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Getting over the fear?

Posted By: Robbiezzz29

Getting over the fear? - 06/18/11 08:03 AM

Okay, so I'm hoping that I'm posting this in the right discussion area...

I've been writing songs for the last nine years or so. Unfortunately, outside of myself and a few of my close friends, nobody has really heard them. It's not that I think that they're bad songs necessarily, but I've been painfully shy for my entire life, which makes it hard for me to show other people.

This has been problematic for me because I really would like to "do something" with my music. I do not see myself being wildly successful or getting a record deal or anything like that, but I suppose since it's something that I put a lot of work into I would really like to "share" it with people, despite the fact that I'm kind of afraid to do so. I know that part of this would involve playing live, which I would feel most comfortable doing if I had a band, but then I run into the problem that I'm kind of nervous about seeking out band members because I guess I worry that people wouldn't want to play my music, or might look down on my abilities or something.

I do have a soundclick page now, which I think is a step in the right direction, but I still have difficulty showing my music to people. I was wondering if anyone here would have any advice for me on how I could deal with this problem?

Thank you very much in advance.
Posted By: Johnny Daubert

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/18/11 10:47 AM

Hi Robbie, and welcome!

Now, I can't relate to your shyness, (except for when I was wanting to talk to a girl in the 3rd grade, to hold hands), so I'll just give my perspective on things that may concern you.

I did however have panic attacks from a very unbalanced chemical setup in my brain. Serotonin has completely and thankfully taken care of that! Simple, yet so long in getting to that point. (over 35 years). But even through the panic attacks, I was out and about doing things. I was shy though when those attacks would come on.

There were times I was called on to pitch big games in baseball, or to run a landscaping crew, or recently, to play at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, thanks to a long time friend who gave a few of us a great night to remember. If I said to myself, "Hmmm, I'm shy, and I don't know how I will do, playing that supreme hall, and with hit song pros all around", I wouldn't have had the time of my life there!

Music is to be heard, whether new songs at coffee houses, which will get polite applause anyway, or in some clubs or street gigs where they block off the main road for a day.

Life is WAY too short to be concerned over not being great or accepted by the masses. I am not great. Most are not. And all people want to hear live music! They go out and will hear anything! They may not come back, or they might. But they do give us musicians a chance. Your chance then is to bring a positive attitude to them, as if they are your friends, even before meeting them, or presenting your songs to them. No one expects Paul McCartney when someone presents their songs and sound and style.

Forget the shyness! For now on, do NOT say again that you are shy. Edit that statement out of your soundclick page. It's useless, other than to keep you in your shell. What for? The world is an exciting place to experience. You are missing out on times that will add up your experience of playing out, and doing things. Laugh, be almost reckless in your quest to have fun. ALLOW yourself the time of your life while here for this short time we are gifted in having.

People want to see confidence. They beg for the performers NOT to be shy. They will love most who just give a good effort in "trying" to entertain them! Don't embarrass them by being shy in any way. They feel bad when that happens. People want to feel good, right? So do you, right? Well, both sides of the stage floor are people just waiting for somebody to start the FUN! Let it be YOU whenever playing a song for anyone, anywhere, under any circumstance. WHY NOT?! The other way is to let yourself down, and to let the listeners down. All they want is a good effort and PASSION!

If you love playing, and even just like your songs,,,then let your inner passion come alive and be free with it. Forget your past thoughts. Make yourself think new thoughts. Those new thoughts will bring on new action. You won't be able to help it!

If all that fails, ask a doctor to give you blood tests for related brain chemicals that may be out of whack.

What gets accomplished by being shy? Just more shyness. If that is what you want, then keep on being shy. If not, then stop thinking you are shy! And stop saying it! Your ears are really close to your mouth.

Now move on and do something about it! People are waiting for something, anything to listen to!

LIVE! ENJOY! SHARE YOUR PASSION! If you don't have passion, get some! Why do music without passion and excitement? Might as well have people stare at a blank wall.

All the best to you Robbie,

Johnny
Posted By: glynda

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/18/11 11:04 AM

I'm shy too...ok the rest of you I really am...anyway, yes, i'm a bit shy but I love to sing, even though I can't, but I do it anyway and here no one really cares if I sound good or not...but they do help me in getting my lyrics and songs down better than I could by myself...this is a very loving and caring site and I do believe you'll like it here..

The reason i'm even doing songs, is to leave my kids something I did myself, so I try and make them the best I can...and I've made alot of great friends here from all over the world and i'm having the time of my life, never would I have ever thought i'd even have one great song...so come on in and don't need to be shy anymore..

