Help on nerves!!!!

Can anyone help. I get nervous in the band room but i still sometimes play loud, but i am really nervous that i am gonna mess up on the contest stage. I am nervous in some of my lessons but i am getting a tiny bit louder. On the Contest stage i am going to mess up for sure. And i am really nervous, has anyone got any ideas to get rid of my lack of confidence i have an idea to stop putting myself down.

Anther thing i want to ask is about your Mouthpiece position my mouthpiece is in a position that i prefer but my teacher says its in the wrong place i cant play if i put it any higher but she is still insisting that i put it higher. You can look were i put my mouth piece here i think its a god pic. :lol:

Plz say some people can help me as i am in real crisis.

The Cornet King

Active Member
Mouthpiece Position- As i have learnt from Roddy's Excellent book you put the mouthpiece where it feels comfy FOR YOU! There is no right or wrong place. Everyone is unique...recommend you buy that book...tis excellent!

As for nerves i suffer from the same thing. You are too young for the brandy/whisky method! :D
So i suggest deep breaths to relax. Breath in through nose, out through mouth. Helps to slow down the heart rate and calm you down. Works for me most times.

Just try to be more confidence...if you can do it in practice at home, no reason why you cant do it in band rehearsal, you can do it on the contest stage! :D

Rambo Chick

First rule of thumb- DONT tell yourself you'll be nervous or you will be!!

i used to be terrified of playing in rehearsals, and any exposed bits in concerts/contests i would shake like mad.

but a conductor who also used to get nervous once said to me that he was sat on stage one time and he said to himself 'what is the point of getting nervous?' . and so he stopped being nervous!
try thinking this to yourself.

on a stage or in a rehearsal, youre there(hopefully) because you enjoy playing and to show what you can do on your instrument-so show 'em!

and the more you play in front of people, the easier it gets-believe me!

i tend to get a bit nervous, when i am not confident in my playing ability of a certain piece of music-so i practise it. if you can play a piece of music, definitely enjoy performing it-you know you can do it!

so forget nerves and think of performing-we as musicians perform!thats what most of us play to do. and an audience is not there to test you, they are there to enjoy your playing, so let them enjoy it and smile (in your head-does that make sense?) when your playing and feel proud that you can entertain people. :D

i have developed this new approach during my playing career and now i can walk onto a contest stage and play without getting too nervous(i do a little bit and the little adrenalin rush is always good!)

hope this helps :D


united co-op yorkshire

Roger Thorne

Active Member
lilcornetgirl said:
Can anyone help. I get nervous in the band room but i still sometimes play loud, but i am really nervous that i am gonna mess up on the contest stage. I am nervous in some of my lessons but i am getting a tiny bit louder. On the Contest stage i am going to mess up for sure. And i am really nervous, has anyone got any ideas to get rid of my lack of confidence i have an idea to stop putting myself down.

Go onto the Google search engine and type in overcoming nerves
There are loads of websites offering advice and information.



Several people in my band swear by Bach's Rescue Remedy - you see them all knocking it back in the corridor while we are waiting to go on stage. It is basically herbal extracts in a brandy base (but you only use a drop under your tongue). It is available from health food shops and is designed to calm people who are having a panic. It's one of those things for which there is absolutely no scientific proof at all, but lots of people I know can't go on stage without it!


Donna, I was away with Leyland band a few weeks ago and my nerves got really bad. They didn't play anything that i wouldn't normally play with a first section band. There is only one thing you can do when you encounter this and that is to play your best.

You can never be 100% relaxed on the stage. anyone who says they are are telling porkies. Brass banding i presume is your hobby,. Enjoy and don't think about going on stage to impress beausee that just puts pressure onto you.

Good luck and remember half the people that listen to a band don't know what to listen for as far as mistakes go. The other half that listen don't mind mistakes as long as they see some effort.


Active Member
Rambo Chick is 100% right. Don't convince yourself you are going to be nervous cos you will be.
I assume you have played in front of audiences at concerts so whats different. You will be playing a piece that you have rehearsed more than any concert piece you've ever done. There probably won't be half as many people in the audience listening to you as usual. Your own supporters will give you a big a cheer however you do and the others are usually just waiting to hear their own bands. The one person who might be listening is behind a curtain - you can't see him and he can't see you (he's probably asleep anyway). So what's to worry about. If your conducter didn't think you were good enough you wouldn't be asked to go.
So go out there and give it your best shot. If you try your hardest nobody can ask anymore.


Active Member
You must remember that there is no one in the audience that wants you to do badly! They are sitting there to listen to your bands' performance and enjoy it. If you make a mistake ignore it and carry on. There's no need in panicking over anything. I was like that at your age and you can't expect to not be nervous! It's all part of the experience, but after a while you will get used to it.

As for MP position, if it's comfortable stick with it. If it isn't then move it! Do what ever feels best for yourself!


Active Member
Lots of good tips here. Another one is try and work out what it is that makes you nervous and then try and work out a way to counteract it. Such as, are you nervous that you're mouth will get dry when you play, if so, always have a bottle of water at the side of you. Are you worried about valves sticking and causing problems. If so, give your instrument a good going over before you perform. These are just a couple of things people worry about, but if you eliminate the cause of the worry, then you have nothing to be nervous about and can just enjoy playing.
Thanks everyone my prob s confidence i think. But sayin that i dont think ithelps by me sayin i am rubbish. My teacher only says i should move my mouth piece because i have dreams and loads at that. So wat happens if you get really unconfident on stage. When i was going in a crimbo concert my nerves so reached me and i was sick loads of times. I am worried that i will puke on stage :roll: So what do u say to that.


