Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Before-Gig Jitters?


JDL

Recommended Posts

The other night I had a gig and (as I said in other posts) I was singing, not playing bass.(Long story) Right before, like 2 or more hours before, I started feeling really nervous. I could feel butterflies in my stomach. It was because I was afraid of messing up the words, not being able to hit a high note, etc.

 

The time before was nerve-racking and almost up-setting. But, I went out on the huge stage (with the band behind me) and had a blast. The guitarist started to play and I head-banged the WHOLE time that I wasn't singing. Two days later, my neck is still sore :( . But damn I had an awesome time. Now these jitters weren't from the "never been in front of this many people", or "first huge gig" jitters. Has this ever happened to you? Even if you're an experienced "gigger", I'm sure this has happened to you. Please, use this thread to share your story and maybe ways to calm the butterflies...........................

 

JDL :freak:

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 45
  • Created
  • Last Reply
I get them before every show. As soon as I hit the stage, they go away. I usually have the feeling that I forgot something or feel that something is going to happen. I go over everything in my head, mentally loading and unloading the gear, and I realize that all is good and enjoy the time before the show. I figure, as long as I'm getting nervous, that means I'm still having fun.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I don't get too much of the gitters as far as in fron tof crowds. Being a teacher I am always on show. Also, I got broken in early in high school by performing solos in front of 1500+ in musicals.

 

Take a deep breath, stretch, drink something (wahtever suits your fancy), and have fun.

 

Chances are you will be way more critical on yourself. Oh, and smile nice when people say you dunn good! :cool:

Why steal the hub caps...take the whole damn car instead!

http://www.carpecervesa.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TKE96, funny you should say that--I'm a teacher too, & I never get jittery about teaching, presenting at conferences, etc. I think it's just that I've been doing it enough, had good mentors, & know I'm prepared, so I just don't worry about it, even if something weird happens.

 

But I get jittery EVERY time I play. (I still remember the sweat on my palms on the first tune yesterday! What am I, a 13-year-old on his first date?! I had sweaty palms then, too... :rolleyes: ) I'm hoping it'll be a matter of experience & so on, as with teaching, so that eventually I'll just know I'm ready, & go on cool. Gosh, I hope I won't ALWAYS be jittery!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Biggest jitters I get are trying to get the PA put together in time since usually everybody else is too dumb or lazy (they may be one and the same) to be of much use. The good side of that coin is I usually don't need to do much for soundcheck because everything has been bulletproofed and I know what to expect as far as gain structure for everything.

 

Except for the monitors - which from venue to venue do need to be fine-tuned. But they are on feedback-locating EQs from Peavey which makes it easy to quickly get rolling with a quality sound on stage.

 

Really don't have time to think about any of my vocals, right or wrong notes, what keys songs are in that I've not played onstage yet, etc. First song is usually mid tempo so a good warm up happens right then and there.

 

It's all cake.

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still get nervous at the beginning of each show.I don't ever get seriously sick (I know some people throw-up) jitters, but I do get butterflies, and I LOVE IT!! For me, that is all part of the high of performing, and I hope it never goes away. :)
I have no homepage.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes the natural high that we get, I am mainly into gigging for that reason :)

 

We played a couple of gigs and then the big one, damn I stressed a lot (Jitters). We headlined on a Saturday evening. When we started playing I couldn't manage to play a single note properly they were all messy and I was shaking ,well about two songs later(and 5 bears) every thing went smooth and I had loads of fun. I love that feeling there's no substitute for that :)

There is only two kinds of music , good music and bad music ....oooh and drugs is bad mmmmkay :)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We all get nevous over something. What If I break a string? What if I fall out of tune? What if I trip on a cord? WHAT IF?

 

Well fergeddaboutit. What if the sky were green and the grass blue? Don't worry about what ifs. IF something happens, deal with it in a appropriate, professional manner, and DON'T QUIT PLAYING! Bring a back up to your gigs. Make sure that you can Directly play through the PA. Make sure you know your neck real well, so if you do break a string you can transpose/alternate finger the song.

 

Just smile, laugh, and get right into your groove. We're human, shit happens.

Check out my work in progress.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say that I never get stage fright. It's not a worry for me.

 

However, I worry about plenty else before we play:

Are we gonna be there on time?

Is everyone healthy?

Is the gear OK?

Is the club gonna screw us outta cash?

Is the van OK?

Will we have a place to crash?

Is everyone looking OK?

Etc, etc, etc.

