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Feeling comfortable when performing

feeling comfortable when performing

Howdy folks. This blog entry is actually an answer to a question that I received in the forums. It relates to a home page video I posted a while back about how to bring that relaxed feeling of playing at home to the stage. Hopefully there is some helpful info here for you. 

Hey Bill,

Well this is something I still try to work on. One thing is that when we play at home, we are not playing through a sound system (usually), we're not standing, and there are no people. Those are the main differences that I can see. So you may want to try practicing with some of those things in place at home. For example, I had a solo set at Festy the other weekend. It's not something I usually do, so I wanted to be as prepared and relaxed as possible. So I set up a vocal mic and ran it through my amp along with my lap steel at home. I sat and played through my set, in order, through my makeshift sound system 2-3 times a day for the 2 weeks leading up to the show. This way it's as close to the performing setting as possible. Also, that's pretty much all I practied during that time. So if you're going to do a gig where you stand and play dobro, I would recommend practicing your set, standing up, through a sound system if you can.

Another thing you can do is perform at home and bring a family member or friend to play for. Even one audience member will help simulate the experience of performing. Basically you're not practicing tehnique, or repertiore, you're practicing performing. With this method, being on stage will not be such an out of the ordinary playing experience. Try doing this at different times of day too. You want to make yourself perform when you're feeling good, and when your feeling not so fluid. This way you'll be ready for any circumstance. That's one of the things about performing, it's always differernt. The venue, the sound, the crowd, how you feel, always different. Try to practice a set of music in as many different conditions as possible. The other thing is to do whatever you can to warm up before your show. This will make it that much easier when you hit the stage, Do this in addition to your regular practice. Give it a try!

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