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Help with confidence
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July 4, 2015 - 9:09 pm
Member Since: September 16, 2012
Forum Posts: 167
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Hi folks. Im having quite a problem when playing. It turns out today I got to play a duo with another guy and I got incredibly nervous that both hands were shaking and I couldnt go through the piece. Im dealing with a lot of frustration because of that. I know its all in my head but I can't even play for my family. The thought of people watching me freaks the heck out of me. I don't know what to do. I would appreciate any suggestions or pieces of advice.



There's nothing better than a cold beer and the warm soothing sound of a violin.

King for a Day, Peasant for many

July 5, 2015 - 1:26 am
Member Since: February 13, 2012
Forum Posts: 1816
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I already mentioned my thoughts on the FB page but here is a re-post of those thoughts:

In addition to all the excellent points above... pick out one individual in the audience you "like", are attracted to, or seem to feel that they really appreciate your playing and concentrate on them during the show. In your head, you aren't playing for the whole house, just one person, just you and them.


Also... when trying to play with another person, jamming if you will.... it's always hard for me to either take the lead or follow. Which should I do? Well, who knows the piece better? Who can play it from anywhere in the middle without hesitation, and who can keep playing while the other one struggles with timing or intonation or whatever?

Well... you just have to almost block out the other player and do your own thing. It sounds great if you both have the timing consistent but that only happens with practice, adn when it does... oh wow.... it's heavenly.

Keep working with them... follow for awhile... then try a lead position... it'll all work out... it's only music.dazed

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

Jim Dunleavy
United Kingdom

July 5, 2015 - 3:25 am
Member Since: April 19, 2015
Forum Posts: 747
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The more you do it, the easier it gets. I've always been the same - very nervous of playing in front of people, even my family.

I've made more of an effort to get out and play for people (not on the violin as yet though) by joining various groups where you get the chance to perform and it's helped tremendously (though I still get nervous I can perform the music).

You should start with a supportive audience - your family for example; keep trying with your close family until you get over the nerves to some extent, then try more difficult audiences.

Believe me, this is a very common problem - you're not alone!

Fort Lauderdale
July 5, 2015 - 4:44 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16074

All great points, and yes, the more you do it the easier it gets.
Dennis has an interesting idea as well which I personally have never tried. Would be well worth a shot.

Here are some of my tips from another post.

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


July 6, 2015 - 12:33 am
Member Since: July 6, 2011
Forum Posts: 969
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Hi, Juan,

It is always harder for me to play in front of people I knew or my family or people that play better than I am because I am very self conscious and care too much what and how they thought of me. I had a very bad experience during my second recital after I began my lessons. I was supposed to memorized the song and I had a mind slip and could not get over the part, I kept repeating it and could not do it. Finally, the teacher could see me struggle any more and told me to start from the repeat. I did but I stumbled on the same spot again. I repeated again, then I decided to just skip it and move on. Since then I have not had another solo. Last year, I played for my neighbour's 50th anniversary, just one song, and the way I got over with it was I pretend they knew nothing about violin (however, later, I found out that my neighbor actually played years ago).

When I practiced there might be audience but I either don't know them or I lock myself up in a room. I hate it when my husband paid attention to my practice.

Just a couple days ago, I took my daughter to a farmers' market to play, just to practice our "audienceship." At first we both felt embarrassed and very self conscious. Then, I just played and thought they are all strangers, they don't know who I am and I don't know who they are and I don't care, if I made mistakes, I either moved on or repeat. I used it as a practice session. I felt it really helped me to get back to play in front of audience (I will have to put it to test the next recital, I have been rejecting to play solo since the last incident). From my experience playing in front of  stranger, I thought maybe you could try the same - find strangers to be your audience, in a park, on the street, in a market, playing for children, etc.

Best wishes on getting over your stage fright!

California, the place of my heart
July 6, 2015 - 2:06 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4180
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I have been thinking about this post for a bit.

First of all know that your playing is so worth sharing. heartcrotchet-1218 Know that from the deepest part of yourself.  Your music voice and soul is bursting out of you and waiting to be heard.  You move me with your playing and dedication. thumbs-up

You do well on your videos.  Your speaking and articulation is wonderful as a teacher.  I know this from the help you have given me.  And your confidence is good on Skype and the old day of the Google hangouts.violin-student

I am going to just ask you to keep trying.. and keep trying and know that you are not alone.violin

I so sensed your disappointment from what happened when you played.  I have had that exact thing happen when it mattered most. facepalm (always worst with family)

I don't play for my family either.  They don't ask anymore, but I start out and then the hands start shaking so bad ... I mean I am talking in front of my mom ... and daughter?? hummm I don't know why this happens. 

I am able to play quietly sitting down with my grand daughter and some are nearby hearing me lightly strum twinkle.  But never ever any of my other songs.

I can only tell you this... as bad as I still am.. I have gotten better.   So there are rare times when I don't get flustered.  I still get flustered on camera on Skype with my violin buddies.     I  got better over time with my two Jam partners... much better, in the begining I couldn't find my place and I was lost.  Now I can jump in and make a decent effort... but I struggle live and on camera.treble-1226

Okay.. this is SO not about me.. .I guess I just want to let you know there is hope.. because I used to have to take a pill to go to my violin lessons to calm myself.. and part of the reason I quit lessons is that I was just to SHY... imagine that???? 

I need to you to NOT be hard on yourselfbeg and NOT BE HARD ON YOURSELF and NOT BE HARD on yourself.. get my drift buddy?  heartheartheartheart

I have so much faith in your playing and abilities I hope those vibes I am feeling roll down and over to your spot in the world and you feel some of my confidence rubbing off.violin-1267

If you think we could Skype jam or discuss this further, I'd be willing to do so.  birthday_balloon

Sending all my faith and confidence your way.  semiquaver-1214

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato


July 6, 2015 - 2:43 pm
Member Since: September 16, 2012
Forum Posts: 167
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Thank you all very much for taking sometime to write about your own feelings. It certainly helps me feel better that playing live does not come easy to everyone, it might sound silly but i guess you get to see it that way when you are able to step up and go for it no matter what. I am doing a lot of thinking and convince myself that i can do it. After all what matters is that you can bring joy to yourself and to those who are listening. Critiques? They'll always be there i suppose that over time you learn to hear what you consider might be constructive. Thank you everyone that great vibes. I do appreciate that immensely.


There's nothing better than a cold beer and the warm soothing sound of a violin.

California, the place of my heart
July 6, 2015 - 2:57 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4180
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You can do it.  I won't say it is easy.. or will happen over night buddy.

Sometimes as a player we just want to play it so well.. play it so right.. and we get all blocked and choked up.

The critiques... I always remember someone saying to play to the fans and not the critics.    HOWEVER, it is very hard to me when I know some of the violin police, tone police, or technique police are out there.  Slowly but surely I am learning to play for those  that get me and my efforts.

However.. IRON sharpens IRON.. and part of this business of playing this little string instrument is to get thick skin... and get thicker thicker thicker.. :)

You got this buddy...

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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