First Rehearsal Jitters

EarthRocker

Senior Member
So I've been playing drumss for more than ten years, and while I don't consider myself a great drummer, I think I can hold my own, and certainly do well given the right sort of music. But every time I go to audition, or jam with someone for the first time, I always get the jitters. I think it's more or less social anxiety than it is actually worrying about my abilities being criticized. I mean, after the first rehearsal I always feel fine, but before I meet up with whoever I'm supposed to be playing with, I practically have to force myself to go through with it. Anybody else deal with this?
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
I used to have bad stage fright. now I tell myself those feelings are excitement instead of fear. I love playing live now.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
So I've been playing drumss for more than ten years, and while I don't consider myself a great drummer, I think I can hold my own, and certainly do well given the right sort of music. But every time I go to audition, or jam with someone for the first time, I always get the jitters. I think it's more or less social anxiety than it is actually worrying about my abilities being criticized. I mean, after the first rehearsal I always feel fine, but before I meet up with whoever I'm supposed to be playing with, I practically have to force myself to go through with it. Anybody else deal with this?
Tell them to learn something off of Elephant Riders ahead of time and rock the ever-loving **** out of it. Then you can get down to biz. A good first tune can really set the tone of the evening.
 

Drumsinhisheart

Silver Member
The more something means to you the more stress your body will revert into if "failure" is in your head.

I remember my first auditions. Failed. Long time ago.

I believe when a musician finds their "voice" they can speak freely and not be nervous.

I spent years as a public speaker. Never really felt comfortable at the beginning of any presentation and my nerves would drive me to near vomiting at times. With drums, now, feeling I say what I say and can't say otherwise, I sit down and do my thing. If it works good, if not, okay. Not the end of the world. So, I don't experience nervousness.

Age. That plays into it, too. Age and experience.
 

Three

Senior Member
I relax and have faith in the fact that my hours of practice leading up to the rehearsal/gig/exam/whatever will see me through. It's not once let me down.

I think it's a good mindset to have. I always tell myself: You've got the skills to naturally know what to do in the moment so it'll all be fine. Job done.
 

groove1

Silver Member
In my sixties I am fortunate to occasionally get to play with world class jazz artists and I have to tell you, everytime I get nervous inside before we play. Artists at that level know it though and usually start off with something to ease the tension. For me, once I start playing I am completely relaxed...it's the anticipation that gets me. I think getting nervous but learning how to control it is fine because it shows that the event really matters to you. It is normal.
 
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EarthRocker

Senior Member
Tell them to learn something off of Elephant Riders ahead of time and rock the ever-loving **** out of it. Then you can get down to biz. A good first tune can really set the tone of the evening.
Maybe I'll suggest The Soapmakers. Love playin' that tune.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
One of my favorite songs.

Not on the aforementioned album, but I've found that lots of string players can easily pick up "Burning beard" if you're looking for another suggestion. Might be easier for them to pick up than Soapers, but kudos if you guys get it down!
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I used to have bad stage fright. now I tell myself those feelings are excitement instead of fear. I love playing live now.
Spot on, I sometimes do the same (mostly in studio situations where playing is under the microscope and for whatever reason I feel negative about that day) and it's such a simple technique to do.

Take five minutes out before playing and re-wire your brain, telling yourself that the butterflies are a result of excitement rather than fear, thinking of positive thoughts and reminding yourself not to overthink when playing and to enjoy the ride.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
"Jitters" Good word for it.

Yep. Everytime. It's not fear, more just a little nervous apprehension, or perhaps anticipation. "Butterflies" if you will.

I've always had it and if I were to go back playing live again now, I suspect it would still be there. Not only did I experience it when auditioning for new bands, but it was something I felt before pretty much every gig too. Regardless of how long I'd played with a band or how well I knew the material, pre-gig/pre-audition "jitters" always seemed to be something I experienced.....at least until about half way through the first number. I actually felt they kept me sharp and focused on what I had to do.
 
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