 

I don't worry about the playing part -- getting onstage and making noise is the easy part for me. That's why I'm doing this... it's the other crap around it that kills me.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like others, I do the set-up, and I'm usually on hyper-drive while that's going on. If I'm lucky, I find 5 minutes to pull myself together before I have to play. If I can warm up my voice decently, that helps on gigs that I have to sing.

 

I get excited with a touch of fear as we start, but the fear fades immediately. Stage fright isn't a big problem for me. I know I'll have more fear if I every play anywhere bigger than a bar or backyard, but I'll get over it !!

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm in the same boat as CMfDN... We are usually rehearsed enough so that everything from setlists to the songs to setup is taken care of, and well thought out... Having everything you can think of taken care of in advance, minimizes the "?"-factor... "The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in war"... or something like that :D Besides, why should I care what anyone but myself thinks... this is entertainment, if they are not entertained, they can strap on my bass and go to town! :P

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Count me among the bunch that doesn't suffer from any kind of jitters. (I did, a bit, during music jury season...because those people had the power to stop my college advancement.)

 

But I can help define them, and offer some solutions; I have students that suffer.

 

I've come to the belief that stage fright is caused by the weight of the performance's value on the performer. For example, if a student prepares several months for a single shot at a seat in the All-State orchestra...a 15 minute audition...he may become a bit nervous. That nervousness is made extreme if the student has a belief that "this is the most important thing I've ever played," "if I mess up, I won't get into college," or any other kind of self-talk that adds unnecessary weight to the performance.

 

So for a band member it might be "I'll bet there's an industry rep out there, and if I mess up we blow our chance of ever getting signed." or something like that.

 

When your self-talk adds more weight to a performance than is necessary, especially if it isn't true, you get the jitters.

 

Change the tape in your head. Learning music is just walking down a road...there are people ahead and people behind. Where you are is where you are, and by just thinking, you can't jump way ahead. Maintain your integrity, keep walking. Don't try to be something you are not...you'll acheive your goal.

 

For more immediate relaxation (what I used to do before juries) Just before your first notes, go to a bathroom and wash your hands very vigorously in very hot water (not scalding) This does several things:

 

1. increases blood flow just when you need it.

2. washes off all hand grease and sweat, making your hands more facile.

3. increases relaxation.

4. Prepares you psychologically (if you believe this will help you, it does!)

 

It's amazing what that will do!!!

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just remembered something...

Our drummer (Drew) recently admitted that he used to have terrible stage fright. He used to wear those "drummer gloves" because he'd get sweaty palms. I'm telling you, I've been playing with this guy for 10 years, and I never had a clue. He always just sat back there and rocked it. Never looked nervous at all.

 

He told me that he just grew out of it after our years of playing together and the combined experience of great shows and oddball happenings.

 

He told me he just eventually realized that the only really important element of any show is getting off on the music with the people you make it with. The audience (whoever they might be) is secondary. They're not all coming home with you or going to the next town with you... but the rest of the band is. Those are the people you have to make happy. In our case, that means there is really only an audience of three good friends(or four, if you count yourself.) With that in mind, he's ok playing to audiences of 12 to 1,200.

 

Just another perspective.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once upon a time, before I was a bass player, I had the opportunity to sing a song I had written, with a band, in front of a real audience.

 

I had no nervousness whatsoever for the weeks leading up to the gig. Then, two hours before, my body started trembling. Then, when I got on stage, my voice shook. The shaking voice TOTALLY caught me by surprise. Luckily the song was only 3 minutes, but I tried and tried during those three minutes to stop the shaky voice and could not. Well, that whole episode caught my attention.

 

I then went and spent several hundred dollars on a few months of voice lessons. I told the voice teacher what had happened, and he said, "all you need to do is to perform in public 10 times and the shaky voice will go away." He said that the same thing had happened to him, and after 10 performances, it went away.

 

So, I tried it. The shakiness went away after only a couple of live performances. It was cool!

 

Now any nervousness that I feel comes from the fear of our band not doing well, as opposed to me not doing well. And what I think when I start feeling insecure is this... "screw it... I'm 43 years old and I'm just out here to have a good time!" Of course, that is when I am going to play a free gig. When I am going to play a paid gig, I say, "this will be fine, because we have rehearsed enough, and we are going to sound great!" Then at the gig, I smile a lot, dance a lot with my lovely bass, and have a great time, no matter what actually happens.

 

... Connie Z

"Change comes from within." - Jeremy Cohen

 

The definition of LUCK: When Preparation meets Opportunity!

