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Topic: How do Musicians De-Stress Before a Concert?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Inkanta Offline




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Posted: Mar. 11 2008, 18:04

Thinking about the premiere of Music of the Spheres.....

There are quite a few musicians on tubular.net who perform from time-to-time. I was wondering how you de-stress/relax before performing. Massages? Guided Imagery? Meditation? Beer? Deep breathing? :D


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"No such thing as destiny; only choices exist." From:  Moongarden's "Solaris."
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The Big BellEnd Offline




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Posted: Mar. 11 2008, 18:14

I would imagine for a nervous muso the way to chill before a big gig such as the aforementioned MOTS premier, would be to trot along,with classic fm monthly magazine under arm, to the nearest rest room facility and have a nice relaxing read and a Poo.

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Tubularman Offline




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Posted: Mar. 11 2008, 18:22

valium and beer  :p

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Olivier Offline




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Posted: Mar. 11 2008, 18:29

I'd say practicing, rehearsing. And then, the day of the event, don't think about it until it starts, so it's up to your entourage to help you there. But actually I think lot of artists like to stay alone.

In my very limited experience, I trembled of fear for the only time in my life during the first measure of Pink Floyd's Shine On... I was playing the keyboard and I used a volume pedal for the first chord, and my left foot was shaking. My fingers were ok, the reason might be that I rarely practiced the crescendo with the pedal. After that during the tune, what's stressful is when you don't fully trust the guy at the mixer, the other musicians, and feel like they think the same about you. Again, more practice would probably help.

On the other hand, I never did anything that I was later proud of without being stressed before or during it. I believe the kind of stress that makes you work hard and practice because of the fair to fail is positive to me. It doesn't go away during the performance though, and probably cause some weird unexpected mistakes, but is positive on a whole.
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Ray Offline




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Posted: Mar. 11 2008, 18:42

Although I only played the Bodhran, I didn't de stress - i just used to sweat!

When I am making speaches or running seminars or training courses I get stresses the night before and can't sleep.  I play the guitar - just run through every thing i can play snippets of mostly , Oldfield stuff and then I finish off by playing Ommadawn in the dark.  With a wee dram of Talisker on hand - but not too much - I did that once and then ran a training course the next day and it was the one of the most difficult course I had ever done.

But there are one or two courses I run that I can do blindfolded without any slides, andf it is all about knowing the material.  If you know the material backwards then you dont get stresses anywhere near as much.  I have also had the situation where i became bored with one particular course and was experienceing no stress what so ever - and I would turn up 30 seconds before the start time and just autopilot the whole thing.  I stopped doing those courses because I was not interested any more and I didnt think that was a good thing.  I stated doing them again about a year later and was a bit stresses before the courses again but the courses were better and the reviews showed it.

Conclusion - being stresses before the event - ie some nervous tension is actually a good thing - it makes you able to perform.

Ray  :cool:


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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: Mar. 11 2008, 19:54

Familiarity is a good thing, I find. I have mental checklists I run through - making sure everything is in place is helpful to me, checking everything gives me a feeling of security. I also tend to like to look over the set list and make a mental note of any tricky bits, then I'll run through those in my head and sometimes run through them as part of my warm up.

I do have various exercise gadgets that help with warming up, but I tend not to bother with them, to tell the truth - the instrument tends to be good enough a tool for that! I usually do at least a few basic hand stretches before I start playing, then I'll begin finding my way around the instrument, starting slowly and gently and increasing the speed and power from there. I feel more confident once I know I'm up to speed.

I don't find alcohol good at all - it reduces the blood flow to the muscles, and I find my hands becoming sluggish very quickly, so I don't drink before I have to play seriously. I save that for afterwards...
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Moz Offline




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Posted: Mar. 11 2008, 21:57

Ah yes, the "beer after a concert" concept is a good idea...  :cool:

Imagine if Mike turned up to join you all for a beer after the MOTS concert... what would you say to him?


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Harmono Offline




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Posted: Mar. 12 2008, 00:03

Quote (Moz @ Mar. 12 2008, 03:57)
Ah yes, the "beer after a concert" concept is a good idea...  :cool:

Imagine if Mike turned up to join you all for a beer after the MOTS concert... what would you say to him?

Can I have a sip? c'mon mon, I'm thirsty!
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Dirk Star Offline




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Posted: Mar. 12 2008, 07:09

Quote (Moz @ Mar. 11 2008, 21:57)
Imagine if Mike turned up to join you all for a beer after the MOTS concert... what would you say to him?


Shall I go to the bar and get you a wedge of chedder to dunk in your beer there Mike?Or would you prefer Wensleydale?
:D

Being the non-musician in the band that I was in(i.e. the drummer)I tended to find that beer was the only thing that loosened me up a bit.Had to be within reason of course,and accompanied with as many cigarettes as I could feasibly smoke without ending up with a collapsed lung.I`d still be quite nervous mind,which combined with the beer.Would cause me to ramble on semi-coherently about any old nonsense.In fact the more nonsensical I`d get the more relaxed I became now that I think about it.