Good luck and come join us...

glyn
Posted By: MidniteBob

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/18/11 11:13 AM

Dang Robbie, you've been a member here for nearly a year and this is only your 4th Post? I guess you really ARE shy:-)

Unlike Johnny "The Comeback Kid" Daubert, I am extremely, painfully, shy. I was so afraid of "getting out there" that vomiting before taking the stage at an open mic was normal for me...Seriously...

Do yourself a favor. Find an open mic. You may not be the best performer of the night, but I listened to your Soundclick page and can assure you that you won't be the worst. This Forum is filled with Folks who started one shy step at a time.

Sing a song or two. Form some friendships. Find a Dude or two to just jam with. Don't worry about putting a band together right away. Just get out there, take that first step. A few moments of blind terror are much better than years of "Gee, I wish I could".

Best

Midnite
Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/18/11 12:14 PM

Originally Posted by Robbiezzz29
I was wondering if anyone here would have any advice for me on how I could deal with this problem?



Hey Robbie:

One step at a time. Push yourself a little bit each day. Discover that you can function even if you are uncomfortable and the feelings of discomfort will eventually fade. It won't happen over night but it WILL happen.

When I was in high school, I couldn't speak in front of a group of 10 strangers without getting all tongue-tied out of nervousness. By the time I was thirty, I was teaching classes of 160 students and making presentations in front of groups that had the leading experts in my field present - and truly enjoying it. I'd like to say there was a magic bullet but there wasn't - it was just doing it - one step at a time - that made me comfortable.

So my advice is pick something that you want to do and that will cause you some stress and do it. Then do it again. And again. And when you start feeling comfortable with that, pick something bigger that will cause you stress and do it. And do it again. And so on. smile

In my case, it was helpful that there were people who told me what I was doing well and what I could do to improve other things. So, in that spirit, note that I'm a total stranger to you and that I listened to several of your songs and my first impression was that this guy has talent. smile

Maybe poke around the mp3 forum a bit, comment on some other people's songs, and throw one of your own up. This forum is filled with people that are supportive and offer constructive criticism. You've already met several of them above smile

And welcome.... smile

Scott


Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/18/11 01:16 PM

Robbie

Your problem is solved, 100% solved. Why? Because you are in the right place, here! the perfect place to share your music. Especially for the first time outside of close friends.
If anyone pokes around here at all they'll see that,no doubt.

Sharing a song here on JPF is the first step in ending all those other worries as well. Sometimes you just have to TRUST. So trust us and trust in yourself. Your love for music and our love for music will diminish any fear I promise. smile
Post a lyric first if you'd like or throw the whole song or song idea right up on that Mp3 board. You'll NEVER be sorry you did. Guaranteed!

All the best, you took the step, now take the next one.
Mike
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/18/11 02:46 PM

I too am painfully shy......LOL
Seriously I do know a lot of people who are very shy and afraid of failure. I know some folk who throw up just before going onstage.
I also know a lot of folk who like myself relish being the centre of attention and thrive on it.

One thing that may help is to change attitude......People do not laugh at acts or want to give them a hard time.... Most audiences want to be entertained and have a good time so will make allowances for inexperience and give the performer encouragement.
The same applies to fellow writers or musicians listening to others. We are all positive and will give positive feedback and offer help encouragement and advice. Shyness can be conquered by simply facing it full on.....getting out there and doing it. Once you take one step then all the others fall into place. The more you do it the easier it gets and the better you become.
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/18/11 03:01 PM

I did my first open mic about a year ago (at 53 years old) and I can't really sing that well. But what I found out is that if I practice enough, I can actually sing on key (imagine that).

So my advice would be to pick three songs and sing and practice them until there is no way you could mess them up and then start attending a few open mics. Yes, you will forget a word or two or go to the wrong chord -- but just keep plowing ahead. Pick two up-tempo tunes and then maybe your favorite one. Be fun and the audience will go right along with you. As others have said, you might find like-minded souls to play and jam with (and write songs with).

I am listening to your soundclick songs right now -- and I think you'll do fine. I think you can easily find three that will work just fine in a guitar/vocal arrangement.

Good luck!

Kevin
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/18/11 03:36 PM

Robbie, welcome to JPF.

I am shy by nature. I would try to stay in my "comfort" zone, and consciously made myself speak to strangers so I didn't appear aloof or unfriendly.

Music brought me out.

I learned to play guitar sitting in my bedroom and listening to recordings. I wanted nothing more than to play music. But my first few times on stage, I got stage fright. My hands shook. On one show, the lighting man turned on a strobe light ( a light that flashes quickly and produces a jerky effect) I got disoriented and ran off the stage. Still, I wanted to play more than I wanted to sit in my room. Gradually, I found that the stage became my comfort zone. While I had to force myself to speak to a few people in a room, I could get up in front of a hundred people and sing and tell jokes. Then I began teaching music, first in high school, later at an adult education music school and in college. That finally cracked the ice. For a while I would "turn on" the teacher/performer in social situations and then it didn't matter. I became just me whether alone, with another person, a few people, or in front of thousands. Thank God for music. My love for music was stronger than my shyness. Maybe it will be the same for you. Good luck and God bless.

