4 techniques to manage nerves during post-containment shows

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Even as theaters across the country are reopened and artists start to tentatively embark on small tours, the pandemic remains a lingering threat, causing great anxiety. Here, we take a look at some effective ways to combat those feelings of nervousness.

Guest post by Patrick mcguire of ReverbNation Blog

While it is clear that the pandemic will not have a defined end point, musicians of all genres and backgrounds are starting to return to stages around the world, and audiences could not be happier. As you return to the world of live entertainment, you might be surprised to find that you feel strangely nervous about performing again. Some reading this might be musicians with years of experience performing, but the truth is that over a year of live performances is a long time to be away from the stage, even if you are a seasoned pro. . Combine that with the anxiety you might have about being indoors with crowds of people again, and you’ve got a recipe for performance nerves. Here are some tips for fighting stage fright before your post-containment shows:

Prepare for big shows with low-key house shows

If it’s been a while since you’ve played in front of other humans, consider setting up a low-pressure performance in your living room, garden, or local park. You can broadcast your show live and perform in front of a few friends and family. A performance is worth as much as a dozen practices, even if that performance does not take place in one place. Hosting a low-key show on your own terms is a great way to wind down before you resume playing conventional concerts.

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Meditate

Meditation has always been one of the best methods of fighting nerves before the show, and it’s even more important now that we venture out onto the scene after an unexpected long hiatus. Stage fright often comes from someone’s fear of the myriad misadventures that could arise during their performance – forgetting the lyrics, playing the wrong parts at the wrong time, putting the capo on the wrong fret of the guitar and playing excruciatingly. out of tune with the rest of the group. Instead of running away from these fears, meditation calms you down by giving you a space to face and deal with them. You’ll feel calmer and more confident when you realize that mistakes are inevitable in your performance, and audiences care much more about passionate play than flawless performance.

Train more than you think

This is obvious advice, but it’s worth mentioning. If you practice your sets over and over before your post-containment shows, you’ll return to the stages armed with as much musical preparation and confidence as possible. You might have years and years of gaming experience under your belt, but being out of the game for a year or more means you’re probably more rusty than you have been in a long time. By practicing more than you think you need to, you’ll be able to fight stage fright knowing you’ve done everything humanly possible to prepare yourself musically.

Realize that we are not back to normal and prepare accordingly

Many predicted that we would be back to a certain sense of normalcy as a society, and unfortunately we are nowhere near us. Musicians are frustrated, fans are fed up, and concert halls around the world are still reeling from the impacts of the pandemic. As an artist, expecting a transformed hall landscape before returning to perform shows will help calm your nerves before important shows. It could mean last minute show changes, stressful restrictions, and more tense gaming environments than you’re probably used to. You might also get pissed off just because you haven’t walked into a room with crowds of people for a long time. If you anticipate the stressors in advance, your shows will run more smoothly and your nerves will be soothed. If you think being indoors near a crowd might stress you out, gradually expose yourself to these situations in public before your show, not on location. And if you approach the post-containment shows with as much patience as possible, you can relieve your stress and focus on your performance.

There is no shame in feeling the jitters when you return to the stage, whether you’re a professional musician or just new to the field. Keep in mind that the fans you play for also experience similar anxiety, even if they are not the ones playing. With a little preparation and patience, you’ll be able to keep your nerves in check and put on a great show.

Patrick mcguire is a writer, musician and human man. He doesn’t live anywhere in particular, creates music under the name Straight white teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and puts his hands in his pockets.


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