Nerves and right hand shake...

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
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Cary W
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Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Cary W » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:10 pm

Record yourself for a personal CD project. Playing in front of that microphone is a great way to work out performance anxiety.

Cary
2008 Yamaha GC31C Indian/cedar D'Addario EJ46
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Beef McStud

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Beef McStud » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:52 am

YES ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

it helped me tremendously. with a few pieces. my best performance was one where i practiced with a recorder alot.

frank_fretwork

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by frank_fretwork » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:56 pm

Jamiecrock:
Statements like this are unsympathetic, unhelpful and inaccurate.
Yeah sorry. Anything that comes in threes with alliteration must be right. There’s undoubtedly nothing wrong with the way you are playing your pieces. It is obviously and purely some psychological encumbrance that is keeping you out of wigmore hall.
This is a rather broad and dull statement; can you provide us with some specific proof?

Not at the moment. You go first and prove why what I said is wrong.and please expand further the use of the word dull, 'ard to use that here.

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60moo
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Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by 60moo » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:05 pm

frank_fretwork wrote:blaming it on 'nerves' is a cop out. if your hands shake a lot when you are trying to perform then your technique is not as solid as it needs to be.
Frank - we shouldn't have to guess, so could you please explain what aspects of technique will assist in preventing shaking of the hands?

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Les Backshall
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Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Les Backshall » Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:19 pm

I think it ultimately has a lot to do with technique - in the broadest sense of the word. The following is a purely personal anecdote, but others may have had similar experiences.

About a year ago, I played a couple of pieces in front of a friendly audience of other guitar players. I wasn't at all nervous and was looking forward to playing. However, as soon as I was ready to start, my right hand started shaking, to the extent that I wasn't sure which strings I was going to hit. I managed to get through them, but with a fair few mistakes and missed notes. It put me off for some time.
Recently, however, I played again in front of a similar group; again, no nerves - and this time no shakes, and virtually no blemishes. It was an altogether much more pleasant experience. So what was the difference - I'm no better player now than I was then.

Well, the first time, the pieces were technically quite challenging for me and although I could get through them OK at home, I had to concentrate hard on getting them right. The second time the pieces were well within my technique and all my practice time was spent on interpretation of the music. The result was that the second time I was concentrating on the interpretation of the pieces, and not just on playing the notes i.e. my technique was secure for these pieces. So I think that perhaps, metaphorically speaking, if you're not totally prepared, your subconcious lets you know it, regardless of how nervous, or not, you actually feel.

Few of us aspire to Wigmore Hall as alluded to by Mr Fretwork, but I would imagine even a relative novice would have no problem sitting on the stage there in front of an audience and playing a single note. So how about two notes, or three... - at what point will your subconcious tell you 'you're not up to this' and the shakes begin?

Les
Lester Backshall, Guitar Maker - Aylesbury UK

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muirtan
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Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by muirtan » Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:42 pm

I went to a lunchtime concert guitar and flute a couple of years ago. Through the first piece I could see the guitarist's RH shaking, nothing to do will lack of preparation or technique just the journey to the venue. They had a 40 mile dash by taxi as the train they were due to catch was cancelled, I think an accident on the line, and they arrived at the venue 15 mins late.
In my one and only public performance my RH was shaking at the begining of each piece until I was a few bars in, my lack of technique was not guitar related just how to still my mind and forget the audience.

I suspect there are various reasons why one gets RH shake and not all attributable to poor guitar technique.

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George Crocket
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Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by George Crocket » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:26 pm

How about right hand shake when giving an oral presentation. It is a very common problem. Is it down to poor technique?
George
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Les Backshall
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Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Les Backshall » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:37 pm

jamiecrock wrote:How about right hand shake when giving an oral presentation. It is a very common problem. Is it down to poor technique?
Very probably.

Les
Lester Backshall, Guitar Maker - Aylesbury UK

Sean

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Sean » Sun May 01, 2011 1:21 pm

frank_fretwork wrote:
This is a rather broad and dull statement; can you provide us with some specific proof?

Not at the moment? You go first and prove why what I said is wrong.and please expand further the use of the word dull, 'ard to use that here.
Why do I have to unprove your statement? I don't understand your tone - I think it's perfectly legitimate to ask you to clarify a statement you've made. My comment about being dull simply refers to the lack of clarity I saw in your statement; it has nothing to do with you or your opinion. I certainly meant nothing personal by the statement. Geez, I guess I should ask you to clarify what you meant by 'ard to use that here, but I won't. It's been nice talking to you, Frank.

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Larry McDonald
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Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Larry McDonald » Mon May 09, 2011 1:35 pm

Hi,

I use several techniques for stopping the stage jitters;

-Know the pieces so well that you can play them with your eyes closed, literally. I will often close my eyes during performance. Since I practice this way, closing my eyes can "transport" me back to my studio.