There is still the herbal remedy or just take a bottle of water on stage with you and keep sipping that. i don't know of anyone puking on stage. i know of two dying on stage but that had nothing to do with nerves.


Active Member
Dinie said:
. Such as, are you nervous that you're mouth will get dry when you play, if so, always have a bottle of water at the side of you.

My Teacher was once telling me when he was on stage he would get nervouse and his mouth would dry up, someone told him if that if before he went on stage, he took a bite of an apple, keep it in his pocket and if he dried up he could just suck the apple (0the juices would enduce saliva) - so he did this, but then because he knew he had it with him he never needed it and nevr dried up - never tried it myself


Dinie said:
. Such as, are you nervous that you're mouth will get dry when you play, if so, always have a bottle of water at the side of you.

If of course you forget to take water, you could try the old wives remedy which I was told, that does actually work (for me anyway), but it could be just psychological..

When you get dry just wet your index finger (small amount of saliva will do) and just wet behind your ear on the bump behind the earlobe. This is apparently a place which can trigger the flow of saliva again..

Like I say it's an old wives remedy and sounds a bit yucky but it has got me out of few serious dry spots..

Mic Tyler
Principle Euph - Drighlington Brass Band


Active Member
Try and enter as many solo contests as you can, because the more you perform, the more you will get used to it!
Play out loud more in band practice, afterwards you'll feel great about yourself! :) Practice a lot at home, if you know that you are improving, then you have nothing to worry about!!! Good luck! and try not to worry about anything!


Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
Sometimes the bext way to overcome nerves is to distract yourself. imagine what would happen if your conductor came out on stage with his fly undone? Or have a good perve at some hunky bari\euph\trom player. Subdivide beats into semiquavers. Imagine playing blackjack. Sing along in your head to the piece as it goes. Someof this sounds silly, but if you don't focus on what makes you nervous, then you will have less need to BE nervous....

I think......


I have always been nervous on stage, especially in exposed solos (which thankfully don't happen often lol) and I have still not got rid of them totally. During my time in the band I have obderved several players way of dealing with drying up in the mouth, which is caused not by the adrenelin but by pure anxiety. A couple of the ways that these people used was a) by taking a diluted form of Lemon Juice in a Jif lemon shaped container onto stage b) or by eating a fruit which promotes syliva production in the glands in the mouth.
As for the nerves (adrenelin excess) there are a number of ways of combating nerves dependent on the amount of time you wish to use in improving the situation. There was an interesting article in a back issue of Brass Band Herald which discussed the use of Yoga as a way of tuning the whole body and mind and so creating both self confidence and nerves. There is of course the methods such as the Alexander technique which amongst other things improves posture. I do not fully understand the processes of Alexander but it might be worth doing.
The herbal tablet route is an interesting one, I haven't tried that myself but would be interested in trying in the future perhaps. I found going to the doctor and discussing the physiological and some psychological symptoms of the nerves so that I had a better understanding of my body. He was also good in offering opinions on how this could be dealt with, both medicine wise or treatment by talking to experts etc.
I suppose the way most people over ride the problem is by keep on playing at concerts and rehearsals and in time the feeling will gradually b de-sensitized. Of course in the short term this is a bit of a pain but just remember there are others who feel exactly the same as you, perhaps not in your band but in many others around Britain and in fact in many other ensembles around the world.
As for the position of the mouthpiece, very few have a perfect mouthpiece position and as many have said whatever suits you the best really works. Have you discussed with him the fact that you have problems in adjusting the position of the mouthpiece ? I'm sure any teacher worth their salt will undoubtedly support and try to improve you as much as they can. I had lessons from Mr McCann when I went to University and he suggested changing my mouthpiece position, but the advice he gave me was hard to carry out. I now know the benefit of the advice he gave and although I don't still totally stick to everything he said on the subject he made me more aware of the mechanics of playing. Can't remember the book he used, but it had great illustrations of the emboucher and the mouthpiece position, with other pictures describing how the air flow and resistance works from the lungs through to the end of the bell. It was really interesting.

Hope that helps ???

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
I used to get quite nervous on stage... and when you're trying to play stuff on tuned percussion, shaking is the last thing that you need!

Nowadays though, I don't get nervous so much, if at all... but being nervous, is and can be good for you. A lot of people think that you're not a true musician if you don't get some kind of nerve...

Rehearsals I'm fine with, cos if you're going to make big mistakes or whatever, then rehearsals are the place that it'll happen, that's what they're there for... make a few mistakes and they won't happen on the stage... hopefully :?

What's already been said is pretty much what I've been thinking... If you think nerves, you'll be nerves! Take a deep breath when you go on stage, or in your bandroom... doing it several times once you've sat down in ur place will relax you... I do it when I go on stage still...

I lost a lot of confidence for one reason or another in the past and that made me nervous over the smallest of things... Mind and will-power is the best cure, never-mind all this herbal stuff!!! Which, I dont re-call Soundhouse Brass doing anything of the sort when I was in the band! :shock:


Active Member
Practice, practice, practice. If you go to a concert/contest knowing you can play your part then there is nothing to stop you doing it when you are on stage. Use the nerves to your advantage, if you are nervous then you will concentrate twice as hard as someone who is over-confident. Confidence wont be a problem if you have faith in what you are doing, and if you make a mistake just remember no one is perfect and pick it up from there. If you know you have got it right in the past then you know you have it in you. If its right at home then it will be right in rehearsal, if its right there it will be right on stage.

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