I probably annoyed the hell out of the rest of the band though.Who I guess were busy trying to run all those difficult parts through their flustered craniums one final time.."Too late now guys,were on!..Gulp!"

I dont know though we`d have a right good laugh sometimes before we went on,picking out faces in the crowd and stuff..."Oooh I`m not looking at him while were up there he`s way too scarey.In fact I think I`ll go and ask the manager if I can have my kit turned round especially in case I accidentaly glance in his direction later on.I`ll be like the Stuart Suttcliffe of drummers.Yeah that`s what I`ll be.Damn I knew I should`ve brought me sunglasses."

I suppose above all else it was the laughter that chilled me out in the end.How the hell we ever got anything done God only knows?
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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: Mar. 12 2008, 07:55

Make damn sure i knoew what i'm to play.Nothing worse thsan not being totally familiar with the music.Then relax,never drink (easy enough for a teetoller like me)and a couple of 'herbal cigerettes' (ahem).If time and venue permits (ie if the dressing room isn't marked Gents)i'll meditate for a few minutes but omly if the stage fright becomes really bad.

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Inkanta Offline




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Posted: Mar. 12 2008, 10:16

Interesting, and the comments got me to thinking.  I've only performed music in front of people (other than with a choir or at library story hour for little kids) a very few times. I had practiced a lot, but I still found the experience terrifying and uncomfortable.  Perhaps part of practice is performing regularly--certainly musical performance gets less stressful if one does it a lot?

I also do a lot of presentations and have always been well-prepared. I used to be terrified of public speaking--I didn't go into teaching because of it. I've had to do it so much between my career, community organizations, and interests (one time I followed John Dobson at an astronomy convention--doesn't get scarier than that!! ) that now it's a piece of cake. In fact, I could even eat a piece of cake the day of a presentation unlike when I started out.  

Dancing, on the other hand, has never bothered me too much, though there is the slight stress ("what if I turn in the wrong direction??") . I (or a group of us) would practice some of the sections to warm up--that helped. Similar to what Korg does with his instruments.

Certainly, a slight amount of stress helps to focus. Deep breathing has helped me get it to a manageable level when it's been a bit out of control.

What to have said to Mike post-concert if he turned up for a beer.... "Long day?" :D


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"No such thing as destiny; only choices exist." From:  Moongarden's "Solaris."
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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: Mar. 12 2008, 10:30

It depends on what you're doing as well though.For example i've been asked on 2 occasions to write and perform a piece on solo acoustic guitar to be played at a wedding while the registers are being signed.On both occasions i was terrified.With a band i'm ok unless it's the first few gigs with them.Currently i'm working with a singer and a keyboardist.Haven't gigged yet but when we do i'll probably be a bundle of nerves!Musicians and there insecurities ;)

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Alan D Offline




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Posted: Mar. 12 2008, 14:35

I've done two types of performing - a bit of musical performance, but a lot of speaking in public.

I've never found any way to combat the stress. The musical performances were by far the worst to handle (and I don't sing or play in public any more). Typically, I'd wake in the morning with no voice - just a croak. That would last all day; I'd come extremely close to cancelling. Even 30 minutes before I'd be unable to speak above a croaky whisper. Then I'd walk out with the guitar and sing as if there'd never been any problem. Never understood it; never found a way to cope.

The speaking in public I still do - often the psycho-laryngitis threatens on the day, but never so bad as if I'm going to sing, but again, sheer endurance of the stress is the only solution I ever found.
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Posted: Aug. 11 2022, 06:46

I know that some of them use drugs.
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Mishapr Offline




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Posted: Aug. 11 2022, 12:48

Performers, especially beginners, often do not know how to overcome the excitement before the performance. All artists differ in character, temperament, level of motivation, and strong-willed qualities. These personality traits, of course, only partially affect the ability to adapt to public speaking. When I was performing, I took CBD gummies canada before the performance, but not without long psychological preparation. After all, a successful appearance on the stage everyone still depends, first of all, on the willingness and desire to play, and also on the strength of stage skills (in other words, experience).
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shenry Offline




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Posted: Aug. 12 2022, 05:30

It's a great question.

I'll be honest. I don't perform now at all just due to the stress it causes. It's not worth it. I suppose in many ways I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and in my opinion what's far worse than any musical/performance considerations (like bum notes, for examples) are technical/sound issues. I've NEVER played any kind of gig or event where the sound has been anything near what I've wanted.

Non-performers probably don't even realise this, but musicians on a stage don't just automatically hear what the audience are hearing. There's a whole chain of the PA system, monitors, etc. And there is nothing worse than either not being able to hear yourself or just having the uncertainty of not knowing if the audience are hearing what you are doing or not. It just cripples me as soon as I start to worry about it, and I end up playing really stiffly and trying to keep it safe, going through the motions and just killing any sense of energy and momentum.

Obviously I'm talking about "rock" music and not orchestral/classical, which I imagine must have a whole load of other stresses. Far less leeway for tuning issues or bum notes, for example.

But, nah, performing is not for me. I really empathise with Mike, when he was a bundle of nerves at the original TB live show in '73, when he was convinced it sounded terrible.
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