Mike
Posted By: Robbiezzz29

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/18/11 09:18 PM

Wow...so I signed on here this morning expecting to see maybe one or two replies...but never this...I can't even begin to tell you guys how much I appreciate this... blush

I will do some commenting on others' songs in the MP3 feedback forum, and then maybe I'll eventually get the courage to put something of my own up for some constructive criticism. Maybe that would help me build some confidence...

The open mic idea is a great one, and it's something that I've considered in the past. I guess the main thing with that is that I just worry about being up there by myself...I mean I guess the way I see it is that at least if you have a bad performance as a band, you're going through it with other people, which I imagine would make it less humiliating. I also worry that people just plain won't like what I have to offer. Part of me knows that's kind of a silly thing to worry about since music is a personal taste and you can't please everyone, but I suppose that since so many of my songs are quite personal I might feel kind of hurt if most people don't like them. Not sure how well I'm explaining any of that...

Thank you all again. I really appreciate everyone's help. smile
Posted By: Johnny Daubert

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/18/11 10:40 PM

If they feel your passion, they will at least like you.

Drop all "worry" talk. Start to talk to yourself and others about how you will be doing things. Just doing that will start to have you react to those self-hearing commands for the better.

When you cut the lawn, would you worry that the mower might run out of gas? Fill it, then forgetaboutit!

Worry over your personal songs not being accepted is not like that example of course. But, The end result will be the same one you just do the "preparation work" needed to perform those songs.

Practice playing out by doing what I did before first going solo on guitar in front JPF founder, and about 50 other peers in music, many with LOTS of solo performing experience. And that is to play in your house in front of someone as if you are in a coffee house, to practice performing, (eyes, playing style, singing, etc. My wife sat on the coach and said, "Ok, now play that song for me". As I started, I noticed that although I was comfortable playing and singing in front of her, that I was aware of her representing many people. It was easy then to imagine our livingroom filled with other eyes looking at me, waiting to hear and see a person play. So, after I got done the song, she said a few things to help me look and sound better. She said to play to her as if I was telling her that story of the song. I wasn't connected to my audience, in other words.

After a few more tries at it, she said I was now playing TO and FOR her. (Yeah)! And that now to move my eyes around the room picturing those people that would mater be in that coffee house. So I did that...Worked great! I got more and more focused on making her and the imagined people comfortable. I did that by having ME be comfortable, on purpose! She saw I was being more at ease, which made her feel more at ease about watching me and listening to me. (Progress through "Preparation")!

Once I got to that coffee house for my show ending bit of one song, It all seemed like I did it 20 time before,,,,for in that practice way at home,,,,I DID!...Just flight simulation can work, or truck driving simulation can train drivers, so too can at home simulation. If y9ou are a visual person as I am, then it will be easy to do that, to picture and FEEL others in that room where there is only one sitting on your coach. BUT, you need that ONE person to add realism to being in front of people while playing solo.

I had been in bands years earlier and played all kinds of places. BUT, the solo thing on my second instrument, (piano is what I played before), was certainly out of my comfort zone.

Preparation made it as if I as doing that most of my life.

I didn't suck! You don't have to be the next great artist, with the next great songs. You just need to be prepared with your songs and style, and especially with the way you will "present yourself". Find one person who cares about you to sit in front of you, song after song, night after night, until you know what you are doing and feel good about it. Make playing the guitar look easy. Make singing look easy. And above all, make it all LOOK FUN! (Even for the serious songs). Fun, in the terms that you are not wasting you or their time. Be INTO it to the fullest, without regard for this or that. You want to get rid of worry,,,,PREPARE and just DO IT!

Do NOT mention again that you will worry about anything. Think how you can accomplish things by preparing for them. Keep that positive mindset on that solid line. Do NOT look back on how you used to be. Think new and positive, and you will start to act and say things in those new confident ways.

Put the songs up for listens. Who cares about any reviews? Learn from them if you can, and keep improving, like we all have done and still do.

