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 Advice for playing for an audience? 
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God Of The Sun
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Post Advice for playing for an audience?
Well ever since I've been playing guitar, I haven't really ever played infront of a lot of people at once. Just my friends and family mostly, with about 3 times within the 6 years i've been playing that I actually played infront of a crowd. All 3 were back when I was 11 or 12 years old, and for some reason I was more relaxed back then.

I'm doing Guitarmageddon for the first time in a week or two and whenever I think about it, I wonder how I'm going to be playing infront of all those people, assuming that I'll get pretty nervous. I know store level isn't really that big of a deal, compared to lots of you guys who play live all the time, but I just don't have much experience with it. So I was wondering if any of you guys had advice to stay calm and do well for the competition, etc. Any tips would be appreciated. :-D

thanks in advance.

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Fri Mar 05, 2004 4:13 pm
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Superhero
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just try to think about your music part and nothing else. youll still be nervous though just like i will be. Im like you kinda, havnt had a gig in 4 years, but will soon.


Fri Mar 05, 2004 5:51 pm
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Motorman

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 2:13 pm
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Hi,

Good topic. Ive not played live for a while but im getting a band together, so i will be going through this again soon.

I used to concentrate on what i was playing, but after youve played a few songs and chilled out a little-just enjoy it. (A few double JD's before you go on helps because about 30 minutes into the gig you feel like you could kick Vai's ass in a jam :lol: )

Once we got going i used to try and make myself move about a little and boost the stage presence. :)

Getting nervous was always a big problem for me, but i think nerves help. If there comes a day when you arent just a little nervous-thats bad.

Mark


Fri Mar 05, 2004 7:10 pm
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Viking Kong
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Theres no away to avoid being nervous. It just hits you. Imagining the audience in their underwear doesnt work.

What works? Maybe just taking a deep breath and anticipating the end where you walk off stage and people are clapping.

Sorry, but it's impossible to get over stagefright unless you're used to being up there.

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Fri Mar 05, 2004 8:12 pm
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Superhero
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The few times I've played live, I found a friendly face in the crowd and watch them. I wouldn't just stare at them, but as I was looking around I would always come back to someone familiar.

Also when your friends start yelling out "Freebird!" during the show that kind of loosens things up too. :D

Hope that helps some.

JE

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Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:12 pm
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God Of The Sun
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if you walk out onstage and immediately do somethign that will totally embarras you....

then nothing else you will do can make oytu feel any stupider


that always had worked for me.

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Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:17 pm
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Viking Kong
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I've played live through the years probably 100's of times and I can honestly say that not once did I ever get nervous... I'd be more eager than anything to hit the stage and do what I LOVE doing, playing music... Don't even think about it dude, JUST DO IT!!!...X :wink:


Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:50 pm
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Superhero

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Theres some story about a little spanish dancer who says to her tutor, "I never get stage fright" (or somthing). And the tutor says "Little girl, when you have true talent, you will have stage fright"..

Somthing to the effect of that anyway..

I think its true for the most part.

I shit myself ALL the time.. Even speaking in public poops me up.

The best thing I have found is have a little drink to settle your nerves before you go up. Dont get plastered though haha.

And getting used to it.. Sa'll about experience.. From which I have none.


Fri Mar 05, 2004 10:05 pm
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King Of The Monsters
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Just be confident...

Remember all the time you´ve spent in practicing and nailing the tune, and just be conscient that YOU kick ass...

That´s it!

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Fri Mar 05, 2004 11:55 pm
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God Of The Sun
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Ahhhh! Lots of useful advice and tips here guys, thanks a lot.

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Sat Mar 06, 2004 5:27 am
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Motorman

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My advice is warm up like a fucking mad man. Make sure your hands are 100% warmed up before you go out.


