Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by barry toan, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. barry toan

    barry toan New Member

    Just wondering how people overcome nervousness when it comes to contests?.....
    DO you get less nervous if you get a quicker draw in a contest, or vice versa?
    How do nerves make you play?

    Personally i get very dry, therefore having to overcompensate when tonguing, it also makes my vibrato sound like Phil McCann at double speed! :shock:

    So, what do people suggest?

    Is the use of beta-blockers rife in banding, or do people use alternative stuff like Bachs Rescue Remedy?

    Any suggestions gratefully received! :-D

    (Oh, and when will Roger Websters thesis on performance anxiety be released?...)
  2. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    We discussed this subject on our way home on Monday .Personally speaking , no matter how nervous a player becomes , with my cardiac nurse's hat on I would never advise the taking of Beta blockers without very good reason , and certainly never without a medical opinion being sought first .
    Beta blockers can reduce some of the symptoms of anxiety associated with a fast heart rate and high blood pressure , but are used primarily to treat primary cardiac disfunction , and will not address the root anxiety itself.
  3. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Nothing wrong with a bit of nerves.... there's something wrong with you if you don't get any at all.... I used to always be very nervous before going on stage, but now it's very small and I just get on with the performance :)
  4. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Try transposing on the contest platform. You ain't got time to be nervous when you have to think that quickly LOL
  5. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    I love the buzz - wouldn't take anything to take that edge away. Some times I am more nervous than others but after a performance that has gone well I always feel fantastic - like I could do anything if I tried!!

    I generally avoid talking to other members of my band before we go on to a contest stage because I do get ever so slightly excitable which can be contagious :rolleyes:. However, once we're on the stage and playing the piece I just enjoy the music generally. As long as I'm not standing up to play a solo I think I'm fine in concert and contest situations. I have no idea why standing up makes a difference - playing flugel solos in my seat is just as exposed - but it does. I think I just have to get more experience of this so that I don't get so nervous.

    It helps when you are playing within a band of people that you know and trust and you feel part of a greater whole - it's not just you on the stage, and the rest of the band are willing everyone to play well.

    (Just don't let me try flying...)
  6. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Barry Toan was a rock on Sunday, or was that the solo cornet in the early hours of Monday morning LOL

    Some people use them some don't . In essence there is only thing that matters. See Bariteon Elvis' remark, him being a top notch medic and trainee coach driver (See coach trip and subsequent injury of a band member for explanation)
  7. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    Oh how cool is this, i have just come on line to post the same question!!

    I'm getting really nervous about the next two contests.
    so much so that i asked the loverly chineese doctor that im seeing for my my Autheritus if there was anything she could do (im curently on a course of accupuncture and by god it works!")

    Anyway she has told me that acupuncture can help with nerves and angsiety before driving tests exams etc so i though id give it a go.
    The Friday before whichaven i shall be haveing anather apointment to see if it will help.

    How far will you go to get rid of them nerves?
  8. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Look out then Craig when the monster comes up to help preps for Pontins eh....:D
  9. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I don't get nervous before or during a contest usually. I go all to pieces afterwards though. I quite like the buzz as you prepare to play. However, the beta blockers I'm on for angina blunted that a lot at Harrogate.:-(
  10. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Well I see a chiropractor to crack mine back into place

  11. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    i hear we're getting this Scotish geezer down, something Burns, i think it was!
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2004
  12. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I don't mind nerves as long as I can breathe properly... I went through a long time where every time I went on stage I couldn't breath through more than about a bar, but as long as I take a few deep breaths before I go out, and I've had a decent look through my part before taking to the stage I'm usually ok...
  13. Lil Miss

    Lil Miss Active Member

    i hate nerves, i mean it's great when u get that buzz b4 a contest, but sometimes the nerve affect me badly. 2 yrs ago i think at Australian nationals, i was doing the junior Bb cornet section and the testpiece was concorde, and when it was time to play and i couldn't breathe. I tried really hard to get notes out but it sounded terrible and afterwards i just cried for hours. That plus the fact that i had to rush, cause a player pulled out and nobody told me, and the room was really hot and small. The room also was dead.
    Point is eventually u get over them, i mean now i don't get nervous at contests any more, I can breathe betta, i'm quite relax, except for being a bit silly now and then. :rolleyes:
    I don't think u shld use beta blockers, unless it's the last resort.

