Playing for Teacher

KamaK

Platinum Member
Had a lesson today.

Playing in front of a mirror and playing in front of 35,000 people are really no different to me. I don't tense up, I don't shake, I don't fumble parts. I've played behind chicken wire, played during riots, and played through what appeared to be a DEA bust. I'm Mr. Cool.

The 'moment' I call someone my instructor/teacher, and hand them money, I turn into a complete train wreck on the instrument in front of them. Exercises that I've played a billion times turn to shit. It's quite remarkable and I've gotten a good chuckle out of it. I've never experienced anything quite like it.

WTF is up with that? Suggestions for fixing that?
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Had a lesson today.

Playing in front of a mirror and playing in front of 35,000 people are really no different to me. I don't tense up, I don't shake, I don't fumble parts. I've played behind chicken wire, played during riots, and played through what appeared to be a DEA bust. I'm Mr. Cool.

The 'moment' I call someone my instructor/teacher, and hand them money, I turn into a complete train wreck on the instrument in front of them. Exercises that I've played a billion times turn to shit. It's quite remarkable and I've gotten a good chuckle out of it. I've never experienced anything quite like it.

WTF is up with that? Suggestions for fixing that?
OMG - thanks for posting as I have 100% the same problem. Hopefully others have helpful advice as I constantly make rookie mistakes for things that I "know" inside and out and have been tested before crowds.

I blame it on the different kit and configuration and playing before someone I respect greatly...
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
It's good to know I'm not alone.

The strange thing is, it's NOT adrenaline. There's no tremor or leg shake or stuttered breathing. It's like I have a case of weed-brain, and durr-hurr-durr through the parts. Today I was doing a RLLRKK triplet pattern around the kit... So simple, yet I couldn't get my shit together to change the hat, putting it on the beat, and on the 'and', etc.

I'm good humored about it, but would rather be able to perform the parts well in order to progress the lesson, and not waste my/his time.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Funny thing about mirrors and 35,000 people: neither one knows much about playing the drums, nor do they care about YOU all that much. Your teacher knows lots about drumming, and cares about you, and this throws you off. Naturally, there's going to be a bit of stage fright.

But if you don't feel nervous, then probably it's not stage fright pure and simple. It could also be your practice habits, leading you to think that you have better control over new material than you actually do. If you don't feel nervous, and you actually practiced, then what else could it possibly be?

Check out this article.

And this one.

And this one, too.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Trust me when I tell you that it's especially awkward to try and play "hot for teacher" in front of your teacher.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Had the same experience at lessons. Always due to fact I wasn't as comfortable with the materials as I thought.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Probably a mental throwback to the "Teacher" at school where we were all very much growing up, innocent, and being instructed in all things by a figure of authority.

Turn it on its head, you are now paying someone to help you achieve what you want. As you are paying you are in charge, you tell them what you want or need to know, its then up to the drum teacher to find the best way to instruct you and make this process as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Its not up to you to show the teacher what you can do, its up to them to convince you that they are worth the cash you are paying for there time and expertese.

If you lokk at it that way the problem should dissapear.
 

bigd

Silver Member
It's kind of natural to feel nervous at least a little at lessons. Music lessons are one of the few times in life when you pay someone to point out the things you're doing wrong so you can correct them.. It's hard to get used to. If the teacher only points out the good things then you really don't learn.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
totally normal

and strictly speaking for myself as a teacher I always factor in the nerves of a student and never judge their performance based on that

everyone is different ... some students never show any nerves... some show extreme nervousness .... and everything in between

the ones that do show nerves usually ease as our relationship grows

if you think about it what are your nerves based on? ...... they are rooted in fear of making mistakes or playing poorly

one of the first things I do with students is discuss how I do not believe in mistakes

in my teaching studio we do not make mistakes we expose weaknesses that we attack and turn into strengths

I also believe that sometimes mistakes or something unintended can sound better than what you meant to play if you adjust properly

I recommend telling your instructor how you feel and both of you having a nice chuckle about it before you proceed
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
in my teaching studio we do not make mistakes we expose weaknesses that we attack and turn into strengths

I also believe that sometimes mistakes or something unintended can sound better than what you meant to play if you adjust properly

I recommend telling your instructor how you feel and both of you having a nice chuckle about it before you proceed
Like this approach. It's all in how you view things.

I especially like Tony's last line. As soon as you admit a problem to the person that's involved with the problem, the problem really should evaporate. Once you unload it off your chest to him/her that should really do it.
 

yesdog

Silver Member
I find it very nerve racking playing in front of an instructor the first time. I take lessons about 4 to 6 times a year. Im am very comfortable with the instructor I have been going to for a few years. I will take a lesson from some other prominent instructors in the area. That first time playing in front of them is horrible. I cant explain it, I know i'm not being judged or anything like that. I mainly go for lessons to make sure no bad habits have or starting to occur, and to gage progress on certian things. Also to get some new ideas. Like I said when its someone I have never studied with before I have the same nerves like seeing a new doctor for the first time.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Like this approach. It's all in how you view things.

I especially like Tony's last line. As soon as you admit a problem to the person that's involved with the problem, the problem really should evaporate. Once you unload it off your chest to him/her that should really do it.
Indeed.

My teacher and I had a quick discussion about it, and he seems genuinely unsurprised and completely sympathetic. He'll see me run through hand patterns over a Samba foot ostinato perfectly, and then see me gallop and fudge the same hand patterns without the footwork. It's pretty silly.

I'll try some of the suggestions, and thank you again for the suggestions and sympathy.
 
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