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Sep 11, 2018

In this listener Q & A episode, my guitar student Frank asks about how to stay calm and overcome nervousness and panic while performing solo guitar on stage.

I share my 15 best tips for staying calm, focused and relaxed.

1 – 7: “Practical” points. These points address preparation as opposed to dealing with the actual feeling of panic in the moment.

8 – 15: “Mental Game” points. These address how to deal with the moments onstage when the critical, negative voice enters, your heart starts beating and maybe even hands shake.

Plus 2 in the moment additional tips actually make it 17 tips. 🙂


Show Notes:

0:57 The question about nerves and perfoemance – in Franks own words.
3:29: Being happy and at peace with your tone.
5:26: Having your rhythm and groove feel good – before you start playing.
7:04: Learning the Sound of your pickup.
8:14: Be sure you are in “stage 4 learning”…your body knows the piece of music.
11:30: Importance of slow practice. I still practice my concert tunes slowly…
11:57: Learning the difference between practice environment & stage environment.
13:37: When you know what people hear, you can forgive yourself…what do they hear? Flow, groove & melody.
18:27: Nervousness is a displaced reptile brain reaction, as if you are going to die.
19:30: Using meditation to overcome the inner critic & beating yourself up.
21:34: Know and feel that the audience is there to suport you.
23:18: “Meta” things like groove and tone are more important than small mistakes.
24:16: Know your music theory…playing just fingerings will make you nervous.
25:43: Breathe on stage! Does wonders for the physiology.
26:16: Play light, if your touch is getting heavy.
20:20: Get backstage and warm up before you go on.
28:40: Keep smiling do not visibly dissaprove of yourself & a personal story…
31:02: Your opening song on stage should be “bulletproof”, something you can play with zero thinking.

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