    Yeah and it's smart to go through the parts b4 u go on stage,, lynchie :-D
    Though i can't say much, cause i played soprano parts on stage at traralgon, great fun :rolleyes:
  14. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    I subscribe to the 'Bagger Vance theory' (after the film with Wil Smith) about contests and such like. You have to get into the 'zone'.

    I find that concentrating on breathing when waiting to go on stage and generally slowing down heart rate helps. When on stage it is important to completely focus on what is ahead of you and put everything else aside. If you have done all the necessary practice and know that you can play the music then focus on that and just do it. It is about having faith and confidence in your own abilities.

    Easier said than done, I know. I often have one of those moments of slipping out of the zone when thoughts such as "...theres a big solo coming up, don't bodge it, and dont forget you are on stage in front of loads of people". That is usually enough to get the nerves going.

    Another thing I find helpful is to watch out for the confident players. Virtually all bands have one of those players who never seem to get nervous. Watch them and absorb their confidence. Works for me.

    Just my thoughts.

  15. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    I've got a theory that many peoples nerves are brought about by themselves. They feel that they should be nervous and then go on and on about being nervous and then become nervous as a result. Some people I think make far too big a deal over nerves. Get it over yourselves.

    Maybe it's cos I'm don't get particularly nervous, in fact if anything I have to Pscyhe myself up a bit to get myself out of my pit of lethargy, but all this making yourself sick, dry retching and having to dope yourself up to the eyeballs with drugs seems a bit melodramatic to me. Surely if you were really nervous, you'd just want to be quietly sat in a corner somewhere having a good logical chat with yourself and not popping pills?

    Don't get me wrong, I understand people get nervous, but there is so much over reacting to them that goes on.

    And as for the members of the band who thought'd it'd be a nice idea to light up and then walk all around the waiting area to make sure we all got a faceful of smoke just before we went on stage..... I'll say no more
  16. Aardvark

    Aardvark Member

    Probably right there !

    I get quite nervous playing - but not just on contest day it can attack at any time - rehearsals even.

    I've been using Rescue Remedy for a while and it's getting much better (probably all in the mind), but it's helping and it's not pills, so who cares:dunno

    Solo Cornet
    Becontree Brass
  17. impycornet

    impycornet Member

    Top Tip

    If you feel your mouth getting dry - gently bite your tongue as near to the back of the tongue that you can get.
    This will get the saliva going

    problem solved.

    As for Nerves....
    A small amount of nervousness is healthy & will aid your performance, When it turns into Anxiety or panic then that's when it starts to screw you up. there are many relxation or 'mind over matter' techniques & books that will help with this. The main thing though is to 'Talk' positively to yourself. if you get your subconscious telling you that you are going to split that first entry Then you will !! get your subconscious to tell you how good your feeling & how that first entry is a piece of cake... and you probably won't split it.

    There endeth the lesson ...........................
  18. Lil Miss

    Lil Miss Active Member

    Thanks for those words of wisdom. I think i need to change my attitude first!!! I'm always very hard myself about my playing, for good reasons, but sometimes it doesn't help.
    ask fitzy he knows, ask him about this year at nationals when i finished playing zelda.
  19. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    A couple more spit tricks here:

    If you go dry, think deeply about lemons (but not too deeply :) )
    If you slaver too much think about peppermints (XXX Trebor extra strong)
    If you are too hot thoroughly wet your earlobes with spit - preferably your own! (earlobes and spit! ;) )

    If you are too cold, put your clothes back on
  20. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Become contest secretary.

    I spend so much time rushing about like a mad thing and panicking about registration cards and whether we'll be on time, that when we get past the inspection table I feel like the hard part of the day is finished and am not nervous about the actual playing at all.

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