Saxophone Forum


by saxophonegrl_alto_bari
(48 posts)
16 years ago

ummm... run away!!!!

Hey i have a solo in a school band and i happen to get kinda nervous before i play in front of anyone even in front of my own parents. so and tips on how i can get through this with the less ummm... dificulty. thax 4 all the help

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  1. by barisax999
    (400 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: ummm... run away!!!!

    this is going to sound stupid, but here is the key... breathe. it sounds like a no brainer, but when we tense up we take shorter, smaller breaths. this leads to a shortness of breath and oxygen to the brain which in the end makes us suck. if you've ever heard of the "breathing gym", do some of that before the show. oxygen can give us a very short natural high which calms us. whenever i audition, right before i play, i always take 3 long breaths before each movement.

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    1. by definition
      (963 posts)

      16 years ago

      Re: ummm... run away!!!!

      just dont think about the audience, channel them out so all you notice is the the music, the band, and the director. In university, they did things to get this out of you constantly. first we wrote down all the kinds of things that bother us when we perform, and it went from slamming doors, crying babies, talking, just people watchin etc and the we discussed this. Then the fun part, we did this to eachother in studio practices all the time. And I had a professor who when I did my juries, would jingle his keys off tempo and beat, and another who came and leaned on my shoulder. Just teach yourself to channel these things out of yourself and you'll be fine. I still get butterflys just before I hit the stage, but after that Im performaing and its fun time. Barisax((( is also spot on, breathing right, just like we do the rest of the time helps immensely

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  2. by kelsey
    (930 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: ummm... run away!!!!

    The other posts are right on. Remember that usually most of the people you are playing for know less about what you are doing than you do. And you will sound like a genius to Mom and Dad....Kelsey
    Barry Kelsey

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  3. by Sax_Shark
    (134 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: ummm... run away!!!!

    This might sound wierd but it has kinda helped me... Be sure of yourself. I know that your parents will always tell you to be humble and not to think so highly of yourself but forget that for a sec. Have the attitude that you can do this b/c you're awesomely awesome. In short, be arrogent. But turn this off after you're done - that can turn out bad. It is all very mental, and I don't mean crazy. Solos are a mental battle with yourself. I think that is kinda ironic. You get out to the solo and you're too busy fighting with yourself to calm down - the one thing that you shouldn't be doing. Maybe it is easier for guys to be arrogant than girls for obvious hormonal reasons, but try it anyway. If this doesn't work for you then sorry. You could also just have the mentality that you're going out there to have fun and it doesn't matter what comes out of the horn. :) Good Luck.

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  4. by barisax999
    (400 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: ummm... run away!!!!

    i have one other piece of advice. when we play solos we tend forget more of he musical stuff like phrasing and focus too much on notes and rhythms. the odds are the audiece will not know if you fumble a note or two. the key is, make it a musical performance. phrase, it doesnt matter if you screww the rhythm up a little bit, be musical and the audience will aprreciate it.(also if you hit a wrong note and kind of squeak, make funny face, lean into it, and they'll think your just artistic:) )

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    1. by sax_a_gogo
      (23 posts)

      16 years ago

      Don't run ... walk with confidence onto the stage :)

      It's all in your head :) There's no getting around it, if you're not a confident player in front of people, it will feel awful the first number of times. That said ... play in front of an audience, any audience as much as possible. It will get easier the more you do it until it becomes a routine like any other. Even famous performers get 'butterflies', especially if they haven't performed live in some time. Others get them every time before they go on. I played for years in a live band every weekend until I got bored of it. Recently I started playing duets with a friend on guitar after not playing in public for a while, and I tell you, even though I'm in my late 30s, I was nervous all over again before I started to perform. Once you start, just channel into your music. Close your eyes if you have to. Once you start playing, just focus on your musicality and forget the audience. They're not going to change how you play, so why worry about them. My big break-through came when I decided to just 'go for it' and not worry about what people thought. I never turned back after that point and played better than ever. Remember, "it's all in your head". Good Luck!

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  5. by sax_a_gogo
    (23 posts)

    16 years ago

    Don't forget to practise

    I almost forgot the most important tip of all, which let's you feel comfortable ... PRACTISE! If you know the music inside out, you'll feel more confident and play better. You can also add more phrasing and interpretation when you feel confident with the 'meat' of the piece.

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