If this sounds familiar you are certainly not alone. What you are experiencing, is what we might call nerves, stage fright or performance anxiety, and guess what? Everyone experiences it at some point in his or her life. Even top selling international musicians like John Mayer and Adele have reported that they still suffer from the occasional bout of Nerves.
However, this is not entirely bad news, even though it does sound like a pretty grim experience. Its commonly thought between all different types of performers, whether they are musicians, dancers or comedians, that if you are not nervous your not going to give a good performance. This is very true because if we go on stage believing that nothing can wrong, most probably, our confidence will get the best of us and we will make a major mistake because we weren't concentrating.
You might be asking yourself now, ‘if everyone apparently suffers from nerves, why do rock stars look so confident when they strut onto the stage?’ Well the funny thing is that it is all an act. Because we are so lucky to be musicians, as long we as we keep a straight face and don’t let the audience know that something has gone wrong, they will never know.
If you hit the wrong note and throw your head back and display a look of annoyance or disappointment, the audience will realise that something has gone wrong. But if you were to hit that wrong note and act as if everything is peachy and that’s how the song goes, the audience will probably not be able to tell. Heck, maybe if you hit enough wrong notes you might even be a good jazz player.
Nevertheless, here are some ideas and tips that you might find useful to just ease those stage nerves:
- Take nice deep and slow breaths before walking on stage
- Interact with the audience; don’t be afraid to wave or smile before you play, it makes the performance feel more relaxed and lets the audience know your not a robot.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. This is a pretty big no brainer. If you have practised enough, even if a million thoughts are running through your mind while you play, your fingers or arms or whatever you use will naturally do all the work.
Best of luck for the concert and I look forward to seeing you all there.