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First solo performance disappointing

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(@jerboa)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 79
Topic starter  

I didn't see a "Performance" thread, so I chose here. Feel free to move it if there is a better spot.

Ok...I've been playing for just about a year now, and playing with my church band for around six months.

The summer is always a bit of a break for us, and this last Sunday, I was tapped to do the "Special Music". Until now, I hadn't had the chance to play solo in public.

I don't know if it was nerves, or simply not being mature enough at the instrument. But my performance ("I Will Lift My Eyes" - Bebo Norman) was very disappointing to me. I picked the song because it is one that I have been doing fairly well with during my home practice.

But on Sunday, I just plain missed it. Or at least there were a few spots where my fingers just refused to work, and I was left with singing a few beats with no guitar. This happened (in different spots) in both services.

I don't know if it was a case of nerves, or that I'm simply not ready for a solo spot. In any case, I left fairly dejected, and unsure whether the best thing to do is knuckle down on the next song and 'get back on the horse' in July, or pass and head to the woodshed until I think I can live up to my standards.

(I would link to a recording, but it wasn't recorded and I am still working on how to use Audacity. I can't seem to get a signal from my V-amp2->line in. )

There are two kinds of people in this world:
Those who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and those who don't


   
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(@bgdaddy316)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 186
 

That is a terrible feeling when that happens, but definitely get back on the horse. There is a good chance that, to the non-musicians in the crowd, the rough spots weren't nearly as noticeable as they were to you.

We've all had those days. I would encourage you to keep playing publically. It will get easier and more comfortable for you.


   
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(@elecktrablue)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4338
 

Get back on the horse! First time jitters are perfectly natural. The second time you were probably thinking about the first time goof and worrying about doing it again instead of concentrating on playing, so you did it again. You did the right thing, though. You didn't stop playing, you kept the song going with your vocals and, when your brain got over the slight screw up, you picked right up and carried on. And, that's excellent! Next time will be easier. The time after that, easier still.

Saddle up! :D

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

Fact. Everyone makes mistakes. One of the guys on here uses a quote from David Hodge in his signature; "The only way to be certain of not making mistakes is not to play, and that's not an option." That's the best way to look at things.

Put it down to first-night nerves, keep practising, keep playing - it will come right.

Everyone experiences highs and lows - you've had a low. There WILL be highs, and those highs will far outweigh the lows. I've had a lot of good times playing guitar, but I can't think of any bad times. I've played in a pub acoustic jam many times - I've made a lot of mistakes. I just keep playing as if nothing's happened.

I'm sorry your first solo spot was a disappointment for you - but hey, you had the guts to get up there and do it. Most people wouldn't for fear of failure. Those guts will get you through, and look at it this way - it'l only get better.

BTW, perhaps you might want to read the thread in the News forum about the Monterey Store gig - and read David's account of his mistakes - it can happen to the best! There was a post recently about Van Halen in concert, where the guitar and keyboard were out of tune with each other on "Jump" - I saw the video clip on youtube, and believe me, it was truly horrendous! Nothing could ever compare with that! Here's a link.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mjx_GjyXCs4

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@slejhamer)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 3221
 

FIrst time's the toughest! Get back on the horse and play in front of others as much as you can; that really helps. Not just with the church band, but perform your song for them and anyone else who will listen!

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

if you practice, you only get better.


   
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(@almann1979)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1281
 

i joined a pub cover band just over a year ago and had only been playing a year myself then. my nerves were a mess and to be honest they were for months, but now, we gig most weekends and i realise that if you make a mistake, so what, nobody cares - honestly! That realisation helped me relax, and while i am still a relatively inexperienced player, i can happily play to full pubs or clubs feeling relaxed - hell i sometimes even improvise now.

So i guess, it is not just guitar practice we need but also practice at playing in front of people. of course 4 pints before i go on might also be helping :D

if its any consolation i made many many screaming howlers when i first started gigging - i even put the capo on the wrong fret at one gig and played 1 song in a different key to everybody else (oops). Also my fingers felt so stiff i could barely form chords properly because of the nerves - but now when we go back to the same pubs after a year of gigging people are amazed at the difference.

i am sure people will be amazed when they see you perfom again. good luck

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


   
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(@jerboa)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 79
Topic starter  

There was a post recently about Van Halen in concert, where the guitar and keyboard were out of tune with each other on "Jump" - I saw the video clip on youtube, and believe me, it was truly horrendous! Nothing could ever compare with that! Here's a link.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mjx_GjyXCs4

:D :D :D

Vic

Oh....my....god.....

