Saxophone Forum


by chiamac
(586 posts)
10 years ago

Pre gig nerves

So how do people overcome nerves and being scared/anxious on stage before and during a gig? (other than play out for people a lot) I have a gig coming up in Eau Clare tonight (a dj thing though, but the same thing) I just tell myself “Andy, you have practiced for this day for years now, you’re ready – and it’s time to go out there, show off for people, and HAVE FUN!” This worked for me all though high school and into college. I do the same thing for tests in school and other things that require me to do something to prove myself. But how do you guys do it? Is there any pep talk you give yourselves, or do something that gets you ready for the show?

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  1. by SaxMan
    (559 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Pre gig nerves

    I don't really get nervous...I used ot before, but once I started playing, I would be fine. Unless I don't quite play something the way that I would have liked to, then I might gt choked up a little...but after the next set of rests I am fine. stress is more of a problem for me...like if I break my one marginal reed, and I only have a few abysmal ones that I am frantically trying to adjust so it will at least allow me to express myself, then that kind of messes me up, stuff like that.

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  2. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Pre gig nerves

    Just remember... Most of the people listening are going to be impressed - not only with your abilities, but with your balls for going public. People don't always expect to be knocked off their feet, so don't feel like you have to. I think people are more entertained when it looks like the player is really enjoying it. Don't be fake about it, just be yourself. Sounds cliche, but it's true. I played a few tunes for my extended family last weekend. I was having so much fun playing even though I couldn't hear the accompaniment I put on CD. I couldn't even tell if I was in time with the music. Well, when I was done, I got a massive round of applause (what else if family going to do, right?) They really enjoyed it and it felt great. My wife happened to record me playing (I didn't know this), and when I watched the tape I almost barfed - I was so out of tune from the recording it was like a quarter tone at some points. Just absolutely horrible. So even though family is different that a more scutinizing general public, I think wht they will remember is that I played for them - not that I was out of tune. If it was a paid gig, I would have done sound set-up and checks and all, so it's not to say this would ever happen again. Remember that the reason the audience is there and the reason you are there are two different reasons - related as they may be, they are different.

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    1. by saxmaniac
      (19 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Pre gig nerves

      I guess I'm sort of an exhibitionist or something, because from ym first time playing solo in public I've really loved it. My main thoughts about playing solos, gig, etc. are centered around whether or not I will meet my own expectations, and whether the mic will work, or if my reed will die at a bad time, etc, etc. Instead of worrying about the audience's reaction and their opinion of you, think more about your own expectations. If you as a seasoned performer are at least satisfied with your performance then the audience (most in it having untrained ears) will be amazed with your performance. I agree with sax_maniac (haha, nice name, i think i stole the one you were going for though!) when he says that the audience will be delighted with just about anything, just as long as you look confident. They have ears that our no match for the performer's, so don't think that your every move is being scrutinized by anyone excpet you (and maybe your private teacher, let's hope he isn't there). Also shaking your fingers out while letting hang down helps get rid of butterflies and gets the blood going. Have fun at your gig!

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      1. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Pre gig nerves

        Sorry, Chippy. Though I'm surely not the first person to have coined the phrase "sax maniac", I've been on here a while. Welcome to my world! MmmmWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-ha...... It's not really my world. They just haven't banned me yet...

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    2. by spottspidermunki
      (55 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Pre gig nerves

      i play saxes in an improvisational jam band of sorts, so i'm making up all of my music as i'm playing it, w/ a few basic guidelines. when i do get nervous, i just remember that these people aren't here to hear a recording. they're here to see a live performance, and to groove to something. they want to see someone having a good time, jus loving what they're doing. so that makes it ok. plus i have 7 other guys backing me up, who aren't perfect also. i get a little nervous before the show, but as soon as i play the 1st note in that mic, and i hear those speakers crank out my sound, and its huuuuuge, i'm in heaven. i love that. Joel

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      1. by chiamac
        (586 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Pre gig nerves

        lets just say I had a few good solos (that I can remeber out of the 100's I did back in the day) and I got complements on my style, sound, and so one. Yes, normal people won't pick you apart, shit even other players won't pick you apart. They like that you have the balls to go out and do that kind of thing. (changing the subject a little) So my friends (now frined, gf dumped him) have this dj night at a small bar in Minneapolis. I was there one night when She (the ex friend) was playing byherself. All of a sudden she was like "andy, go up and spin." Thankfully I had my records in the jeep and was virtually ready to go. So I go up there, and dj 2 hours for my friends. There were only the 3 of us there in the section with the dancefloor (more in the bar) and i was more or less doing this for my own amusement. So we finish up and I put on some supertramp for the last record. Now supertramp isn't a house record, shit it wasn't even close to the style I was playing. So what did the people in the corner table do when we started to pack up and put on that record? NOTHING! they didn't care at all, shit I doubt if they noticed! which brings me to my point. Most people go out to have a good time, and enjoy themselves. They don't care what the music is or who is playing it, or how good... they jsut want music and want some background noise. this dosn't apply to everything, but there is a lession there. =) so yeah, my other dj night (the one this was posted on) went well. The crowd started out thin, but we played for a good 20 people most of the night. This was one of the bigger crowds I have seen in that place on a tues, and a really big crowd for the summer. Most of the people stuck around and seemed to be enjoying themselves and it was a fun night for all of us. This is in stark contrast to a week ago when there wasn't any one there for some self proclamed "big name dj's" from the citys. moral of this story... KEEP THE PEOPLE HAPPY! and if they are enjoying your music DON'T CHANGE IT! =)

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    3. by Rben20
      (35 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Pre gig nerves

      Really the more you get use to playing in front of people espeically by yourself you will just get use to it. As time goes on you get more comfortable. I just relax and go play my heart out.

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    4. by ajmoon
      (4 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Pre gig nerves

      I've been playing in a show band for a while now. The one rule of thumb we go by is that "people hear with their eyes". If you look as though you know what you're doing, they will enjoy it. Keep you energy level high and have fun.

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      1. by spottspidermunki
        (55 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Pre gig nerves

        amen to that. the amount of energy and feeling is almost as important as sound to non-musicians. if u look like ur having fun and playing from ur heart, then ur really creating an atmosphere. those people come for an atmosphere, not nessecarily the music, although the music probably initially draws them in. i guess what i'm saying is that a good atmosphere is going to draw their ear away from the technical aspect of the music. as long as their having fun, their honestly not going to really care about the music, just as long as the musicians are having fun 2. make any sense? i know what i'm trying to say, but its hard to really write down. Joel

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