Its MUSIC! To be shared and appreciated! Act like it is!!!!

smile

Johnny D

PS. Wear ear protection once you maybe get a band together. AND,,,learn to be confident "before" any band! That way, you will bring a much better and more confident you to the band. Your future bandmates deserve the best they can get in a front man, so give it to them! PREPARE, PERFORM, and bring your PASSION, (practicing or playing out). Always!!!!
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/18/11 11:22 PM

Here is a true story......My wife used to be terrified of flying....she would not get on a plane if her life depended on it. I got some well paid bookings to perform in Spain and Portugal which meant WE had to fly or I went on my own or we canceled letting folk down. She plucked up the courage and we went. On the flight she held my hand and actually drew blood digging her nails in as we took off......she was so scared.... It did not get much better but after quite a few flights she realised her fear was irrational. Now she flys no prob...well she is still a bit edgy on take off and landing but no more than most other folk.
The moral is simple.....what may seem impossible or too full of fear to conquer can be overcome just by plucking up some courage.
As long as you practice and know what you are doing then there is nothing to worry about. The confidence comes with experience...the more you do a thing the easier it gets.
Posted By: Robbiezzz29

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/19/11 12:34 AM

Originally Posted by Johnny Daubert
If they feel your passion, they will at least like you.

Drop all "worry" talk. Start to talk yourself and others about how you will be doing things. Just doing that will start to have you react to those self-hearing commands for the better.

When you cut the lawn, would you worry that the mower might run out of gas? Fill it, then forgetaboutit!

Worry over your personal songs not being accepted is not like that example of course. But, The end result will be the same one you just do the "preparation work" needed to perform those songs.

Practice playing out by doing what I did before first going solo on guitar in front JPF founder, and about 50 other peers in music, many with LOTS of solo performing experience. And that is to play in your house in front of someone as if you are in a coffee house, to practice performing, (eyes, playing style, singing, etc. My wife sat on the coach and said, "Ok, now play that song for me". As I started, I noticed that although I was comfortable playing and singing in front of her, that I was aware of her representing many people. It was easy then to imagine our livingroom filled with other eyes looking at me, waiting to hear and see a person play. So, after I got done the song, she said a few things to help me look and sound better. She said to play to her as if I was telling her that story of the song. I wasn't connected to my audience, in other words.

After a few more tries at it, she said I was now playing TO and FOR her. (Yeah)! And that now to move my eyes around the room picturing those people that would mater be in that coffee house. So I did that...Worked great! I got more and more focused on making her and the imagined people comfortable. I did that by having ME be comfortable, on purpose! She saw I was being more at ease, which made her feel more at ease about watching me and listening to me. (Progress through "Preparation")!

Once I got to that coffee house for my show ending bit of one song, It all seemed like I did it 20 time before,,,,for in that practice way at home,,,,I DID!...Just flight simulation can work, or truck driving simulation can train drivers, so too can at home simulation. If y9ou are a visual person as I am, then it will be easy to do that, to picture and FEEL others in that room where there is only one sitting on your coach. BUT, you need that ONE person to add realizm to being in front of people hilew playing solo.

I had been in bands years earlier and played all kinds of places. BUT, the solo thing on my second instrument, (piano is what I played before), was certainly out of my comfort zone.

Preparation made it as if I as doing that most of my life.

I didn't suck! You don't have to be the next great artist, with the next great songs. You just need to be prepared with your songs and style, and especially with the way you will "present yourself". Find one person who cares about you to sit in front of you, song after song, night after night, until you know what you are doing and feel good about it. Make playing the guitar look easy. Make singing look easy. And above all, make it all LOOK FUN! (Even for the serious songs). Fun, in the terms that you are not wasting you or their time. Be INTO it to the fullest, without regard for this or that. You want to get rid of worry,,,,PREPARE and just DO IT!

Do NOT mention again that you will worry about anything. Think how you can accomplish things by preparing for them. Keep that positive mindset on that solid line. Do NOT look back on how you used to be. Think new and positive, and you will start to act and say things in those new confident ways.

Put the songs up for listens. Who cares about any reviews? Learn from them if you can, and keep improving, like we all have done and still do.

Its MUSIC! To be shared and appreciated! Act like it is!!!!

smile

Johnny D

PS. Wear ear protection once you maybe get a band together. AND,,,learn to be confident "before" any band! That way, you will bring a much better and more confident you to the band. Your future bandmates deserve the best they can get in a front man, so give it to them! PREPARE, PERFORM, and bring your PASSION, (practicing or playing out). Always!!!!

Thank you. Lots of good advice here, and as far as performing in front of one person to get comfortable, that's definitely something that I'll try out. Thanks again for your time. smile

Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
Here is a true story......My wife used to be terrified of flying....she would not get on a plane if her life depended on it. I got some well paid bookings to perform in Spain and Portugal which meant WE had to fly or I went on my own or we canceled letting folk down. She plucked up the courage and we went. On the flight she held my hand and actually drew blood digging her nails in as we took off......she was so scared.... It did not get much better but after quite a few flights she realised her fear was irrational. Now she flys no prob...well she is still a bit edgy on take off and landing but no more than most other folk.
The moral is simple.....what may seem impossible or too full of fear to conquer can be overcome just by plucking up some courage.
As long as you practice and know what you are doing then there is nothing to worry about. The confidence comes with experience...the more you do a thing the easier it gets.

