fright because my commitment to the job I just took was stronger than the fear. I've never had a problem getting up in front of people again. But singing is another story.

It wasn't long ago that my sister-in-law and a cousin visiting from Toronto asked me to play my uke for them. As soon as I started singing Iz's "Rainbow" they broke out in laughter (you can be sure I'll never do that with them again), but I too thought my voice was reasonable, then after recording it, I vowed never to sing in public again. I will only lip sync when we play gigs.

DownUpDave
09-26-2015, 01:56 AM
When I was young I had terrible stage fright, couldn't even give a book report in school or get up front of the congregation with the other kids to sing at the end of services. When I was 20, I got a job as an usher for a TV studio in Hollywood, and realized that I had to tell all those people in line what to do, in that same instant I got over the stage fright because my commitment to the job I just took was stronger than the fear. I've never had a problem getting up in front of people again. But singing is another story.

It wasn't long ago that my sister-in-law and a cousin visiting from Toronto asked me to play my uke for them. As soon as I started singing Iz's "Rainbow" they broke out in laughter (you can be sure I'll never do that with them again), but I too thought my voice was reasonable, then after recording it, I vowed never to sing in public again. I will only lip sync when we play gigs.


Hey Mike, I am from the Toronto area........will make sure I don't sing in front of your relatives either, lol.
I got a Zoom Hn2 recorder and it has helped, so has hanging around good singers, except they sound wayyyy better than me.

Two things I have learned, our voice can really change from one day to the next. Just whether you are properly hydrated, drink too much coffee, was speaking alot all day really impacts your voice. We all have bad voice days. I found out that I sound much better just singing, when I start playing my voice will go mono tone as if I am just keeping time with the uke. Being aware of this has been helpful and given me something to work on. Don't stop trying, we can improve on most anything.

NOTLguy
09-26-2015, 02:02 AM
The very best place to place to perfform in front of people is in your ukulele group amongst your peers. Firstly, you will not be booed and jeered and secondly they will support your efforts to do this. It is not easy by any means to get up and perform in front of folks. Keep trying and over time you will see the jitters diminish and see them replace by a wonderful feeling of accomplishing something few people in this world could do.

Regards,
Bill

Rllink
09-26-2015, 05:40 AM
When I was young I had terrible stage fright, couldn't even give a book report in school or get up front of the congregation with the other kids to sing at the end of services. When I was 20, I got a job as an usher for a TV studio in Hollywood, and realized that I had to tell all those people in line what to do, in that same instant I got over the stage fright because my commitment to the job I just took was stronger than the fear. I've never had a problem getting up in front of people again. But singing is another story.

It wasn't long ago that my sister-in-law and a cousin visiting from Toronto asked me to play my uke for them. As soon as I started singing Iz's "Rainbow" they broke out in laughter (you can be sure I'll never do that with them again), but I too thought my voice was reasonable, then after recording it, I vowed never to sing in public again. I will only lip sync when we play gigs.
Well, my son, who is an adult, laughs at me when I play the uke, but I don't care. He has no taste anyway. Iz's "Rainbow" is a pretty serious song. I usually start out with "Bottle of Wine", or something like that to get people warmed up first. I just learned "Let Me Be Your Salty Dog", when someone mentioned it in another post a month or so ago, and that it a good one to start out with. There is a song by Jimmy Buffett called "Were You Born an Asshole", and if I get someone really obnoxious, I sing that one for them. My son gets that one a lot, although he isn't around much, as he just visits sometimes. But seriously, I try not to start out too seriously. It is easier for me as well to start out with something light. Save the really good stuff for the end. Just my observations from a summer of playing.

Anyway, I've mentioned this before, but I was watching a documentary about folk singers in the 60s, and Pete Seeger said that the first time he heard Bob Dylan, he told people that Dylan was the worst singer he had ever heard. He said that a month later, everyone was trying to sound like Bob Dylan. I mean, how do you measure whether someone is a good singer or not?

Andy Chen
09-26-2015, 02:37 PM
We're in good company! I even get recording fright: I practise all right, then when I try to record myself on the iPad, I flub like crazy.

stevejfc
09-26-2015, 03:29 PM
We're in good company! I even get recording fright: I practise all right, then when I try to record myself on the iPad, I flub like crazy.

I'm with you Andy. I tense up when recording, but not so much in front of others. I guess I'm nervous about hearing myself.

Rllink
09-27-2015, 12:06 PM
Did a little busking with another guy at an art festival this afternoon. Beautiful day for it, and I had a good time. This is the first time I've just stood out on the street with a case open in front of me and busked. At least today, I was too busy trying to keep up to get stage fright. I hardly noticed the people who stopped to listen, let alone those who just walked by. Busking is a whole different experience than my others, which have been coffee shop gigs and neighborhood bon fires. But it was a lot of fun, and people seemed to like us.

stevepetergal
09-27-2015, 05:35 PM
You want a cure for stage fright? Fight fires for 30 years.

hub
09-28-2015, 10:51 AM
You want a cure for stage fright? Fight fires for 30 years.

And how does that help? Do you imagine the audience is saplings on fire?

I once started a book about public speaking. Don't remember the details now, but in one of the first few chapters there was a story of an honored WWII soldier having a speech in front of couple thousands people. He said half a sentence, then another, then mumbled a bit and went quiet. Finally, he wiped the sweat from his forehead and said that when he was in trenches under the heat of Japanese fire he was never remotely close to be as frightened as he was in that very moment. Afterwards the speech went well.

It was a good book. I should probably finish it someday. Fortunately, for now with the quality of my playing I don't have to worry about anyone willing to hear me on stage :D

plunker
09-29-2015, 12:48 AM
I may have stage fright someday when I actually try to perform people. The cat and the hound don't applaud my playing but they don't run away either. I did get so involved one time, I didn't let the hound out in time. But I don't think the result was a comment on my playing. If I could find an outlet, I might try performing some day. Thanks for the encouragement.