Beau Simpson Music

Professional Music Lessons Since 2001

Category: Performance

How to Fight Stage Fright and Win: Tip #2

Welcome to our second installment of “How to Fight Stage Fright and Win”. I hope you found some useful advice in the first issue. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here.

Got it? Good!

Here we go.

Tip #2: Practice Playing Standing Up

If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a lot of your practice time sitting down.

Practicing scale sequences for hours on end is exhausting enough even without having the weight of a guitar hanging off your neck.

Sure it’s fun to stand up and rock out sometimes.

That’s one of the fun parts of playing the guitar.

However, there’s a distinction between playing (the fun part) and practice (the discipline part).

The general rule that applies here when you want to feel comfortable performing can be summarized by the old adage, “Practice the way you play.”

That phrase is used a lot in the world of sports to encourage young athletes to work so hard in practice that the competition itself feels easy in comparison.

But there’s a second meaning to the phrase: practice under the same conditions that you perform.

For our purposes, this means that if you play (i.e. perform) standing up, then it reasons to practice while standing up.

Without a doubt, it can be tiring and uncomfortable to have a guitar slung around your neck as you stand and practice for hours on end.

Thankfully, this doesn’t mean we have to spend ALL of our practice time standing up.

Here’s the formula that has worked for me and many other guitarists to make the most of our practice sessions without putting too much strain on our bodies.

Whether you’re sitting, standing, leaned back, or lying down, if you spend too long in one position, it’s eventually going to get uncomfortable.

Use that discomfort as an opportunity to practice playing in different positions.

For instance, if you practice one item for a total of 20 minutes, then spend the first 10 minutes sitting down and the last 10 minutes standing up.

You could also alternate between 5 minutes of sitting and standing practice until you’ve reached the 20-minute mark.

You can use a timer if you want to be more structured with your practice time (which I recommend) or you can just change positions whenever you start to feel fatigued.

As long as you spend a decent amount of your practice time standing up, you’ll become familiar with the position of the guitar relative to your body and will ultimately feel natural.

If you’re ready to take your playing to the next level, contact me for personal coaching. Together we’ll work on the physical and mental aspects of practice and performance, allowing you to leave every challenge in the dust.

Click here for tip #3.

How to Fight Stage Fright and Win: Tip #1

Do you ever feel like a pro when you play guitar in your bedroom and an amateur when you play onstage?

Nobody likes to talk about it, but it’s more common than you’d think.

I can attest to that feeling myself.

That’s why I’ve put together a game plan to help you perform at your highest level.

By integrating these strategies into your practice, you’ll replace those pangs of nervousness and anxiety with a sense of calmness and composure.

Many of these ideas come from the thoughts I had while reflecting on my first performance and what I did to enhance. There were a few key insights that I took with me from that moment onward.

Apply them to your own life and you can save yourself from a lot of uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing moments down the road.

By integrating these strategies into your practice, you’ll be calm, cool, and collected where you used to feel pressure, nervousness, and anxiety.

That said, here’s your first tip to beating stage fright.

Tip #1: Act the Part

Many fans forget that what musicians are doing on stage is an act, a performance, and a source of entertainment.

Lots of musicians are introverted, which makes it hard for them to bask in the limelight.

It’s a vulnerable feeling being up onstage and judged by all the arms-crossed musicians in the crowd.

Now think about this for a second:

Have you ever noticed how many musicians use stage names?

In the same way that actors take on a different name and personality to play a role, you may find a sudden transformation creating a stage name for yourself.

Even if you continue to use your birth name, you’ll immediately feel more comfortable with an onstage persona because it’s not YOU being judged; it’s your character.

While your character doesn’t have to be completely different from who you are offstage, remember that it’s still important to have some personality.

Much like an actor’s job is more than just reading lines, a successful musician conveys emotion and connects with his audience.

You’ll also give yourself permission to have more fun instead of taking every note too seriously.

I’ve been guilty of putting too much effort into playing the right notes and not enough effort into making it a great overall experience.

Some musicians love the fanfare, others not so much.

I was always more intent on playing well than being in the limelight, but I’ve certainly met a lot of musicians who made it a long way on personality alone.

After years of listening to and implementing different schools of thought, I’ve come to a glaringly obvious conclusion: a solid performance consists of playing the right notes at the right time with the right energy.

Of course, like most things, this is far easier said than done. However, if you’d like the ability to enter into a headspace that makes you feel invulnerable (and, in a way, superhuman), then I encourage you to contact me for a personal coaching session. Together we’ll break through psychological barriers that will shatter the glass ceiling and open you up to infinite possibilities.

Click here for Tip #2

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