Overcoming Stage Fright
Whether it’s nerves, physical ailments or just plain fear, even veteran musicians get some form of stage fright. Feeling the pressure or getting “butterflies in your stomach” is often times just part of performing in front of a crowd, but when does it turn into stage fright? In this article, we’ll discuss a few tips that can help you overcome unwanted feelings of anxiety before your big show.
Stage Fright – A Guide To Calming The Nerves
Develop a Pre-Show Routine
Many musicians have pre-show routines. They vary from wearing lucky underwear to eating particular foods or even meditation. For example, if you’re a singer and you consume dairy products, it’s recommended that you stay away from dairy foods the day of the show. Dairy causes unwanted phlegm formation on your vocals chords which can impede your performance. If you don’t have a pre-show routine yet, consider developing one. Your routine will come to be a visualization of good vibes while giving you the calm confidence you need to take the stage
Whatever your musical instrument, it’s crucial that you warm up before a live performance. Stretch your muscles! If you and your band have done your homework, you don’t need to rehearse any of the songs you’re going to play live. You’ve played them in practice a hundred times. They’re second nature to you now. Instead, go through your scales or improvise some music on the spot. Get your hands, legs, feet and vocal cords nice and warm so they’re ready to deliver once you hit the stage. If you’re a drummer, you’ll want to check out our pre-show stretches that will make a world of difference in your playing and your confidence.
Even the most experienced musicians and performers make mistakes or have a bad night. If/when a mistake occurs, always keep going. More than likely, the crowd hasn’t even noticed. If you panic, you’ll take a hit to your confidence and worse, throw off your band.. Take a deep breathe, regroup and power through. Professional musicians never give up when a mistake occurs or worse, stop the band in order to start the song over from the top. Music is an art form. The most intriguing art has flaws – that’s one of the things that makes it unique and relatable. It’s all good!
Stage Fright Tips For All Beginner Musicians
If your passion is making music, you need to have a no-quit attitude. Much like other artistic careers, the music business is extremely hard to break into. We suggest you stay your course, stay true to yourself and let your music speak for itself. Criticism, both constructive and negative will come your way. It is in those times that you need to really believe in yourself. There will always be naysayers, but remember that you’re living your dream, and that, in itself is a reason for ultimate happiness.
Do you want to dig a little deeper? Read this interesting neuroscience article about stage fright at Forbes.com.