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How do you avoid stage fright during a solo?
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luminiz
New York
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June 20, 2011 - 4:23 pm
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This year was my first year on the violin and during that same month I had a duet with a friend on guitar. My arms were shaking so much that the bow kept bouncing up and down on my strings. Any help to ease this apprehension?

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Oliver
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June 20, 2011 - 4:51 pm
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Playing once a year with another instrument is not enough to build confidence.  Play with others more often or play with recorded music.  Play for an audience whenever you can.
It's very much a matter of experience.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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luminiz
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June 20, 2011 - 7:15 pm
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Ok. Thanks for your input.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 21, 2011 - 12:15 am
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Also,

Breathe from your stomach and lean forward when you are playing under pressure. Focus completely on the music, possibly sing your part, softly or in your head, while you are playing it. Smile

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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myguitarnow
Laguna Beach
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June 21, 2011 - 9:33 pm
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Yes, breathing techniques is a good thing. Deep breathes from the stomach and count the basic counts of the songs that your going to perform with in and out long breathes (and some short breathes). That's what I do on guitar and after 30 years of playing with 20 years of performing I still get nervous. And yes! don't just practice the songs alone with sheet music and a metronome. Find different versions of the songs to jam along with.

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Tilly
Las Vegas, NV
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July 6, 2011 - 7:33 pm
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Well, basically, I cannot say that I have "solos", except that every day I go out to play and it's my solo. I mean, I play music for passersby in the street in Las Vegas. This we do every week at least 4 to 5 days.

At first it was really difficult. Then after some time I discovered that mistakes are just a part of the process. Since people are passing by and very few stop to listen, you get an instant "do-over" every few seconds. You don't even have to wait a minute and you can start all over again.

I don't know how to play a lot of songs, but it doesn't matter. I play the same music over and over again and people walk by. Of course, there will be those people who are more attentive. So you have to try to do it "right". But the main thing is the expressive power of the music, not whether every note is correct, etc.

At first, since I am a new musician, I was nervous and focused on simply being able to play and sing at the same time (I play ukulele to accompany my voice, I practice violin at home still, since the learning curve is much steeper there).

Now I focus on how I feel while I play. I want to feel relaxed and feel the love for the music I am playing rather than just getting it "right". This was a revelation. When I play now, I do it more and more for myself than for the audience. Interestingly, it's more enjoyable for others when I focus on this...

Love,

Tilly

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myguitarnow
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July 6, 2011 - 10:35 pm
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That's some great stuff Turnpike. How you feel makes a big difference on how you sound. But always go for it when you are live and in front of people (that's when your personal style shines). That's not the time to worry about your scales. Then it's the types of music that you like... And finding the right street corner to jam at. BEEN THERE!

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Tilly
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July 8, 2011 - 11:03 am
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Hi

@myguitarnow,

agree wholeheartedly! LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION...

amuse

Tilly

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myguitarnow
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July 11, 2011 - 1:14 am
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Right on Tilly,,, 

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SisterJean
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July 19, 2011 - 9:43 am
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Be prepared.  As prepared as you can be.  Be completely practiced and prepared so your hands can just take over and play while your mind is focusing on remembering to BREATHE!  🙂   Whisper a prayer the second before your solo begins, even if its just 3 words, Help me Lord!  Then, ENJOY!  Have fun, breathe and remember why you are there, because you love to play and make music and this is right where you are supposed to be at that moment, so have FUN!  and SMILE!!!!

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Oliver
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July 22, 2011 - 8:35 am
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What makes anyone think that early stage fright CAN be avoided?  Messing up is part of the drill.  Start your career in church where everyone will say how much you have improved.  Get up there, make your boo-boos and get smarter for next time.  Of course, boo-boos are optional if you can manage it.coffee2

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Daniel
Dipolog City, Philippines
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July 22, 2011 - 9:02 am
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Practice...drill yourself, practice again, until you feel like you can play upside down blindfolded lol. Actually, build confidence in yourself, and sometimes losing yourself in your music helps

 

LOL @ Oliver... that is the best place to start 😉 thumbs-up

Short-term Goal:

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chocostudent
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July 28, 2011 - 3:10 pm
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I had to do a solo on clarinet, and believe me, I was really nervous, but I overcame my fear by practicing and practicing, and believing in myself, remember to practice every day, drills, and work on your music, you should practice your music so much that you memorize it, take a deep breath and have fun, I hope it goes great, and good luck. 1st-place

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xoKoneko
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July 28, 2011 - 5:35 pm
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in my experience being nervous make the feeling of preforming exciting! clap

but usually to make sure i dont mess up...

devil-violin1st i make sure i know the song well enough to play with or without music so its like second nature, 

dazed2nd i try not to look at the crowd instead i look just above their heads so to them it seams as tho im looking at them,

dancinbunnyand 3rd i try my best to get really hyped up before i preform and i try my best to give an exciting and energetic performance.

done

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farhan neguive
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July 29, 2011 - 6:04 am
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make sure you dont pay much heed to what the audience is saying or doing. Just keep the tempo in your head which in turn will keep your brain occupied and wont let you get frightened by thinking about trivial things that could happen on stage,.,violin_girlviolin_girl

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David Burns
Winfield, Missouri
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July 29, 2011 - 6:12 am
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SisterJean said:

Be prepared.  As prepared as you can be.  Be completely practiced and prepared so your hands can just take over and play while your mind is focusing on remembering to BREATHE!  🙂   Whisper a prayer the second before your solo begins, even if its just 3 words, Help me Lord!  Then, ENJOY!  Have fun, breathe and remember why you are there, because you love to play and make music and this is right where you are supposed to be at that moment, so have FUN!  and SMILE!!!!

That reminds me of The Lineman's Prayer:

Please God, don't let me mess up!

Usually said before some tricky operation that may go horribly wrong.

 

Dave

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