How to deal with performance anxiety

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Kasperow

Registered User

Joined: 10/09/12

Posts: 693

Originally Posted by: maggior
It's pretty funny that you bring up the test analogy - it is VERY applicable and something I thought about myself. As long as you put in the honest effort to prepare, everything will go fine. Any strategies you may have for dealing with test anxiety will apply here too!

I find the same goes for Test Anxiety vs. Job Interview Anxiety, since technically, both are a kind of Performance Anxiety. May just be me, though, but this article did help me not faint before two internship-interviews at the same company.

Originally Posted by: maggior
I've also experienced what you talked about with the solos. As I performed one of my improvised solos I cringed internally when I played the end of it and thought "why the hell did I just do that...rather than trying to show off with that crap at the end, I should have just left well enough alone!!". Listening to the recording, I thought "wow, that sounded really cool!".

It didn't throw me off because I had practiced that phrase and it sounded good at the time. I don't know why it didn't sound good to me on stage, but part of me knew it was good, so I went with it. It's happened to me at other times also.

A friend of mine who is a professional musician gave me this advice - "if you mess up, smile! Don't shake your head, don't frown, just look at your audience....and smile!". The original post here gives similar advice. When things went wrong for us on stage, his voice actually played in my head "smile Rich, SMILE!!!". I can actually see where my demeanor on stage changed at that moment, and it makes a difference.

Hey, even if we mess up, it doesn't matter if the audience doesn't notice. Most of the people I'll be playing for tomorrow are musically illitterate, in the sense that they can't play an instrument and have no knowledge about music theory, and besides, if I just stick to the G Major Scale for the second solo in "Knockin' On Heaven's Door (GNR Version)", which I always improvise, I should be fine. If I hit a bad note, so be it. Nobody's perfect. I'll just have to keep your advice with smiling in mind. I don't know how this thing is going to work yet. I'll find out tomorrow.
"Commit yourself to what you love, and things will happen."
- Mika Vandborg, Electric Guitars, "Follow Your Heart"
---
Gear:
Chateau PS-10 Cherry Power-Strat
Epiphone G-400 LTD 1966 Faded Worn Cherry
Epiphone Les Paul 100 Ebony (w/ Oil City Pickups Scrapyard Dog PLUS pickups)
Epiphone ES-345 Cherry
Fender 2014 Standard Stratocaster Sunburst
Martin DX1K Acoustic
Fender Mustang II Amplifier
Jet City Amplification JCA22H Tube-head and JCA12S+ cabinet
Pedals...

#31

Originally Posted by: maggior
It's pretty funny that you bring up the test analogy - it is VERY applicable and something I thought about myself. As long as you put in the honest effort to prepare, everything will go fine. Any strategies you may have for dealing with test anxiety will apply here too!

I find the same goes for Test Anxiety vs. Job Interview Anxiety, since technically, both are a kind of Performance Anxiety. May just be me, though, but this article did help me not faint before two internship-interviews at the same company.

Originally Posted by: maggior
I've also experienced what you talked about with the solos. As I performed one of my improvised solos I cringed internally when I played the end of it and thought "why the hell did I just do that...rather than trying to show off with that crap at the end, I should have just left well enough alone!!". Listening to the recording, I thought "wow, that sounded really cool!".

It didn't throw me off because I had practiced that phrase and it sounded good at the time. I don't know why it didn't sound good to me on stage, but part of me knew it was good, so I went with it. It's happened to me at other times also.

A friend of mine who is a professional musician gave me this advice - "if you mess up, smile! Don't shake your head, don't frown, just look at your audience....and smile!". The original post here gives similar advice. When things went wrong for us on stage, his voice actually played in my head "smile Rich, SMILE!!!". I can actually see where my demeanor on stage changed at that moment, and it makes a difference.

Hey, even if we mess up, it doesn't matter if the audience doesn't notice. Most of the people I'll be playing for tomorrow are musically illitterate, in the sense that they can't play an instrument and have no knowledge about music theory, and besides, if I just stick to the G Major Scale for the second solo in "Knockin' On Heaven's Door (GNR Version)", which I always improvise, I should be fine. If I hit a bad note, so be it. Nobody's perfect. I'll just have to keep your advice with smiling in mind. I don't know how this thing is going to work yet. I'll find out tomorrow.
"Commit yourself to what you love, and things will happen."
- Mika Vandborg, Electric Guitars, "Follow Your Heart"
---
Gear:
Chateau PS-10 Cherry Power-Strat
Epiphone G-400 LTD 1966 Faded Worn Cherry
Epiphone Les Paul 100 Ebony (w/ Oil City Pickups Scrapyard Dog PLUS pickups)
Epiphone ES-345 Cherry
Fender 2014 Standard Stratocaster Sunburst
Martin DX1K Acoustic
Fender Mustang II Amplifier
Jet City Amplification JCA22H Tube-head and JCA12S+ cabinet
Pedals...

wildwoman1313

Full Access

Joined: 11/17/08

Posts: 303

Good advice, Maggior. And Kasperow, since you brought up pros being as prone to making mistakes as the rest of us, I am reminded of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. He's famous for screwing up lyrics--lyrics he wrote himself! Because he owns his mistakes, laughs about them even, his fans find them endearing.