At least nobody paid to hear me!

I know mistakes happen, and all. I've been performing (just not guitar) for the past 25 years between music and theater. I just needed to whine a bit. It was disappointing to work up a number and then not live up to my standards, and perform far, far worse than in practice.

I can handle a missed chord, or even accidentally swapping a chord progression. Those can be glossed over, and non-musicians will probably never notice. In this case, I ended up singing a bar a-capella because I just couldn't make my hands move, at a particularly energetic point in the song. This was something that anyone who could fog a mirror could notice.

In fact, a professional oboist friend of mine afterward said to me: "Well...at least you got through it."...Ouch.

There are two kinds of people in this world:
Those who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and those who don't


   
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(@rahul)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2736
 

FIrst time's the toughest! Get back on the horse and play in front of others as much as you can

Guitar Polo ? :mrgreen:


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Jerboa

Don't be so hard on yourself, it happens to everyone, even the pros on occasion.
It was disappointing to work up a number and then not live up to my standards

I can completely relate, I'm the type who is never satisfied with anything than perfection, and even then I usually think I could have done better.

And this is probably the root of the problem. I have been playing before crowds for a long time. I am not really a whole lot better on guitar technically than I was years ago, but I do think I am a better performer. And the greatest secret to performing is really pretty simple. YOU HAVE TO RELAX. It's amazing how you can play a song flawlessly in practice, but then in performance completely freeze up. Man, you can't pick properly, can't even fret easy chords! :roll:

It is normal to be anxious when performing, but tension and nervousness are your biggest enemies to performing well.

As you get more public performances under your belt you will learn to relax. But I still pace before performing.

I think what has helped me most is just to tell myself I am going to have fun no matter what happens. I push that perfectionist in me back, and say what the hell, I am just going to go out there and Rock! :twisted:

And when you make a mistake (and you will) you just have to blow it off. If anything, just laugh and make fun of your mistake. The crowd will often enjoy this, we all like a person with a sense of humor who can laugh at themselves a little.

So, forget about your mistakes. Hey, it was still fun to perform wasn't it?? I know it was. Just tell yourself you are going to relax and have a blast. Each time you perform you will get a little better at it.

Congrats on getting out there! :D

Edit- think the pros make mistakes? Check out this live performance of Jimi Hendrix, see how he laughs (1:46) when his guitar is badly out of tune. At 2:18 he sings, "I forgot the words", then, he changes songs in the middle! Hey, it happens!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv3cKLWQimE

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@aleholder)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 52
 

Wow, I love the Jimi tv link. That's awesome. :) I wonder if they cut him off due to time or because he changed the song. I also can't get over how much Noel Redding looked like Geddy Lee in that clip.

Oh, on the thread, don't get worked up over it. It gets easier. I'm only a hobbiest musician, but the garage band where I play bass in played a party last summer. The first song, I was pretty tense, and I just could not get my fingers to move. The whole band flubbed around a bit at first. After about the third song of the the set, I relaxed. By the end of the set, I was relaxed and in the groove. We played "Sweet Home Alabama" as the last one and nailed it. People were dancing and singing along and it was just awsome. People called for more, but we were out of songs. 8)


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

good for you getting the first time under your belt.
we notice our performance in painful detail. that does not change.
I would bet my house and guitars that no one in the audience noticed your flub.
I bet they noticed a person in front of them playing guitar and singing...something they could not imagine themselves doing.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Wow, I love the Jimi tv link. That's awesome. I wonder if they cut him off due to time or because he changed the song. I also can't get over how much Noel Redding looked like Geddy Lee in that clip.

Supposedly, that was completely unplanned. Jimi simply was not happy playing Hey Joe and stopped the song short. The BBC was very angry at him and banned him for some time. Jimi knew they were angry (waves them off) and that's why he made the remark "We're being put off the air"

Years later Elvis Costello did a similar stunt on Saturday Night Live and was banned from the show for 13 years.

But the point was that even the pros mess up on stage sometimes. I love that huge smile on Jimi's face when his guitar was so out of tune. Forgot the words too! And there was even that unexpected feedback before the song began. Not exactly a stellar performance.

And that is what you do when you mess up on stage, smile and laugh. Everybody likes someone who is not afraid to laugh at themeselves a little. Sometimes it is mistakes like this that make a show memorable! :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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