Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Top Ten Tips to Conquer Stage Fright for Musicians.

One of the music students I’m helping out is anxious about performing in public, so this has inspired me to come up with some tips that work for me in helping conquer stage fright/performance anxiety:

1. Be prepared in plenty of time before the performance (sound-checked, instrument tuned, amp/lead etc in place. Write a set-list out if one hasn’t been done for you, get familiar with your part of the stage) and allow enough time to relax after all this/before the show. At least half an hour. The preparations themselves will also get rid of some of the anxiety.

2. Before the show spend some time breathing in and out slowly and deeply.

3. Look around the audience, make eye contact with them if you can, and think ‘what’s the worst that can happen ‘?! 

4. Tell yourself that the butterflies in your stomach isn’t nerves, it’s excitement! The mind is an amazing thing and you can talk yourself into this and then realise it’s true!

5. For me (and many others) I like to do a mixture of relaxing and using up physical energy to get rid of nerves. So as well as the deep, slow, breathing you might want to run manically, super-fast for a minute on the spot, or jump up and down. I will often go for a walk outside of a venue for a few mins too for a change of atmosphere. Stretching exercises are also excellent for both relaxation and preparing yourself for the physical rigours of a gig.

6. One of the best things is to have a good laugh before you go on stage, brilliant for getting rid of nerves! You could even contrive a completely ridiculous thing you do with your band-mates before you go on (maybe you’re own band-version of the Haka, but a ridiculous version that will make you fall about laughing)!

7. For some people it helps to mingle with the crowd beforehand  so you realise they are nice, and not the crazed axe murderers who will hate your music that you thought they were.

8. Remember, the audience are on your side. They can’t do what you do and they’re looking forward for the gig to start.

9. Don’t worry about mistakes you will make, all the greatest musicians make mistakes. What to you will be a huge mistake, won’t even be noticed by most people. You won’t draw attention to it, just keep playing, smile to your band-mates as they probably will notice because you’ve rehearsed.. if you’ve got lost in the music you will just join back in when you know where you are.

10. The butterflies get easier to manage with the more gigs you do but remind yourself that all the best live musicians get nervous (or excited!) before a gig. Eric Clapton used to play with his back to the audience a lot in his early days because he was so afraid of everyone looking at him. There’s a top opera singer (can’t remember her name, sorry) who actually throws up before every single show, so hopefully you’ll do better than that. Most great musicians are agreed that if you’re not nervous/excited before a show, it’s time to retire! If you don’t feel those butterflies, it means you don’t care enough!

I hope some of those are of help!
J 😊

If this article interests you, you might also like my post on my battle more generally with social anxiety, here: http://jtmusic.blogspot.com/2017/07/social-anxiety-and-performance.html?m=1

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Toast the Year

21/12/2019

So many great friends came along to this event, it was truly heartwarming for us, and we hope it was for you too if you were in the audience; our very cosy Christmas/Winter Solstice gig at Oddfellows, Nantwich.
Thank you all for a lovely night and a lovely year. X

Photo by Louise Mather 
No one could call Drummer Dave a bore,
but a boar? Wild!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Vote Music


13/12/2019 The Blue Yellows at Tom’s Tap and Brew.

It was with exceptionally heavy hearts that we gathered in the lovely environs of Tom’s Tap and Brew following the devastating win for the right wing Conservatives; a win for bigotry, for lack of empathy for those in most need and for monetising everything that moves including basic public services, and cutting those that don’t make a direct profit, no matter how important.
Yes, it looks like the nasty party are bedded in for years to come.
It was heartening to know that Jacqui and Sean who run the place feel the same way.
It was a nice crowd, noisy  but appreciative, the gang played really well, we drank some of the most gorgeous beers imaginable and met up with some great friends.
Thank you all,
spirits - lifted (for now).
J X

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Brunswick Capers.

Last night I played a fun gig with Rickety Wireless without our usual drummer Dan but instead, my BYs compadre Dave Coomer heroically depping at fairly short notice after one brief run-through.
A fun, Halloween-themed gig at The Brunswick, Crewe.

My lovely new PRS!



Friday, September 20, 2019

Beautiful Years, out NOW!

*Post updated 27/09/2019

Last month, myself and Ftumch!! colleague Rob found ourselves wandering the great outdoors with Rob doing plenty of filming.

Well that film, along with our latest single, Beautiful Years is released September 27th, 2019!



Stream/Download HERE!



Seen wandering around the countryside recently...