That all makes lots of sense, thank you. smile I suppose eventually I'll just have to try to jump right in without thinking about it too much..
Posted By: Robbiezzz29

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/19/11 12:36 AM

Originally Posted by Scott Campbell
So, in that spirit, note that I'm a total stranger to you and that I listened to several of your songs and my first impression was that this guy has talent. smile

Thank you! I really appreciate that.
Posted By: Gary E. Andrews

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/19/11 08:05 AM

If you have a good time performing your songs odds are anyone listening will too. I've played with a lot of people who seemed to play as if they were afraid someone would hear them. Enjoy your music and others probably will too. Have the good time you usually do and find out.

On the other hand, if you're not having a good time, no one else will either. Maybe you're not having a good time and only wish you were and that others would too. Find out.
Posted By: Colin Ward

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/19/11 04:59 PM

No worries mate! I listened to your songs and they are very much in the same vein that I hear the younger people do at songwriter nights around here - I know they will like them!

Music and art are very subjective. Everyone does not have the same taste, but even if there are only a few in a room who are bonkers about what you do, it is worth it.

HINT: If a roomful of people makes you nervous, close your eyes while you sing (makes you look more passionate), or look over their heads (they will think you are looking at them but you really are not). Remember that people like to see enthusiasm and passion in musical performances. That usually trumps technical intricacies or great art.

Just do it!
Posted By: Johnny Daubert

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/19/11 06:07 PM

Colin, I would like to respectfully suggest that closing eyes can do the opposite. From what I've seen at coffee houses, the ones that do that come across as fearful or timid, just like when talking to someone, and they look away with having very little or no contact. Eye contact is the greatest form of presenting one's inner character. It can only enhance the songs, while the closing of them can cause disconnect. Passion comes across only when it's real. That can come in the way someone plays and sings,,,from their feeling it so strongly. The eyes can also show how much the performer cares about the people there, caring enough to be engaged "with" them the whole time. That two way connection is strongest with eye contact. It says, Welcome to my world of these songs and me. And I hope I am also welcomed.

I saw my neighbor play at is first coffee house night, and he shut his eyes for most of the songs. Some people watching him just started to "also" look away. It was boring for them I guess, having no connection visually, other than seeing his eye lids! smile He sounded good. But there was nothing to see but a person closing his eyes. He did appear bashful. Not a good way to look!

I told him about that, and since, he learned to look at people just like hi does when he talks. (A real charmer). He was instantly better received after that, and went on to front one of the area's most successful cover/original bands. He said it was much easier to feel more into the whole scene too. When seeing darkness, sometimes that's all the watcher sees too. Also, you can't move around when your eyes are closed! smile Good for the studio, not for when in front of other eyes. Give them the same respect.

Robbie, I would suggest to look around at everyone, (starting with that one person in your livingroom as practice), and think of him/her, then in the coffee houses, "them all" as being friends. They soon will be when giving them the respect of looking at them with caring passion, not shutting them out.

Hope I didn't offend you, Colin. Just giving my point of view of it, from these eyes! smile Ha ha
Posted By: Colin Ward

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/19/11 08:02 PM

Johnny,

No doubt what you are saying is true, but from the perspective of someone who is afraid to get onstage, it is a way to get started. A sea of faces looking at you can be very unnerving or distracting until you get used to it.
Posted By: Robbiezzz29

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/20/11 12:58 AM

Originally Posted by Colin Ward
No worries mate! I listened to your songs and they are very much in the same vein that I hear the younger people do at songwriter nights around here - I know they will like them!

Thank you!

Thanks again for the advice everyone. I really appreciate it. smile
Posted By: Mike Caro Substudio

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/20/11 02:58 AM

All this support without hearing one note, so you can just imagine how much more is still to come, See! right place! smile
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/20/11 03:37 PM

I can relate to being shy. For years I wouldn't even sing in front of my mother. Don't worry about people making fun of your songs, you are doing something that 98% of the population can't do, write a song,and if you sing them in public,99% of the population can't do that. Writing a song that makes sence is not easy, you have three minutes to tell a story under strict guidelines and do it to music. Most people have trouble writing a good letter or an essay. If someone pokes fun, just hand them your guitar and say,"let's hear your song". It's put up or shut up.

What is great to one is garbage to another and vice versa.The greatest song ever written will find fault from some. They say the first 100 songs are only practice songs anyway, so keep writing and singing,you will improve as time goes by. You never fail when you try, you always fail when you don't try.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/20/11 07:15 PM

Hey Robbie,

Me too on the shyness stakes. I'm fine in small groups, but a larger room scares the heck out of me socially.

