Scene and setting: You're preparing to hit the stage for your first performance, your mouth is dry and your nervous sweats have given your forehead a noticeable glimmer. Of course, it doesn't help that there is an onlooking crowd awaiting to be wowed and entertained by you, the musical talent; perhaps you're playing as a solo act, maybe you're with a band. As you're on stage getting the final details squared away before the sound check, you notice that your hands aren't reacting in the same manner as they usually do when practicing with your band or in your bedroom; running through your head are a number of scenarios, including but not limiting to the following: Will I drop a pick? What if I hit a sour note? What if a string breaks in the middle of one of my solo? Sounds familiar? Well, good news is that you're not alone in suffering from stage fright, as we all endure it at some point (except for Yngwie -- I'm not even sure our favorite Viking knows what fear is) and this post will focus on some tips to help you overcome stage fright.
If your eyes are looking over these very words right now, chances are that you're on a quest to make your mark as a musician. You have drive, ambition, and discipline out the you-know-what. Possessing those virtues, you're probably able to outplay many a player -- a big fish in a small pond, but yet you're still unable to write your magnum opus that you've been obsessing over for quite some time. At this point, you're probably thinking: "all right, wisenheimer, then what's is that we focus too much on as players?" My response: TECHNIQUE . (I know, pretty bold statement, right?) But fear not, you are not alone, as many battle this very thing (present company included). Below we will discuss some of the tips that I've discovered to help you to become a master of your own destiny -- or at least master over your technical abilities, anyway.
"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you."
Of all of the positive, uplifting quotes that I've come across, this is the one that has elicited from me an AHA! moment. But before I get enough into it, perhaps I should give you a bit more context in order to understand the extent to which this has affected me.