#32

Good advice, Maggior. And Kasperow, since you brought up pros being as prone to making mistakes as the rest of us, I am reminded of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. He's famous for screwing up lyrics--lyrics he wrote himself! Because he owns his mistakes, laughs about them even, his fans find them endearing.

Kasperow

Registered User

Joined: 10/09/12

Posts: 693

Well, I managed to somehow keep calm despite the nerves trying their best to make me screw up. It wasn't my best playing ever, but it was the first time I tried playing for strangers without sitting in a guitar-store, testing either guitars, pedals or amps (or any combination of those) :) Thanks for the great article. I did screw up during the song I was playing along to, but nobody seemed to notice, so who cares?
"Commit yourself to what you love, and things will happen."
- Mika Vandborg, Electric Guitars, "Follow Your Heart"
---
Gear:
Chateau PS-10 Cherry Power-Strat
Epiphone G-400 LTD 1966 Faded Worn Cherry
Epiphone Les Paul 100 Ebony (w/ Oil City Pickups Scrapyard Dog PLUS pickups)
Epiphone ES-345 Cherry
Fender 2014 Standard Stratocaster Sunburst
Martin DX1K Acoustic
Fender Mustang II Amplifier
Jet City Amplification JCA22H Tube-head and JCA12S+ cabinet
Pedals...

#33

Well, I managed to somehow keep calm despite the nerves trying their best to make me screw up. It wasn't my best playing ever, but it was the first time I tried playing for strangers without sitting in a guitar-store, testing either guitars, pedals or amps (or any combination of those) :) Thanks for the great article. I did screw up during the song I was playing along to, but nobody seemed to notice, so who cares?
"Commit yourself to what you love, and things will happen."
- Mika Vandborg, Electric Guitars, "Follow Your Heart"
---
Gear:
Chateau PS-10 Cherry Power-Strat
Epiphone G-400 LTD 1966 Faded Worn Cherry
Epiphone Les Paul 100 Ebony (w/ Oil City Pickups Scrapyard Dog PLUS pickups)
Epiphone ES-345 Cherry
Fender 2014 Standard Stratocaster Sunburst
Martin DX1K Acoustic
Fender Mustang II Amplifier
Jet City Amplification JCA22H Tube-head and JCA12S+ cabinet
Pedals...

wildwoman1313

Full Access

Joined: 11/17/08

Posts: 303

You did it, Kasperow! Congrats!! Now get out there and do it again. ;)

#34

You did it, Kasperow! Congrats!! Now get out there and do it again. ;)

Kasperow

Registered User

Joined: 10/09/12

Posts: 693

Originally Posted by: wildwoman1313
You did it, Kasperow! Congrats!! Now get out there and do it again. ;)

Will do! Once I get a band together and we build up a repertoire, that is :) At least the other guitarist seemed interested in continuing, so that's awesome, especially since there was that magic synergy between us Tuesday during rehearsal and when we played for the tiny audience :)
"Commit yourself to what you love, and things will happen."
- Mika Vandborg, Electric Guitars, "Follow Your Heart"
---
Gear:
Chateau PS-10 Cherry Power-Strat
Epiphone G-400 LTD 1966 Faded Worn Cherry
Epiphone Les Paul 100 Ebony (w/ Oil City Pickups Scrapyard Dog PLUS pickups)
Epiphone ES-345 Cherry
Fender 2014 Standard Stratocaster Sunburst
Martin DX1K Acoustic
Fender Mustang II Amplifier
Jet City Amplification JCA22H Tube-head and JCA12S+ cabinet
Pedals...

#35

Originally Posted by: wildwoman1313
You did it, Kasperow! Congrats!! Now get out there and do it again. ;)

Will do! Once I get a band together and we build up a repertoire, that is :) At least the other guitarist seemed interested in continuing, so that's awesome, especially since there was that magic synergy between us Tuesday during rehearsal and when we played for the tiny audience :)
"Commit yourself to what you love, and things will happen."
- Mika Vandborg, Electric Guitars, "Follow Your Heart"
---
Gear:
Chateau PS-10 Cherry Power-Strat
Epiphone G-400 LTD 1966 Faded Worn Cherry
Epiphone Les Paul 100 Ebony (w/ Oil City Pickups Scrapyard Dog PLUS pickups)
Epiphone ES-345 Cherry
Fender 2014 Standard Stratocaster Sunburst
Martin DX1K Acoustic
Fender Mustang II Amplifier
Jet City Amplification JCA22H Tube-head and JCA12S+ cabinet
Pedals...