On stage though, it's a different story. I think it's the concentration, and with the lighting you can't see most of the audiance anyway.

If you're really into your music, the crowd will fade away into a blur. Just be well rehearsed, and the rest will take care of itself.

I did a live TV gig once. Scared the crap out of me, and like Midnite, I threw up before hand. I still have the tape, and you can see my hands shaking on the close ups.

But I did it, and the world didn't end. smile

Likewise, it won't end for you either. As others have suggested, do the open mic, and take it from there. And if you really suck, who cares ?

It's only music. smile

Best of luck.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Johnny Daubert

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/20/11 09:54 PM

Originally Posted by niteshift
And if you really suck, who cares ?


LOL!!! Oh Man! smile

OK, with that in mind though, one can take this approach:

Our band practiced often so we would suck less! The audience deserves "some" respect, right? smile

Roon used to say "Yeah, it's less boring now", after I would try to clean up one of my songs. So, that became a saying, and actually a guideline we would joke about and use. We would look at Roon after working on something, and if good, he would say. "Yeah, that's less boring now". (Then on we go to the next song for practice).

So, as we really should care if we suck or not, or to try to suck less, we can adopt Roon's guideline rule of:

"How to make songs less boring"?

LOL!

See Robbie. Just have FUN with all things music, and don't take yourself or your songs serious to the point of being shy about it all. Make the process of everything FUN, while learning the craft of songwriting, which is really fluid and ever changing, to either the current, or past or future. Hold back NO MORE! Progress happens faster when you get to it with vigor and purpose. Which reminds of Lucille Ball's advertising the TV sitcom product"Vitameatavegamin"!

Hello friends. I'm your Vitameatavegamin girl. Are you tired, run-down, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Are you unpopular? The answer to all your problems is in this little bottle. Vitameatavegamin. Yes, Vitameatavegamin contains Vitamins Meat Vegetables and Minerals. Yes, with Vitameatavegamin, you can spoon your way to health. All you do is take a great big tablespoonful after every meal. Mmmmmmm..... It's so tasty, too! Tastes just like candy! So why don't you join all the thousands of happy peppy people and get a great big bottle of Vitameatavegamin tomorrow! That's Vita-meata-vegamin!

Posted By: Jeff Epstein

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/21/11 01:11 AM

Robbie,

I know you already have a ton of replies here, but I just have to add mine, because your post just hit me where I live. I used to be in your position, several years ago. I had been writing since childhood but had the pitch and tone of a brick. Nobody ever told me then that you can learn to sing and perform, but you CAN.

I think that first open mike was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but the thought of continuing to sit on my music and not even try was awful to me. It's really not so bad. Just find the right "beginner-friendly" open mike and rehearse and do the best you can. Don't worry initially about doing everything right, just DO it. Then do it again. It's one of those things that do get easier with repetition. Once you get over your nerves a little, then you can assess anything else (e.g. voice lessons, etc.) you may want to do to improve. And singing and performing do respond to hard work (few like to admit that - anti showbiz talent glitter, you know smile ) I may never be great, but at least now I am reasonably good.

If your heart is calling you to do this, you just need to take the first step. You can just do it for fun, for your friends, or as much as you want. Performance is really rewarding - every way except financially. smile

Good luck!



Posted By: Robbiezzz29

Re: Getting over the fear? - 06/21/11 03:24 AM

Thanks again everyone smile I'll keep my eyes open for some sort of open mic event around here, and maybe I'll give it a shot...
Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: Getting over the fear? - 07/26/11 04:17 AM

Robbie,

As one who has been a natural born ham his entire life, I can tell you that even the most natural performer is painfully shy. Writing and performing songs are a way to deal with that as we can actually be different characters through the songs like actors are with a part. But all creative people are dreadfully afraid of critism and are natural introverts.

Some of us deal with it better than others. In the case of someone like the late Amy Whinehouse, often, alcohol or other substances are used to help them get over those fears and as that grows the demons do also. But that is in the most extreme cases. Most people quit or find other ways to manage the fear. But it can be managed. Trust me on that. Get a few dozen writer's nights under your belt and you will wonder what made you so nervous in the first place.

So you are in good company with being frightened. Only every one who has ever picked up a guitar, sat at a keyboard, picked up a pen and paper, and stood behind a microphone. Welcome to the club.

MAB
Posted By: CathyW

Re: Getting over the fear? - 08/24/11 09:56 PM

To successfully work thru what's holding you back - sometimes it's just necessary to fake yourself into it - use the analogy that you're an actor performing in a role. When you have to turn on the switch for performance - you have to also turn off the power switch to the obstacles in your mind. For the duration of the performance - it's key that you believe in yourself in order for your audience to believe in you.

