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Tip #1 – Don’t Fall Into The Complaining Trap!
This is a tip that all musicians should read, because it’s NOT just brass players that fall into this type of behavior. It’s a rare gig, jam session or “hang” (get together) where someone doesn’t start the “poor me, I’m a broke musician” rant. And passing that attitude on to the younger musicians only keeps that mentality alive and well.
It comes down to this – the ones that complain the loudest are usually the ones that spend the most time doing EXACTLY that rather than getting out and promoting themselves and practicing their craft!
So here’s tip #1 for this week – treat every playing opportunity like a million dollar job, and everyone around you like the person that’s handing you the check!
There are enough butt-heads in the world running amuck in every line of work! And there are enough “Debbie-downers” as well. Play music because your soul needs it, not just because you think it’s an easy way to make a living… if you treat your career like a business, stay on top of your game, be professional, and have your act together, then you will do great! The limits are self imposed.
Tip #2 – Nerves!
I decided to address this issue as I was asked how to over come them… thanks for the inspiration for tip #2 Stephen Langel!
Whether admitted or not, this is something we’ve all had to face in our lives… giving a speech in class, approaching that “special someone” that really gets your heart pumping, or performing / speaking publicly. And the one thing that has really reduced the “nerves” for me is performing frequently. As you get more confident in your abilities, familiar with the stage etiquette, and confident in yourself, the nerves will lessen. I think there’s always that initially “Oh boy, here we go” feeling before things start, but turns to more excitement than fear.
But here’s a few things that you can do to help yourself until that frequency comes…
Drink plenty of water! Staying hydrated will help keep you calm… your body tends to not allow you to panic as much physically.
Try adding a little magnesium powder to the water… this is a natural calming agent.
Take deep relaxed breaths before heading up to the stage… close your eyes, and allow yourself to clear any “random” thoughts from your mind. What usually came up (and still does sometimes) for me most frequently is the places I’m most in danger of crashing and burning. That just triples your fear… focus on your breathing.
Realize that most “mistakes” will not be recognized by 99.9% of the people. Most in the audience aren’t listening THAT closely anyway…
Give these a try… one may just be the solution that you’re looking for.
“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
1932-2012, Author and Speaker
Have a GREAT week!