PeterNY

Full Access

Joined: 06/13/09

Posts: 13

Chet Said...

As Chet Atkins, arguably the greatest guitarist to ever pick up the instrument, used to tell his audience, "All mistakes are intentional."

#36

Chet Said...

As Chet Atkins, arguably the greatest guitarist to ever pick up the instrument, used to tell his audience, "All mistakes are intentional."

maggior

Full Access

Joined: 01/26/13

Posts: 1696

Originally Posted by: PeterNY
As Chet Atkins, arguably the greatest guitarist to ever pick up the instrument, used to tell his audience, "All mistakes are intentional."


Yes, as in "I meant to do that!!". :-).

Sometimes, the mistakes are the highlight as they lead to something new...
Go here to check out some of my playing
Go here to check out some of my duo's work

#37

Originally Posted by: PeterNY
As Chet Atkins, arguably the greatest guitarist to ever pick up the instrument, used to tell his audience, "All mistakes are intentional."


Yes, as in "I meant to do that!!". :-).

Sometimes, the mistakes are the highlight as they lead to something new...
Go here to check out some of my playing
Go here to check out some of my duo's work

Kasperow

Registered User

Joined: 10/09/12

Posts: 693

I think I'll be needing this article again in the near future. I just found out today, that one of my all-time biggest heroes, Soren Andersen (Glenn Hughes, Marco Mendoza, Mike Tramp, Electric Guitars, etc.), is coming to play at one of the two local venues, and he's decided to make that gig part concert, part JAM-NIGHT! Now, I would gladly pay 50$ just to hear him play his own songs, or even to hear him play with his band Electric Guitars (been there, done that, got a lot more than I expected). Getting the chance to jam with the man for only 10$ in total? That's what I call the chance of a life-time! I already know that I'll be bringing my Les Paul in a gig-bag and someone to take some pictures and maybe get some video too...

This is friggin' insane... It's like a dream that's about to come true! I'll have to re-read this article when that gig/jam comes closer. In the mean-time, I'll just have to spend my time practicing as much and as effectively as possible. I really don't want to f*** this chance up if I can do something to avoid it!
"Commit yourself to what you love, and things will happen."
- Mika Vandborg, Electric Guitars, "Follow Your Heart"
---
Gear:
Chateau PS-10 Cherry Power-Strat
Epiphone G-400 LTD 1966 Faded Worn Cherry
Epiphone Les Paul 100 Ebony (w/ Oil City Pickups Scrapyard Dog PLUS pickups)
Epiphone ES-345 Cherry
Fender 2014 Standard Stratocaster Sunburst
Martin DX1K Acoustic
Fender Mustang II Amplifier
Jet City Amplification JCA22H Tube-head and JCA12S+ cabinet
Pedals...

#38

I think I'll be needing this article again in the near future. I just found out today, that one of my all-time biggest heroes, Soren Andersen (Glenn Hughes, Marco Mendoza, Mike Tramp, Electric Guitars, etc.), is coming to play at one of the two local venues, and he's decided to make that gig part concert, part JAM-NIGHT! Now, I would gladly pay 50$ just to hear him play his own songs, or even to hear him play with his band Electric Guitars (been there, done that, got a lot more than I expected). Getting the chance to jam with the man for only 10$ in total? That's what I call the chance of a life-time! I already know that I'll be bringing my Les Paul in a gig-bag and someone to take some pictures and maybe get some video too...

This is friggin' insane... It's like a dream that's about to come true! I'll have to re-read this article when that gig/jam comes closer. In the mean-time, I'll just have to spend my time practicing as much and as effectively as possible. I really don't want to f*** this chance up if I can do something to avoid it!
"Commit yourself to what you love, and things will happen."
- Mika Vandborg, Electric Guitars, "Follow Your Heart"
---
Gear:
Chateau PS-10 Cherry Power-Strat
Epiphone G-400 LTD 1966 Faded Worn Cherry
Epiphone Les Paul 100 Ebony (w/ Oil City Pickups Scrapyard Dog PLUS pickups)
Epiphone ES-345 Cherry
Fender 2014 Standard Stratocaster Sunburst
Martin DX1K Acoustic
Fender Mustang II Amplifier
Jet City Amplification JCA22H Tube-head and JCA12S+ cabinet
Pedals...

wildwoman1313

Full Access

Joined: 11/17/08

Posts: 303

Good luck, Kasperow!

#39

Good luck, Kasperow!

snojones

Full Access

Joined: 04/17/13

Posts: 27

Wildwoman... I sure hope the pay you well for these articles! Not only are you well versed in the ins and out of guitar, you are a fantastic wordsmith. Thanks!

#40

Wildwoman... I sure hope the pay you well for these articles! Not only are you well versed in the ins and out of guitar, you are a fantastic wordsmith. Thanks!