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guitargirl101's avatar

How can i play the guitar in front of people when im really nervous?

Asked by guitargirl101 (21points) July 20th, 2009

i play the guitar

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25 Answers

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I have issues with crowds too sometimes… I usually close my eyes until the crowd starts getting into the music and such, I think with me it’s more so just butterflies over whether or not I’m good enough.

fireinthepriory's avatar

Start with playing in front of one person, then play for your family, then maybe at a party with a few people, then try an open mic night at a small cafĂ©... Sooner or later you’ll be comfortable in front of bigger crowds. Just work your way up to it. :)

bhec10's avatar

I’m with fireinthepriory.

One step at a time until you get used to it.

Good luck :-)

jfos's avatar

Don’t mess up*

*If you do mess up, pretend you didn’t. Just keep going; it’s likely that nobody will notice a mistake if you don’t draw attention to it.

SecondGlance's avatar

All the biggest “stars” get butterflies before going on stage, sometimes in front of tens of thousands. Can you imagine? I’ve heard Madonna talk about it. Seriously, Madonna freaks out before, and for the first few minutes of, every show.

The key is being confident. When you are confident, you know you will play well, and if some people don’t like what you’re playing, that’s a minor inevitable detail. Nervousness in this scenario is normally a fear of rejection, so tackle that head-on. Not everyone on the planet is going to like everything you play, and they don’t need to. So really, you’re off the hook, lol!

Crucial – match the music you play with the right venues. Many beginners make the mistake of playing any and every place that will let them. Don’t do that. Find who listens to your type of music and play to them. At least if not awed by your performance, you can mingle afterwards and get some constructive input about what they liked and what they didn’t. Playing to the wrong crowds is a total waste of time, you’ll learn nothing, impress no one, and lose confidence. I’ve had friends play rock music in country bars and come out angry at the lame “crowd”. Why bar managers even allow that to happen I’ll never understand.

Also, play online and make videos, lots of them. You’ll get good feedback, and will see that you are a good, confident, comfortable player. (And it’ll help you get gigs too.)

Judi's avatar

They always used to say, “think of them naked.” It makes them less intimidating. Another stage trick is to look at the top of their forehead. The audience will think that you are making great eye contact, but all you will see is a few bushy eye brows.

guitargirl101's avatar

wow… i like all your advice everyone!I actually am thinking about being a musician when i get older so this helps alot!:)

SirBailey's avatar

I’m ALWAYS nervous when I play in front of people yet I’ve played instruments at weddings and parties, fashion shows, with bands and I even was a strolling accordion player in an Italian restaurant!

For the record, I frequently have to do public speaking, and it scares the heck out of me. Yet, when the boss says I gotta do it, I gotta do it! If I could do something I hate when I have to, I figure I could get myself to do it when I don’t.

Rule #1, just because you get nervous doesn’t mean you can’t do something. I remember when I was dating a girl who had her own pool. She used to dive. In order to be “cool”, I would dive, too. I wasn’t even much of a swimmer! EACH TIME before I jumped off the diving board I can remember saying to myself “Here’s where I die!”. But I dove.

Rule #2, get as much experience as you can. The better you play, the more comfortable you’ll be.

Rule #3, play in front of one RELATIVE, then two, then three, etc.

Rule #4, play in front of friends who would honestly tell you if you stink. It’s no shame. You don’t want to be deluded like those people you see on American Idol who can’t sing but think they’re great.

Rule #5, if you ARE getting good, play inside your house but with the door open. Let the neighbors hear “unofficially”.

Rule #6, play for the neighbors. Maybe even play at a neighbor’s barbecue or birthday. DO NOT CHARGE MONEY.

Rule #7, if you want to make money from it, start by playing at functions FOR FREE.

Rule #8, if you make a mistake, DON’T STOP PLAYING. Keep on with the song.

If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know. Good luck.

Tink's avatar

I also used to be embarrased when playing in front of people, but now I got used to it. Yeah if you mess up pretend it was part of your act, don’t draw attention to it, everyone does it at some point.

JustJenn's avatar

There are many different methods performers use in order to feel comfortable in front of an audience. But for me, I try to “zone out” to a scene where everything just feels right, the setting, the atmosphere. It’s just you & your guitar doing what you love.

And then eventually you’ll suddenly hear the positive response from the audience which will boost your confidence up. In the end, you’ll realize, “Hey, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.” lol

Strauss's avatar

I used to perform on a regular basis. I would always worry if I didn’t get at least a little nervous just before the set. That applied whether I was performing on the street, in a small venue, or at a festival in front of thousands.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

another good confidence boost is play at a cafe in a high class part of your neighborhood, you usually won’t get paid but most establishments will let you put out a tip jar… when I first started playing I sometimes got as much as 150 bucks in one night, actually earning money from my music really enforced my confidence and I started to think “oh well, maybe I can do this stuff.”

loser's avatar

I have to psyche myself out and remind myself of why I play the guitar, because I love it and it’s fun! I find that with that attitude I’ll just start and in minutes I’m just playing and having fun and enjoying it.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Start by playing for older people or small children (nursing homes, day care centers) to get comfortable with the audience aspect.

bcstrummer's avatar

just think fuck it, no one cares if I mess up, just focus on playing/singing

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

lol The first time I ever played in front of people it was at this hole in the wall bar when I was 17, minutes before I went out, the bouncer said “It’s a good thing you’ve played before, this crowd is brutal…” Found out that my brother, who had gotten the gig for me, told the manager I had been performing for almost two years. lol after I survived that night my gitters went away for the most part…

cyndyh's avatar

Even when you work up to playing for a crowd, if you’re still nervous, find one friendly face and play to that one person. You can sort of forget everyone else is there for a little slice of time, and that’s often all you need to get going.

mattbrowne's avatar

Choose people who are forgiving. Do it again and again and again. This will reduce stage fright.

rovdog's avatar

imagine your guitar naked

bhec10's avatar

@rovdog How’s that gonna help?

cyndyh's avatar

@rovdog : Nice one! :^>

rovdog's avatar

Sorry that was not helpful. I’m normally a better flutherer. I just thought that was slightly funny.

cyndyh's avatar

It was funny.

bhec10's avatar

Indeed it was

Kokoro's avatar

The only advice I can offer is PRACTICE! Begin with friends and family members, then branch out to strangers and then crowds. It gets easier, trust me! I get guitar stage fright too.

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