We all doubt ourselves. Just go for it & strive to continually strengthen your belief in yourself.
Posted By: Dave Rice

Re: Getting over the fear? - 08/25/11 04:05 PM

Hi Robbie:

Once again, I'm late. Shyness is a natural thing for most of us. I remember a speech class in college and my first attempt was not exactly a "show stopper." It takes practice and for some, a vivid imagination... just as Cathy W has stated above.

Having a "page" where you can post your songs without comment by the listeners is not a bad idea for starters. That way, at least you can determine if your listening audience is increasing. Alot of your shyness "problem" depends upon whether or not you want to become a performer. (Not one of my strengths or desires.)

Best wishes for success.
Posted By: John Lawrence Schick

Re: Getting over the fear? - 08/25/11 05:33 PM

Hey Robbie!

Performing, like anything else, gets easier the more you do it.

Work up a "live" act. Since you sing and play guitar, find an under-achieving drummer and bass player that don’t care about getting paid. Don't be fussy with your selection of band members in the beginning. Better to get inferior musicians that you can cultivate. Good for your self-esteem. Remember: "performing gets easier the more you do it". That should be your present goal (to feel comfortable on stage).

When I first started playing gigs I would sweat up a storm (kind of embarrassing). I made a fool of myself many times, but survived (you will too), However, the more I played gigs the easier it got and the less I looked like a donkey. After awhile I became a "ham" (a first-class fool). You will too. We all like to strut our stuff. Even ones like me that had no stuff.

Anyway, if performing is something you really want, go for it!

What's the worse thing that can happen? A person in the audience gunning you down on stage? Big deal. None of us are going to live forever anyway. Life here on Earth is temporary. Make your mark now! May as well go down doing your thing. Just remember, a lot of people were gun down before you. You don’t hear them complaining about it.

The best way to get over fear is not to care. When you get on stage, look the audience over and say to yourself “what a bunch of losers”. Why should I care what they think? I hope this advice helps. It worked for me. It made me what I am today.

Go for it!

Best, John smile
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: Getting over the fear? - 08/25/11 10:21 PM

I perform for a living and seldom if ever get nervous.....that said there is nothing like the buzz of being the centre of attention and hearing people applaud when you finish. No drug can touch that. The main reason people get onstage....and why most people overcome shyness and fear is to hear that applause.
Contrary to popular belief.... an audience wants to like a performer.... they want to be entertained and have a good time..they are quite forgiving and understanding especially for someone just starting out especially if you smile and show humility. You in return can only give your best and that means practice your act till you know your stuff inside out.....if you do THAT then both you and the audience leave happy. The more you perform the easier it gets. In a year or two you will wonder why you ever got nervous in the first place.
Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: Getting over the fear? - 08/26/11 05:43 PM

Just as an aside to how you never stop with some nervousness, I recently had my own brush with fear.

On Tuesday I heard about a drummer I knew in town (Nashville) putting together a "Little Feat" Tribute band. I usually stay away from these things but Little Feat, a really great New Orleans/southern rock and funk band from the 70's were one of my favorites and their music is VERY challenging and REALLY cool.
I knew the drummer, called him up and found out the several lead singers they had auditioned had dropped out due to the rigors of the material. This stuff can really be tough.

So I went by to audition. Sounds like fun and is not going to be that many gigs, a "special occassion" kind of thing. When I got there I really swallowed hard. The players, were ALL huge musicians, some from Muscle Shoals, the guy I knew a major drummer with some very big acts, and the keyboard player, the keyboardist for blues legend, Bonnie Raitt.

I wasn't really worried about the material, I can do most of that standing on my head, but the "PRECISE" nature of these guys were amazing. I had to REALLy get on my stuff. I pulled it off fine, but they are a very detailed bunch and pleasing them would be difficult.

Turns out I got the gig easily and hopefully will get together with our second rehersal next week. But it takes some woodshedding. Usually I am so busy with writing and promoting my own songs and those of my co-writers, but this just seemed to be something for fun. So we'll see.

But even to the most seasoned performer like myself, you still can get that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach and make you clinch your butt cheeks from time to time. You just have to be on your stuff and dive in.

MAB
Posted By: John Lawrence Schick

Re: Getting over the fear? - 08/26/11 06:01 PM

"But even to the most seasoned performer like myself, you still can get that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach and make you clinch your butt cheeks from time to time" - Marc

I think that's a normal human condition that plagues all of us to some degree. Not only in performing, but simple tasks like going to the doctors. I hate queasy tummies.

Barbra Streisand is the classic "fear of performing" case. I think back in the 60's while performing, she forgot the lyrics. That ignited her phobia. I think Barbra uses a teleprompter now when she performs.

