Stumbling Block

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by cosmiccowboy, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. cosmiccowboy

    cosmiccowboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 17, 2010
    East of the Mississippi
    So I'm in an Christian original/cover band, in which I sing and play guitar. Recently (the last couple of months), I've been totally choking in my guitar playing during gigs ... anxiety and lack of focus to the point of complete and utter chaos in my playing. The strange part of it is that my vocal parts are spot on, on pitch, and strong. My guitar playing during practice and when we were in the studio a few months back are fine. I do this for the love of Christ and a desire to spread his message and serve not for any personal gain.

    If anyone has any suggestions, ideas, thoughts, links, blogs etc ... I am extremely open to a solution (obviously).

  2. consumnfire1229

    consumnfire1229 TDPRI Member

    Jun 2, 2013
    Stop drinking " to much" coffee? Or red bulls?

    I always get nervous right as service is about to begin. If have more than one cup of coffee, my nerves are worse and I become extremely jittery and distracted...
  3. praisebass

    praisebass Tele-Meister

    May 24, 2011
    springfield, mo
    If it persists, check with your doc. I know a number of musicians who use a mild beta blocker. A friend who is a world class fiddler has to take a low blood pressure medication about an hour before a public performance or she gets a complete case of 'sausage fingers' and cannot play. Prescription drugs are not the first solution I would try but if you don't find something that works for you, schedule an appointment with the doctor.
  4. Pualee

    Pualee Tele-Holic

    Feb 5, 2014
    Start with an easy song or two (depending on set length).

    I find that if I play my newest/hardest/most interesting songs from the beginning, disaster happens.

    I need a song or two to settle in. Something with some nice easy strumming and comfortable vocal range. Then, I am properly warmed up (in front of the audience) and ready to get something more interesting done.



    In 1 day... I played the same song twice... doing rhythm, adding a guitar solo, and singing. The first time, I played an easier song first. The song in question was excellent. The 2nd time (several hours later) I opened with the song in question. It was terrible... embarrassingly bad. So now I always have an easy song ready to go first :) It doesn't have to be boring... just easy on the vocal range and guitar.
  5. SynMike

    SynMike Tele-Meister

    Mar 22, 2013
    Vancouver BC
    One thing I do when I need to bring more focus to a musical part is to turn off my vision of the audience and focus on the other band members. I listen to what they are doing, exchange a few looks and smiles with them. That is harder to do if you are the front man.
  6. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 9, 2011
    Brookings, OR
    In addition to a regular practice regimen (and what that looks like is perhaps a whole different topic):

    Add mental rehearsing of as many aspects of a live performance as you can.

    There's anecdotal backing for this, especially athletes (Larry Bird, Tiger Woods, Greg Louganis), and there is also actual research done, i.e., a study that compared (on piano) participants who "practiced" a sequence mentally with participants who really practiced. The measurable change (improvement accuracy in playing) was the same for both groups.

    What I like to do is visualize an entire song. (I've even done this for an entire set). I can't have any distraction around (again, this does not replace actual practice time on the guitar, or rehearsal time with the band). I try and imagine as much as I can. Hear the song in my head. "Play" my parts in my head, even imagining stepping on stomp boxes (sometimes I'll have the board out and actually step on pedals). I try and imagine the lights, the crowd/congregation/etc.

    This really works for me. There was a time I could practice stuff until I could do it totally reflexively. Until I was standing on stage for real, then it was like I forgot everything. But I don't seem to struggle as much with that anymore.
  7. bikeracr

    bikeracr Tele-Meister

    Jun 11, 2009
    Two things:
    1) As has been said earlier, envision yourself playing confidently & nailing the parts before the show. This is the same for public speaking & it works wonders.

    2) Take the focus off of you. One Sunday morning, one of our pastors mentioned that we are to be instruments for the lord & we are simply there to help people worship. Since then, no nervousness problems.

    Good luck!
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