 

http://www.cybergumbo.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i recently went through this with an audition process (as was outlined in my earlier thread on the topic). for the high energy stuff (which it sounds like you're doing) the best thing i've found is ass loads of coffee. then you simply don't give a f**k. but as i've learned from long periods away from the stage for whatever reason, i've gon through this a few times and can say that it goes away. eventually you learn to dig being in front of people, unless of course you're agoraphobic or something.
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm both nervous before a gig and really critical after. The singer in the band says he doesn't rate my after gig opinion because when he first heard it, it angered him. He talked to people and they hadn't a clue where I got my view from.

 

I just wanna play fantastic. We're a few gigs old now and I'm not so critical (I even came off stage one night and said we were brilliant, get this, the others hated our gig, just shows how subjective music is) I hope I don't lose the critical side completely tho', I think it keeps you hungry, in search of that perfect gig where EVERYONE, band and audience knows the band have played to the best of their ability and entertained.

 

CupMcMali...this monkey's gone to heaven :freak:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, singing is SO intimate! Geez, one time I sang (no instrument) a blues tune with a jam band at a friends party. Most of the people there were good friends. I had a great time while singing, but as soon as I was done I felt a wave of SHEER TERROR. My whole body went numb. I had to sit down and avoid talking to people for several minutes.

 

I never experienced ANYTHING like that in years of playing in bar and wedding bands.

 

One solution for pre-gig jitters: concentrate on the post-gig nookie. ;)

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My hands used to go numb before gigs when I started out! It goes away with experience. It's weird, though...I've played in front of 30k without breaking a sweat, but last week I did a little thing in front of my daughter's kindergarten class, and I was NERVOUS. Just play through it; it'll become natural to you in a hundred years or so.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I get onstage to play a show with my former (and now current, I guess) rock band, the only thing I worry about is whether or not the singer is doing well. I never worry about myself in a "jittery" sort of way, no matter how big the crowd.

Of course I do get sweaty and jittery if I have to perform a piece for my piano teacher. This had confused me for a long while, but it lead me to a realization which I think many people here can symphatise with:

I only get nervous when I know that I am being judged- piano class quizzes, oral presentations, and the like. If people are there to have a good time, then I can have a good time. I figure it like this: ever watch figure skaters when they do performances for TV shows in front of a large live and TV audience, and perform flawlessly? How come they can mess up the same program the next day at the competition? I chalk it up to the concept of judgement. The only solution I can think of is to try to make people enjoy whatever I am presenting to them. At the very least, I'll do better if I'm having a good time.

...think funky thoughts... :freak:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never experience stage fright. except...

when musicians are listening whom I want to impress.I realise it's a counterproductive ego thang so lately i'm doing better. The more I try to impress, the less it does. and visa versa.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find playing in a one on one lesson situation FAR more disturbing than playing in front of a club full of people. When I'm at work, I'm more at home giving a presentation to a large group than giving a project status in a small conference room with a handful of peers. Intimacy is frightening!

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dan, yeah that intimacy angle can be threatening. I'm trying to find a balance between audiences and focused listeners by bringing my 'tude across the boundaries in both directions and making it one and the same for either. Just don't need to be sweating nervous chemical cocktails regardless of the occasion.

 

This weekend I'm going to be singing some stuff at the upper edge of my range that was hard enough to sing and play at the same time when it was transposed down a second or minor third because at least one person in the band I'm subbing with would mess up bigtime just thinking about moving his barre chord patterns around.

 

Right now I'm working on hitting the peaks without a pinched voice or being flat, and still emoting/expressing, and I also seem to be putting up stumbling blocks and memory losses in my own way ; } ...But when I see that's happening I damp back the nervous symptoms, and know damn well that I am NOT going to let myself go there when I am up on stage.

 

So not only am I observing the benefits of preparation right now, but I'm also working the self-psychology angles that seem to occasionally haunt me when I am practicing specific songs without even another player there to trigger my Save Face mode ; }

 

One person only is a little too intimate for me, right now ; }

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't usually have a problem with stage fright as long as I have a bass in my hands, even if I have to sing. But just as a precaution, I've found that really pumping yourself up - the way boxers do - can give you the edge you need to get through those early uncomfortable moments.

 

In most settings, I get more comfortable as the gig goes on. The exception is when I've subbed or played with a new band and didn't know the material well enough. That sucks. I just want to hide.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, I forgot to add that I did jump around and try and pump myself up for, it, I guess it worked a little. Oh, another reason though why it wasn;t that bad is because the lighting sorta blocked my view of the audience. Dan South-When playing, or subbing in, that's kind of when I have the most fun. I do because I don't know the audience(most of the time) and I just focus on playing. DANG it broke my finger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...