Nerves and right hand shake...

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
Raymond Sutherland

Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Raymond Sutherland » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:57 pm

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:

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lagartija
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Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by lagartija » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:29 pm

Raymond, there are a lot of people who have this problem. Do a search on "performance anxiety" and you will get 197 hits of posts discussing this.
this thread might be of interest to you.
Or this one.
When the sun shines, bask.
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Classical Guitar forever!

Raymond Sutherland

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Raymond Sutherland » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:22 pm

Thanks a lot lajartija,

I've read the links that you suggested and it's comforting to know that I'm in very good company with my shakes. There's a certain theraputic value in the realisation that others, much more advanced in their CG playing than I, battle with the same problem.
I think that I'll try playing in front of as many family and friends as I can until the shakes see I mean business and hopefully slink off in a huff!! (Well maybe?)
Best Regards
Raymond

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lagartija
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Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by lagartija » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:32 pm

Speaking from my own experience, practicing performance in front of others is the best cure. :wink:
When the sun shines, bask.
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James Lister
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Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by James Lister » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:39 pm

Hi Raymond,

Based on a recommendation from one of the links given above, I got hold of the book "The science and psychology of music performance" through my local library. The chapter on performance anxiety is well worth reading (some of the rest is fairly heavy going) - it considers a number of approaches, and assesses their effectiveness.

James
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Raymond Sutherland

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Raymond Sutherland » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:46 pm

James, I appreciate your help.

I'll follow up your advice and try and get a copy of the book.

Best Regards

Raymond (the trembling fingered one) :merci:

Sean

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Sean » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:52 am

James, thanks for that information. I'm going to order that book via library loan and have a look for myself.

Lincoln

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Lincoln » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:11 am

I take comfort in knowing that no one is listening more carefully to the music than I. It helps me block out my surroundings and focus on the task.

Sean

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Sean » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:48 am

I find my hand shakes worse if I'm hypersensitive to what I'm doing; if I can distract myself and play on autopilot, the situation improves itself.

Raymond Sutherland

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Raymond Sutherland » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:57 pm

Thanks Lincoln and Sean for your comments.

Both seem very constructive to me.
Regards

Raymond

ticotico

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by ticotico » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:08 pm

i feel i have naturally shaky hands it bothers me alot. i feel i have to fight off perfomance anxiety twice as hard

frank_fretwork

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by frank_fretwork » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:58 am

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.

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Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by George Crocket » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:40 am

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.
Statements like this are unsympathetic, unhelpful and inaccurate.

Of course you must get the diagnosis right first before you apply the treatment.

If you practice without the problem and it only occurs when you are performing, then it is most likely due to anxiety. No matter how solid your technique, if you suffer from performance anxiety then you must deal with the anxiety, not technique. No matter how proficient a player is technically, their performance can be affected by anxiety.
George
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2012 Stephen Eden cedar/IRW classical guitar

Sean

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Sean » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:13 am

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

Glenn

Re: Nerves and right hand shake...

Post by Glenn » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:58 am

Raymond Sutherland wrote: If my audience of one or more leave the room, I find that I immediately regain composure.
When someone puts me on the spot and asks me to play I'm nervous but plow thorugh especially if I go for a difficult piece. Mistakes are here and there but overall it's at least ok.

Now if I'm playing like no one is listening I do much better and it's all very automatic. There's a balance you have to find between letting yourself go and controlling your playing.

I'm no professional but I sound the best at 3am after practicing for multiple hours and when I'm tired. I try to simulate that by practicing a lot before I perform. I make it so I'm feeling tired which calms me down. Then when I go to perform I pretend no one is really listening and they are just there. The nerves will want to speed up so I'll play a little slower to maintain control (from Perf de Castro interview at classical guitar blog). Also at the performance I don't care about my mistakes, probably because I'm too tired too. As an amatuer this is what I do on day of the show that works for me. This is what I did for my volunteer performance with grade school kids. This is what I'll do when I play for the local guitar society. I'm an amatuer so I think that also takes some of the edge off no matter how demanding a piece may be.

So when do you sound the best?
What were you doing a couple hours leading up to it?
Hopefully you can simulate it hours before the perfromance and at the show pretend people are just there and play a little slower to maintain control.

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