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.