The biggest thing that stands in the way of the vast majority of musicians is stage fright. The day of your show the butterflies start dancing in your stomach…then your appetite disappears…you begin to feel nauseous…and by the time you get onstage you are sweating profusely.
The first thing to realize is that everyone gets stage fright at some point. I guarantee that every single one of your musical heroes have felt terrified before getting on stage. The following are some proven tips and tricks to help you tame the butterflies.
Take deep breaths/warm up: Warming up is a great way to get rid of some of that nervous energy. Do some shoulder and neck rolls, stretch your arms, go run around the building a few times- whatever you need to do.
Avoid caffeine: Unless you absolutely need a cup of coffee to function in the morning, try to avoid caffeine the day of a performance. It will just make you more jittery and anxious!
Practise, practise, practise: If you can play the song in your sleep, you’ll feel less afraid that you might mess up. Here are some tips to improve your practising.
Pretend to be excited: Give yourself a pep talk and try to act confident and excited- studies have shown it actually does make a difference.
Remember that it is okay to make mistakes: And if you act like it didn’t happen, the audience probably won’t even notice!
Realise why you are nervous: You are nervous because you want people to enjoy your performance and you want to do a good job. It is actually good news that you’re nervous- you should care about how your performance goes!
Keep performing: It really does get easier every time.