Sat Mar 06, 2004 9:56 am
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is evil...Evil Joe
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Just a quick guitarmageddon piece of advice:

Last year I played and just to be silly for showmanship I dressed up essentially like David Lee Roth with blue shades and a neon pink head band. When I played I made all sorts of Steve Vai-esque cutsy moves of pointing at notes and holding the right hand at the top of the fret board. Well, one of the judges told me I had huge amounts of potential and was the only one who caught his eye, not to mention getting the highest marks in all the catagories. The other two were irritated with my cockiness and gave me low marks, despite being clearly the most sound player there and I lost.

So my advice is: check out the judges and cater to them, like everything in life, you're sucking up to the powers that be.

As for stage and performance issues, I have social anxiety issues big time and I've had to work my ass off to be able to speak in front of a crowd, let alone rock their socks off. The thing I always found working the best was. 1. Assume the character of the rock star. Get your mentality to the point that you are not you, you're a fucking rock and roll god and these people are lucky to be seeing you for free cause it isn't gonna be that way for long. The better you get yourself into 'character' just like an actor would, the better your 'performance' will be. 2. Bring a friend that is encouraging so you can make eye contact with him/her and get a nod of approval. A little encouragment goes a long way in these situations. GOOD LUCK!


Sat Mar 06, 2004 4:31 pm
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God Of The Sun
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Hhahaha, Awesome story. Good advice too, thanks man.

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Sun Mar 07, 2004 6:36 am
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Yeah, thanks. I just played my first gig yesterday. I wasn´t really nervous, but all I could do was look at my guitar.... I think the idea of getting in to character is very good, I´ll try it next time :D

But, about alcohol before playing, I wouldn´t recommend that. It can help you relax, but it makes you play slower (at least that´s what I expierienced). And offcourse, always warm up.

ROCK ON 8)

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Sun Mar 07, 2004 10:44 pm
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Motorman

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PRAY!!!! :twisted:


Mon Mar 08, 2004 12:10 am
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Viking Kong
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I just dug up this FAQ with Marty Friedman about stagefright.

http://www.martyfriedman.com/faqkeren2.php?id=2941

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Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:56 am
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Motorman

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It may sound a cliché but having a little to drink before hand calms the nerves for me.


Tue Mar 16, 2004 4:02 pm
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Dr. X
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the advice about warming up the hands is absolutely true: the more your hands are on "auto-pilot", the smaller chance you have of screwing up during difficult parts.

also, if you're USED to alchohol, a single shot of something strong can mellow your nerves without hurting your playing. but if you don't drink at all, i wouldn't recommend trying it before an important gig, only to find out that you're a total light-weight. oops!

another trick is to perform a little warm-up gig before the more important show. if you're doing a guitar-only performance, invite some friends over the day before and do a little formal "recital". This practice-run will make it easier to deal with the real thing the next day, and you can also figure out what works and what doesn't work for you when you're under pressure.

DEFINITELY look at the audience and judges. make eye contact, and remember that they WANT to like you. if you can get into a good mood and smile, even better.

finally, perfromances are FUN. just keep that in mind, shake out your hands and arms, breathe, and enjoy playing your music. if YOU have fun, the audience with have fun, and everybody's happy.

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Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:33 pm
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God Of The Sun
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I never played an "official" gig yet, but will this summer.

When I played at my friends moving-in-to-new-home party, it was the first time I had ever played in front of around 40+ (half drunk/stonedpeople). One thing that helped me sike myself out was that I just yelled at the top of my lungs right before I hit the first note. It got everyones attention and it helped me release all the tension I was feeling from the nerves, and unleash the f*cking fury!

Although most of the stuff we played was just jam stuff, it still helped me sike myself out. You should try it. I did this also on a speech about Hawaii sophmore year, I yelled "ALOOOOOHHAAAAAAA!!!" and woke everyone up. Got a A on the Speech. :wink:

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Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:08 am
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Dr. X

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Guitarp77 has it nailed...

Just before you go on, take a deep breath and tell yourself "I AM good...I have practiced for this...I am confident in my skills and this is gonna be FUN"...

I do that for playing, for meetings I have to present for, and even for asking a gal out...

Just be you and don't forget to tell us how it ends!!!

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Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:10 am
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