I think my previous post may have helped Barbra over come her phobia. grin

John smile
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: Getting over the fear? - 08/26/11 06:17 PM

Here's my advice: go ahead and feel scared...but do it anyway.

Some of the most talented and respected performers in the world feel The Fear every time they step in front of people to play--they just endure the feeling.

How you feel and what you do are miles apart from each other. We can't control when adrenaline rushes through our bloodstreams, but we can still do whatever we decide to do anyway.

Sometimes that scary feeling is the GOOD part--a bit thrilling if you decide to look at it that way.

So again, to me the problem is not the fear, but whether you are willing to endure it.

Good luck! You're certainly in good company.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: Getting over the fear? - 08/27/11 04:00 PM

Shirley Bassey is well known for hurling up and locking herself in the toilet just before going onstage or point blank refusing to sing and wanting to cancel the whole gig due to her stage-fright and nerves.....her manager and assistants have a constant battle to persuade her to go on...so far they have always managed it... and once she steps up she is OK any nerves disappear....but getting her out there is the prob.
Posted By: Wendy D

Re: Getting over the fear? - 08/28/11 05:29 PM

Hey Robbie,

Welcome to JPF. I can so relate to this post. I sing/play at church mostly but this summer I forced myself to take things a step further. I've been doing Open Mics since July. I've been doing a regular Wednesday night one at a pizza joint and started doing another one recently. Plus through my church "gig," I started getting requests to sing/play for other churches. I played/sang at several revivals this summer.

I was not only shy, but I would fall apart when I tried to perform. I would practice until the cows came home..know stuff inside and out so I could play it in the dark, in my sleep, on a train..(sounding like Dr. Seuss here)..but you get the point. But when I would stand-up in front of five people, I would literally fall apart. My fingers would not move, my hands would shake, my voice would get what I refer to as a "Dolly Parton sheep bleat." It was horrible. But I kept getting back on the horse. Just doing it, over and over and over is what works.

I am happy to say that I did a songwriters in the round "gig" just last night. It was an impromtu thing at the last minute. I was there b/c I was going to sing harmony with a friend who was the main act. The band did not show, so she asked me and a couple of other folks to sit-in the second half for a round. It turned out to be a lot of fun. I was scared at first, but after the first song, I recovered pretty well and by the end, I was enjoying myself. If there's hope for me, then you can do it too. So when you get out there, even if you screw-up, just keep at it.
Posted By: Pat Hardy

Re: Getting over the fear? - 02/28/12 04:52 AM

I think a quart of Jack Daniels should cure your fears ?

Just kidding.

Get thee a thick skin and start submitting. You'd better, or you'll never have a chance. I'm finally getting publishing deals, airplay, and artists interested in my music. But , my rejection slips go back before the internet, and folder is two inches thick. I never was shy.

Believe me, their songs probably aren't as good as yours, don't worry so much about it.
Posted By: Jim Colyer

Re: Getting over the fear? - 03/01/12 07:21 AM

I used to be an introvert. Now I am an extrovert.
Posted By: Pat Hardy

Re: Getting over the fear? - 12/13/12 09:42 AM

Open mikes, where there are a bunch of newbies like
yourself, makes a nice way to get started.
Posted By: Donna Dutchess

Re: Getting over the fear? - 08/03/16 05:19 PM

When I read your post, I had to look to see if it was written by me. I stopped writing about 6 years ago because I allowed the fear to consume me. At that point, I'd been writing for literally 46 years. I can't even tell you the opportunities I had that I couldn't take because of the fear. About 6 months ago I got out one of my songs and decided to create a video to go with it. Within weeks on YouTube I had almost 5000 people listen and love the song. This was my wakeup call! I knew they all couldn't be wrong, right?? Since then I wrote a song called "Try" My anthem song not to let fear stand in my way. I'm 65 years old, this is or could be my final chapter, my last chance. I decided I was going to do everything in my power to make a go at this business. Less than a month after demoing "Try" I'm getting my first cut by a major recording star in Nashville! I'm on cloud 9999... Give this song a listen and let it be your anthem song too. God is good and so is life at 65!

https://youtu.be/V_yeaz1atQM
Posted By: Jim Colyer

Re: Getting over the fear? - 08/04/16 01:01 AM

The more you play in front of an audience, the less nervous you get. After a while, you don't give a hoot what people think. I could fall off the stage, and it wouldn't bother me.
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: Getting over the fear? - 08/04/16 06:00 PM

Donna, you are a good writer, I am sorry that you doubted yourself but I know the feeling. Very few will encourage you. Your friends don't want you moving on without them and other writers don't want you moving ahead of them. I could say more but I won't. Stick with it and the best of luck.
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