how to calm nerves before and during a performance?

Hi, i'm a musician I've been doing shows in front of people for 6 years. Problem is i get nervous before ,which you know isn't a big deal. But when i perform on stage i shake and it's hard to sing, Play guitar, and trumpet. (not all at once ha-ha) what can i do to calm down during? I've tried deep breathes and that makes it worse! help!

7 Answers

  • Djinn
    Lv 6
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Be very well prepared. Know your music inside out. Eat a light meal before the performance. Remember that the audience is on your side. They chose to come see you. The audience has confidence in you. They paid to hear you and they want you to play well and entertain them, so you already have won their enthusiasm before you even start. Stage fright is normal. Read some of the stories told by other performers about their struggles to conquer nervousness. Barbra Streisand, Laurence Olivier, Andrea Bocelli and Adele: they’ve all suffered from stage fright in their careers and talk openly about it. Don't be overwhelmed. Make a connection with someone in the audience who has a friendly face or someone in your band that you are close to and then focus on pleasing just that one person.

  • 7 years ago

    I used to play the oboe and found 'body scan' meditation helpful. It helps relax your muscles and get you to control your breathing. See: If you get nervous a few hours before the performance go for a run or do some other exercise that will raise your heart rate and burn off the nervous energy.

    Do NOT take deep breaths or gulps or air! Over oxygenating your blood can worsen the symptoms of anxiety. Also, Rescue Remedies or any other homeopathy drops people will try and sell you don't work.

    In the long run, it helps to sit down a work out what you are really afraid of, i.e. is it the feeling of rejection if people don't like your music, is it a feeling of failure if you mess up? Sometimes even identifying the root of your nervousness can calm the symptoms. Bringing it into the conscious part of your mind means you can look at it rationally so you know, for example, that fluffing a few notes in a single performance can't make you a failure.

    Hope that helps,


  • 7 years ago

    Rehearse your butt out. Create as much muscular memory as you can. I don't know what's your ratio, in my case what sounds like 10/10 during rehearsal is like 6/10 when in front of an audience, due to nerves. So the more you can automate, the better you'll be off and more % of time will be dedicated to expression.

    Yes, it's a drag, but nerves are also the cause of the energy and the adrenaline of "being there". Sometimes, because of tension, you end up bursting and doing something crazy that actually adds to the performance. Break a leg!

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I got the same way before I sang when I was in choir and I get like that before I run my 800 in track what I did and do is and this may sound weird but I talk to myself I tell myself that I will do fine that I've done this before I can do it again that I won't mess up I tell myself how I got this and just give it my all and do my best that's all I can do. That really calms me down. And what I do to calm myself down while I'm running i sing "Build me Up Buttercup" in my head and for some reason that calms me down. Sorry if this didn't help. My coach says that being nervous is good it means you're not dumb it means you're a competitor that you care and as long as you give it your all that's all you can do.

    Source(s): Personal Experience
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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I agree with Dermutoid & Djinn. Being over-prepared -- to the point where you are almost sick of the music -- is the best defense against nerves. In the professional world, musicians sometimes take prescribed drugs to calm their nerves. But being over-prepared -- obsessively overprepared -- is soo much better!

    Here is what professional flutist James Galway has to say:

    "You cannot do too much practice. You cannot prepare enough for anything. I practice my concerti and recitals till it looks easy. It never is, but with a great amount of practice you can OVERCOME your concert platform nerves."

    "What I suggest is to practice 'till you can do the job without being nervous. It is being in a situation of UNpreparedness which brings on the nerves. I know this from personal experience."

    Even James Galway gets nervous! But there is a great peace of mind that comes over you when you know you've worked way harder than you need to.

    Source(s): I just performed in my 3rd professional opera last weekend (I was in the orchestra pit, but there were only 7 of us! One on each part. We were all soloists!), and I practiced neurotically for it. It made a positive difference, and was a lot more fun. Also, this article:
  • 7 years ago

    i used to drink a little bit before i got up for open mic and it helped calmed me down but that could lead to a dangerous road. Anyways i started drinking more and more until i was just getting hammered and going up there and making an *** of myself. If you were to drink, just drink a very very very small amount.

  • saggio
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    you are going to be able to desire to coach participating wherein comprise your finished concentration on what you're doing to make the song sound it’s ultimate. think of of roughly as quickly as you should be louder and softer, protecting directly to the final be attentive to a sentence, punching out particular notes etc. while you're concentrated on the participating in, no longer the placement you're or who's listening, you are going to be able to have no hardship. start up now. every time you play concentration on making it a great song.

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