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Dominator
04-24-2008, 11:43 AM
I donít know about the rest of you but I get quite nervous before playing the ukulele in front of crowds. Even when we do the open mics and itís just me I get nervous knowing that you are all out there on the other end of the webcam. This is never an issue when playing guitar with my rock band. Iím guessing thatís because Iím not really out there by myself and weíve been doing it for ages now and are really comfortable with what we do.

I told Jake I would be playing in Hayward this Sunday and that it was my first real ukulele gig. I asked him if he had any advice as to how I could get myself to relax before my set. Hereís what he had to say in his email.

ďHey man! That's awesome! It'll be great! Well, I always get nervous before shows. I don't think there's much you can do about it. However, a few things that help me get through those preshow jitters include stretching out your fingers, listening to my favorite tunes on my iPod, Drink water but not too much, don't eat oily or fried foods before you perform, and make sure you get a really good sound check. Well, I hope that helps. Have a fun show and let me know how it goes!Ē

I think I can do all of his suggestions except for a "good sound check". There isnít really time for much of a sound check. Itís more a technical check to make sure sound is coming out of the PA. Thereís not time to actual try to tweak the tone or EQ much. I donít think that will be an issue anyway because in past years the sound team has done a great job at Hayward.

Anybody else have something that works for them?

UKESTAR
04-24-2008, 11:50 AM
ďHey man! That's awesome! It'll be great!" This comment pretty much sums up Jake's attitude. He is a very positive person. Just one of the reasons that his shows are so great.

How does one go about stretching their fingers? Is there some sort of finger yoga I don't know about..ha. :confused:

NukeDOC
04-24-2008, 11:52 AM
mess up right in the beginning. it reminds you that youre human, and lightens the mood after you say "oops... hahaha ok lets try that again".

it works for me. sad thing is, i always goof up right in the middle. and theres nowhere to go but finish. hahaha.

the band is coming up on a really small set at a talent show this saturday. im just hoping my nerves dont get the best of me. ive actually got a small freestyle solo for one of the songs. that would suck with basically "all eyes on me" hahaha. but im glad ill be up there with all the bros. cant wait.

seeso
04-24-2008, 12:34 PM
Hey Dom.

Awesome that you're playing out on the ukulele. You're a valuable resource to this community.

As for pre-show tips, I'd suggest you find somewhere you can be alone for ten or fifteen minutes, just you and your uke.

Take 5 minutes or so to stretch out. Not just your fingers, but your whole body. Breathe deep while you stretch. It doesn't have to be anything too fancy, just enough to get you centered and your blood flowing.

Take another five minutes or so to play something really mellow. It should be something that you can play without thinking about it too much. Breathe deep while you're playing. Let your mind think about either breathing, or the piece you're playing. If you find your thoughts straying to anything else, gently nudge it back to your music or breathing.

When you're done, you should feel refreshed, centered, and connected to your instrument.

Doing something simple like remembering to breathe can work wonders for your performance, not only before you go on, but also during your set. If you find yourself getting jittery or nervous while you play, just take a deep breath or two.

Hope this helps. Break a leg, man!

FrankNoCal
04-24-2008, 12:38 PM
Dominator, I'll be at the Uke Fest in Hayward this Sunday. Is that where you're performing. I'll try to get inside and watch you. Do you know what time you are scheduled to perform? What songs will you be singing? Everybody's been telling me to make sure I take my uke with me, but I've only been playing about a couple months and it's just a Rogue Soprano Starter, so I don't know. See you Sunday!

drubin
04-24-2008, 01:08 PM
Great advice from Jake, Dom! Thanks for posting it here. And great advice from Seeso, too! The importance of breathing and stretching is inestimable.

