Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by crazyrach97 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:32 pm

Evocacion wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:41 pm

When I'm playing alone I find that I am far less concious of the errrors I make. If I play a wrong note, I just play the right one, and carry on.
Big mistake. When you're practicing something you actually intend to perform you have to learn how to make a mistake and keep playing. Onstage you can't "correct" a wrong note. That note is gone, and you're never going to get it back. You have to just go on to the next one.

I'm probably not as advanced a classical player as you are, but when I learn a piece I'll literally sit and play it over and over for three or four hours at a stretch. Nothing else, just that piece, stopping to work over any problem areas. Until i can play it over and over without making mistakes. That's the secret.

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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by dkha » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:53 pm

Yeah, I am not a big fan of performing. I always get nervous and get cold and clammy hands, which do not help my ability to play.

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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by mvp019a » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:23 am

A few thoughts having read through the thread.

1) I agree about playing through a mistake, although that is not the same as stopping and working on the troublesome part to prevent the mistake. What I have found is that when I know a piece really well, the mistakes don't matter as much, inasmuch as they don't stick out as bad because I am able to recover and keep going without stopping. Kind of like the difference between stumbling while running and using agility to keep going as opposed to falling down or stopping to prevent falling.

2) To get to that point, knowing the piece so well on both the conscious (cerebral cortex) and sub-conscious (cerebellum) level is key. When I pick up my guitar having not played it in a very long time, I am sometimes amazed that my fingers are going to places without me thinking about it, almost like I am watching myself play, because the cerebellum has the program stored. Problem is, once I stumble, I lose my way almost immediately, and once I begin the consciously think about it, I literally cannot play a section that I only played 30 seconds earlier, and have to look at the music and start to consciously remember the notes. In order to perform, I think you must have seeped in the piece at both levels; the conscious where you know every note, every measure in detail, as well as have the cerebellar program to carry you through and be heading places with your fingers before you are even consciously aware. This allows you to continue even when distracted by the thoughts of "all those eyes".

3) Sort of to that point, I remember seeing Michael Lorimer perform when I was in college in the late 70s. He was very engaging and spoke to the audience about the piece, the Baroque guitar he was playing, etc. But when he began playing, he went to a different the point where when he finished, it was literally like he was coming out of a took him a full second or 2 to sort of wake up or return. That really made an impression on me.

I have pretty terrible performance anxiety, but I believe I can learn to get past it. It's a lot like public speaking; the better you know the source material, the less concerned you are about making mistakes because you really KNOW what you are talking about, as opposed to merely having memorized it. Memorizing a piece is not the same as knowing it (point 2 above) - just the same as memorizing the Italian-English dictionary will not allow you to speak Italian.

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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by Adrian Allan » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:33 pm

There are many excellent pieces of advice here

The problem is, with music making for most of the public consisting of watching once-a year stadium gigs or listening to tracks on a phone, there are fewer than ever opportunities for aspiring musicians to develop confidence by working up the gig circuit - especially in guitar.

I still have it, but overcame some of it by playing night after night in restaurants and at weddings, etc.
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by BrianTakamine » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:25 am

Good points, Tom. That is reason enough for me to hook up with a local teacher. I can play my music, but in practice. To perform it however, is truly a higher level.
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by BrianTakamine » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:47 am

I am finding busking helps to control anxiety, mostly through just simply exposing my self to playing where some one might be listening. I have found that if I go out to public space, no amplifier, the volume is of course much less, and people who are interested, and there is always a few, you can count on children, being so less inhibited than all of us nut case adults, are likely to notice and want to stop and listen. Anyway, people get close enough to hear, and that gives some good experience in actually performing. I have played for my Dad, who passed away earlier this year, at his retirement home, just in his room. Folks there must have overheard me, and I was offered a chance to play for the seniors there. So I have played there twice now, and I have a regular gig; pays $ 60 each time, one hour of music.
Even with the experience I have earned lately, I offered to play at a local " Porchfest", in my town. On my own front porch, where I have played before. I was not prepared for the level of nervousness I felt, and I butchered my first piece, Bach Prelude in G , but I made it all the way through, too bad I screwed up the last measures. The barking dog didn't help me none. This is hard to look at, and it is only a fragment, and I would not post this anywhere else, and I do in fact know how to play this piece, i was just really nervous. I am waiting for the MOV file to convert, I will post this train wreck once it does.
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by dmcmurray » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:59 am

I suppose it is how you define the "performance". It does not have to be in front of a large audience with a large amount of advanced notice. Playing for friends who are guitarists or small groups of enthusiasts can be less stressful I think. I do believe most people play music to ultimately share and communicate on some level. However a large scale performance is not something I have done for a long time. I would say when I start playing a new piece and it begins to get under my fingers I feel a bit excited and this feeling is related to my desire to share the experience.
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by CarbonElitist » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:55 am

If you are nervous about a performance, just record yourself playing the piece you are to perform, then hide a bluetooth speaker in your instrument. When you get on stage, simply play in sync with the recording. Nobody will know the difference. 8)
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Re: Does anyone else NOT like performing?

Post by sabsab » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:29 am

The terror was a big problem for me. Over time I learned to just concentrate on the sounds I was making as much as possible to try and forget about the audience. It wasn't anything close to perfect, though, and every time i made a mistake various expletives would float across my mind.

Needless to say I don't perform anymore.

That being said performing forces you to push your musical and technical abilities so if you're looking for a fast way to improve that's definitely a good method if you can take the stress.
Kind of like throwing a mechanic into a lion pit. If he can survive the lions he can probably fix your car.

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