Stage Nerves

JustJames

Platinum Member
I enjoy getting up on stage, and I get to do so in three slightly different capacities:

1. As a drummer with a classic rock party/covers band
2. As a guitarist with a blues/blues rock band that plays about 70% originals and 30% covers, some of which are slightly obscure
3. As a solo singer (I use the word loosely)/songwriter, playing original material which is sort of stand up set to music (again, loosely).

When I'm playing with a band, there are zero nerves. I am calmth personified, whether I am drumming or plank-wanking.

But as a soloist...my word. Butterflies the size of vultures!

How about you guys, especially those of you who do different things in different ventures...nerves, or ice cool?
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Perhaps being a “supporting musician” is something that’s been within your comfort zone for years so completely natural to you, being a solo musician all of the attention is on you which is a higher pressure situation.
In a band environment I don’t tend to get nerves, people who don’t perform think it’s amazing but it’s not to me, I rehearse what I’m going to do and know I can do it. But ask me to speak publicly at a work conference to a room with less people in than I’ve played to in the past and I’ll pretty much refuse point blank. Plus I don’t like hearing my own voice over loudspeakers!!
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
3. As a solo singer (I use the word loosely)/songwriter, playing original material which is sort of stand up set to music (again, loosely).

How do you perform? Are you singing while playing guitar?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Nerves? That's the other guy's problem.

I've sang only a few songs while not behind the drums. I'm not very good at being up front, probably clumsy looking, but it wasn't because of nerves.

James, just picture the audience in it's underwear. If that doesn't work, ask them to disrobe.

It's always fun to nicely pick on an audience member, so all the focus isn't on you...in between songs.

Are the vultures flying around inside your belly as you're singing or is it the time before, leading up to it?
 

rummy

Senior Member
I play lead guitar for a pop punk band, and bass for another cover band.
I don't get nervous. I often get too excited, though.

Never done the solo thing. I'm sure it would make me nervous.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Yeah I get "stage fright" at times-and it's odd things that set it off. I know it's an irrational fear and I have to psych myself out of it. Like I went to talk to a elementary school class about some biological topic one day-anyways I was fine till I got there and met the class-which suddenly I was so nervous and I'm pretty sure I did a terrible job (damn now they think all scientist are idiots but maybe they will think gosh I need to be in STEM field cause we are doomed-so there could be silver lining). Now I use to regularly lecture in college and give talks at meetings at that time-but these kids scared the hell out of me. Go figure. Sometimes I get pumped up before playing so have to find my Happy place.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
How do you perform? Are you singing while playing guitar?

That's right.

James, just picture the audience in it's underwear. If that doesn't work, ask them to disrobe.
Dammit!

I've been picturing myself nekkid...was that wrong?


Are the vultures flying around inside your belly as you're singing or is it the time before, leading up to it?

Both.

Which is weird, because I *love* performing. I enjoy the interaction with the audience, and watching them reacting to my material; I play for laughs and usually get them too.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
You are on the path to overcoming your nervousness. Another couple hundred gigs and you should be comfortable at the mic.
 

PlayTheSong

Senior Member
I've never had stage fright as a drummer, but playing piano for our church is kind of terrifying (because I'm not a piano player). When you're drumming, you can always just play the beat if you get lost. On piano, you forget which chord to play next and you're busted big time.

If I were competent on piano I'm sure it would be different.
 
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