I find the 1/2 hour before the show begins and the first 5 minutes or so of the show is where my nerves seem the most amped up. I like to talk to the crowd a bit either before or after the first song, and look the audience in the eyes when I can. I find these things help me to get comfortable and allow me to establish a kind of rapport with the audience. Also, don't be afraid to pause to take a breath or two or a sip of water between songs. No need to rush yourself. Just take your time and enjoy. Considering the high level of the quality of your musicianmanship, Dom, I have great confidence that you will put on a fabulous show! Good luck!

Dominator
04-24-2008, 01:16 PM
Dominator, I'll be at the Uke Fest in Hayward this Sunday. Is that where you're performing. I'll try to get inside and watch you. Do you know what time you are scheduled to perform? What songs will you be singing? Everybody's been telling me to make sure I take my uke with me, but I've only been playing about a couple months and it's just a Rogue Soprano Starter, so I don't know. See you Sunday!

Frank, there is info about the festival down in the GIGs section of this forum. I play early. I'm the second performer and go on at 11:15. No singing from me though. Not this time anyway. I will be playing instrumentals only. Mostly Jake's arrangements.

Absolutely, take your uke. That's what these festivals are all about. There are always other people there who have just started playing so you will be right at home. Don't sweat it.

Thanks Seeso and Drubin for your insight and advice.

Ukulele_Junkie
04-24-2008, 02:30 PM
Just Remember this

http://abstraxx.com/book_3.jpg

ukusaurus
04-24-2008, 06:50 PM
Just Remember this

http://abstraxx.com/book_3.jpg



Silliest thing I've read all day..






But it's probably true. :p Go Dom!

NotoriousMOK
04-24-2008, 07:37 PM
Love that pic -- I am SO fly!!!


. . . . hmm, or is it the other one??


whatever -- Dom, I wish I could offer you something useful, but I'm way too chicken to do what you're doing, but I've not doubt you'll blow 'em away!

have a great show!

Plainsong
04-24-2008, 10:06 PM
Stage fright was always a problem with me when doing recitals, but I could control it more for actual productions because I was in an ensemble cast and could loose myself in the character. But recitals, my legs tremble at the thought. I've never even sung in front of my parents. And that sounds weird until my accomplished experienced star-of-many-operas teacher said the same thing.

I think the advice here is very good. Before a show I liked to tread the boards and get at home on the stage, but that's because sometimes stages are different and you have to get used to the space in order to make use of it.

But recitals...yikes. Nothing works for me.

seeso
04-27-2008, 06:36 AM
Dom, Jake remembered that you had a show today. He told me to wish you good luck.

Kick some butt tonight, man!

UkuleleHill
04-27-2008, 08:03 AM
Stage fright was always a problem with me when doing recitals, but I could control it more for actual productions because I was in an ensemble cast and could loose myself in the character. But recitals, my legs tremble at the thought. I've never even sung in front of my parents. And that sounds weird until my accomplished experienced star-of-many-operas teacher said the same thing.

I think the advice here is very good. Before a show I liked to tread the boards and get at home on the stage, but that's because sometimes stages are different and you have to get used to the space in order to make use of it.

But recitals...yikes. Nothing works for me.

I have problems with stage fright when I am not in a play... So something I do is I imagine I am not me... I act as though I am someone else playing me (I know that sounds complicated) but it helps me get past the stage fright and able to do what I want on stage...

UkuleleHill
04-27-2008, 08:06 AM
Dom, Jake remembered that you had a show today. He told me to wish you good luck.

Kick some butt tonight, man!

Oh yeah that too! Good Luck DOM!

Dominator
04-27-2008, 06:11 PM
Dom, Jake remembered that you had a show today. He told me to wish you good luck.

Kick some butt tonight, man!

Thanks for letting me know Seeso. I think it went well. Most definately could have been better (there is always next time) but no major train wrecks :). I opened with Blue Roses and felt really good and was able to somewhat relax. But when I played Something I seemed to develop some jitters about half way through that didn't help things. I felt pretty good again as I closed my set with the Star Spangled Banner. The good thing about playing early was that I got to relax the rest of the day and do some jamming with Bruddah Mark :D.