-Be sure that the right-hand 4th finger (pinky) isn't sticking out. For some folks, this invokes something called the "Quadridge Phenomenon". In severe cases, like mine, it can cause the hand to shake, even if you're not in front of an audience.

-Experience works real well. Play a lot in front of people.

-Play for yourself; play because you love the music. Playing for the wrong reasons (money, grades, dates, impress your parents), adds another layer of destructive "inner dialogue" during performance. I think this is a deal breaker. Also, you will find that someday these reasons will not matter anymore and you will no longer have a reason to play guitar.

-Have a glass of fine wine during your pre-stage warm-up.

-Reduce the amount of caffeine, blood sugar, and other stimulants in your system. When I was a grad student, I would drink only water the day of the juried examination.

Let us know how it all works out,
Lare

HrothgarZachachaeus
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Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by HrothgarZachachaeus » Mon May 09, 2011 5:36 pm

My teacher pinpointed the reason for my RH shake (under conditions of performance anxiety only) as a result of unnecessary tension in my RH wrist. Relaxing the wrist is a technique to be practiced, and it generally frees the fingers up to do their jobs better. While playing familiar pieces, randomly and suddenly stop and drop your right hand into a limp position with the wrist completely relaxed? How much tension did you have to release? Once you can say 'none' consistently, this technical 'hurdle' has been overcome.

Then it becomes a matter of making this so natural that you remember to do it when you're playing in front of people. I do agree that shaky technique will lead to shaky hands when you are put into a performance situation, I just think it's not worth saying such a thing on a thread like this unless you're accompanying it with some concrete advice. :)
"There's a fine line between clever and stupid."
-David St. Hubbins

FletaFan

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by FletaFan » Tue May 10, 2011 1:46 am

The reason it didn't happen in the dance band is because you can sort of hide behind other players,effects pedal, etc. In the CG world your in a sense "naked" and are acutely aware of that fact. I know it's easier said than done but don't worry about it. If you obsess over it, it'll only get worse. As others have said, keep playing in front of people- it'll get easier. Instead of having an internal monolog like-"oh my God I'm shaking again, this is so embarrassing,everyone is gonna laugh at me" kinda thoughts, If/when it happens again don't sweat it. Say instead "so what". When you put it into perspective it's not life or death. When you can coach yourself into thinking this way, It won't be long before the shakes will be well under control.


Raymond Sutherland wrote:I wonder if anyone else 'suffers' from this problem?
Before taking up the CG about two years ago, I used to play in dance bands and groups without the slightest hint of nervousness. Now, however, it seems that I am very conscious of even one person listening to what I play or...maybe I should say, attempt to play!!
Consequently, if someone is listening to my 'rendition,' the fingers of my right hand start to tremble and of course this often leads to a shambles regarding the piece I am trying to play.
If my audience of one or more leave the room, I find that I immediately regain composure. I was wondering if there was some way over this psychological hurdle? Am I one of the 'afflicted?' Or the only one to behave in this manner?...... :kap:

Tedi

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Tedi » Tue May 10, 2011 12:28 pm

Raymond Sutherland wrote:I wonder if anyone else 'suffers' from this problem?
Before taking up the CG about two years ago, I used to play in dance bands and groups without the slightest hint of nervousness. Now, however, it seems that I am very conscious of even one person listening to what I play or...maybe I should say, attempt to play!!
Consequently, if someone is listening to my 'rendition,' the fingers of my right hand start to tremble and of course this often leads to a shambles regarding the piece I am trying to play.
If my audience of one or more leave the room, I find that I immediately regain composure. I was wondering if there was some way over this psychological hurdle? Am I one of the 'afflicted?' Or the only one to behave in this manner?...... :kap:
Me too. I forget the whole piece. :oops:

ace1112

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by ace1112 » Thu May 19, 2011 5:17 pm

I had the exact same problem a couple months back when i first started playing solo in front of people (for me it's only when playing for individuals, i'm fine when there's a crowd) the only solution, i'm afraid, is to play out more often. Happy to report the problem is mostly gone :)

djaninja

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by djaninja » Wed May 25, 2011 5:44 am

I've noticed that as I get older, my left hand muscles tighten up in a viselike grip and the right hand fingers shake visibly when I'm overly anxious about performing a piece in public. I try to keep my hands under control by warming up--I keep a pair of light gloves in my case for cold rooms and try not to grab anything, drive or lift anything heavy --including the case---if I can help it. I also thought about practicing passages randomly and out of sequence--in order to check memorization. I wonder if reverse psychology works--"i'm not perfect, I will make a mistake and so what?" Someone also told me to practice making mistakes? Make yourself mess up in a weak area and try to figure out what's wrong that area and how to get out of it case it happens in performance. Performance, however nerve wracking, has its rewards, because it forces me to strive to improve. ie. "Shoot for "the moon even if I land in the stars."

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