Feel the fear and do it anyway: upcoming gig anxiety

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Moriarty, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Moriarty

    Moriarty Tele-Meister

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    So I've got a show coming up and I am freaking out. I've performed before and loved it, and the audience seemed to like me ok.
    Thing is I don't do this as much as I should. I can play the songs I've written. I can sing them. Putting those things together... It's been too long. I am seriously out of practice. And I'm co-headlining with a friend. He hasn't played out in forever either. We're pulling stuff together at the last minute because life got in the way. I feel like a fraud.
    I know it's just for fun and it's a benefit but I am so anxious it's scary.
    I have anxiety anyway - part of the reason I've put off the actual content of the set until so late in the game.
    I don't know. I'm rambling now.
    Ugh.
     
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  2. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Time constraints can take the fun out of most things.
    I'd be playing the set daily right up until the actual event so it just feels like any other day. Good luck and have fun.
     
  3. stxrus

    stxrus Friend of Leo's

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    have fun, my 1 rule
    if you flub up just keep on keeping on. most everyone there will have NO IDEA you messed up
     
  4. Nubs

    Nubs Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes.

    Rule #1 is have fun.

    Rule #2 is no one cares (I mean the audience, not you)

    Rule #3 is just keep going and smile.
     
  5. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just get super-drunk right before you go on.....you won't worry a bit! ;)
    OK.....I'm kidding.....actually I NEVER drink if I'm playing, I want to be in absolute control....
    You don't say when the show is, but I like to know my material DEAD COLD, so it becomes automatic. And the only way I can do that is to practice, practice, practice. Are you playing WITH your friend, or separately? How is his frame of mind? If he's anxious as well, you may need to be the calming guy. Benefits are great, because (in the grand scheme of things) there's NOTHING on the line. You're doing a "good deed", so remember.....whatever happens is a positive for the "cause". And don't let nerves get to you....this is just the first step in what could possibly be a long journey for you. I know it's easy for us to say, but HAVE FUN.....there's NOTHING like the thrill of playing for people. They're gonna love you!!!!!
     
  6. 41144

    41144 Tele-Holic

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    Don't over-think it.
    If its a benefit/charity thing everyone's already onboard with what you're trying to do/ where you're at.
    But most of all ... Talk to the audience, they'll appreciate any joke/light hearted comment you make.
    Have fun, and, later on, let us all know the best bit of your set.
    My 2p (c for you) is that you'll enjoy it :cool:
     
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  7. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

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    keep smiling.
    don't look inward, instead, just play the song and play it the way you know you can... slow it down, way way down and try to think of the story of the song and forget about all the things going on around you.
     
  8. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    Just take the plunge and keep playing, hit a wrong note? Bend that sucker until it sounds good! You'll be great!
     
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  9. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    1. Practice as much as you can beforehand - practice like you play, standing up and singing + playing, with all your pedals etc. Play the songs in set list order. Memorize lyrics - practice without looking at the lyrics. Then look, and practice again without looking.
    2. Figure out how to simplify a few things with your sound, pedals, or simplify a solo, whatever - shave off a couple of rough edges. You'll feel better with fewer ?? marks in the set.
    3. In the moment, take a deep breath,drink it in, then put 100% of yourself out there on the stage.
    4. People want to see you having fun and enjoying yourself up there more than they want you to be Satriani. Go have fun.
     
  10. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Be yourself. You can always live with that. Your music can only do so much if nobody gets to hear it. Who better to play it than you, warts and all? Rest easy, put your heart into it, you’ll do great.
     
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  11. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    Remember, it's just a little sound that dies out right away. If you don't make a big deal out of it, nobody notices. Keep your composure and let them go.

    And if someone notices, so what?
     
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  12. 2blue2

    2blue2 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Bourbon, lots of Bourbon
    Not for you but for the crowd
     
  13. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Anxiety SUCKS!! Literally, it sucks the fun and enjoyment out of things. I deal with anxiety myself....not so much stage anxiety anymore...well, that's not completely true....I can get anxious beforehand but I have enough experience to know that when I get onstage it mostly vanishes because I feel like I'm in a situation that I'm very familiar with and I know what I'm doing. Anxiety is an expression of too much uncertainty.....so one of anxiety's surest cures is feeling more feelings of certainty.

    Is there anything, any aspect of performing/being onstage/being in that particular place/seeing particular faces that you know will be there/the familiarity of your instrument etc. that you have a sense of certainty about?....anything (or more than one thing is even better)that gives you a strong sense of familiarity that you can rely on. If you can find something like that and then make that the central focus of your thoughts about the event (before and during the event) you can probably ease your anxiety considerably.
     
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  14. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

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  15. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Holic

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    I actually learned a vital lesson at a Brad Paisley concert even though he's 1/2 My age. You can be great, but if you're not entertaining stay home.

    Enjoy yourself and if you need an ice breaker. It might be time for a joke?
     
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  16. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

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    The amount of anxiety you feel before a gig directly correlates to the adrenaline rush you will get from playing the gig.
     
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  17. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Meister

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    Lot of good advice has already been placed here but remember this, having the guts to get up and play in front of people is something most folks can't do. And they know it. Be in the moment, don't let it consume you and just own it. Don't let fear hold you back.
     
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  18. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Meister

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    It might help us to know a bit more about that gig. Co-headlining is a bit ambiguous to me in this context, but generally speaking...

    Get that setlist ironed out ASAP and practice the full sets without a break. I've seen musicians get physically fatigued on stage cuz they never practice a full set's worth of music at once.

    Practice the talking you do between songs. You can ruin a lot of good musical work by sounding like a dumbass with your 30 seconds of banter between songs. I've seen people lose musical competitions for that. It seems to me that sometimes musicians sound the douchiest when they try to be funny....just a point to ponder. Comedians are our occupational brethren in the entertainment industry, but comedians we are not. Remember to thank the venue and the wait staff.

    Almost everybody has strange behavioral quirks when they get nervous that are kind of annoying to watch in a performance situation...you need video, not just audio to ultimately shed yourself of that. Consider video recording yourself before the gig (perhaps serveral times). The recordings will not lie to you. I've told musicians whom I didn't enjoy "I enjoyed your playing" as I tenderized my tongue amongst my molars. A Zoom Q2N-4k has no such affinity! =)
     
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  19. Toast

    Toast Tele-Holic

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    Two things heighten my anxiety: lack of sleep and lack of preparation. Combing those two things is when I tend to fall apart. So get enough rest and have your repertoire down. If there's one song that you're 75% on or one you're spending too much time on, throw it out (you're the boss). People will often tell you to smile. They're right. However, the trick to smiling is to smile inside. You have to feel the smile. In other words, you're smiling because you actually are feeling happy. Practice getting that feeling before you smile. Doing that also teaches you how to dampen anxiety. Smiles that are painted on your face, but not coming from your gut are a dead giveaway that you're nervous. I know because I did that for years. These days I know how to get the feeling of happiness inside before I smile. Good luck. Also, if the whole thing is just mental torture, allow yourself to walk away. Call in sick. That's okay, too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  20. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Bear in mind that you probably won't look NEAR as nervous as you feel! :D
     
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