Oh, BTW, my wife wasn't able to get any videos inside the auditorium. The festival has a Communications Company that tapes every performance. I payed to get a copy of all the performances but don't have any idea when she will have it ready.

davoomac
04-28-2008, 01:50 AM
Thanks for the tips Dom and Seeso! Its great to hear from people who have the experience onstage. I'll be sure to utilize these when I actually get to perform one of these days.

ToeBone
04-28-2008, 09:11 AM
I know it sounds corny, Dom, but both JoAnne and Tracey were crying when you played The Star Spangled Banner. You were great. Hopefully next time not so nervous. I goofed up my audio recording so the only song I got entirely was SPB.

We lost track of you after the show and Tracey got OD'd on the sun and heat so we had to leave. Hope you had a good time and didn't spend too much money.

Dominator
04-28-2008, 09:36 AM
I know it sounds corny, Dom, but both JoAnne and Tracey were crying when you played The Star Spangled Banner. You were great. Hopefully next time not so nervous. I goofed up my audio recording so the only song I got entirely was SPB.

We lost track of you after the show and Tracey got OD'd on the sun and heat so we had to leave. Hope you had a good time and didn't spend too much money.

We were wondering where you dissapeared to. Tracey was pretty red when we did see you guys last. It was a fairly hot one for sure.

Send me the mp3 when you get it uploaded to your puter. I'm getting a copy of the entire days performances but not sure when it will arrive.

ToeBone
04-28-2008, 09:48 AM
She's been sensitive to heat since her first back surgery. Sensitive to hot food now, too! Bummer :-( That happened to my brother after his back surgery so I guess it just happens to people.

I sure wish I had recorded Blue Roses since you did that one so well.

seeso
04-28-2008, 01:18 PM
Dom, so glad to hear that the show went well. Please let us know when you've got the videos to show us!

Dominator
04-28-2008, 01:30 PM
Dom, so glad to hear that the show went well. Please let us know when you've got the videos to show us!

Certainly will.

Guting
04-28-2008, 07:42 PM
hmmm just got back from my performance, wow the shakiness really ****s with the ability to function properly LOL! I could barely hold it all together tempo/phrasing everything.....

was fun though actually signing and taking pics w/ DA CHICKS!!!!! nah nah was great.


I guess what helped me was to tank a bottle of water right before, cracking one joke or two, then forgetting about the crowd and sort of play in my own "space" while tuning in to the crowd every so often. Cant wait for the video!!

<~/UkeDude\~>
04-28-2008, 07:53 PM
Acutally believe it or not, meditation works. . .for me at least haha.
The vid I posted of my talent show what the first time I ever did a solo infront of a big audience. And like you Dom I play in a band, and I'm fine up on stage, but when I was next up for the show I had all kinds of jitters going thru me haha.
Basically all I do is but my finger tips together, close my eyes, and breath slowly.
And I just keep doing that until I can feel my pulse in my finger tips, and once I can feel that then I'm good to go ;)
I honestly think it works, but I'm prolly just weird like that haha xP

jjsdad
04-28-2008, 08:10 PM
Dom,

That was a really good set you played and you didn't look nervous at all. I was wondering about the water bottle and thought that you were going to sing, too. But, now I know where that was coming from. ;)

I was also going to stand up when you played the Star-Spangled Banner, but no one else was standing up. I bet if I stood up and got a few other people to do it, then everyone would have done it. Man, I should have done that...

Also, I video taped your performance not knowing that we were not supposed to tape it. Should I post it to YouTube or will I get in trouble for it?

Unfortunately, my Mac is acting up and it won't let me transfer more than about 4 seconds of video from my camcorder before it starts skipping... I had this problem a few weeks ago and it seems to have cropped up again. Probably need to reboot it. So, I can't even post it anywhere right now. :(