I had an interesting conversation yesterday with
another guitarist about “stagefright”.
Although it’s been a while since I experienced
it, I think most of us who performed have experienced
it at some point… perhaps when we were first
And those who haven’t played out yet, might get scared
just *thinking* about performing in front of a group
So I started pondering it and realized there’s
a few different kinds of fears going on. Many
of them are interrelated.
Anyway, just off the top of my head, I thought of
5 common fears associated with playing in front
of people, and came up with some solutions too.
1. Fear of the unknown.
I remember my very first gig, which was a talent
show in college. I was nervous because I just
didn’t know what to expect!
The solution is just to take action — get out
there and play. Any irrational fear will dissipate
upon taking action in the direction of our fear.
And of course, stagefright is an irrational fear
because there’s really no danger – nothing
to be afraid of.
2. Fear of sounding bad
This can range from worrying about making mistakes,
being sloppy, having a bad voice, or maybe the
crowd won’t like your songs.
I think the remedy is here is to simply be prepared.
Practice your set thoroughly, and don’t try to play
something you need more practice on or
try to play beyond your abilities.
3. Fear of being in front of a crowd
Another way to say this, is fearing that
you’re being judged by the audience.
It comes from taking yourself too seriously.
Learn to have fun and just enjoy the experience for
what it is. Who cares if you make a mistake or two?
4. Fear of not being good enough
For this, let go of self judgement. Who cares if
you’re not as good as the next guy? Comparing
yourself to others is just pridefulness.
Realize that others might be more skilled than you
or less skilled than you and be ok with it.
Decide that you’re going to play with confidence
at whatever skill level you’re at.
At it’s highest purpose, music is NOT a competition.
It’s a way of expressing and sharing our energy,
and I believe everyone has something to offer.
5. Fear of expressing yourself.
You must know thyself and look inside to determine
if there is something blocking you from expressing
yourself on stage.
Like my friend Gil says, “Who you are on the stage
of life is who you are on stage.”
Guitar playing (or any form of art) is about
bringing what’s inside of you, out into the world.
Many of us carry around emotional baggage — low self
esteem, fear of life, guilt, etc.
But just try to work on yourself in general and
accept where you are.
And meanwhile, temporarily set aside any negativity
you might have and just express the best energy
you can while you are on stage.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my thoughts for today.
Just a quick update on the phree DVD. We actually
sold out the first batch, but because of
the huge demand, I had another batch printed and
its on its way to the warehouse.
So right now it’s still available!
However, even those are going quickly, and we will
probably sell out completely in a few days. And once
the second batch is gone, that’s all folks.
To tell you the truth, I actually lose a bit of money
on these. The few bucks i’m asking for shipping doesn’t
even cover all my costs.
But I’m doing it because I’m hoping you’ll love it enough
to want to order other things from me in the future.
You can get yours here: https://www.freeguitardvd.com
P.S. In case you missed it, the final episode
of Claustin Powers 2 is available here:
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