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Nerves . . . and then some . . . (Read 5984 times)

Offline LastS

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Nerves . . . and then some . . .
« on: February 17, 2003, 07:03:25 AM »
After reading the discussion on nerves and stagefright, I thought I'd seek some advice of my own.  My stagefright consists of two components: the usual nervousness associated with having an audience, and an insecurity about my technique.  I'm self-instructed , so I don't have anyone bending over me with critiques and suggestions.  Everything I play is entirely my interpretation and choosing (although I listen a great deal to the pieces I play).  Which often leads me to the conclusion that I'm just playing what I play terribly, that my counts are off and inconsistent, etc.  Actually, they *are* off and inconsistent and I admit I play technically poorly.

This is a great cause for anxiety.  I've performed several times, and was met with good reception, but it keeps me on the edge, especially as crowds get larger and include more musically inclined persons who could easily recognize my deficiencies.

So: how important is technique *really* when performing?  Would I just be better off not worrying about playing "properly"?  (While continually striving to improve my playing, of course).  Is okay to break from counts and play frantically at times? (Which I do a lot--my playing could probably be best described as "excess baggage").

Other than that, if anyone has any other advice about performing for the self-taught, I'd really appreciate it!  Thanks for reading this.

Offline jeff

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Re: Nerves . . . and then some . . .
«Reply #1 on: February 17, 2003, 11:25:22 AM »
i think one thing that's important to remember while playing for people is to let the music breathe, to let it be music, not just a physical exercise. to do this, you really need to be conentrating on the music, and really listening to it. sometimes when i see inexperienced players performing in front of people, everytime they make the slightest error, they become anxious and forget about the music, so they start just playing through it quicker, trying to get it over with as soon as possible. i know that feeling, and i probably used to do that a little bit myself, but when a person does that, the whole performing experience becomes something that isn't about music any more. mistakes are forgivable, ESPECIALLY if the performer makes up for it in enthusiasm and understanding of the music.
every phrase you play, hear it in your mind and listen to every sound and every collection of sounds that you're making.
play things that are below or inside your skill level. of course, you should play things that you find difficult, too, if you want. but don't be discouraged if you find that you make plenty of mistakes and even if you make the music quite dissonant from inaccurately playing notes. i bet we've all done that :D i know i have, and even the best and most internationally renowned and loved concert pianists have played wrong notes, but it's not that big of a deal. the audience isn't your enemy, and neither is the music.

Offline amp

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Re: Nerves . . . and then some . . .
«Reply #2 on: March 05, 2003, 07:12:47 AM »
I like what Jeff had to say.

LastS....if you have anxiety about your technique...maybe consider finding a teacher. You may have nothing to worry about. A lot of community pianists (theater, church, etc.) are to some level self-taught.